Problems shipping racquets via USPS?

clutch21

Rookie
I've been exchanging and buying/selling racquets for several years now in attempts to feed my addiction. For several years i've been shipping racquets via USPS using two priority (non flat rate) boxes taped together- a method I read about on this forum. Never had a problem and was cheap and quick.

The last two times I've been to USPS though, the workers have given me a hard time about how I can't just stick two boxes together to ship. Today, the USPS worker flat out told me that he would not let me ship them this way. I reasoned with him about how these aren't the flat rate boxes and they are technically free, but he just wasn't having it. He was feeding me some crap about how they won't ship if the box seams are compromised, suggesting that sticking two boxes together somehow does that. He eventually caved and shipped the racquet how I packed it. Just wondering if the USPS policy on this has recently changed or if anyone has encountered problems with this?
 

jonestim

Hall of Fame
It's not theft. You are shipping Priority.

I have shipped probably 40+ racquets this way all the time and have had zero problems. Most recent was about a month ago.
 

tennistomcat

Semi-Pro
I've shipped my last 3 rackets sold in the past month this way & haven't heard any complaints from the USPS worker - granted, I haven't been there when they pick it up but the receptionist in my office never mentioned any complaints.

I usually schedule a pickup at the business where I work - it's free & provides proof it was picked up & scanned. I've only had one issue in the years that I've been shipping this way - most recently, they missed a scheduled pickup & input into the system that we were not available when they stopped by - they must have stopped by after 5:15pm when we left the office because I was in the office from 9am-5:15pm. However, they are usually reliable & that only happened last month.
 

jonestim

Hall of Fame
One thing I do with mine is I build the first box, put the racquet in head first, cut the two longest box-ends in half, then fold them over and stick them together. This leaves the middle of the box supported. Then I put the second box over the handle and tape. If the employee were to question me - and they never have - I could show that the box is actually quite solid.
 

Mareqnyc

Hall of Fame
I have shipped and received racquets this way time and time again. Never an issue. The only thing I found in writing about the free boxes is that they can only be used while paying specific rate. Priority, Flat Rate, Express etc. It doesn't say anything about putting boxes together. Your mailman is making up rules as he likes. Ask him about policy in writing.
 

clutch21

Rookie
Thanks! Yeah, I've never had a problem before this so I suspected it was misinformation on the part of the postal worker. I told the guy I've been doing this for years and never had a problem, but he just stared at me. Next time I guess I'll just go to a different post office.
 

pitsquared

Rookie
You just have to specify that you're shipping Priority and paying by weight rather than 2 x flat rate Priority Boxes which is what some of less seasoned postal workers might assume you are trying to do (happened to me before).
 

jonestim

Hall of Fame
The USPS is owner of the boxes. At the owner's discretion, usage of the boxes is dependent upon authorized use, which in this case is shipping something via USPS Priority Mail in them.
If the customer uses the boxes for another purpose, i.e., using them to insulate the house, or using them "inside out" to ship something via USPS Ground Mail, it's "theft" based on the fact alone that the rightful owner's consent is lacking.

That doesn't mean that the USPS would spend any resources on investigating, let alone prosecuting this. But the postal worker is in his or her right to decline shipping anything in them, if it's not USPS Priority Mail.

Attorney at Law
I think you haven't read the first post. He is shipping priority, just with two boxes. Same as we all do.
 

dgoran

Hall of Fame
The USPS is owner of the boxes. At the owner's discretion, usage of the boxes is dependent upon authorized use, which in this case is shipping something via USPS Priority Mail in them.
If the customer uses the boxes for another purpose, i.e., using them to insulate the house, or using them "inside out" to ship something via USPS Ground Mail, it's "theft" based on the fact alone that the rightful owner's consent is lacking.

That doesn't mean that the USPS would spend any resources on investigating, let alone prosecuting this. But the postal worker is in his or her right to decline shipping anything in them, if it's not USPS Priority Mail.

Attorney at Law
You are mistaken here in the fact that he is using priority mail to ship. I have shipped this way 200+ times over the years and no issue whatsoever as long as you use service that the boxes are designated for. Keep in mind that there are 2 boxes that look alike and only one of them is priority. I did that mistake before and postal worker asked me to repackage using two priority boxes since its what cheaper that way...


To op
I would just go to another post office it's not worth your time arguing with this guy
 

McLovin

Legend
Wait...you guys actually go to the post office?!?! You do know they will pickup from your house free of charge during normal mail deliveries, don't you?

Check out 'Click-n-Ship'. Single racquet weighs ~ 2.8lbs (including box). We all know how much our frames weigh, so you can add ~ 0.7lbs (11oz) per extra racquet. Box dimensions are easy. Print out the label (they actually give you a discount for doing it at home), then schedule a pickup.

Easy peasy lemon squeezy...
 

mhkeuns

Hall of Fame
It's perfectly legal. IIRC, the Bay recommends shipping tennis rackets using those Priority Mailing boxes. I think the postal worker mistakenly thought two Priority Medium boxes were put together. That's happened to me before.
 

Mareqnyc

Hall of Fame
Wait...you guys actually go to the post office?!?! You do know they will pickup from your house free of charge during normal mail deliveries, don't you?

Check out 'Click-n-Ship'. Single racquet weighs ~ 2.8lbs (including box). We all know how much our frames weigh, so you can add ~ 0.7lbs (11oz) per extra racquet. Box dimensions are easy. Print out the label (they actually give you a discount for doing it at home), then schedule a pickup.

Easy peasy lemon squeezy...
Tried "pick up" by USPS in New York hahahah it never happened. I asked the Postmaster at my local post office why they choose to ignore the request for service they seem to provide and he just looked at me blank. I guess if you live in the suburbs or small town it would work. Brooklyn? Fughettabooouuittt
 

scotus

G.O.A.T.
I did read the first post. I read it again. And then one more time. NOWHERE does the O.P. state that he ships Priority. If he does, there's no problem, as using Priority boxes for Priority shipping is exactly what they are intended for. The problem arises, if they are "inside out" (have done that in the old days myself) and used for non-Priority shipping.
You are absolutely clueless.

That's the usual way many posters here on TT ship their racquets for selling/trading, as the OP has pointed out. We put 2 Priority Mail boxes together to form a box large enough for a racquet and ship it via Priority.

If OP had tried to use the boxes inside out, then the postal worker would have told him something different than mentioning the seams of the boxes being compromised, etc, and certainly would not have shipped it without charging extra.

Attorney at law, really?
 

Seth

Legend
You are absolutely clueless.

That's the usual way many posters here on TT ship their racquets for selling/trading, as the OP has pointed out. We put 2 Priority Mail boxes together to form a box large enough for a racquet and ship it via Priority.

If OP had tried to use the boxes inside out, then the postal worker would have told him something different than mentioning the seams of the boxes being compromised, etc, and certainly would not have shipped it without charging extra.

Attorney at law, really?
An attorney that doesn't know when to shut up?

Shocking.
 

lwto

Hall of Fame
I did read the first post. I read it again. And then one more time. NOWHERE does the O.P. state that he ships Priority. If he does, there's no problem, as using Priority boxes for Priority shipping is exactly what they are intended for. The problem arises, if they are "inside out" (have done that in the old days myself) and used for non-Priority shipping.
You can only ship it priority. I used to turn them in side out, but they have gotten wise to that and now print Priority on the inside.
I"ve never had an issue shipping this way, I think the usps was having a bad day. I'd just go to the back where the loaders are and give it to them if you pre print postage and address on it.
 
It's NOT theft. I've shipped many rackets this way using two priority mail boxes taped together and using priority mail for the shipping cost. What they won't let you do is do that with flat rate boxes. What you probably ran into was your typical post office worker that didn't know what the hell they were doing.
 

John Kawasaki

Semi-Pro
Done it this way over a hundred times........the only time I was rejected/questioned is when I mistakenly used two "Flat Rate" boxes together: was told by the postal worker that I can use two of the standard Priority Mail boxes without issue.
 

TennisHound

Legend
Thank you Bernard Paulsen for giving me hope that I'm not as dumb as some people (insert Bernard Paulsen). I'm still laughing at your completely silly comments. You're obviously joking. Nice avatar selfie :cool:
 
I tried to use the 2 box method a few months ago. I had 1 USPS worker at the window say he would take it but the woman who's window I was at had a hissy fit no. I asked to go to the 1st guy's window and was told no. The 3rd person at the window was giving me a really hard time about it. The supervisor said absolutely no way.
 

tennistomcat

Semi-Pro
I just bought a used racket from another TT member. He wasn't sure how much shipping would cost so he brought the racket to the post office not really planning to ship yet.
But, he said the post office employee helped him pack it up in the spot & he ended up shipping it out right then. I just received it yesterday.

Here's how they packed it

 

movdqa

Talk Tennis Guru
Nice that it's insured. I think that the vast majority of racquets are shipped without insurance.

I usually use TW boxes or the boxes that mine came in (the pro stocks that I bought from Europe usually come in normal boxes large enough for racquets).
 

DrumWizOHBD

Semi-Pro
I use the flat rate medium boxes taped together, no problem. Just have to ship Priority, not 1st Class. I used to always wrap them in butcher because occasionally a postal worker won't take them. But, then I started receiving all my racquets from the TW Classifieds and FleaBay in two Flat Rate Medium boxes, so I started forgetting about the butcher paper. like others have posted here, the Post Office wouldn't take the flat rate boxes taped together, so we would turn them inside out...but, now the insides of the boxes have "Priority Mail" printed all over them. If the post office is out of the Boxes I need, I stop by UPS and use their flat rates boxes similar to the USPS medium flat rate boxes, then I wrap them in butcher paper. The UPS boxes are a little lighter, too.

You can also order a stack of Priority boxes from the USPS website and have them shipped to you house for free.
 

HRB

Hall of Fame
No, you're dealing with a ******. Just smile and say "You're shipping this, and just be happy we still use this dying industry of yours...nice customer service Bro!" That outta put it in perspective for him.
 

movdqa

Talk Tennis Guru
I use the flat rate medium boxes taped together, no problem. Just have to ship Priority, not 1st Class. I used to always wrap them in butcher because occasionally a postal worker won't take them. But, then I started receiving all my racquets from the TW Classifieds and FleaBay in two Flat Rate Medium boxes, so I started forgetting about the butcher paper. like others have posted here, the Post Office wouldn't take the flat rate boxes taped together, so we would turn them inside out...but, now the insides of the boxes have "Priority Mail" printed all over them. If the post office is out of the Boxes I need, I stop by UPS and use their flat rates boxes similar to the USPS medium flat rate boxes, then I wrap them in butcher paper. The UPS boxes are a little lighter, too.

You can also order a stack of Priority boxes from the USPS website and have them shipped to you house for free.
I'm pretty sure that you can get FedEx boxes as well. We have a bunch of them in our shipping room. I can just ask tennis friends for TW boxes though if I don't have any.
 

babolatstar

Rookie
Majority of people ship their racquets that way.
I ship mine that way, if I don't have a box from TWH or any other box that fits a racquet. What you use to keep the recquet from damage is the key.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

eelhc

Hall of Fame
Did they tap dance on the box? Normally the boxes stay crispy rigid...

I just bought a used racket from another TT member. He wasn't sure how much shipping would cost so he brought the racket to the post office not really planning to ship yet.
But, he said the post office employee helped him pack it up in the spot & he ended up shipping it out right then. I just received it yesterday.

Here's how they packed it

 

tennistomcat

Semi-Pro
It was a lil pushed in around the center but mostly ok. Sometimes these boxes get crushed slightly no matter whether it's a USPS box or brown one.
The ends got real mushy because they left it on my front porch after a monsoon-like storm & it got wet.
We've had a ton of rain the last 3 weeks.
 

movdqa

Talk Tennis Guru
I've received "suspension packaging" before. Some frames from France in a fairly big box where the racquet was suspended in the middle by tape and bubble wrap. It was a fair amount of work getting to the frame.
 

sanfordnson

New User
I have shipped and received racquets this way time and time again. Never an issue. The only thing I found in writing about the free boxes is that they can only be used while paying specific rate. Priority, Flat Rate, Express etc. It doesn't say anything about putting boxes together. Your mailman is making up rules as he likes. Ask him about policy in writing.
I have been shipping racquets ( @ 50 boxes ) for only about a month and as of 2 days ago was denied the ability to ship the 2 boxes. I am shipping according to weigh, as well as box dimensions. Ended up :covering " the box with white labels so nothing that says "usps" is visible. i took it to another post office and there was no question. but i will ask for this policy in writing as I don't see anything against making up your own box using 2 usps boxes. Bottom line...am paying for shipment according to weight
 

Mareqnyc

Hall of Fame
I have been shipping racquets ( @ 50 boxes ) for only about a month and as of 2 days ago was denied the ability to ship the 2 boxes. I am shipping according to weigh, as well as box dimensions. Ended up :covering " the box with white labels so nothing that says "usps" is visible. i took it to another post office and there was no question. but i will ask for this policy in writing as I don't see anything against making up your own box using 2 usps boxes. Bottom line...am paying for shipment according to weight
Even if yo ask for the Postmaster they seem to make up the rules depending on their liking or interpretation, they might just say "NO" and won't accept it. I was dealing with this moron who literally didn't know how to use a measuring tape and add three dimensions together and wouldn't accept my package cause it seemed to big to him...
 

sanfordnson

New User
Did they tap dance on the box? Normally the boxes stay crispy rigid...
I am going to request a written policy on this as I don't see any restrictions on the USPS Website....and it cannot be a hard and firm plicy when some carriers will accept and some will not. Interestingly I recently had a 2 boxed parcel ship back to me that was obviously smashed...looks as if someone stepped on it. IDK .o_O
 

mhkeuns

Hall of Fame
I use the flat rate medium boxes taped together, no problem. Just have to ship Priority, not 1st Class. I used to always wrap them in butcher because occasionally a postal worker won't take them. But, then I started receiving all my racquets from the TW Classifieds and FleaBay in two Flat Rate Medium boxes, so I started forgetting about the butcher paper. like others have posted here, the Post Office wouldn't take the flat rate boxes taped together, so we would turn them inside out...but, now the insides of the boxes have "Priority Mail" printed all over them. If the post office is out of the Boxes I need, I stop by UPS and use their flat rates boxes similar to the USPS medium flat rate boxes, then I wrap them in butcher paper. The UPS boxes are a little lighter, too.

You can also order a stack of Priority boxes from the USPS website and have them shipped to you house for free.
Post offices will take the two Priority Mailing Boxes (*that looks like the flat rate Medium boxes but actually get charged by weight) put together. I was rejected once because I put two flat rate Medium boxes together. Putting two Priority boxes together should be perfectly fine.
 

sanfordnson

New User
Post offices will take the two Priority Mailing Boxes (*that looks like the flat rate Medium boxes but actually get charged by weight) put together. I was rejected once because I put two flat rate Medium boxes together. Putting two Priority boxes together should be perfectly fine.
Post offices will take the two Priority Mailing Boxes (*that looks like the flat rate Medium boxes but actually get charged by weight) put together. I was rejected once because I put two flat rate Medium boxes together. Putting two Priority boxes together should be perfectly fine.
I had 2 different PO reject these "created" boxes. 2 medium priority taped securely together. Postage was based on weight and box size dimension...i do not believe there is any written policy and these branch offices use selective interpretation of what is "ok" and what is not.
 

tennistomcat

Semi-Pro
I just received a racket that I bought directly from Donnay.
Received it after 2 days after shipping. Doesn't seem to be as problem for them



I've been shipping & receiving many packages packed this way through USPS this year without any hint of a problem.

On a side note, the Pro One GT is the best looking racket I've ever owned - it has the look of a secret weapon.
 

DANMAN

Professional
Shipped a frame like this the other day. Post office only had two non flat rate priority mail boxes. It's funny that shipping with two priority mail boxes taped together was $7 and the flat rate boxes for each are a bit more than that. I think getting the right boxes is key. Clear bureaucracy at its finest.
 

sanfordnson

New User
I just received a racket that I bought directly from Donnay.
Received it after 2 days after shipping. Doesn't seem to be as problem for them



I've been shipping & receiving many packages packed this way through USPS this year without any hint of a problem.

On a side note, the Pro One GT is the best looking racket I've ever owned - it has the look of a secret weapon.
I just received a racket that I bought directly from Donnay.
Received it after 2 days after shipping. Doesn't seem to be as problem for them



I've been shipping & receiving many packages packed this way through USPS this year without any hint of a problem.

On a side note, the Pro One GT is the best looking racket I've ever owned - it has the look of a secret weapon.
I just received a racket that I bought directly from Donnay.
Received it after 2 days after shipping. Doesn't seem to be as problem for them



I've been shipping & receiving many packages packed this way through USPS this year without any hint of a problem.

On a side note, the Pro One GT is the best looking racket I've ever owned - it has the look of a secret weapon.
Yes this is the method I use as well that has been fine however the PO now has decided "no". 2 separate offices. Will request a written policy . Thanks !
 

mhkeuns

Hall of Fame
I think you have to ask for the "Priority Mailing" boxes specifically if you want to put them together to mail frames. I just sent out three frames with no issues using the box that says "Priority Mailing" boxes. As I experienced, I got rejected for putting two Medium boxes put together before and was explained that I can't put two flat rate boxes together.

Most likely, though, not all workers are too knowledgable about the rules.
 

GS

Professional
I got tired of sometimes getting rejected using two Priority boxes for simple Priority mailing (or being told it would cost me DOUBLE), so I began packaging em with simple brown paper. Glad I don't buy or sell racquets anymore now....
 

dak95_00

Hall of Fame
I have never had a problem and have sold 100s shipped throughout the world this way.

I order 1092 and 1095 boxes and use one of each. One is slightly smaller than the other and slides perfectly inside the larger. Folding flaps down by tearing them around and inside the throat of the racquet holds the racquet snug and adds support to the box. I pay and print my postage at home which saves at least 10% and I either drop it on the PO counter or put in the outgoing mail at work. I could start scheduling pickups at home but I can usually find other reasons to leave the house.
 

Mareqnyc

Hall of Fame
bumping this thread:

just had an argument at the local PO about this, they refused to accept two boxes put together for the first time. Not only the same people did it in the past, there were pieces of old USPS labels stuck to the boxes proving it was shipped that way before.

They do not know the rules really, they just make them and stubbornly stick to the "NO" because that's the first things they said and they don't wanna admit they were wrong . After a few minutes of going back and forth they called a supervisor who said that it is fine as long as it is not "flat rate".
 

DrumWizOHBD

Semi-Pro
I started just dropping them off at Office Depot, because they take everything without the hassle, as long as you don't use a Flat Rate Box. Remember you can order Priority Boxes for FREE in various sizes and have them shipped to your house, from USPS.com As, I have mentioned somewhere before on this forum, I used to wrap all my packages in Butcher Paper (still do on International packages), so there is no question.
 

tennistomcat

Semi-Pro
I just received a racket that I bought directly from Donnay.
Received it after 2 days after shipping. Doesn't seem to be as problem for them



I've been shipping & receiving many packages packed this way through USPS this year without any hint of a problem.

On a side note, the Pro One GT is the best looking racket I've ever owned - it has the look of a secret weapon.
I just re-used this package to deliver an awesome Angell TC97 to a new home & was successful once again.
I still have not had any problems with them denying shipment with 2 Priority Mail boxes taped together.

However, I've always scheduled online for a pickup at my workplace since it is a free service & saves me the time & hassle of stopping by the Post Office.
It may not be worth their while to refuse a package during a scheduled pickup so this may be one of the keys to a hassle-free shipment.

The only problem that I've had is sometimes they drop by the office at 5:30 pm after we've already closed & they miss the pickup for that day.
I usually reschedule for the following day at another office & they come earlier.
 
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