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Meditation on Regional Rate A

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Meditation on Regional Rate A

Old 02-20-20, 12:39 PM
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Meditation on Regional Rate A

Selling bike parts for me goes in fits and starts. I will go for months without even listing anything, then ó as I did twice in the past week ó list a number of items. This last time, I had a bunch of freewheels to get rid of. They sold in groups of one to five. Even a single freewheel was too heavy to go first class. Two would fit in a small flat rate priority box, but three needed something bigger. Medium flat rate was overkill ó box way too large & price way too high ó but it turns out the Regional Rate Box A was just right. It does have a 15lb weight limit, but that should be fine for most stuff.

I wound up spraying freewheels all across the country. None of the boxes weighed more than about five pounds. One went to NJ for $8.92. Another went to OR for $11.13. One went to OH for $7.92, so even cheaper than small flat rate. To top it all off, it sorta fit in my handlebar bag:

The only catch I found was that you can't get these boxes at the post office. You have to order them. So I ordered a bunch against future needs. They have both top loading and side loading versions. I'm hopeful the side loader will hold a crank. There is also a "B" box which is a bit bigger and has a higher weight limit. Full details here:

I prefer you contact me by email (skip.montanaro@gmail.com).
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Old 02-20-20, 12:44 PM
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Super helpful post, thank you... Also, I love Schwinn Volares, and yours is gorgeous.
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Old 02-20-20, 01:37 PM
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A lot of times Regional A and Regional B will save money. Just sucks not all payment platforms recognize it, so sometimes getting a quote is difficult, and if shipping to a farther-out zone, you can lose $$ over shipping in a Medium flat-rate box. I think eBay recognizes A and B now, but PayPal still doesn't? I prefer shipping through PayPal because it's just all-around easier.

I found a great trick to get things out super-cheap and fairly fast w/tracking recently if it's less than 1lb in weight. You can shave off a few cents more using PayPal assuming you have a PayPal account.

Login to PayPal via the shipping backdoor - this lets you ship in cases where someone pays F&F or didn't pay you via PayPal at all: https://www.paypal.com/us/cgi-bin/webscr?cmd=_ship-now

After you login, you'll be prompted to input the receiver's address and email address - if I don't have their email, I'll use one of my throwaway accounts.

When you get to the speed/service selection, choose First Class package (3-5 days), then choose "large package box" and set the # of ounces the package is (up to 16). I sometimes ship in padded envelopes also, but still chooose 'large package' in shipping options.

I've sent a bunch of freebies out recently this way to pay-it-forward on something awesome Mad Honk did for me last year and I never paid more than $3.50, most people got the item within 3 days - some Park cone wrenches to skyerocker to help with the burned down shop, Simplex cable guide to cqlink for his PX-10, Simplex seat binder bolt to cudak888 for his Leo build, some misc cyclometer parts to crank_addict, cotter pins to orcas_island, etc...all under $4 and most under $3.

This may already be common knowledge for some, but it's new to me. I'd been having a hard time getting smaller packages out the door for less than $6. As long as the grand total with packaging doesn't weigh more than 1lb - seems all of my 5-6-7spd freehweels are a couple ounces less than a pound - shipping is pretty darn cheap.

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Old 02-20-20, 01:52 PM
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Flat rate padded envelope. Build a box that will fit inside. 75% of what I sell goes in a flat rate padded envelope. Iíve fit up to a triple crankset with bottom bracket in one of these. I basically build a cardboard sleeve to protect the crankset then slide it in. Everyone else on eBay is carving $15 to $20 postage to ship a crankset in USA, I charge $8...

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Old 02-20-20, 06:07 PM
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These are some great tips!
If someone tells you that you have enough bicycles and you don't need any more, stop talking to them. You don't need that kind of negativity in your life.
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Old 02-20-20, 11:27 PM
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Nice tip and nice Volare. Love the green Panaracer tires.
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Old 02-21-20, 06:06 AM
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Never cared for the Regional boxes, personally. Shipping calculation is just one more step of annoyance within the annoyance that is flipping. Plus, unlike the wonderfully over-the-top 70 pound weight limit of Flat Rate boxes, one always has to be cognizant of that pesky 15 pound limit.

By comparison, Medium and Large Flat Rates make it easy when what I need to ship won't fit in a Padded Flat Rate Envelope like wrk101 describes. Since buyers absorb the shipping cost when I sell, the additional expense is on them.

I wouldn't mind seeing an Extra Large Flat Rate that could hold some larger, heavier parts. Bet the motorcycle community would like to see such a thing too.


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Old 02-21-20, 07:09 AM
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Thanks for the tips. Regional Rate A would have saved me some $$ shipping Xmas gifts. I'll order some for the coming season. And maybe for parts I might sell.

Last edited by horatio; 02-21-20 at 11:38 AM.
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Old 02-21-20, 08:29 PM
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Some parts will fit first class. I build a box and then put it in a generic padded envelope if itís to heavy for first class, I then go flat rate padded envelope.

i believe my lower shipping cost compared to others gets me more sales and letís me charge a little more for the item. YMMV!
See my vintage steel bike tribute page on facebook: https://www.facebook.com/BillsVintageSteelBikes
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