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Shipping options

posted by Zachspyfox033 on - last edited - Viewed by 224 users

Why is the cheapest shipping option first class mail instead of regular mail?

4 Comments - Linear Discussion: Classic Style
  • There's no such thing as 'Regular Mail'

    If you're in the US, the options are First Class Mail and Priority Mail. Priority Mail is 2-3 days, and First Class has no time promises, which is why it's cheaper.

    First Class is what you get if you take a letter, put a stamp on it, and put it in the mailbox. With packages, it's less fast because odd shaped things aren't machine scannable like letters are.

  • [quote=tabacco;85870]There's no such thing as 'Regular Mail'

    If you're in the US, the options are First Class Mail and Priority Mail. Priority Mail is 2-3 days, and First Class has no time promises, which is why it's cheaper.

    First Class is what you get if you take a letter, put a stamp on it, and put it in the mailbox. With packages, it's less fast because odd shaped things aren't machine scannable like letters are.[/quote]

    Really? That's interesting. In the UK we have Second Class for when time isn't that important - so, standard delivery - and First Class for things you want to get there quick. It's odd that you guys would call your normal posting method First Class. Then again, perhaps your mail service is just better than ours. :D

    (there is also Next Day and Sameday delivery, both which cost loads.)

  • @Guybrush Threepwood said: Really? That's interesting. In the UK we have Second Class for when time isn't that important - so, standard delivery - and First Class for things you want to get there quick. It's odd that you guys would call your normal posting method First Class. Then again, perhaps your mail service is just better than ours. :D

    (there is also Next Day and Sameday delivery, both which cost loads.)

    I just checked it out on Wikipedia, and it looks like in 1996 the USPS changed around our mail classifications. "First Class" is the only tiered-class name that survived. Second class is now called "periodicals," as that rate was apparently largely used for... periodicals :) Third- and Fourth-class is now referred to as "Standard Mail," and is primarily used for business mailings, as Standard Mail rate only applies to mailings with quantities of 200 or more, weighing less than one pound. The page lists many other classifications (bulk, media mail, etc) and what they're for as well.

  • The USPS has next day delivery as well (under the name Express Mail). For most time-critical shipments though, FedEx or UPS are more common.

    Actually, USPS contracts out operation of Priority Mail to FedEx behind the scenes anyway :)

    For what it's worth, we could theoretically use Media Mail as an option, but there are restrictions on what types of thing you can ship with Media Mail (it's limited, unsurprisingly, to media like books, DVDs, and CDs) and the minimal cost difference from First class didn't make it worth the slow delivery and indelicate handling that Media Mail shipments get.

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