View Full Version : Package mailing question (U.S.)
03-13-2002, 01:17 AM
Does anyone know the best, least expensive way to send a package through U.S. mails with assurance that it will arrive? This would be for an inexpensive item sent priority. Is it best to send it certified, return receipt? Does just insuring it also provide tracking? There are so many services now, like delivery confirmation, signature confirmation, etc. I just want to get a small box to someone, but don't want it to get lost. Thanks for any input.
It's been a few years but Consumer Reports published an evaluation of express mail services including the USPS. If you can find the report, it might help. (I couldn't find it on line but you might find it in the library.)
Alternatively, you could just ask the postal clerk. That's what I do.
03-13-2002, 07:29 AM
I've used the USPS to send a lot of items over the years, and they have only lost one. Their efficiency is pretty good.
If you send something the cheapest way, there's a high probability it will arrive safely (I'd say at least 95%). Priority mail might increase that slightly.
Return receipt lets you know the package has arrived. But its a PITA for the recipient, who often has to schlep down to the post office to sign for it. Your call.
I don't believe insurance includes tracking; it just means you'll be reimbursed if the item is lost. Check into the price of the insurance, BTW -- it's pretty damn cheap, which means they rarely have to pay.
BTW, always remember there's no difference between Priority Mail and First Class Mail. Priority Mail is just first class mail on which you've paid a priority mail rate. Over a certain weight, they cost the same, but if you think you're going to get faster delivery of a single letter, don't waste your money (or use Express Mail, their overnight version).
If you really need to track the item, try FedEX or UPS. Both have two-day rates that aren't that much more than parcel post. However, you won't be able to send these to a mailbox.
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