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Subject:Shipping account?
Time:10:09 pm
I need to set up an account with a shipper-- FedEx or UPS most likely-- for the occasional flinging back-and-forth of artwork. I expect it to be low-volume-- only a few shipments per year.

I am completely ignorant about the process, and have no grounds on which to choose one company or the other. Mostly I care about convenience, think.

Suggestions?
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adb_foldem
Link:(Link)
Time:2009-04-09 05:58 am (UTC)
UPS will have many more drop off locations than Fedex.
You might want to just use the US mail if you're using tubes or not too largish packages. It would be a lot cheaper and you get (for now!) Saturday delivery.
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onthegojo
Subject:USPS not always cheaper
Link:(Link)
Time:2009-04-10 06:15 pm (UTC)
USPS is NOT cheaper for larger and/or heavier items. And tracking isn't person to person the way that it is with the carriers - UPS & FedEx. Also, keep insurance in mind and what the different carriers cover and don't cover.
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onthegojo
Subject:Saturday follow-up
Link:(Link)
Time:2009-04-10 06:23 pm (UTC)
Oh, and if it's going by FedEx Home (which is ground service) they also deliver on Saturdays.
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rhiannonstone
Link:(Link)
Time:2009-04-09 06:34 am (UTC)
Our household has had a FedEx account for the past 6 years, for 0-10 shipments a year, and are very happy with them. Prices tend to be comparable with UPS, though they're currently running a promotion that makes them significantly cheaper: you get 16% off Express Shipments and 8% off Ground shipments, the only requirement is that you print labels online (as opposed to using your account number at a shipping center or on a handwritten label).

I like FedEx because their customer service tends to be better than UPS' (and this has consistently been my experience as someone who's essentially been the Shipping Manager for most of the jobs I've worked in my life), their free shipping supplies are easy to find (you can also have them delivered for free) and come in many shapes and sizes, and in all of the places I've lived and worked, their drop-off locations are more convenient and tend to have better hours. I also prefer their online shipping interface over UPS', though that's not saying much. You will probably find the interface to be badly-designed, but again, it's not the worst out there, and once you learn the quirks of the system it's no big deal.

Oh, and as for the process: you sign up for an account online and give them a credit card number to bill after each shipment (though you can also choose other payment options for individual shipments). When you have something to ship, you package it, print a shipping label online, and either drop it off at a drop-off location or request a pickup (the latter doesn't always work in any way that's convenient, though).

Edited at 2009-04-09 06:41 am (UTC)
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pinkgeek
Link:(Link)
Time:2009-04-09 06:59 am (UTC)
Ups.. Bad track record for losing things.. My parents and I use FedEd for home and business and are happy.. Drop off locations are any Kinkos + lots of metro boxes and at every major airport.. I've yet to be on business and not find a fed ex drop easily..
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yayhappens
Link:(Link)
Time:2009-04-09 07:03 am (UTC)
I used UPS. It's fairly straightforward. The software is easy.

No need really to worry about drop off locations with either as I believe both will do a pickup at your home on a regular basis or you can schedule with them for certain days of the month, etc.

Mainly for speed...Fed Ex delivers on Saturdays but I've always had issues with them as a recipient just leaving tags at the door without knocking or ringing the doorbell. UPS will occasionally do the same but aren't as bad about it IMO.

Most protection is to go through USPS. USPS will also do home pickups if you need to, delivers on Saturdays (as you know). Their shipping rate for packages can be somewhat higher but also it is the only service that really protects you from fraud.

If the rates are going to be comparable I'd urge you to go the route of USPS. Attempting fraud is a federal offense and you only have recourse with this service.

With UPS and FedEx, I know this from experience...any paperwork that shows that the item was confirmed delivered can be disputed even if there is a signature and you'll still pay the loss. No legal protection and it was very very costly for me to do business that way so I only use USPS now.

All services provide packaging materials for free I believe. Tape, stickers, boxes, etc.

HTH
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yayhappens
Link:(Link)
Time:2009-04-09 07:09 am (UTC)
I'll add that my volume with UPS was high (multiple shipments outgoing every business day.) So my experience with the rate of people being shady with having things shipped and making false claims through that service is going to be more likely.

Anyway back to the point. ;) The software I've used for UPS and for USPS is really easy. I don't imagine FedEx software is going to be much different.

As a customer I do like being able to receive shipments on Saturdays if that helps to narrow it down.

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daveg1701
Link:(Link)
Time:2009-04-09 03:50 pm (UTC)
In my experence UPS looses or damages a lot of packages. I use fed ex for my personal stuff and some work stuff.
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byronium
Link:(Link)
Time:2009-04-09 05:00 pm (UTC)
I agree that FedEx provides better service, overall, but UPS seems to have been getting better over the last 2-3 years. UPS also has more drop-off locations, but if you're close enough to a FedEx location, then go for it.

I'm using UPS more these days just because my employer has an arragement that enables me to ship using their discounted rates.
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jcdill
Link:(Link)
Time:2009-04-09 07:01 pm (UTC)
By a pretty significant margin, experienced eBay sellers prefer FedEx over UPS. They say they have fewer problems with packages damaged in shipping, and MUCH better results if they have to file an insurance claim. They don't care about how many or how far to a drop box - they have the truck come and pick up packages daily.

If you are shipping framed artwork, consider framing with plexiglass rather than glass. Most art galleries won't ship glass-framed art or strongly caution to not ship glass-framed art due to the problem of in-transit glass breakage damaging the art. If you really want to display it behind glass, have the glass purchased and installed in the frame at the destination.

In either case, be sure to double box - wrap the artwork in a 1-2 inch layer of bubble wrap and use a correctly fitting box, then put that box in a larger box with a 2 inch gap on all sides, and fill the gaps with bubble wrap or foam peanuts or similar. This protects against most shipping damage that intrudes 1-2 inches into a box.
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onthegojo
Subject:Quality, Convenience & Choice
Link:(Link)
Time:2009-04-10 06:21 pm (UTC)
Patti,

I'm just a local neighborhood pack & ship store eeking out a living, but I do shipments like this for customers all the time. Am I the cheapest? Nope, but I do take responsibility for shipments and make sure that all the bases are covered - insurance, packing, etc. I'm certified (or certifiable for even still doing it) for all the carriers and various 3rd-party insurance coverage to make sure that nothing falls through the cracks.

Cheers,
Joanna

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[icon] Shipping account? - Patti
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