I don't understand why people use UPS and FedEx

Who do you ship with?

  • UPS

    Votes: 189 37.0%
  • USPS

    Votes: 197 38.6%
  • Fed Ex

    Votes: 125 24.5%

  • Total voters
    511

knecht_rupprecht

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
40
USPS - is great for pedals and gear that's small(er). The price is best, and so is the shipping speed. They can be spotty with does it get to the right place, so 100% pay for full insurance and have evidence of value.

UPS - what I use for guitars. On average $50 less than USPS, $70 less than FedEx. Similarly, pay for insurance, have evidence of the value, and your packaging.

The problem is that there are so many local factors that can impact the overall experience. Generally, find a good price, get insurance, document and pack well.
 
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BenPerkins

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
100
If we’re talking about shipping an item of value, I’ll use FedEx Kinkos. I’ve never had a lost or damaged package with them. Plus, some packages were less to ship through FedEx than USPS.

The only time I’ll use USPS is for their label printing station and drop box (too small for a guitar).
 

Craig S

Member
Messages
173
UPS has better tracking than FedEx or USPS and less damage, at least here in Los Angeles. They also pay their damage claims, although they will only pay what the item actually sold for. Ex: if you sell a guitar for 1259.00 and insure it for 1500.00 they'll only pay the 1259.00). YMMV
 

letterk

Member
Messages
75
I used to own an e-commerce business. We shipped hundreds of orders every day. I have experience with every shipper in the US and many international. Here's my summary: They are all disappointing. None of them are consistently worse or better. There may be some regional differences, such as if one particular distribution center is better or worse. But as a whole, as a shipper, I would pick the cheapest/fastest because paying a premium never came with a premium service. In general, I used USPS for small items, and FedEx anything over a pound or two. I only picked FedEx over UPS because our negotiated rates were better with them.
 

wilson1

Member
Messages
147
I've shipped 4 in the last week or so and they ranged from $43-65, and that includes paying for the extra Reverb Shipping Protection (2% of the guitar's sale price). The one that was $65 was the most expensive guitar, so $33.50 of that $65 was Shipping Protection.
I found if you arrange shipping through reverb it's a lot cheaper no matter who you use.
 

wilson1

Member
Messages
147
That is really inexpensive. I don't sell on Reverb anymore since they raised their fee to 5% but I will check UPS. Usually at the UPS store they quote about $140 or so. I don't know how to get good prices from them.
You might want to re check Reverb, if you ship through them via ups, fdx, or usps they get a discount on shipping rates, that could offset increased Reverb fee's.
 

Koldunya

Member
Messages
21
The TL;DR here is very obviously "It depends" when it comes to which carrier is better. Mostly by area, which entails different people involved.

Here, I despise Fedex. They are the only carrier that ever seems to delay, or if they get something in their local delivery center it will sit for days and I get it at the estimated delivery date, which is of course fine, but in those circumstances with UPS or USPS I often get things early. USPS has the best track record of delivering things early for me.

My local Fedex driver is just f'ing stupid or lazy. I had a guitar that had to be signed for, and never heard a thing (and I am right by the doorbell speaker), the tracking number just suddenly updated to "delivery attempt made" and the next day he said he rang and knocked. LOL. Jackass. If he knocked he must have lovingly caressed the door... I've literally watched him "he-man carry" a 70lb package up on his shoulder and then drop it on the ****ing ground, and walk off. I've seem him take his phone and tape it to the camera like he thinks that is the f'ing doorbell (I guess that could explain the previous "I rang the bell" episode). Fedex gets paid by the package iirc, so they don't really have incentive to ring the bell and wait for you to answer, they just don't GAF in my area. I've had problems with them in other parts of the city, too. The only instrument I've ever gotten damaged was Fedex. A hole was punched in the finish of a GWB35 from zZounds. I've been told recently that Fedex has certain packaging standards that must be met for them to insure something. It includes being able to survive several large drops...

I've also had USPS claim something was "delivered" when it was put in some f'ing locker at an apartment complex. I thought someone stole it from me as the office was also closed. I saw the truck next door and asked them, and was told where it actually was and they would deliver it to the office tomorrow. What the actual hell lol.

It does drive me a little nuts that almost nobody rings the damned bell, and they see several cars out front. I can see them on camera, it's generally not a mistake, they just toss it and leave; I'm lucky if their shadow sees the actual porch.

Current USPS person is good. He was out in the snow one day (it rarely snows here and I'd have forgiven them taking a day off for it, despite the age old" "Neither rain nor sleet nor snowy weather" thing) and rang the bell.

If I catch anyone that rings I'm sure to thank them for the delivery if I can.

You know who gets my vote? Ukrainian Post. The literal day before Russia invaded I ordered a bass guitar from a shop in Zaporizhzya. I even messaged the seller to forget the bass, just get safe. I hoped the money helped the seller get out, or at least do the best they could. The tracking number didn't update from February to middle of March, said not in the system. Then as if by magic it moved to Dnipro. Then it moved to Lviv, which was hit with missiles the next day o_O Now it's actually out of the country lol. They got this package out of a damned warzone XD

Honestly, I don't care about that bass, it's just a thing, but watching its tracking number through Ukraine during this time was pretty amusing to say the least. I hope that its sudden movement didn't mean the seller was unable to flee =/

Anyway, this is turning into a novel. TL;DR - Every carrier can suck depending on the people involved. Ukraine Post got a package through a war-torn country.
 

jerichoharris

Member
Messages
115
I feel bad for those in the U.S. We complain here about the UK post office, but relatively speaking it's amazingly fast and reliable.
 

Nerddom13

Member
Messages
2
I have always sent items USPS they seem to be the fastest and the least expensive. What is the reason people use the other shippers. I have bought and sold about 70 guitars and often when receiving from UPS or FedEx they don't meet the expected drop off date and change it one or more times.
USPS is always the most expensive for me. I've also never had late shipments UPS. Reverb's discount also seems to be best for UPS. Locale plays a huge part in it, so I'm not sure what's hard to understand about that.
 

gusmc01

Member
Messages
34
I had multiple guitars and amps damaged when shipped by UPS. Since I've switched to FedEx I haven't had a single problem. Just one person's experience.....but I'm convinced FedEx isn't as careless.

Oh and one more reason I prefer the other two over USPS....you can redirect your package to be held at a UPS or FedEx location....you know, if you don't want ANOTHER guitar showing up at the house. I have seen my "friends" do that.
 

MDubYa10

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
31
I’ve used all and FedEx is the only one that has damaged packages.

UPS is consistently cheaper and almost always on time.

No issues with USPS, and they are usually 2nd cheapest.

I’m assuming different cities have better pricing depending on hub locations and all of that.
 

mipo

Member
Messages
21
1) USPS tracking STINKS.

2) I currently have two items sent to me USPS Media Mail that have not moved in over a week (one 8 days, one 12); both are now listed as "Late". This has happened more times than I can mention.

3) USPS refused to deliver a package sent to me BY AMAZON. They made no attempt to, though their own tracking service said they tried to deliver and were "unable to access" my house (another all-too-common excuse), or some such nonsense. Later in the day, the regular mail carrier dropped off a "DELIVERY ATTEMPTED" notification; when I asked her about it, she said it was "too big" for their mail truck and that I was supposed to go pick it up myself... guess I was supposed to rent a pickup truck to do so? Perhaps they should have elected to NOT accept the package from Amazon? These seem like reasonable questions.

4) Another super common occurrence, probably mentioned by others here: packages tracking as "OUT FOR DELIVERY" later get marked as "DELIVERED" that end up being delivered the following day. When these packages are valuable enough that I want to be home when they are delivered, that is a LOT of time wasted.

5) This one's personal: last year, after my mom passed away, I stopped at my local post office to request a change of address form, so all important documents and the like would be sent to my house. I explained this to them, and the USPS employee said "Well, she's supposed to come in herself", referring to my dead mom. I got more than a little furious.

By contrast, the main UPS facility here is a pleasure to work with. I have less experience with FedEx, and I wish their tracking was as good as UPS, but I have never had anything go missing with either of them.
 
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Messages
17
I have a UPS account and also rent the smallest size box at my local UPS store. Best decision I ever made. I have all incoming shipments addressed to my box at the UPS store. There is someone there 7 days a week and nothing is ever left outside unattended. I ship about three times a week and just drop everything off at the same store. Have always had problems with incoming FedEx shipments. I would really like to support USPS but have had far too many problems.
 

CaptainAwesome

It definitely is a stupid username
Messages
2,131
I ship UPS because of proximity and the USPS lines/wait time. USPS is an extra 20 minutes away and they hire the people that the DMV wouldn't accept, so the wait lines are 30 minutes long at all hours of the day. The UPS store rarely has more than a 2 minute wait, so I gladly pay $3-5 extra to avoid the hassle.
 

Detritus7734

Member
Messages
2
I've just stopped buying anything that uses FedEx. Whenever I buy anything from Sweetwater, who uses FedEx for their free shipping, my delivery takes nearly 2 weeks. If it is a small item and they ship it USPS it takes 3 days.
I've ordered from 2 different vendors on the same day. One was from Sweetwater in Indiana using FedEx. The other was from a music shop in New Jersey using UPS. Even though it was farther away I recieved my item from Jersey in half the time it took FedEx. FedEx sits on packages for days in their distribution centers. I have yet to recieve a package from FedEx on the day they estimated it would be delivered... not once.
 

Maggot

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
1,771
Over a certain size, UPS is less expensive than USPS. I never had a problem with USPS until about 2020, but even now, I trust my mail carrier and haven't had too many problems with them other than lateness and stuff not tracking online in real time. I've had more messed up situations with UPS and and FedEx. I generally prefer to go with USPS when I ship FX, which is mostly what I sell, but somewhere around the size of a guitar, UPS becomes cheaper and the occasional delivery slackness in other jurisdictions becomes a problem. FedEx is a nonstarter if I can help it, although I will buy from businesses who ship FedEx.
 

taylodl

Member
Messages
43
It's highly dependent on where you live, down to the actual street you live on. That's why it's best to allow the recipient to choose when possible - they know who works best for them. For example, where I used to live UPS was the absolute worst and USPS was the best way to go. Now where I live, which is in the same town and only 5 miles away doorstep-to-doorstep, UPS is the best. I know of several other people having similar experiences. Bottom line - if you move then don't assume the quality of your shipper will remain constant.
 

someguyfromnc

Member
Messages
214
I think it depends on your regional hub and your local driver. My last place i lived the ups driver sucked. He would drive by and say he attempted the delivery without ever stopping. He did this for years and complaints never mattered. With fedex my package always gets delayed at the Maryland hub for at least 3 days. I never had any issues with usps here as long as it was sent priority.
 




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