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I am a retired Postmaster, so I usually try to use the Postal Service.

Today I sent a quilt to my sister in California. It was a queen, and I put 300 worth of insurance on it. It cost me 40 dollars! I did send it priority mail.....but still.

So my question is those of you who ship on a regular basis, what carrier do you use?

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Just a note of warning. I shipped a quilt two weeks ago and in my e-mail there was a very official looking notice from the US postal service saying my package was un-deliiverable due to an incomplete address. Of course I panicked and opened the e-mail. There was a link to print a tag to take to the post office to retrieve my package.

Stupid, I know, I clicked on the link. It was a virus designed to steal your passwords and account information. I clicked out immediately and went to the P.O. I found out there, the package had been delivered the day before. She then informed me that they had just received an alert about this e-mail scam I went to the usps site and there was indeed an alert. I just checked my spam and there was another e-mail like the first one in my spam. Trust me, I did not open this one!

Btw, my computer locked up, but my husband was able to clear it out and run a virus scan successfully. Please be careful. If I had not panicked, I would have realized that the post office did not have my e-mail. Lesson Learned.

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Guest Linda S

I use either USPS Priority Mail or FedEx Ground. I do not insure my quilts. Reason? It's expensive and, if your quilt gets lost or damaged, you're not going to get what you think it's worth in the insurance deal. You will get the value of the fabric and the batting. That is, if you have the receipts. It's kind of a crap shoot to send your babies off into the unknown, but I ship them fast and cheap and they generally get where they're going with no trouble.

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A Canadian checking in here. I sent a double or small queen to a friend. It was shipped last Monday and arrived last Friday. I put $400 insurance on the package. The shipping cost $13 and the insurance $7. I was very pleased with that because the quilt was delivered to my friend's door by a Canada Post employee.

Sylvia

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A large quilt costs me £22.70 insured up to £500 special delivery, a small quilt is £9.05 - I prefer the insured option, but if my customer wanted less cost to her, then I would send out regular first class post at her risk, but would still get a proof of posting.

Special delivery though is not fool proof - I sent a quilt next day delivery - 6 weeks later it turns up at my door again. My customer just thought I was busy so didn't chase me up.

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I've shipped and insured quilts once, via UPS. Three quilts with value of approx. $2800 (I had appraisals on two of the quilts.) Two of the quilts were twin/double and one was a wall hanging. The cost to ship was approx. $72 but I don't know the breakdown of shipping cost and insurance.

Deb, the recept that you received from the P.O. should have a breakdown of the cost of postage and insurance. Since you sent the package priority I'm thinking that most of the cost was for the postage.

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I use USPS flat rate boxes. Shipping from Alaska via any other carrier cost an arm and 1/2 leg! I can get a queen size in a 2.5 gallon zip lock bag and then in the large flate rate box.

Clue: lay on top of the zip lock bag and squeeze all the air out. Tape up the sides and corners of the flat rate box before you stuff the quilt in. This helps hold the box in shape and gives extra holding power to those corners.

FYI: My hubby says I can stuff 100# in a nats backside! LOL :P:P

Good luck!

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I shipped a queen to my son's X-girl friend (who I really like) last year. I sent it through the post office with some insurance (can't remember how much) and I paid about $45. It was sent from Philadelphia to Los Alamos, NM and arrived in less than a week. I was so releived when I got the call saying it arrived.

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I usually ship via the post office and I always put on a delivery notification so I can track it and find out when it was delivered. I also always try send it priority to get it in and of the system ASAP. As Linda said, insurance won't do much for you if it is lost. Using the delivery confirmation gives me a little peace of mind.

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Guess I really should have tried harder to see if I could get it to fit in the flat rate boxes. I used one of my smaller quilters dream boxes from my last shipment. I wasn't thinking much about cost..... in the back of my mind I knew that I had paid 28.00 for shipping for both boxes.

Ah well if I do very much shipping in the future, I will spend a little more time on packing.

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For shipping, not for continued use, place the quilt/quilts in a plastic bag, gather the opening, insert vacuum tube, and suck the air out. while keeping tight hold on the neck, remove vac tube and quickly clench bag top shut, then twist a few times, fold back on self and tape with packing tape, then tape the knot to the plastic bag. Really reduces the size box that is used, Weighs the same.

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We recently had this discussion on the Quilt of Valor Yahoo Group regarding shipping quilts, insurance, etc. The conclusion with some input from postal employees is:

1. Unless the quilt has been professionally "appraised" and you have documentation to prove it's value, and it is lost or damaged, it is only valued as a "Blanket". The post office standard reimbursement is approx. $25.00 for undocumented value for "blankets". Real blankets, not quilts that are shipped also need proof of value such as a receipt from store they were purchased. So, if for instance if you send a Down blanket to someone that cost $200.00, you still need a receipt to prove it's value, OR you will receive the standard blanket value of $25.00 for your insurance loss or damage claim.

2. Priority mail, and Priority Bulk shipping mailing boxes are NOT always the least expensive methods to ship. An example, I shipped a heavy twin size log cabin quilt to a friend, cheapest shipping rate was $9.40 with Tracking & Shipping Confirmation included as compared to the more expensive Priority options. So, pack in a plain cardboard box and decide what method you will use once you are at your shipping location. You may be in for a pleasant surprise of lower rates as compared to those handy Priority boxes that the post office provides which can be the most expensive way to ship.

3. UPS shipping for anything under 8 lbs. can be the most expensive method to ship. So, check those rates compared to USPS rates.

4. Tracking and Shipping Confirmation is your best option for confirming that your package has arrived besides Registered mail. Don't waste your money on Insurance unless you are sending a professionally appraised quilt product.

5. Always, always include a full name and address card INSIDE the shipping box with the quilt in case of loss or damage to the box so that the postal service can use that information to track the original sender of the package. Put this information with a pin directly on the quilt and enclose the quilt securely in a plastic bag before placing it in the shipping box, and place another label with your name and address taped or pinned to the plastic bag. Double assurance.

6. Print all shipping labels and return labels clearly with ball point or permanent markers and place clear tape over the labels on the box to avoid them being ripped or water damaged during transit. Tape should run completely around the entire box at least once before cutting the ends.

Hope this combined info. helps. I know I learned a lot about "determined value" and "insurance" after I asked some questions. I have been spending or should I say wasting a lot of money on shipping and insurance that was not necessary. Good packing is your best option.

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I usually ship USPS in a flat rate box when I can. I do my postage online to it has automatic delivery confirmation. I usually insure for a couple of hundred, but I leave it up to the customer. I also tell them that no matter the carrier the insurance regulations are the same. Theu only cover the cost of the fabric and only with the receipt. USPS is so much faster that UPS. Seems UPS and USPS will just leave it unless requesting a signature.

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