EXPRESS POST - AusPost Help - Why Use? - Overcharged?

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FAQ: AusPost ExpressPost. How to Save Money when Using ExpressPost! How to know when as a buyer you're being OVERCHARGED!






Just about every Aussie seller uses AusPost for domestic and a fair share of international deliveries.
However as a buyer how can you tell if you're getting ripped off?
This guide is primarily aimed at buyers - although sellers may also find it useful.

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Why Should I Choose/Not Choose ExpressPost?

Advantages

•    FAST - 'promises' next business day delivery
•    No paperwork needed to be filled out - quick and easy
•    Can buy prepaid satchels, fill them out, and just drop them off at a yellow box - no need to go to the Post Office / good for irregular hours

Disadvantages

•    No Insurance - if it is lost in transit then the item must be resent or the buyer refunded. - if the buyer is told; "sorry the item was lost in transit," there is a higher chance of the seller receiving negative feedback and a poor rating.
•    The Prepaid Satchels may rip in Airplane transit - and damage/loss of contents is not covered really.
•    May actually take more than a biz day, due to the face that  many areas are excluded from the next biz day delivery service area -  (e.g. regional areas, etc.)
•    Item may be lost in transit
•    No proof of delivery - (A buyer may lie about it not arriving, and PayPal will favor the buyer and force you to refund/resend.) - PayPal will not recognize this method and you will lose in a PayPal dispute!
•    If you are not at the delivery address the postman will dump it in a 'safe' location - which can lead to confusion - (e.g. it gets dumped somewhere, and it rains and it gets water-damaged, or a passerby might steal it if it is in plainsight, etc.)
•    No tracking - can't tell where it is at a point in time, and what is happening with your item.
•    Costs increases EXPONENTIALLY as weight increases


The first idea that comes to mind is that Express is Faster. However is it the best for you?
There are many myths and rumors about ExpressPost, such as "its just a waste of money, it doesnt deliver that fast, regular mail can be just as fast buy cheaper, etc..."

Many buyers may opt for Express: and likewise sellers wish to let their customers know they can get the item FAST. Due to the lack of paperwork, usually the delivery address is hurriedly handwritten on the front, and thus may be easily misread by people at many stages. The person at the service counter, the mail sorters, even the postman. Also on numerous occasions no return/sender address is provided, so if the delivery address is wrong or misread there is no one to return it to. Also if it is delivered to the wrong address (some of you may have had mail with a delivery address very different to your own, but the name written on it is similar/the same to yours - that is how the posties 'guess' which is the most appropriate address when they are unsure.

ExpressPost  is fast because it is sent by plane domestically, this means you cannot send hazardous/dangerous items - and will get into serious trouble 'if' they find out. (e.g. Perfume, gas, etc.)

Also 'some,' (just a select few) posties ring/knock on your door once, and if you're; in the shower, out the back, etc.. they will leave before you arrive at the door as they might be in a bad mood. Also due to the fact that many large businesses use ExpressPost due to the fact that they can purchase large amounts of prepaid satchels and can request for a driver to come pick them up, posties are usually segregated into postal methods (e.g. a guy does all the regulars, another for expresses, another for registered - so that each can be assigned the proper equipment, paperwork, etc.) So this means that the guy delivering ExpressPost Mail will have to deliver many times each day and must do them on that day due to the 'next biz day guarantee,'  and thus may be more inclined to dump the item at the door as they're in a hurry. (However this segregation only usually occurs in the metro areas, other areas the postie handles all types as there is a much lesser volume to deliver.) It is generally accepted that posties are less inclined to wait if its standard ExpressPost, than lets say registered/courier/express platinum; well that's in my experience. I must repeat that it is a select few posties, most of the time they're really nice and wait for a min - and if you regular receive items you can even befriend one (they'll know where you want them to leave it if you're not there, etc.)

Despite the 'if it doesn't arrive the next biz day we'll refund the postage costs' guarantee, this does not stop AusPost from saying that the item was lost/damaged - and this can be used as an excuse for a delayed delivery time.

All ExpressPost services have NO INSURANCE and NO COVER FOR DAMAGE.

Also there is no proof of purchasing at all. The buyer could receive the item the next day and is happily using it, and nothing stops them from starting a PayPal dispute for a refund claiming the item was not received, as only Registered/Courier/Platinum is recognised by PayPal.

Overcharging?

This can happen easily to unwary buyers.

Here is the pricing for mail to anywhere in Australia.

Some buyers add extra for the 'time and effort' taken to pack the item, and packaging materials (tape, etc.), and while some may be reasonable, others are RIDICULOUS.
Overcharging in shipping costs is a sneaky way of adding to a seller's profit. (E.g. A buyer might list a pencil for 1c, but shipping may be $3 - (purely hypothetical!) - the buyer may have seized the item thinking it was a bargain just to get ripped off in postage fees.)

Here's my run through of ACCEPTABLE shipping costs. Excludes when the item is sent from a country/rural post office.

Letters/Documents only

**Since envelopes are cheaper, if you want to mail a cd or something thin in these to save money just layer the top and bottom with a few sheets of paper!**


C5 Envelope (229mm x 162mm)

Postage Fee: $4.40 - prepaid envelope
Time and effort: $1.00 MAX - for printer ink and paper maybe? any higher and they're just sneaking in extra profit

For Sellers:
                                                                      Individual = $4.40
                          Pack of 10 ($41.80/pack) (1-9 Packs) = $4.18 (22c saved per item)
                         Pack of 10 ($39.60/pack) (10+ Packs) = $3.96 (44c saved per item)


B4 Envelope (353mm x 250mm) (two way B4 isn't used for eBay items so I will omit it)

Postage Fee: $5.50 - prepaid envelope
Time and effort: $1.00 MAX - for printer ink and paper maybe? any higher and they're just sneaking in extra profit

For Sellers:
                                                                      Individual = $5.50
                          Pack of 10 ($52.25/pack) (1-9 Packs) = $5.23 (27c saved per item)
                         Pack of 10 ($49.50/pack) (10+ Packs) = $4.95 (55c saved per item)


Parcels

(Anything that is not letters/documents or greater than 20mm in height (a thick stack of documents) must be shipped as a 'Parcel' - (e.g. a flashlight, a pen, etc.)


0g - 500g

Postage Fee: $7.70 - prepaid satchel or not, same price
Time and effort: $2.00 MAX - unless the item is extra fragile, or requires special care and attention, they're just sneaking in extra profit

For Sellers:
                                                                      Individual = $7.70
                          Pack of 10 ($73.15/pack) (1-9 Packs) = $7.31 (39c saved per item)
                         Pack of 10 ($69.30/pack) (10+ Packs) = $6.93 (77c saved per item)


500g - 3Kg

Postage Fee: $10.90 - prepaid satchel
Time and effort: $4.00 MAX - unless the item is extra fragile, or requires special care and attention, they're just sneaking in extra profit

For Sellers:
                                                                      Individual = $10.90
                        Pack of 10 ($103.55/pack) (1-9 Packs) = $10.35 (55c saved per item)
                           Pack of 10 ($98.10/pack) (10+ Packs) = $9.81 ($1.09 saved per item)


500g - 3Kg (Doesn't fit in PrePaid Satchel)

Postage Fee: $21.60 - following cubing rule (length x width x height)
Packaging cost: $5.00 at most - even cheaper at Officeworks, etc.
Time and effort: $5.00 MAX - unless the item is extra fragile, or requires special care and attention, they're just sneaking in extra profit

3Kg - 4Kg

Postage Fee: $25.25 - following cubing rule (length x width x height)
Packaging cost: $5.50 at most - even cheaper at Officeworks, etc.
Time and effort: $6.00 MAX - unless the item is extra fragile, extremely sharp/hazardous, or requires special care and attention, they're just sneaking in extra profit

4Kg - 5Kg

Postage Fee: $28.80 - following cubing rule (length x width x height)
Packaging cost: $6.00 at most - even cheaper at Officeworks, etc.
Time and effort: $6.50 MAX - unless the item is extra fragile, extremely sharp/hazardous, or requires special care and attention, they're just sneaking in extra profit

5Kg - 6Kg

Postage Fee: $32.40 - following cubing rule (length x width x height)
Packaging cost: $6.50 at most - even cheaper at Officeworks, etc.
Time and effort: $7.00 MAX - unless the item is extra fragile, extremely sharp/hazardous, or requires special care and attention, they're just sneaking in extra profit

6Kg - 7Kg

Postage Fee: $36.00 - following cubing rule (length x width x height)
Packaging cost: $7.00 at most - even cheaper at Officeworks, etc.
Time and effort: $7.50 MAX - unless the item is extra fragile, extremely sharp/hazardous, or requires special care and attention, they're just sneaking in extra profit

7Kg - 8Kg

Postage Fee: $39.60 - following cubing rule (length x width x height)
Packaging cost: $7.50 at most - even cheaper at Officeworks, etc.
Time and effort: $8.00 MAX - unless the item is extra fragile, extremely sharp/hazardous, or requires special care and attention, they're just sneaking in extra profit

By this point you should consider a better service for your heavy item - (e.g. courier, platinum, private courier)


Final Notes


•    Never use ExpressPost for high value items
•    Never use ExpressPost for very fragile items (crystal sculpture, artwork, etc.) - in my experience they aren't treated that well despite the fragile stickers.
•    Never use ExpressPost for ultra time-sensitive documents - just use a Courier.
•    Don't overcharge just to avoid eBay fees or make extra profit - keep eBay clean.
•    Always write a return address on the back - if you don't want the buyers to know your personal address then get a PO Box
•    ExpressPost is still a very reliable service, please don't get me wrong.

Cheers for taking the time to read my guide.
I have been fortunate enough to have a good friend that works in a business distribution center, as well as having mailed many items - (as she can get me a 5% discount ^_^) - so I am able to confidently write this guide - but obviously there will be points which you might disagree with - no one's perfect. 

Please click 'YES' if you found anything useful to you.

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