REGULAR Mail - AusPost Help - Why Use? - Overcharged?

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Frequently Asked Questions about AusPost Regular Mail!




Prepaid or Non-Prepaid? Which is Better?
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.

Click Here for Registered Mail and Protection Against Paypal Buyer Fraud

Click Here for my ExpressPost Mail Guide

Click Here for my ExpressPost Guide


Why Should I Choose/Not Choose Regular Mail?

Advantages

  • CHEAP - its really the only reason why sellers and buyers alike would choose it over other methods.
  • May take the same time as express - saving you more money (usually this only happens in metropolitan areas, (e.g. Brisbane to metro QLD, Sydney to metro NSW, etc.)
  • No paperwork needed to be filled out - quick and easy

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.
  • Sometimes may be slow - (depending on the distance traveled, e.g. same state takes 1-2 biz days, however Tasmania to Darwin can up 7, and in extremes 10 biz days.)
  • 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.
  • Seller's return address may not be disclosed - there is no requirement for the sender to disclose their address to you - may be needed if the buyer is seeking a refund - or maybe the seller is drop shipping fakes from overseas and does not want you to know, etc...)

The first idea that comes to mind is that regular mail is the cheapest. However is it the best for you?
There are many myths and rumors about Regular Mail, such as "its riskier, service is significantly slower, etc..."
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.

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 most people use Regular Mail, 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 Regular Mail will usually have to deliver a greater volume of mail due to the less time it takes to deliver each item (as they don't need the receiver to sign, fill out forms, etc.), 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 regular mail, than lets say registered/courier/express, 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.)


Overcharging?

This can happen easily to unwary buyers.

Here is the pricing for mail to anywhere in Australia. IT IS A FIXED PRICE for each weight bracket.

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/a CD

Postage Fee: $1.10
Packaging cost: $1.35 at most - even cheaper at Officeworks, etc.
Time and effort: $2.00 MAX - any higher and they're just sneaking in extra profit


Parcels (Anything that is not documents/a CD must be shipped as a 'Parcel' - e.g. a flashlight, a pen, etc.)

For Prepaid Satchels you can simply fill it out and drop it into a mail box.


Small Parcels


0g - 250g
Postage Fee: $4.20
Packaging cost: $1.50 at most - even cheaper at Officeworks, etc.
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


250g - 500g
Postage Fee:
$5.40
Packaging cost: $2.00 at most - even cheaper at Officeworks, etc.
Time and effort: $3.00 MAX - unless the item is extra fragile, or requires special care and attention, they're just sneaking in extra profit


Prepaid 500g Satchel
Postage Fee:
$5.50 - Fixed Price
Time and effort: $3.00 MAX - unless the item is extra fragile, or requires special care and attention, they're just sneaking in extra profit

As a seller, THE PREPAID SATCHEL IS THE CHEAPEST OPTION as it is $5.50 for Postage Fees & Packaging!


Medium-Sized Parcels

500g - 1Kg
Postage Fee:
$9.75 - takes into account prepaid satchels
Packaging cost: $4.10 at most - even cheaper at Officeworks, etc.
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


1Kg - 3Kg
Postage Fee:
$11.15 - takes into account prepaid satchels
Packaging cost: $5 at most - even cheaper at Officeworks, etc.
Time and effort: $5.00 MAX - unless the item is extra fragile, extremely sharp/hazardous, or requires special care and attention, they're just sneaking in extra profit


Prepaid 3Kg Satchel
Postage Fee:
$9.60 - Fixed Price
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

As a seller, THE PREPAID SATCHEL IS THE CHEAPEST OPTION as it is $9.60 for Postage Fees & Packaging!


Large Parcels

By this point you should consider REGISTERED MAIL as it provides insurance for loss and damage, as well as proof of posting.

3Kg- 5Kg
Postage Fee:
$12.55
Packaging cost: $7.50 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


5Kg - 10Kg
Postage Fee:
$16.05
Packaging cost: $10.00 at most - even cheaper at Officeworks, etc.
Time and effort: $10.00 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)

10Kg - 20Kg
Postage Fee:
$23.05
Packaging cost: $15.00 at most - even cheaper at Officeworks, etc.
Time and effort: $15.00 MAX -  despite it being extremely heavy, unless the item is extra fragile, extremely sharp/hazardous, or requires special care and attention, they're just sneaking in extra profit


Final Notes


  • Never use Regular Mail for high value items -
  • Never use Regular Mail for very fragile items (crystal sculpture, artwork, etc.) - in my experience they aren't treated that well despite the fragile stickers.
  • 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
  • Regular Mail 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. 

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