Any tips to save on postage?

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Any tips to save on postage?

Postby YetiSeti on Tue Mar 02, 2010 9:06 pm

Greetings all,

I'm prepared to wager (shameably) I've probably spent more on postage alone in the last two years than almost any collector has spent on their whole collection. It's a bit late in the piece to be asking for tips on how to save in postage but the last round of nz post price hikes have made it easy for subtle changes in dimensions to significantly bump up the post price.

When items are not packed to dimensions it's easy to pay for empty space when post prices jump from $8 to $12, then to $22 or to $31.50 for being a centimeter off. Most post shops will umm & arr when items look to be a millimeter over or just on their size guidelines if you don't get the right person.

Some sellers aren't too concerned, or perhaps are just unaware, so how to try minimise your costs as a buyer is my question when it's the seller who mostly determines the postage price, post purchase, by their packing and choice of method of posting.

To give an example to illustrate the wild price variances, with nz post as the service used. I have just bought some items that if packed into a single box of :

50cm x 50cm x 60cm x 23kg - it would be $150 via courier post. It is an over-sized item and won't go by standard post.

Now if it were packed to 50cm x 50cm x 50cm and at 25kg, it would be $50.50 and be postable at standard nz post rates.
Anything over 50cm makes the price jump for any courier/freight service who go by volume and not always weight as well.

So finding the offending item, a boxed C64 or Vic 20 (lets say minus power supply to keep the weight down)

58cm x 27cm x 12cm and 5kg weight would be $12.50 postage
with wrapping :
60cm L x 13cm H x 30cm D x 5kg = $12.50 (1cm more H and it's $22)
or
60cm L x 14cm H x 29cm D x 5kg = $12.50 (1cm more D and it's $22)

anything more in weight or centimeters and it would jump from $12.50 to $22 with nz post. (Assuming <=5KG)

So $50.50 + $12.50 is massively less than $150. Just by sending two parcels which you think should cost more than just sending a single item.

There are so many occasions where packing to fit the dimensions of the items, or splitting up into more than one parcel makes all the difference. Unfortunately it's an effort that is too great for most sellers which is also fair enough as they shouldn't have to think about these things.

Have people saved money by having an account with a courier? Some do door to do, others require drop off and pick up at depots. Any experiences to tell about?

C.
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Re: Any tips to save on postage?

Postby tezza on Wed Mar 03, 2010 7:47 pm

No tips to save on postage I'm afraid, but just agreeing that it can be pricey.

One of the most expensive places to get mail from is the USA. It can cost $30 NZ or so just to send a small parcel that might arrive in five weeks if you are lucky. Anything faster than that is through the roof!

I imported my IBM PC (5150) from the USA. I'm too embarrased to say how much shipping cost for that. Suffice to say that it probably cost more than the machine was worth.

I really wanted one though so the decision was more from the heart than the cold economics of it.

Terry (Tez)
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Re: Any tips to save on postage?

Postby YetiSeti on Wed Mar 03, 2010 10:52 pm

tezza wrote:One of the most expensive places to get mail from is the USA. It can cost $30 NZ or so just to send a small parcel that might arrive in five weeks if you are lucky. Anything faster than that is through the roof!


Well, I haven't had the gumption to buy anything from ebay. I wanted to buy a box of Amstrad games a while ago from someone in the UK. No one bid after a couple of pass-ins but it was going to be 50quid for the postage and the guy said it was going in the rubbish if it didn't sell (I hope it didn't). I think it is cheaper to get stuff from Australia than most people realise. After the post price increases there was a tv news item showing that it was actually cheaper (or the same price) to send something to Australia than within NZ.

I have thought of buying single software items from ebay but I really wanted my collection to be a NZ one rather than imported, but the frequency of software turning up for the 8-bits seems much rarer than the computers themselves. I haven't even had any bites on my wanted to swap/buy Amstrad software post.

tezza wrote:I imported my IBM PC (5150) from the USA. I'm too embarrased to say how much shipping cost for that. Suffice to say that it probably cost more than the machine was worth.
Terry (Tez)


You probably didn't see but the guy who's split the trailer load listed a IBM 5150 portable with a buy now of $100 which got snapped up fairly quickly. I couldn't find ebay sales past info on it, but there were a couple listed for $300US + each. I saw one sell locally in Dunedin on trade a year or two back also for a hundred.

Thought I'd save my pennies for the Aquarius. I bought a mini-expander for one a while ago and have been waiting for one to come up for sale since but they seem less common than I thought. Vagabond had a couple but I missed when they were listed and may have only seen one or two others listed in three years of looking.
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Re: Any tips to save on postage?

Postby tezza on Thu Mar 04, 2010 4:18 pm

Clinton,

If you get the Aquarius it looks like you'll have a spare expander. I'm looking for an expander for my Aquarius. If you win the bid and want to sell the spare, let me know.

Terry (Tez)
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Re: Any tips to save on postage?

Postby tezza on Thu Mar 04, 2010 4:20 pm

YetiSeti wrote:You probably didn't see but the guy who's split the trailer load listed a IBM 5150 portable with a buy now of $100 which got snapped up fairly quickly. I couldn't find ebay sales past info on it, but there were a couple listed for $300US + each. I saw one sell locally in Dunedin on trade a year or two back also for a hundred.


No I didn't. $100 is a good price for one of those, although they were not highly thought of in the day.

Terry (Tez)
Tez (Terry Stewart) (Administrator)
Collection: https://www.classic-computers.org.nz/co ... /index.htm
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Re: Any tips to save on postage?

Postby YetiSeti on Sat Mar 06, 2010 9:07 pm

tezza wrote:If you get the Aquarius it looks like you'll have a spare expander. I'm looking for an expander for my Aquarius. If you win the bid and want to sell the spare, let me know.
Terry (Tez)

yeah, no worries. I couldn't for the life of me think what I'd do with two (boxed) expanders. It's one computer I don't see the need of ever having more than one. Partly because it's quite a unique computer and my sci-fi/comedy movie/tv ideas revolve around having two of a lesser model computer either side of the higher spec'd model of a particular brand for the space ship control decks. My ideas are too wacky and I don't think I'd ever find any collaborators to develop them.

The Aquarius system listed at the moment is fairly complete but I'm hoping there's enough other tempting auctions like the Osborne, Coco, BBC, Apple IIgs and Amiga CD going at the moment to share around.
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Re: Any tips to save on postage?

Postby tezza on Sun Mar 07, 2010 7:08 am

YetiSeti wrote:yeah, no worries. I couldn't for the life of me think what I'd do with two (boxed) expanders. It's one computer I don't see the need of ever having more than one. Partly because it's quite a unique computer and my sci-fi/comedy movie/tv ideas revolve around having two of a lesser model computer either side of the higher spec'd model of a particular brand for the space ship control decks. My ideas are too wacky and I don't think I'd ever find any collaborators to develop them.

The Aquarius system listed at the moment is fairly complete but I'm hoping there's enough other tempting auctions like the Osborne, Coco, BBC, Apple IIgs and Amiga CD going at the moment to share around.


Thanks.

Yes, there are a few goodies on Trade Me right now. I could do with a spare Osborne and BBC but I suspect the bidding will increase somewhat. I won't mind a IIgs either. I've actually got everything for a IIgs except the CPU box itself (screen, software, keyboard etc.). It was a donated unit but the motherboard had suffered death by battery acid.

Tez
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Collection: https://www.classic-computers.org.nz/co ... /index.htm
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Re: Any tips to save on postage?

Postby YetiSeti on Thu May 06, 2010 12:06 am

mekarls wrote:Hi,YetiSeti :D :D
You're on to a good start thinking of ways to save. I encourage you to sit down and budget your wedding now. Think of where you can cut corners and where you would want to spend more.
:o :o


Wedding? Saving? Oh dear, hadn't thought of that one. You should have perhaps mentioned that before I spent all the mortgage on the computers :)

Seeing you're new around here and you have inspired me (I do warn people not to encourage me) I'll offer you the following new member deal and discount for visiting my computer museum :

$2 entry to physical museum
$20 exit fee when I deadlock the door after you're inside

50c virtual photo tour of computer museum
$5 non-photoshopped version posted on facebook with an embarrassing digitally manipulated image of you added in and tagged

$1 virtual video tour
$100 for your credit card details returned without the Nigeria stop over.

------

mine's the wedding with the front two tables reserved for vintage computers, Macs on one side, PC clones on the other.
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Re: Any tips to save on postage?

Postby tezza on Fri May 07, 2010 10:53 am

Given the rather cryptic message of Mr mekarls, I suspect he/she/it is a bot, or perhaps is just messing with the board. As the post had nothing to do with vintage computers I almost deleted this member. The link in the signature is not an obvious spam one though. I decided I'd wait for one more post before passing judgement.

I enjoyed the humour though Clinton and the reference to Nigeria showed you had the same thoughts of me about the poster. :)

Terry
Tez (Terry Stewart) (Administrator)
Collection: https://www.classic-computers.org.nz/co ... /index.htm
Projects and Articles: https://www.classic-computers.org.nz/blog/index.htm
Twitter: @classiccomputNZ | YouTube: Terry Stewart
Trade Me: tezza5
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Re: Any tips to save on postage?

Postby gavo on Sun May 09, 2010 9:24 am

YetiSeti wrote:Have people saved money by having an account with a courier? Some do door to do, others require drop off and pick up at depots. Any experiences to tell about?


I dont sell a lot of stuff and often when I do its more out of some (probably misplaced) belief that the "stuff" could be of some interest to others and doesnt deserve to go to a landfill - mostly its always in working order to. So with that in mind, I usually use NZ Post and choose the packaging that is most likely to result in safe delivery - which sometimes means more expensive shipping costs - that means typically I choose the packaging and thus shipping (unless the seller wants something better). Normally I use parcel post tracked. I have had good success with this - interestingly enough however just recently I sold a $10 bundle of bits and the seller wanted just "standard" post which I foolishy agreed to and guess what, it got lost. The subsquent hassel of that (writing letters to NZ Post etc etc) has cemented in my mind that I will never use standard post again (it was only a couple of bucks less anyway!), always some form of tracked delivery - its just not worth it.

NZ Post is expensive, no doubt about it - I dont know if you can get much cheaper deals elsewhere, being an infrequent seller, its not something I would bother investigating too much (espically given that most of my start prices = my hassel factor for selling, packing and sending - its defintely not about making any money! ;-) ). Again tho, having said that, my wife has an account with Fastway and for a small A5 package I think its around $3.50 anywhere in NZ (excluding rural) tracked and next day - no good for a whole computer of course, but otherwise a good deal for small items :)
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