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Fedex vs. USPS (The Post Office)

Updated on November 25, 2012

Fedex vs. USPS (The Post Office)

I am an Ebay seller and I ship by both Fedex and USPS (also called "the Post Office"). In this article I will explain why I ship by both services. There are many differences. Each one has its benefits. I choose which one I'm going to use based on the value of the item, how fast I need it to arrive, the weight of the package, and where it's going.

Fedex Ground - Good Prices
Fedex Ground - Good Prices

Fedex vs. USPS: Which is cheaper?

It Depends....

Which is cheaper for Domestic mail?

In my experience, small items (1-2 pounds) are often cheaper to send by USPS. Larger and heavier items are often cheaper to send by Fedex. However, Fedex rates depend on how much you ship. The more you ship, the lower the prices!

Also Fedex includes tracking and insurance (up to $100) at no additional cost. If you want these services from USPS, you have to pay extra for them, which can add up.

USPS has a service called Media Mail, which is a very cheap way to mail books. Fedex does not have this service. Therefore, it's cheaper to send books by USPS Media Mail. However, Media Mail can be opened for inspection and can take a long time.

How about international shipping?

Fedex does offer international shipping, but I only use if if the recipient needs an item very fast. The recipient usually has to pay carrier fees, which is why I don't usually ship by Fedex for international packages. This can be quite costly for the recipient. Carrier fees are not charged by USPS.

How about overnight shipping?

Fedex is best known for its Fedex Express division, and for its ability to get packages delivered overnight. In my experience, Fedex is way more reliable than USPS for overnight delivery. Fedex Express Overnight usually costs more than USPS Express Overnight, but when you need something to arrive, the extra cost is worth it. I always use Fedex for overnight shipping because of their reliability.

How much does Fedex cost?

To get the best prices with Fedex, you should open an account. The more you ship, the less you pay! I only ship 20-30 packages a month, and I still receive a discount over the regular rates.

Can I send a letter by Fedex?

You can, but it will cost you much more than 44 cents. Probably at least $5, maybe more. I wouldn't use Fedex for mailing a letter, unless you need it to arrive overnight.

Fedex Express - Get it there tomorrow

Fedex Express - Get it there tomorrow
Fedex Express - Get it there tomorrow

Why do I ship by Fedex?

How I made the Switch from USPS to Fedex

Like many small time ebay and amazon sellers, I used to use only the post office. But then two things happened around the same time, which made me switch. I can actually sum it up in one sentence: I shipped something by USPS with insurance, and it wasn't delivered, and I didn't get my money back.

Here's the long story:

I shipped a $200 book by Priority Mail with Insurance and Delivery Confirmation to someone in California. The delivery confirmation information said that it was delivered in the evening (around 7pm) to the wrong zipcode. The recipient told me that they didn't get it. I filed an insurance claim with USPS. They refused to pay out because it showed delivery, even though it was to the wrong zipcode. Apparently if you read the fine details of their insurance, it only insures against rifling or damage, not mis-delivery.

Around the same time, I started selling a lot of expensive items, so shipping something that had a value of $200 became pretty common. I didn't want to have the same thing happen again, so I searched for alternatives. I found that Fedex offered good prices, and I knew that they were famous for their reliability. I signed up, and now anything expensive or heavy goes by Fedex. It doesn't cost me much more. In fact, Fedex Ground is often cheaper than USPS Priority Mail, and only takes 1-3 days longer.

It was a good thing I made the switch, because another thing happened: I started getting more requests for overnight shipping. Fedex gets it there overnight. USPS says that they will, but they will refund if it doesn't make it. And so USPS did refund me when it didn't get there.... Fedex has gotten my package there every time.

Please participate in our poll.... - Feel free to vent!

What do you think of the USPS Post Office?

See results

On my Reading List

Changing How the World Does Business: FedEx's Incredible Journey to Success # The Inside Story
Changing How the World Does Business: FedEx's Incredible Journey to Success # The Inside Story

I really am amazed by how Fedex works, and when time allows, I plan to read this book.


Photo Credits for Pictures on this Page

Thank you to Flickr Members for these great photos!

Fedex Express Truck

Fedex Airplane

Fedex Ground Truck

This page doesn't mention UPS because I don't have much experience with them, but maybe you do. I'd love to hear which carrier you use, and why.

Fedex vs. USPS vs. UPS - Which do you think is better?

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      azamkhan760 5 years ago

      US Postal Service

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      anonymous 5 years ago

      usps: reliable, average costs, careful with packages

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      anonymous 5 years ago

      they have been the absolute roughest with packages, always dented, smashed on a corner or thrown up on my not use UPS

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      anonymous 5 years ago