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Archive 2013 · No love for AK & HI for sellers?
  
 
sb in ak
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p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · No love for AK & HI for sellers?


I've had several sellers refuse to deal with anyone outside the CONUS lately (rejected here and ebay in the same week). I live in Alaska, and it really is frustrating. I'm curious to hear the reasoning. USPS Priority Flat Rate is quite economical and is quite fast (in fact, flat rate is the same cost to AK as it is to anywhere else in the US). I've had stuff go between my house and New York in 4 days....certainly that can't be the issue. And as far as loss/damage.... Ship insured and there is no problem--which I'd do anyway if shipping between contiguous states. I've never had anything damaged in transit.

UPS and Fedex are around but I generally consider them a lesser service up here as they are more expensive and not much faster than USPS Priority (for ground at least). Plus, no package service on Saturdays.

If there is a significant difference in shipping price, I feel that Alaskans are willing to pay the difference. This will not reflect in a poor feedback score, if that's the worry.

In most cases, I feel that the stigma against AK/HI is unwarranted. Obviously, it is what ever makes the seller comfortable. I'm just curious to hear the reasoning.



Mar 09, 2013 at 10:50 AM
dcains
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p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · No love for AK & HI for sellers?


I've shipped a few lenses and bodies to HI in the past several years (from FL). Always used USPS Priority, and don't recall any serious extra expense. I can't imagine AK being any different.


Mar 09, 2013 at 12:12 PM
trenchmonkey
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p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · No love for AK & HI for sellers?


No probs. here either w/USPS Priority Flat Rate boxes to AK...never turned away a sale to my knowledge.


Mar 09, 2013 at 02:02 PM
mpmendenhall
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p.1 #4 · p.1 #4 · No love for AK & HI for sellers?


I think people see "ConUS only" limitations so often that it becomes a self-perpetuating myth that AK and HI are somehow difficult to deal with (so they reflexively add the same limitations to their own sales, for no good reason). Once people learn that (a) there are no import/export "gotchas," because AK/HI are 100% in the USA, and (b) USPS shipping (esp. flat-rate) works great just like to anywhere else, they drop their "ConUS only" bad habits.


Mar 09, 2013 at 08:11 PM
BenV
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p.1 #5 · p.1 #5 · No love for AK & HI for sellers?


USPS is fine to ship. Its when you use Fedex and UPS that becomes a problem. I prefer to ship UPS, because they are 2 blocks away from my house, vs. the post office, which is 2 miles.


Mar 10, 2013 at 01:14 AM
jcolwell
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p.1 #6 · p.1 #6 · No love for AK & HI for sellers?


Speaking as a Canadian, I hear ya.


Mar 10, 2013 at 01:45 AM
mpix345
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p.1 #7 · p.1 #7 · No love for AK & HI for sellers?


I used to default to "conus only", but then realized that made little sense as I ship mostly USPS Priority anyway. I've had a few transactions as buyer and seller to/from Hawaii with no issues. I now ship to all 50, but not Guam...never Guam.


Mar 10, 2013 at 03:29 AM
anthonysemone
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p.1 #8 · p.1 #8 · No love for AK & HI for sellers?


why not Guam?


Mar 10, 2013 at 12:19 PM
 

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DLP
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p.1 #9 · p.1 #9 · No love for AK & HI for sellers?


I always list CONUS only but also note that any one in AK or HI just needs to shoot me their zip code for a freight estimate. USPS priority has become really expensive if you haven't priced freight recently. Flat rate boxes are nice but not everything can ship in one of those boxes.
I never imagined any one thought that AK or HI would be more difficult....just more $$$ for freight.

Dave



Mar 10, 2013 at 02:59 PM
sb in ak
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p.1 #10 · p.1 #10 · No love for AK & HI for sellers?


mpmendenhall wrote:
I think people see "ConUS only" limitations so often that it becomes a self-perpetuating myth that AK and HI are somehow difficult to deal with (so they reflexively add the same limitations to their own sales, for no good reason). Once people learn that (a) there are no import/export "gotchas," because AK/HI are 100% in the USA, and (b) USPS shipping (esp. flat-rate) works great just like to anywhere else, they drop their "ConUS only" bad habits.


I think this is pretty much on the money. I've tried asking the sellers who rejected me their reasoning, and they really couldn't give me a good answer. If they're shipping a high value item, it really is what ever is comfortable to them in the end. Alaska has a slightly exotic sound to it, which might be synonymous with risk. I've encountered more backwater places in the western CONUS than where I live in Alaska.



Mar 10, 2013 at 07:25 PM
Mike1.6
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p.1 #11 · p.1 #11 · No love for AK & HI for sellers?


sb in ak wrote:
I've had several sellers refuse to deal with anyone outside the CONUS lately ...

...In most cases, I feel that the stigma against AK/HI is unwarranted. Obviously, it is what ever makes the seller comfortable. I'm just curious to hear the reasoning.


Perhaps the prices are not as good if they use UPS or FedEx. I know for a fact that USPS Priority is the same to either AL or HI as anywhere else. Even weighed Priority Mail is very reasonable. If the item is outside the size/weight limits of Priority mail it can be pricey, though most camera equipment wouldn't be so.

Maybe you should be prepared with the method and cost when you communicate with the seller. Sometimes I feel like a US Mail evangelist but I think it's worth the effort.



Mar 11, 2013 at 04:01 PM
jefferies1
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p.1 #12 · p.1 #12 · No love for AK & HI for sellers?


The issue is that many don't trust the signature verification offered by the post office. They prefer FedEx or UPS but that gets costly sending by air to your location.
At one time I sent out 7-10 boxes a week and post office tracking was just a joke. I would hate to have to prove someone received one of those packages or face a chargeback.



Mar 11, 2013 at 11:04 PM
henryp
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p.1 #13 · p.1 #13 · No love for AK & HI for sellers?


jefferies1 wrote:
The issue is that many don't trust the signature verification offered by the post office. They prefer FedEx or UPS but that gets costly sending by air to your location.


Another issue IMO is that USPS has a really mediocre package track function on their site. UPS & FedEx aren't perfect but they're a lot better. Also, if a package is lost or damaged en route it's our experience UPS & FedEx are speedier to resolve any claims. YMMV.

Henry Posner
henryp@bhphoto.com
B&H Photo-Video



Mar 12, 2013 at 04:21 PM
Mike1.6
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p.1 #14 · p.1 #14 · No love for AK & HI for sellers?


henryp wrote:
Another issue IMO is that USPS has a really mediocre package track function on their site. UPS & FedEx aren't perfect but they're a lot better. Also, if a package is lost or damaged en route it's our experience UPS & FedEx are speedier to resolve any claims. YMMV.

Henry Posner
henryp@bhphoto.com
B&H Photo-Video


Hi Henry. It's good to get the opinion of someone in the business. I ship FedEx for Freight and Overnight but use USPS for everything else. It's been my experience that USPS tracking works every time when I have the packages scanned at the window. If the packages are a drop off (not scanned immediately) or pickup by carrier, there is sometimes a lag. That being said, delivery verification is always spot on. Whether I was able to track the package all the way to the destination or not.

As far as lost or damaged packages go, I can't speak from experience regarding the USPS since neither has happened in the decade I've been using them for my small packages. I find FedEx to be reasonable in cost for larger packages but not any better as far as service goes. Of course, we've all had different experiences but I like to boost the US Postal Service every now and then because I've only had great service from them and the price is excellent.



Mar 12, 2013 at 07:44 PM
anthonysemone
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p.1 #15 · p.1 #15 · No love for AK & HI for sellers?


At least for me, what I like about USPS, is this: even with their crappy tracking, I can call my local PO manager, give him the "tracking #" and he'll search for it on his database. LIterally 99% of the times I've done this, he's always been able to get me a more current and accurate location than what I can get off the USPS website. A lot of doggone nice folks are gonna take in the kiester when USPS goes belly up, but then, it's a quasi government agency, so I don't expect much more. Same with AMTRAK. Wait 3-5 years. They'll be showing the Acela in a historical museum


Mar 12, 2013 at 09:11 PM
sb in ak
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p.1 #16 · p.1 #16 · No love for AK & HI for sellers?


Henry, thanks for the reply. The USPS tracking is a little weak, but I don't really see that as a reason not to ship. I have never encountered an issue with the mailman not getting a signature and I have been buying and selling on ebay for several years--but not on a daily basis, like I'm sure you deal with over at B&H. In fact, I prefer to get USPS mail instead of UPS/Fedex because the USPS provides locking boxes on my block. If the package doesn't require a sig, it goes in there. If there isn't a signature required for the UPS guy, they just leave it on the porch--they don't even knock anymore. Bigger chance of theft and exposure to the elements.

The Fedex guy threw a package over the fence at my brother's place in LA a few years back. Not cool for electronics.

Most Alaskans are happy, in my experience, to pay the difference if the seller wants to use UPS/Fedex, and it's really not too bad for ground--and comparative with USPS Priority for speed. So I still don't see a reason not to ship.



Mar 12, 2013 at 09:14 PM





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