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Thread: Postnet

  1. #1

    Postnet

    I thought I would start a new post on the wonders of shipping products. Today, one has many choices to ship their products...USPS, UPS, FedEx, Speedie, local couriers, and probably several other regional shipping companies. I have done a lot of Ebaying and was a daily customer to the local post office. The post office is 99% of the time the cheapest shipper unless you come across an odd shaped item with an odd weight, then occasionaly UPS can be cheaper. I had one of those older Dell printer/scanner/fax machines a few years back when they were first becoming popular. It was about $120 new. I had it about a year and sold it on Ebay for $20 and another $20 shipping. I didn't have a perfect sized box handy, either they were way too small or way too big. So I saw this postnet store, it was new, and I decided to investigate. I looked online and they claimed to package and ship items cheap and as low as competitors. I thought great! So I took in my bulky printer, the lady came to the counter and said how can i help you. I said, i want to package this and ship it off to frostproof, florida...this was from Minnesota. She said certainly. She found a box, weighed it...and told me my only choice through them was FedEx. I said OK. She said, frostproof is off the main road so there is an excess gas fee charge of $10. The shipping will be $40, plus $10, plus the packaging of $40. She said the total cost would be $90 plus tax. I almost started laughing in her face. I politely said, i don't think so, nowhere near my budget........the funny thing, she said....oh, did u sell this on Ebay? I thought to myself, why the hell does that matter. So i said thanks, but no thanks. I went to the PO and paid $13 parcel post and told them Postnet wanted to charge me $90. The lady at the PO said Postnet is one of the biggest scams they have ever seen. I thought this was funny as the pot was calling the kettle black. I have a lot of dirt on the PO, but at least they didn't openly try to job me. Essentially, places like postnet, and other like it....charge you to hold your packages. The packaging jobs are nothing spectacular. They add on other fees I guarantee you wouldn't have to pay directly. It makes me sick people actually go to these places. They fall into the category of as close to a scam without being a scam. I want to hear other people's stories of this place and your outrageous quotes.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Posts
    3

    Re: Postnet

    This shipper may not be for you, but there is no scam. PostNet and similar stores are selling convenience, not shipping. Every single thing they do can be done cheaper somewhere else. But they pay the high rent to be in a convenient location.

    The thing about packaging is most people simply don't look at what goes into it. Yes it seems simple, and cheap, but take a look at theses costs:

    Box (more expensive than you'd imagine)
    Labor to measure and get box
    Tape
    Labor to assemble box
    Losefill
    labor for losefill
    bubble wrap
    labor for bubble wrap

    and so on, and even at a minimal $15 an hour, it adds up really quick. For a professionally trained anything at $!5/hour is a bargain.

    As for rates, yes they do mark them up. And if you have the time to go to the PO and ship you will save. But for people who dont, postnet is very convenient. If it saves me 30 minutes and I charge $200/hour for my services, isn't it worth it?

    Lastly, remember that FedEx and PO are totally different services, so its not really a fair comparison. FedEx is trackable and insured. PO can be insured, but not by default. And PO is not trackable. You can see if it was delivered, but you can't track it every step. That may or may not be important to you, but it does have a cost. And if there is a loss or damage claim, Postnet will stand behind there work and file the claim for you. have you ever tried to fill out the four page PO claim form? Did you ever get any money? Its a burdensome process at best.

    Also don't forget about the wide range of other services you can do there, which again save you time. You may not need to fax, use a computer, receive packages or get a notary, but if you did wouldn't it be nice to make only one stop?

    And of course the PO employee claims them to be a ripoff...thats like asking burger King if the food is any good at McDonalds. Hardly an objective source.

    So while Postnet may not be right for you, it does serve a market of people who value service and convenience over low price. No scam in that.

    I have no affiliation with Postnet, and the same things are true with other brand such as Gone postal, UPS Store, Pak mail etc.

  3. #3

    Re: Postnet

    Like I said, they may not be a scam, but like Cutco they are as close to a scam as you can get. And since this is a board about scams and not rip offs, I state that ahead of time. I never claimed they were a scam, the PO worker did, with good reason I am sure. They know that their PO delivery man goes to postnet to pick-up outgoing mail, he happened to come in when I was there getting jobbed. PO and FedEx are the same thing, one is public and one is privatized, so they may seem different. They offer the same basic services, tracking, insurance, overnight, next day, 2 day, so on. They may be at different rates or standard, it all depends. Your list of packaging supplies are not expensive. They are at postnet. They wanted $3.50 for a dvd sized bubble mailer while Wal Mart will sell you a package of 5 for 2.60 and individually for .62. I am not really pro or anti postnet, I just warn people who like their money. The one I know of is already closed, for good reason. Not many people make $200 an hour where it would seem logical to save 30 mins of time by paying $75 opposed to $10. I have actually never had to fill out an insurance claim since surprisingly the PO has never lost/broken anything, which is very surprising. I've sent things to most other countries, even Russia where there is a 5% chance it will make its destination. Like I said, they wanted to charge me about $97 to ship something to Florida. I found an old box, some newspaper, and shipped it for $12.80 parcel post. If you find a value of $85 from the postnet store you probably will be in business as long as them.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Posts
    3

    Re: Postnet

    Quote Originally Posted by bradleymxz View Post
    If you find a value of $85 from the postnet store you probably will be in business as long as them.
    Well since there are literally thousands of these stores with the same price strategy and business model, Id say the data suggests there are plenty of people who are willing to pay for convenience.

    Sounds like the problem is you simply can't afford to use their service. That's OK, not everyone can affors to drive a BMW or live in Aspen.

  5. #5

    Re: Postnet

    I could afford to use the service. But why would I want to throw my money away? Silly. I hope other people avoid this rip-off business model they provide. I know it is hard for you to debate this since the "shipping supplies are expensive" and "excellent service" points fell through. They overcharge, badly. Pretty simple. I wouldn't doubt there are many franchises across the country, it is a good little scheme to unsuspecting college kids. Again, I was in a situation where I would somehow have to find $85 worth of value to ship postnet over usps. It is a relatively new business, but I suspect it won't be one that lasts very long.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Posts
    3

    Re: Postnet

    Of course you can afford it.

    Supplies are expensive and customer service points didn;t fall through, they just aren't valued by you. Other feel differently.

    Bottom line the franchise isn't new. A quick internet search for PostNet specificaly shows they started franchising in 1996 and have over 4000 locations worldwide, and about 500 in the USA. So your "doubt" fails under the scrutiny of facts.

    Im sure some college kids use it, but I'd bet more professionals use it as they are likely to be able to afford the service, and value the convenience.

    As an aside I did a little research on the industry. According to combined sources (International Franchise Association, US census, and SBA) there are approximately 40,000 units in this industry opertaing sucessfully. Thats a pretty solid amount that shows that the business model is working. Most of these are franchised and people dont buy into a new franchise if it has a history of failed units. Interestingly, UPS which is a Major US company saw the value of this model and bought the former franchise system Mailboxes Etc. They now continue to operate and grow under UPS ownership. It looks like about 500 new stores are added per year at the major franchises like PakMail, Going Postal, PostNet, UPS, Postal Annex and Novus). Average imnvestment is around $200K to $250K. Maybe you know more about what consumers want than the experts and management at UPS, but I'd bet they know enough to see an good opportunity.

    I did just a bit more research ( i just want to be accurate), it looks like the packaging and shipping costs at postnet are pretty much in the middle of franchised pack and ship stores like those mentioned. So compared to say the UPS Store, you got a bargain price at PostNet. You really should do an objective price comparison with all the competition in your area. I think you would be enlightened. Though you are definitly a USPS customer regardless of those results. You can't or won't pay for convenience.

    Bottom line remains that this is a business based on customer service and convenience. If you are on a budget or have lots of extra time, you are better off at the USPS (ghetto). But if you value your time and want a lot of services at one point, then these centers like Postnet are a great neighborhood resouce. The one you used may or may not last. But given the high number of stores in the industry with longevity, it will likely fail due to poor management and execution, rather than a faulty pricing strategy.:judges:
    Last edited by Peanutz; 02-22-2010 at 03:40 PM.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Posts
    2

    Re: Postnet

    Bradleymxyz,

    I actually work at a very successful postnet and started out at the bottom of the chain making minimum wage.

    PostNet is in no way a scam and you in fact are paying for convinence and service. The shipping prices are actually just about lined up with UPS and Fed-Ex but there is a general markup with usps. As for packaging $40 seems maybe a little high but I would have to see it myself. But if you put in the cost it's really not bad at all.
    The box (Probably around $10-15)
    Labor (Probabbly around $20-30/hr)
    Packaging Supplies (Probably around $5-10).

    Now, you probably could find cheaper supplies at maybe your local walmart. But that is where convinence steps in, you have to go to another store, find the item, get in line, pay for the item, and leave. Some people see the value in it and some people like yourself don't. Same goes for other thing's like stamps. We sell them for $.60 but face value is $.44. And maybe once a week we will get someone drive to the post office to save that .16 cents. I think to myself wow really. You have to take your time to drive there plus gas plus wait in line just to save a little $. Some people see the value some people don't.

    Also we are trained on how to professionally pack things. If it breaks and UPS or FedEX know's we packed it and not just some random john Doe off the street, 99% of the time that is an automatic refund. Compare that to the Post office getting a claim of a broken printer which was wrapped in newspaper. They will most likely not give a rat's ass. Same goes for UPS and Fedex. They want a reason to not give you the refund. And not being packed properly is one of the first places they look.

    As for $40 for shipping. If it was FedEx ground maybe that does sound a little bit on the highside. But if she quoted you an Fedex express price that sounds just about right. But I would have had to personally see it weigh it and measure it to be exact. And again Fedex and Ups prices are just about the same as competitors. As for postoffice, I know there is a general markup because they don't get a discount from the postoffice. So what would be the point of selling something at the same rate you buy it for. That's just simply not how business works.

    All in all I think PostNet is for people who really value their time and want a great proffesional experience when it comes to shipping. (Something I don't think you will find at the PostOffice.)

    Some people understand the value in that and some people don't. That's just how this kind of business is.

    And I am no postnet spokesperson at all. Just a regular Employee who takes pride in where I work at and was offended by your article and rants and felt the need to defend it. I love Postnet and working there and 99% of our customers probably would agree (with the love part). And when I get older and the money I will most likely invest in opening my own.

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