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  • How Much Does it Cost You to Ship 1 Gallon Plants?

    I recently shipped my first tree, and I was very happy to hear from the recipient that it was well packed and arrived in excellent condition. That was my main concern being that it was my first time, but now I'm concerned with price.

    I used the priority mail small tube from USPS: https://store.usps.com/store/browse/...ctId=P_O_1098S

    The shoe box I've heard is also a good option: https://store.usps.com/store/browse/...Id=P_0_SHOEBOX

    Both however are priced by weight & distance. Luckily the person I was shipping to only lives a state over, so prices weren't that high. I've also seen flat rate boxes, but it's $13.45 for postage: https://store.usps.com/store/browse/...uctId=P_O_FRB1

    Does anyone recommend cheaper alternatives?

    Zone 7A - Philadelphia
    Flavor Profiles & Variety List / Facebook / YouTube / Blog

  • #2
    I've shipped a good amount to most of the country now. It's basically weight, dimensions and distance, on average it has cost me between $10 and $20 to ship one gallon pots. I've sent one at a time, two in one box... even 4 at a time. The most was for the four and if I recall correctly it was less then $30 to ship from Co to FL.
    Scott - Colorado Springs, CO - Zone 4/5 (Depending on the year) - Elevation 6266ft

    “Though the problems of the world are increasingly complex, the solutions remain embarrassingly simple.” – Bill Mollison

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    • #3
      I ship 1 gallons in the shoeboxes and the MOST I have sent is 10 of those shoeboxes all taped together 1 plant per box. Like Scott said for a 1 gallon it is $10-$20, $20 being like FL to CA. Ironically If I mail two 1 gallon plants, one to Tampa which is 60 miles away and One to CA the one to CA will get there in 2 days, Tampa takes 3 days
      Cutting sales have ended for the season. Plant sales will start March 1 at 8 eastern time. If it is still too cold in your area I can hold your plants till a date of your choosing.

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      • #4
        That drives me nuts Wills, I can get them to you in 2 or 3 days... but it takes 4 or more to get them to Fabio at half the distance. And usually they look like they where used as a rugby ball by USPS when Fabio receives them.
        Scott - Colorado Springs, CO - Zone 4/5 (Depending on the year) - Elevation 6266ft

        “Though the problems of the world are increasingly complex, the solutions remain embarrassingly simple.” – Bill Mollison

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        • Taverna78
          Taverna78 commented
          Editing a comment
          Is tis corrupt state and lazy post here ahahaha!

      • #5
        There isn't a cheaper way??
        Zone 7A - Philadelphia
        Flavor Profiles & Variety List / Facebook / YouTube / Blog

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        • #6
          Maybe getting your own box and shipping that way? I'm not sure how much postage would be if that's the case.
          Zone 7A - Philadelphia
          Flavor Profiles & Variety List / Facebook / YouTube / Blog

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          • #7
            The only way to make a substantial savings is to bare root the trees. Personally, I don't think it's worth it. For as little as $10 to $20 to ship a heavy box with a tree across country, for me it is hard to complain. I used to ship corals and fish all around the country, shipping boxes of water. ... now that will set you back.
            Scott - Colorado Springs, CO - Zone 4/5 (Depending on the year) - Elevation 6266ft

            “Though the problems of the world are increasingly complex, the solutions remain embarrassingly simple.” – Bill Mollison

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            • #8
              The cheaper way is not to use a Prioriry Mail. A first class with tracking number arrives in the same time. The only difference between the First class and Priority is the insurance.
              USDA z 10a, SoCal. WL: Raspberry Tart, Boysenberry Blush

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              • WillsC
                WillsC commented
                Editing a comment
                And the free box.

              • ross
                ross commented
                Editing a comment
                Boxes are only like 50 cents, Wills. Have you ever had a need for the insurance?

              • WillsC
                WillsC commented
                Editing a comment
                Not yet

            • #9
              I still haven't figured how to figure postage, every time I think it will be cheap it's not and when I think it will cost it turns out cheap. I've had small boxes cost more then large ones because of weight and what not. I wish I had a good way to guess postage.
              Ryan- CenLa, zone 8a/b

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            • #10
              I bought a bunch of 8x8x20 boxes to ship large plants in and it cost $23 to ship priority with 2 plants in 1 gal with soil inside. Bare rooting cost me half as much. Just my experience from 3 - 4 years ago. I haven't shipped much since then and prices have been changed a lot and in inconsistent ways.
              Bob C. KC, MO Zone 6a. Wanted: Martineca Rimada, Galicia Negra, Fioroni Ruvo, De La Reina - Pons, Tauro, BFF, Sefrawi, Sbayi, Mavra Sika , Fillaciano Bianco, Corynth, Souadi, Acciano Purple, LSU Tiger, LSU Red, Cajun Gold, BB-10 any great tasting fig

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              • #11
                I've mailed them priority as low as $8 or as high as $15 per plant. Try to let the soil be dry(ish) and use a small box. Cost me $35 to send 3 to Nebraska once, that hurt.
                https://www.figbid.com/Listing/Browse?Seller=Kelby
                SE PA
                Zone 6

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                • #12
                  Yesterday, I shipped two 1-gal plants in a single box to the middle of the country by Priority Mail. It cost $16. Water weight adds up quick, so I let the plant pots dry for a week prior to shipping out. If your shipping a lot, then the $4 to $5 saved on each package adds up pretty quick.

                  Oops... Kelby, it looks like great minds think alike; you replied as I was typing. LOL!!
                  Last edited by Bluemalibu; 03-12-2016, 04:03 PM. Reason: Duplicated post due to quicker typing...
                  CA 9b "May you sit under your own fig tree..." This metaphor, in use since Solomon, is a wish for the receiver's spirit to know peace, for their family to be secure, and for their life to be fruitful.

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                  • #13
                    Are there any concerns with the plants drying out to much on the trip if not watered beforehand? I generally water my one gallon pots every 3.5 days.
                    Don - OH Zone 6a Wish list: Zaffiro, Moro de Caneva, Nerucciolo d'Elba, Bordissot Blanca Negra, Rubado

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                    • Bluemalibu
                      Bluemalibu commented
                      Editing a comment
                      I ship Priority Mail, so it's usually two days or less until delivery. I've never had anyone with less than glowing reports of the plants that they receive.

                    • cis4elk
                      cis4elk commented
                      Editing a comment
                      Without light, the plant doesn't use nearly as much water.

                    • Kelby
                      Kelby commented
                      Editing a comment
                      I'll wrap the pot in tape or a plastic bag. Doesn't dry out much, plus remember the plants are in the dark and the box is fairly well sealed so there isn't much transpiration.

                  • #14
                    Unless I am missing something.........I tried the online usps calculator from my zip in Florida to PA and my zip in Florida to CA and the difference between priority mail and regular mail is exactly $2 more for priority to CA and less than $2 Florida to PA. . So if you factor in the free boxes and free delivery of those boxes to your home and the insurance it seems to me the best option. IF you can keep the package under 13 ounces you can use first class mail which is MUCH cheaper but that is not possible with a 1 gallon potted plant. Even a tree pot is going to be over 13 OZ. You can bareroot a plant but I will not do it, it seems silly to stress a plant just to save a couple dollars. Dormant you can yes but awake and growing it is just a bad idea.

                    As suggested above you can let them get dry......I won't do that either. For Ebay the way I do it is for auctions that end on Sunday I water on Saturday and they are still nice and moist on Monday for shipping. Shipping delays happen, not worth the risk. I once mailed 8 1 gallon plants each in it's own box and all the boxes taped together to NewYork. Due to a miscommunication I mailed them normally but I was supposed to hold them as the buyer was out of the country. The value of the package was high so I had paid for signature confirmation and that required the buyers signature. As a result the plants sat in a post office in New York for 21 days. I figured it was a total loss as did the buyer. To my surprise (and his) when he arrived back in country and picked the package up all 8 were absolutely perfect. I seal the the pot completely, top and drain holes and they retained enough moisture to survive. The soil was still moist to the touch in fact I was told.

                    If you really want to save money with priority 1. go with a lighter more airy mix. 2. weigh the package before sealing and if it comes out to say 3 .1 pounds remove a bit of soil to get it down to 2.15 the priority mail rates rise by the pound so you pay as much for 2.2 pounds as you do for 2.15.
                    Cutting sales have ended for the season. Plant sales will start March 1 at 8 eastern time. If it is still too cold in your area I can hold your plants till a date of your choosing.

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                    • #15
                      One thing that works well for me is to use the tall medium flat rate usps box. I remove the pot and put the root ball in a bread bag, tape it up around the trunk and then flatten it just enough to fit into the box. Two one gallon trees fit perfectly this way. A third short one can sometimes be squeezed between the trunks of the other two.
                      Andy - Zone 6a Lat 39.9º N, Altitude 5390' Westminster CO ⚘ Scion List

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                      • Kelby
                        Kelby commented
                        Editing a comment
                        I can vouch for this, Andy sent me 2 great plants lasr year.

                    • #16
                      My experiences with shipping has been with pottery sold on ebay. And I have to agree with Willc.

                      Since 1999 I have seen some changes in the USPS ways of charging postage. Now days if what I want ship weights more than a couple pounds I look first at flat rate especially if shipping out of state.
                      Jerry, Canyon Lake TX 8b

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                      • #17
                        You can ship all you want direct to me for 100% free
                        Zone 5 Chicago IL Wish list:
                        1) Rest peacfully Amico Bello Buddy 👼🏼.
                        2) This weeks ebay auctions.

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                        • #18
                          I ship lots of boxes ( thousands per year) all over the country, via ecommerce sales. USPS and UPS rates have gone up and it's a fact of doing business that you loose on occasion with shipping and other times win. Usually over the coarse of the year it turns out to be a break even number, or damn close.

                          ​If you item is over 3lbs, UPS is usually going to be cheaper depending on distance traveled. Also, location from a main terminal plays a part in it as well. RI to west coast can swing by about $10 depending where on the west coast you are. If you in the middle of no where, the price goes up, if your in a high traffic mail or UPS route, the price goes down.

                          If your selling on ebay, maybe the best option is to use the "calculated" price on your listing, as the buyer will enter their zipcode and have an idea of shipping costs based on shipping service available. You usually don't loose with the calculated shipping method.
                          Rhode Island - Zone 7A

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