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CONUS Shipping
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Dena Kelley

Locale: Eagle River, Alaska
CONUS Shipping on 10/26/2012 13:00:11 MDT Print View

I finally got fed up and decided I had to post something for folks here, especially folks that sell on Gear Swap.

This is in regards to people who post "shipping incuded CONUS". CONUS stands for Continental United States, IE the contiguous 48 states, excluding Alaska and Hawaii.

When a seller says they will ship CONUS ONLY, I read that as "will not ship to Alaska and Hawaii." I live in Alaska, and this often causes me to lose interest in the ad, even if it's an item I want.

But I guess my question is- are people aware that it costs exactly the same amount of money to mail a package to Alaska and Hawaii as it does to ship anywhere in the continental US? If you weren't aware, now you are. It's exactly the same amount of money when using mail. FedEx and UPS are different, but since it seems most sellers are shipping by mail anyway, I wanted to put this out there.

Stephen M
(stephenm) - MLife

Locale: Mind your own business
Re: CONUS Shipping on 10/26/2012 13:06:03 MDT Print View

Your right to say it Dena,

I only moved to the US earlier this year so when I put us adverts I "copied" what everyone else is doing and added Conus shipping. I could be wrong but from my dealings with the post office they seem to charge more to send over a greater distance.

John Donewar
(Newton) - MLife

Locale: Southeastern Louisiana
Re: CONUS vs. US Shipping on 10/26/2012 13:30:06 MDT Print View

From what I can see and have found on some quick web surfing Dena is correct!

@ Dena,

Could you post this on the Gear Swap Forum also to educate and update old timers like me who thought otherwise?

I use the mail to ship most of the gear that I sell and adding two more states to my "customer base" LOL wouldn't hurt a bit.

FWIW I just changed my post for some gear that I have FS on another site to read

"$XX.** Shipped US including AK and HI".

So now should the acronym read USIAAH or USAKHI? ;-)

Party On,


Edited by Newton on 10/26/2012 13:43:11 MDT.

Seth Brewer
(Whistler) - MLife

Really ? on 10/26/2012 14:52:51 MDT Print View

I've shipped hundreds of items both on Ebay (mostly) and some through Gear Swap over the last 4 years and have to say that I don't agree. It DOES cost more to ship farther distances (postal zones) and even talking to the local post office has confirmed this for me. ALSO -- The risk for lost packages going to distant locales also mean that the package will need to be insured -- meaning that unless I charge more for shipping (which people never like) then I lose out both on the $$ and risk taken to ship farther away. While I agree that it would be very annoying to have many folks not want to ship to those places -- you could always email them and let them know that you'll be willing to cover insurance for the package.

Here There
(cowexnihilo) - MLife
Re: CONUS Shipping on 10/26/2012 15:16:58 MDT Print View

My experience matches Seth, that it does cost more to ship further distances. I always cringe a little when I see zips that start with '9' because that's the furthest zone from me and I know it will cost the most.

Flat-rate packages do cost the same anywhere in the US, but that's not always possible because of item size, and the large flat-rate boxes are usually not a very good deal for lightweight items.

I personally am willing to ship anywhere in the world, as long as buyers can help me out with any added cost.

Just my experience for what it's worth.


Dena Kelley

Locale: Eagle River, Alaska
CONUS Shipping on 10/26/2012 15:33:30 MDT Print View

So I just ran a test.

Cleveland OH to San Diego CA, 5 lb box, USPS Pri (not flat rate) = $17.88 (online price)
Cleveland OH to Anchorage AK, 5 lb box, USPS Pri (not flat rate) = $17.88 (online price)
Cleveland OH to Nuiqsuit AK, 5 lb box, USPS Pri (not flat rate) = $17.88 (online price)

So it's the same to ship from one contiguous state to another, to ship to Alaska Metro (Anchorage) or to ship to Alaska village off the road system (Nuiqsuit).

I can't check what parcel post would be online. It's possible that parcel post does differentiate on distance, but I would never ship something to someone parcel post anyway because there's no way to track it.

For you folks that offer to pay the shipping CONUS, what shipping method do you generally have in mind?

Franco Darioli
(Franco) - M

Locale: @Tarptent
CONUS Shipping on 10/26/2012 15:57:20 MDT Print View

It depends on the size and type of the parcel.
It is the same if using an USPS Flat Box up to 23-11/16" x 11-3/4" x 3" , but it changes if you use your box or over that size.
For example a 6lbs 25"x7"x5" box will cost $48.50 from Los Angeles to Seattle but $57.60 to Fairbanks or Honolulu.

Ken T.
(kthompson) - MLife

Locale: All up in there
Re: CONUS Shipping on 10/26/2012 19:04:06 MDT Print View

Some say shipping included CONUS. You should not read this as not willing to ship. I use that phrase, but will ship anywhere for actual shipping cost. Depending on size and weight will factor into shipping method. Under 8 pounds, usually USPS. Over eight I may use UPS.

If they say shipping CONUS only, they are just being lazy. It's only one form to ship out of the country, and not hard to find a rate online.

Sometimes the seller has to work to make the sale and not put all the burden on the buyer.

Does no harm in asking if they are willing to send to Alaska. I sent a Double Rainbow up there once.

a b
Re: Re: CONUS Shipping on 10/26/2012 19:11:40 MDT Print View

I actually did not know what CONUS meant until i joined BPL a few years ago.

Took me a while to figure out... i am slow with acronyms.

Have to agree with Ken, I think it is worth asking if they will ship to AK or HI anyways.

Actually i don't really like acronyms much. Reminds me of POTUS and SCOTUS and such..
Very irritating.

Edited by Ice-axe on 10/26/2012 19:14:22 MDT.

Clayton Mauritzen
(GlacierRambler) - F

Locale: NW Montana
Re: Re: Re: CONUS Shipping on 10/26/2012 20:53:55 MDT Print View

Do most posts say "CONUS only" or just "CONUS"?

I have seen packages cost more sometimes--others not. My understanding is that listing "CONUS" alone means that the price includes shipping to the lower 48, and any shipping costs above that are extra.

Michael Crosby
(djjmikie) - MLife

Locale: Ky
CONUS Shipping on 10/30/2012 08:15:47 MDT Print View

If you are not willing to ask, you really don't want it.
Same can be said for haggling.

Edited by djjmikie on 10/30/2012 08:18:46 MDT.

Doug I.
(idester) - MLife

Locale: PNW
Re: Re: Re: CONUS Shipping on 10/30/2012 08:31:30 MDT Print View

Shipping OCONUS is a bonus, with the onus on the buyer.
The actual price of purchase for them often ends up higher.
But there's no VAT to add, none at all my lads, so stop your bleedin' whingin'
Just pony up them Euro bucks, your rights we ain't infringing.....

Here There
(cowexnihilo) - MLife
Re: Re: Re: Re: CONUS Shipping on 10/30/2012 08:44:44 MDT Print View

Lovely Doug, just lovely.

As far as shipping to AK, parcel post with larger packages is usually where you see the big price differences (I've shipped a few things to Alaska), and actually you -can- get delivery confirmation on it.

Sometimes the price is the same to AK as to other states, but I'll admit that I'm too lazy to specifically look up AK prices before I post an item. If it's the same, I won't charge you any extra, but if it is more I don't get a nasty surprise.

Lately the USPS has been playing with their rates. A couple of weeks ago I shipped some things and the Priority items got free delivery confirmation and the rates were a little different than usual. Last week and yesterday though I was charged again for delivery confirmation, and the rates were shifted again. Not sure if it's just my local PO, but it seems like they're going through some changes.