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A helpful article for shipping, <yawn> tired enjoy.
Old 27 Jun 2009, 11:13   #1 (permalink)
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Default A helpful article for shipping, <yawn> tired enjoy.


Hello Warhammer 40k fans, we are here today to bring you tips on shipping.

Hopefully in the process we will help you learn what is reasonable in regards to shipping charges, and vice versa when you want to ship your own. Furtherly we will help you score free boxes, packaging supplies, and even provide some tips for making your money count!

-Note: UPS/Fed Ex have advantages, but for the sake of the article we will be basing these tips on USPS rates, and methods.

Domestic Shipping

USPS, our local post office, not always fun for the lines, but they do what we cannot. For Warhammer 40k items, it will not be unusual to see them shipped in these three categories.

First Class mail
Parcel Post
Priority Mail


-First Class Mail covers envelopes and small packages up to 13 oz. They often ship 2-5 business days (on average), and are modest in cost, ball parking at about 3.50 at maximum 13 oz if you ship online.

-Parcel Post covers the bulk of most general packages; the limit of it extends to 70 lbs, and often ships in 3-11 days. On current rates, parcel post and priority mail are very similar in cost up until about 3lbs. After which, you’ll notice that parcel post starts becoming a cheaper solution.

Personal opinion between parcel post and priority

I could argue for priority mail in this case up until 3lbs, because for a few cents difference online, you ship at 3 times the speed in comparison to parcel post. However since they are very comparable at this level, you’ll have to make up your mind whether or not that the person needs it quickly. If speed isn’t necessary, parcel post is still an acceptable all around package mover.

Priority Mail is the USPS’s “technicolor rainbow”, other then express, it is often the fastest of USPS’s offered services (2-3 days), and comes in all shapes and sizes, but for sake of identity we will scale this down to flat rate and “normal”.

Flat rate boxes

Are the boxes you’ll likely see advertised in your local post office. They come in all manner of sizes (small, medium, or large). They have a nice perk being free to get, and if you can fit anything in the box without an issue, you’ll only be charged one flat rate. It is definitely worth it if you’re shipping a small amount of items hitting the 3lbs or more ark, that can also be fit comfortably as well.

Normal rates

Vary significantly, based on dimensions of the box, its destination, and weight. At lowest rates it clocks in at nearly 5.00, meaning it will get expensive quick the more the package weighs. If you had a choice between priorities, it would be the choice to go until you reach 3lbs after which flat rate boxes are recommended.

International shipping

Shipping internationally can be very fun, but also more troublesome if you don’t have the time and patience for it. For sake of argument, these following services will be the likeliest shipped for international queries, but not limited to.

First Class Mail International

First Class Mail International

Shipments going around the world in this manner can be characterized as “cheap” and why am I wasting my time in shipping costs for this? To simplify matters I will place it in a pros and cons format.


Shipping is very good for items 5 oz or less
Shipping rates are “reasonable” up to 1 lb


No tracking number
No insurance options from USPS (just customs)
Varying delivery times
Green Custom form filing (and filling out)
First Class mail international often only available at the post office desk

If for some reason what so ever you will ship by this method, here are some tips to help you.


USPS has a recommended address format for people shipping internationally.


It is also acceptable to ask how your customer/addressee would address an item in their country, and use that. When you do however, make sure to make it big, clear, and the country as plain as day on the very bottom of the address.

Typing the address works wonders, and is the recommended of the two.

Be stern with your addressee, their address matters for your time, and if they are going to waste yours do not bother.

Custom forms

There are a variety of customs forms depending on what your sending, so for the sake of the article we will take care of the most common form, “Custom Declarations CN 22”

You’ll be looking for a very small piece of paper, with one green side, and another white side. Often they will be in a spot for customer convenience (just ask if unsure). You may be confused at first when you fill this out, but it’s really not as bad as it looks.

Green Side

1. First look down at the green side of the document, and the four boxes you’ll check off.

You’ll be recommended to select “other”, or “gift” it doesn’t matter. This takes care of the agenda of why your item is being shipped.

2. Next you’ll get a blank spot on the left hand side to describe what it is your shipping. Be brief and state plastic miniatures, or to be more specific state the name of the item, and say plastic miniatures, or if they are pewter models, say pewter models. Customs staffs just want to get to the point.

3. On the right hand side of that blank description you’ll find weight, and value of items. I personally like to weigh my items on a scale but if you are unsure of the weight, the post office employee can likely fill in the blank using his scale (since he will be charging you anyways).

The value of the item will be very important. At first you might be skittish about revealing the worth to would be thieves, but it will pale in comparison if for some reason the package is lost, and the value you stated was worth less then half of the actual value. In short, you would be out the majority of the value of the models, and the shipping, which should easily out value the item itself when put together. This is also if customs takes the wrap for your lost package for whatever reason. A damned if you do, or damned if you don’t scenario.


Below that just bring down the weight and value what you did above, and date and sign the very bottom.

The right side will have two big clear spots, one for your name and address, and the person you’re addressing it to on the bottom. Make the address as clear as possible, and if you can you’ll get bonus pts for yourself and customs if you can include a phone number of either you, or the shipping intended (in case a package is being returned, leaving you options how to handle it, or if someone for whatever reason needs to pick it up. Otherwise you’ll be billed for the return shipping, which can be a double whammy on you.) After filling out the addresses date and sign the bottom. Keep the paper on the box and just give it to the post office worker. He will take care of your declaration and ring you up.

USPS quirks shipping internationally

-If your package is for example 1.1 oz, they will round up to 2.0 oz, it’s not a big deal until it pushes up the category (1 oz adds a few more cents).

-Insurance is only provided on priority, and express items. It’s pretty cheap about 2-3.00, but still expensive if you have to go priority.

-Tracking numbers are only available on Express items.

-Don’t bother with customer service in this area, they don’t know, you can ask for customs references based on the code on the green sheet at minimum however. It’s not going to get you far, but it’s possible to get an idea if you have the code.

-if sending in an envelope, don’t expect the envelope rates if it’s square or not flat. They will charge you package rates.

What to expect in weight

Warhammer 40k items are generally light on themselves. The problem with shipping Warhammer 40k items however, is everything else that is being shipped with it.

Take into consideration a minute. A typical tank on sprue can be 6 ozs. A typical box on the other hand can be 7-9 ozs. Already, trying to ship one tank, we have eliminated first class mail potential. So if you see 4-5.00 shipped for this item, don’t be surprised.

Generally you’ll see these items in boxes because of the need for protection, and they don’t fit comfortably in envelopes (if you can find one that isn’t big). If on the other hand you see it any less then 5.00, the seller is eating a buck or so to keep you coming back.

Then there are smaller convenient items like stealth suits, crisis suits, fire warriors, where you can put them in envelopes (which weigh 1 oz on average). At 3-6 ozs, 2.50 is a nice solid deal, because it’s covering the envelope and the sprue. However vendors may up that a 1.00 to 3.50 to cover other fees associated to the business. So I would only start asking once they hit 4.00-5.00 if they are shipping first class (ask why not priority if they are charging me as so.)

A quick reference chart for US based shippers, with tracking numbers online

3-13 ozs 1.50-3.50 First Class
14-1lb oz 5.00-5.95 Parcel Post/Priority Mail

Anything more starts to hit 8.00 with parcel post/and priority

International customers

1-5 oz=1.44- 4.80 US
5-10 oz = 4.80-9.04 US
10-16 oz=9-10.76 US
1 lb=10.76 US
2 lb=17.64 US
3 lb= 24.52 US
4 lb= 31.42 US

----other little tidbits

A Battle force/tank shipped with a guide booklet is carrying up to an extra 5 ozs of weight.

Detail Transfers can add up to an extra 2 ozs of weight.

Free boxes and supplies

I love freebies, and probably you do to, but really how do we go about getting free boxes and supplies for our shipping?

Its really not a big secret, you just need to ask.

Generally places like walmart, grocery shops, and places like office depot get box shipments in daily. They need to open, unpack, and compact them. The side part about this is, they often pay a decent chunk to take care of the box cleanup. So if you were to ask a supervisor, and be polite about it, you may be able to score some boxes. For all the store cares, its less boxes to move, and less money they pay in labor to compact them.

Some stores may have privacy concerns, but more often then less supervisors know the boxes are just that, boxes, and would be willing to let you take them. All you have to do is ask.

Barring that, USPS does provide shipping boxes, the only disadvantage however, is that they are all priority boxes.

If boxes are unnecessary for the size, I take a look at envelopes. 8 1/2x 11 covers a lot of smaller sprues, but don’t cover kroot and space marine size sprues. They do however cover small box sets well enough.

---last bit, USPS packages paid for online are cheaper then ones paid in front. You also spend .50 cents less on tracking numbers. In addition any packages printed and taped on are more convenient then doing it noramlly. Dont bother using the USPS online one, because I personally hate it. If at all possible use paypals shipping feature, it is much more easier to work with.

This has been a Pepsi aspect on shipping with 40k, I hope youll find this helpful to your shipping, and buying expectations.

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Old 27 Jun 2009, 20:08   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: A helpful article for shipping, <yawn> tired enjoy.

Nice stuff pepsi. Have a +1 cookie. ;D
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Old 29 Jun 2009, 18:06   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: A helpful article for shipping, <yawn> tired enjoy.

Good stuff.

Also, note that flat rate boxes have a different flat rate for overseas. A very, very expensive one. In general, you have to be shipping something quite heavy for a flat rate box to be worthwhile.

Priority has some perks, such as being able to use their shipping label and tape. Parcel post, you&#39;ve got to buy or bring your own.

Envelopes are overpriced at the post office, even your local Kinkos is going to be much cheaper.

Extremely small items(if they are cheap) do not require a customs declaration.

For customs, put down the EXACT amount. A little overinsurance may not seem like a bad idea, but the receiver may have to pay tax based on this value. Horror stories abound about misuse of this.

For domestic shipping, there exists one cheaper rate, media rate. It&#39;s for books and such, so if you&#39;re shipping a codex, use it.

If you purchase shipping labels online, via ebay/paypal&#39;s handy link for example, they only offer Priority or faster. This adds up quickly. There is rarely ever a difference between parcel and priority in delivery times. However, you must get priority or better if you want insurance, delivery confirmation, etc.
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Old 29 Jun 2009, 19:25   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: A helpful article for shipping, <yawn> tired enjoy.

Jeez, good post. Cookie certainly earned!

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Old 29 Jun 2009, 20:21   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: A helpful article for shipping, <yawn> tired enjoy.

I was working on Methodics, and was motivated to do this instead &lt;shrugs&gt;

USPS is a pain in regards to international shipments online. Im only grateful that the that customs declerations (green sheet) is a easy form to fill out.

-media mail is fine for alot of codexes (dont know why I forgot that, must have been tired.)

Though I like first class more with singles.
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