Fishball's guide to Australia Post

Discussion in 'General Precious Metals Discussion' started by fishball, Jul 15, 2011.

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  1. fishball

    fishball New Member Silver Stacker

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    Aloha stackers,

    I was recently asked by several fellow stackers on how I manage to keep postage costs relatively low while having a tracking number. In the spirit of sharing, this post/guide will outline several postage methods I utilize and how to go about using them. Please be sure you are clear on Australia Post's T&C regarding Bullion and Coins in general. I am not responsible for any mutilated Koalas which come out of reading this post.

    INTRODUCTION
    Ok so you all know what Austalia post is and how sometimes they are a pain in the butt to deal with, interrogating you on what you are mailing, price gouging you on mail and refusing to scan your parcels. Experience varies and there have been positives of course, but if you are like me and wish to completely avoid dealing face to face with postal workers, this guide will help you do so while saving you some money as well.

    With the recent hike in prices due to the fuel surcharge, registered post is becoming more and more expensive. It costs around $10 to post a 500g registered parcel, making buying small items very costly for both sides. Here is an example of how much it will cost to post something if you do what I do (will be explained further down):

    If you use standard prices from Australia Post they are a killer and even regular postage without tracking is $6.35 for a small parcel. No thanks.
    Registered: http://auspost.com.au/media/documents/registered-post-prices-4-jul-11.pdf
    Regular: http://auspost.com.au/media/documents/parcel-post-prices-4-jul-11.pdf

    FLAT RATE SATCHELS

    These satchels are originally intended for eBay sellers and cost a flat rate of $5.50 for < 500 grams and $9.35 for < 3kg. An additional $1 is charged if you require a person to sign for the article in question and the name is logged onto the tracking website. These satchels feature tracking capability and can be dumped into any red postal box without dealing with front line postal workers.

    Here is an example of output from the tracking website if you use the standard without signature method:
    Here is an example of output from the tracking website if you use the extra $1 method (name removed for privacy):
    Now of course you want to know the most important part in all this. How? It's actually easier than it seems.

    Please note you must have the ability to READ PDF FILES before continuing. Run their browser compatibility check if in doubt.

    Step 1

    Go to Australia Post's online store and purchase these flat rate satchels. It is a good idea to buy bulk and maybe some express post bags as well so that you save on postage. These flat rate satchels are merely bags (for now) so it doesn't really cost all that much, a few dollars for 20 satchels. Postage costs are paid later on when you are actually posting out the article.

    Step 2

    Go to Click and Send and register an account. The registration process is quite straight forward and painless. You do not have to have an eBay account linked, despite however confusing their FAQ is. One issue I was confused on was when Australia Post sent me an email which said:

    If you see this, you can safely ignore this as long as you are paying for the postage via credit card every time (like me), it is a minor annoyance but given lax security on PSN/crazysales I'd rather my CC info not be stored online.

    Step 3

    Once it is all setup and you have the satchels in your hand, it's time to actually post the item! Go to the Click and Send website and login. You will find the page displayed with "Enter your item details". There are several fields to fill in and I'll go through them here one by one.

    Screenshot of the main screen:
    [imgz=http://forums.silverstackers.com/uploads/1463_click_and_send_1.png][​IMG][/imgz]

    Screenshot of the address book (brought up by clicking on the magnifying glass next to the address code):
    [imgz=http://forums.silverstackers.com/uploads/1463_click_and_send_address_book.png][​IMG][/imgz]

    Send From: This field you put your details, standard stuff.

    Send to: Here you put the details of whoever you are sending to. The address code is nothing but a code for future usage (see address book screenshot above). I usually put the name of the member I am sending the items to, such as jpanggy or Boyou or whoever. The rest of the fields are obvious and simple to fill in, you can click "Search" to have it auto fill in the Suburb, state and postcode if you wish. Check the box saying "Save address to address book" for future usage, that way you have no need to retype it every time.

    Item Details: On your satchel, you should have a product code which you enter into the field and press CHECK before doing anything else (see screenshot below). This gives you the flat rate satchel and options, you don't need to manually input any of the size and weight options. You then click "Choose Service Type to select the $5.50 option (for 500 grams)" see second screenshot below. You can also choose here to add the signature ($1) requirement. You can also write an item description such as "AG for somerset", try and avoid obvious descriptions like "SOVEREIGN GOLD COIN". After you are done you can proceed to the next step which is payment by clicking Add Item To Basket and then you will see an item summary (screenshot below #3) before clicking on "Pay Now Lodge Later" to finish checking out.

    #1 Screenshot of the Item Details change once you input a product code:
    [imgz=http://forums.silverstackers.com/uploads/1463_click_and_send_2.png][​IMG][/imgz]

    #2 Screenshot of Choose Service Type:
    [imgz=http://forums.silverstackers.com/uploads/1463_click_and_send_3.png][​IMG][/imgz]

    #3 Screenshot of "Pay now Lodge Later" Item Summary:
    [imgz=http://forums.silverstackers.com/uploads/1463_click_and_send_4.png][​IMG][/imgz]

    Step 4

    The only payment types accepted here are Mastercard, Visa and American Express. It is a simple online portal where you input your details and press pay.

    Step 5

    After you have paid, you will be redirected to a page which says you have paid and it tells you to print. You can either select all and print or just print the label (which we will use later on). Usually I 'print' the entire thing as a PDF and save it somewhere first, then print out the first page (label). Do whatever suits you. See screenshot #1 below.

    Once you have printed out the label and signed it, make sure you attach it onto the satchel, they have a slot just for this and it fits nicely. There is a tracking number on the label which you printed out, keep a record of it or you can find it in an email which they may send you if you opted in to receive them.

    #1 Screenshot for Printing. The first checkbox (top) is for the label, the rest are receipt and invoices. This part requires PDF.
    [imgz=http://forums.silverstackers.com/uploads/1463_click_and_send_5.png][​IMG][/imgz]

    #2 Screenshots of the Flat Rate Satchel and step by step on how to put the label in once you print it out. Basically you cut the label so it just fits inside that plastic sleeve then tear the orange colored plastic off and seal it. Simple. Make sure you sign the bloody thing before you do though.
    Front:
    [imgz=http://forums.silverstackers.com/uploads/1463_img_3069.jpg][​IMG][/imgz]
    Reverse:
    [imgz=http://forums.silverstackers.com/uploads/1463_img_3070.jpg][​IMG][/imgz]
    The Label:
    [imgz=http://forums.silverstackers.com/uploads/1463_img_3071.jpg][​IMG][/imgz]
    Insert Label into the plastic sleeve:
    [imgz=http://forums.silverstackers.com/uploads/1463_img_3072.jpg][​IMG][/imgz]
    Remove Orange plastic and seal it:
    [imgz=http://forums.silverstackers.com/uploads/1463_img_3073.jpg][​IMG][/imgz]



    Step 6

    Chuck it in the RED postal box and you're done. Delivery usually takes 1-2 business days depending on proximity of the receiver and other factors.

    EXPRESS SATCHELS

    Express satchels come in usually 500 grams or 3kg, much like the Flat Rate Satchels and if you buy 10 (bulk) you get a slight discount. I use these for 500 gram packages if the package is urgent or if requested. The cost is lower than registered and there is a next day guarantee for most urban areas.

    I would not use these for 3kg orders though because their tracking lacks the detail compared to the Flat Rate Satchels and the Platinum Express Satchels (to be explained below) and if I'm mailing out almost 90oz of stuff, I'd rather pay a bit more for postage to know it's going to be safe.

    PLATINUM EXPRESS SATCHELS

    Platinum express satchels are guaranteed next day delivery (urban) much like express. However, they provide the additional benefit of having a signature and much more detailed tracking (or so they say).

    I would not recommend using the 500 gram Platinum Express Satchel because it costs almost $14 and usually the cost is not justified. The 3kg bag is a few dollars more expensive and would be a good idea if you are posting expensive goods.

    These can also be purchased in bulk packs of 10 for a slight discount same as the Express Satchels and the Flat Rate Satchels.

    INSURANCE AND LOST GOODS CLAIM

    I believe they don't insure or cover Bullion so make sure you ... are creative if you are required to make a claim. Metal samples comes to mind.

    Trichter has a writeup here about insurance and compensation for Express Satchels. May be worthwhile researching what you can claim if your parcel gets lost.

    Platinum Express Post has a guarantee of Automatic compensation up to $100 should loss or damage occur. And of course, extra cover is available - if your item exceeds $100 in value, you can purchase Extra Cover up to a limit of $5,000 from your local postal outlet.

    Flat Rate Satchels offer up to $100 automatic cover by Australia post.

    Express satchels and Platinum express satchels have a next day guarantee for metro areas. If they fail to honor this (like during the recent Chilean ash cloud), you can get them to give you a free satchel as compensation. Hiho recently did this I believe because he's good like a boss.

    SUMMARY

    Hope you all found this to be useful and will eventually save you all some money from postage.

    Better off spending the money on stacking ounces than feeding Australia Post's profits.

    Not to mention living a few years longer by not having to deal with Australia Post staff face to face every time you need to post some stuff out.

    DISCLAIMER

    Please be sure you are familiar with the Australia Post's T&C regarding Bullion and Coins in general. This post is a guide only, information is provided as is and there is no guarantee of accuracy. The guide may be updated in the future to reflect any changes to the information or screenshots but there is no guarantee.
     
  2. RhythmDoctor

    RhythmDoctor Active Member

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    Excellent post Fishy - Perhaps this should be stickied?
     
  3. fishball

    fishball New Member Silver Stacker

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    Thanks :p

    I was confused as hell when I first started out, hopefully this helps any newbs coming along and selling or swapping.

    My first swap on here didn't go perfectly because I used regular instead of registered due to miscommunication, caused me a few white hairs when my item didn't arrive till heaps later.
     
  4. RhythmDoctor

    RhythmDoctor Active Member

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    Well, for a simple pikey such as myself, I'm really happy I have this process now.

    Previously I was just:

    1. Get PM's to send
    2. Wrap in chopped up towel (not bandages hiho :D)
    3. Stick in Jiffy envelope
    4. Take to PO and wait 2 hours in a queue
    5. ???
    6. PM registered tracking number
    7. PM frantically 'has it arrived yet?'
    8. Receive confirmation its got there.
    9. Relax, and trim/dye white hairs.
     
  5. Austacker

    Austacker Active Member

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    Awesome, answered all the questions I was unsure of and explained the details perfectly 5 Stars mate :)

    Look forward to the screenies when you get a minute. Now lets get some swaps up and running. Shouldn't cost me an arm and a leg now.
     
  6. somerset

    somerset Member Silver Stacker

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    Do you actually work, fishpost? ;)
     
  7. fishball

    fishball New Member Silver Stacker

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    It's lunch time on a Friday ;)

    So, no. :D
     
  8. RhythmDoctor

    RhythmDoctor Active Member

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    Friday afternoons make me think of one thing...

    [youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FVWXb6ghv0k[/youtube]
     
  9. alor

    alor Well-Known Member Silver Stacker

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    Your work helps me in my swap, next time hope to swap. :)
     
  10. fishball

    fishball New Member Silver Stacker

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    Won't be all that helpful to you since this is national post only, not to Singapore :p
     
  11. Trichter

    Trichter Member

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    Cheers for the rundown, Fishball. One thing worth mentioning which I think you missed is regarding compensation claims in case of missing or damaged goods. Perhaps you would like to add that to the oringinal post with links. I believe platinum express and parcels are insured for $500. Please correct me if not. Just found this bit of info below that only talks about $50, will someone enlighten us?

    http://reviews.ebay.com.au/WAS-YOUR-ITEM-LOST-IN-THE-POST-WHAT-TO-DO-NOW_W0QQugidZ10000000001085883

    The only other thing I think worth stressing, although Fishball points it out in passing, is that your mileage will vary greatly at your local P.O. It's worth building up a rapport with those hard-working people. They can make your life a lot easier if you do. I have saved loads of cash and a lot of stress because tellers have turned a blind eye when a package was slightly overweight.
     
  12. fishball

    fishball New Member Silver Stacker

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    Good idea Trichter. I will add the links to the Aus post website where they talk about Plat and express post packs.

    I decided against including all the insurance and compensation stuff in detail because it was getting cluttered and people wanted to know more in depth about the cheaper option than the plat ones. But I'll definitely add a link later tonight :)

    How about you go into detail about that stuff in your post and I'll just add a link to your post from the opening post :p (i'm lazyyyyyyy)

    And yes...experience varies across different branches of Australia Post and if you use these satchels you won't get any experience at all :D (fine by me hehe) and you also save their time since they don't need to serve you.

    Edit: Added a section concerning insurance claims and lost parcels/delays. Please feel free to make more comments and I'll make changes.
     
  13. fishball

    fishball New Member Silver Stacker

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    Added extensive amounts of photos and screenshots... any queries using the service post here and I'll try to reply, I think I've made it as simple to understand as I can :)

    Enjoy the $$$ savings.
     
  14. fishball

    fishball New Member Silver Stacker

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    Quick update re: delivery times using Click & Send satchels.

    It seems that delivery times vary a fair bit when using the Flat Rate Satchel. Here are my times I've experienced over the last 20 parcels I sent out from Sydney:

    * Within the same city is next business day.
    * Melbourne/Brisbane is 1-3 business days.
    * Adelaide is 3 business days.
    * Perth varies from 2-5 business days.
    * Everywhere else (especially longer for WA) around 4-7 business days.

    Therefore if the package is urgent I suggest using Platinum Express as opposed to Flat Rate.

    Flat rate is definitely the cheapest but the time frames are pretty bad as seen above. Platinum express is the safest and fastest but most expensive.

    Registered post is slightly faster I believe but double the price.

    Also, the tracking is a bit spotty and doesn't always update properly and says "No events found" even though the article has been delivered. I'll probably be using the $6.50 option from now (Signature required/500gram satchel) so that the parcel is confirmed delivered.
     
  15. Ouch

    Ouch Active Member

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    I'm just going through this guide following my 1st sale here and was wondering if I could get the flat-rate satchel from a physical post office outlet instead of using the online shop? How long does it take for delivery if using the online shop? Thanks fishball for providing this useful guide.
     
  16. fishball

    fishball New Member Silver Stacker

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    Don't believe you can get them from the PO.

    It takes from 3 up to 8 working days to get the satchels delivered and I live within 10km of Central, Sydney.

    I suggest if you're doing a one off sale either use Platinum Express Post (available at PO) or go Registered Post. Registered should cost around $10 all up, make sure you have a tracking number.
     
  17. SilverMark

    SilverMark Member

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    haha love it. Great post FB
     
  18. silverc

    silverc New Member

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    I'm "Everywhere else" and it took 1 day to arrive from Sydney.
     
  19. fishball

    fishball New Member Silver Stacker

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    Yeah it's a worst case scenario silverc :).
     
  20. silverc

    silverc New Member

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    Fishball - what do you recommend for sending one lonely gold coin - would seem a bit lost in a big satchel? Is there an alternative?
     
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