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Hi, This is Wayne. This is my site, my stuff, my blog, blahblahblah. The site itself is powered by WordPress and the Scary Little theme. I thought it was cool, and I still do.

January
7
2009
9:41 am
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I sold a few things on eBay recently and was just plain AMAZED at the ebay/paypal/ups/usps partnerships that have grown over the past years.  I’m new to this “online postage” thing and “back in my day” (hehe) when we sold something online, gosh-darned-it we had to box it up and go to the post office and stand in line.

<Potter voice ON> And we didn’t even have a fancy computer drawing program to paint us a picture! <Potter voice OFF>

This time, however, I just accepted my paypal payment and from there saw the “print shipping label” link and figured, what the hey.  5 minutes later I was able to print a shipping label for USPS for $2.20, boxed up the item and could just stick the sucker in my mailbox at home.

That was convenience in a cup.

The second item I did?  Same deal, but even faster because now I knew what I was doing.  

Call me Shipmael.

Then I needed to ship a box NOT related to an auction, Paypal, or anything online.  Jaden (our 6yr old son) received a pair of Heely’s skate shoes for Christmas and was hella excited about them.  

And why wouldn’t he be?  I can’t recall how many times I dreamed of going through school halls or down the street with shoes that had wheels in them.  I knew I’d invent it when I got older and make a million dollars.  

Ooops.

Anyway, problem is, they’re a size too small.  So I go to the retailer’s website, and lo-and-behold, they have a great return policy for wrong size.  You just ship them the shoes with a note, and they’ll ship a replacement pair FREE.  They’ll do this only once, but that’s more than fair.  Did I mention they’ll ship us the replacement pair for free?

I box up the shoes and weigh the box – comes in at 3.8 lbs.  I go over to my trusty paypal account thinking I could just whip me up a neat shipping label and…. 

nope.  Paypal won’t do a shipping label unless it’s specific to a transaction.

Oh well.  So I go to USPS.GOV thinking I can just print me up another one of those fancy labels.  And sure enough, I can.

But only for PRIORITY MAIL.

What kind of crap is that?  For one, why is it more than eight bucks to ship a 3 lb box, even if it is just Parcel Post?

UPS Ground was about the same price, but I expected UPS to cost more – they’d get it there in 4 days vs 6 days.  Another issue is that I remember seeing a sign at the post office that said something like “packages over 13 ounces cannot have stamps on them” or some such, so it’s not like I was comfortable buying $8.62 of online postage and taping it to the box either.

A driving force in play here is that Jaden is without his Christmas present until the Heely’s can get to NY and back.  So the 4-day delta is a big factor, especially since I’m the one who picked out the original size and messed everything up in the first place.  Guilt creeps in, makes a bed in my soul and promptly starts snoring.

So I go with the $12.14 2-day Priority Mail option.

While I wait, I peruse the “features and benefits” of this shoe.  No-lie, these are ACTUAL PRODUCT QUOTES FROM THE SHOE.

  • Slice through the skate park – ninja style. 
    um, you have to be a pretty imaginative person to equate a 6yr old learning how to skate on just one wheel per foot, flailing about through the park, hugging on every stranger, pet or porta-potty they can get their hands on to not fall down… with a ninja.  Especially a slicing ninja.  
  • Synthetic suede and perforated leather upper with text-filled graphic. 
    mmmm, sythetic suede!  And what’s that you say?  The graphic is, hold me down from the excitement… TEXT-FILLED??!!?!! OMG!  I didn’t know graphics could be filled with text!
  • Padded tongue and collar add extra comfort and support. 
    I wish all the asylums had that.
  • Soft textile lining. 
    Hmm.  a lining made of textile.  You might as well say “this shoe is very shoe-like.” 
  • PU midsole. 
    So does this mean the feet come pre-filled with stink? 
  • Textured EVA outsole. 
    Best. Outsole texture. EVA. 
  • MEGA graffiti wheel. 
    Not just a graffiti wheel, but a MEGA graffiti wheel.
  • ABEC 5 608 bearings. 
    I have no idea what this means. 
And lo, the people did comment thus:

27 Comments

  1. NYCWD says:

    Dude, they are Heelies.

    Totally worth it… no matter which way you print it.

    NYCWD´s last blog post..Froot Loops Cereal Straws

    • whall says:

      Dawg — I still feel that it’d be a lot better if somehow the wheels could ‘drop down’ with a button or something, a la airplane landing gear. I don’t like that you have to sit down and snap the wheels in, and then when you need to go back to mere mortaldom, get out a special key to snap in the plugs.

  2. Dave2 says:

    Printed labels from end users must be scanned and verified by the postal system to prevent people from printing off one label and using it multiple times (which is why you get tracking for free, since they’re already scanning it). This is why you can’t do 3rd Class or “cheap” rates directly online… they don’t make enough money on that to cover the extra handling for scanning and stuff. At least, this is how it was explained to me.

    I don’t know why they allow it from “trusted vendors” like PayPal, however, since you could just as easily copy the label and alter to re-use it?

    Dave2´s last blog post..Snowplowed

  3. Hilly says:

    Unless it is just not financially feasible to do so, I always go with UPS. They seem to have a better “ease of shipping” for my specific needs.

    Hilly´s last blog post..Baby, You’re Not Lost…

  4. Sarcastica says:

    I want that kind of shoes 🙁
    although I can’t skate worth [a crap]. I’d end up on my [rear-end] more times than not!

    Sarcastica´s last blog post..I’ve not yet said the word vaginally on this blog

  5. Brandon says:

    I actually own a pair of Heelys for myself. They are a lot of fun. Though I can’t actually skate with them without holding onto something. The best is the supermarket with a cart.

    Brandon´s last blog post..Wii!

  6. marilyn says:

    Oooohhh… I want a pair of those. Do they come in grown-up sizes? I could totally be a ninja sign maker. I do text filled graphics all the time!

    Your musings on the shoe propaganda were the best part of this post.

    marilyn´s last blog post..It’s official. I am still a nerd, after all these years.

  7. Giggle Pixie says:

    Wow. I totally need to find out who does their marketing blurbs, ’cause I TOTALLY couldda had that job!!

  8. Janna says:

    I was going to ask the same question Britt did, but now that she’s already asked, I can sit back and wait for the answer.

    These shoes are SO cool! I’d love wearing them, if it wasn’t for that whole part about falling repeatedly in public in front of strangers who would point and laugh as I crashed to Earth until I scraped 80% of my lower appendages in just one afternoon.
    Other than that, though, cool stuff.

    Janna´s last blog post..Wordless Wednesday

  9. Avitable says:

    For my business, we used to use DHL but they stopped shipping within the US, so we just moved to the post office and use their shipping tools. They’ve improved a lot over the last few years.

    Avitable´s last blog post..Wonder Boner

  10. Avitable says:

    They have decided to only ship internationally.

    Avitable´s last blog post..Wonder Boner

  11. Robin says:

    with everything so much easier why does it seem we are all so much more stressed than years ago?

    • whall says:

      Robin – I have some theories about that. Primarily they (the theories) start with the human tendency to be lazy and greedy and then build on that. I would sell you the rest of my theory for a million dollars, but I’d rather nap right now.

  12. It’s the whole box vs. envelope deal. If you can stick anything into a big, padded envelope instead of a box, it’ll be far cheaper. Heelies probably wouldn’t have worked but just fyi if you ever have something else that will. I used to box everything I shipped out for Ebay but now I put as much into envelopes as I can (and the envelopes are cheap….the big manila ones, padded or with those bubble-popper-thingies).

    BlondeBlogger´s last blog post..Jackie, Debra and Stephanie Berger

  13. dmarks says:

    I’ve been told that the online postage thing won’t do media mail, which means it is worthless to me. And I have to stand in the line that is way too long because they won’t open the other registers at the post office (the postal worker told me that union rules prevent them from opening other registers and serving customers in a timely fashion).

    dmarks´s last blog post..Signs you live in the cold country (II)

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