USPS, UPS And FEDEX: Which Is The Best And Which Is The Worst For Online Sellers To Use

There are three major carriers that online sellers can use for shipping. I want to give my opinion on which service is better to use.

The three services I’m referring to are USPS, UPS, and FedEx.

My number one favorite service is UPS. The one I use the most is USPS, and the one I avoid at all costs is FedEx.

I rank USPS as number one because I believe they always do a good job in shipping, whether it’s for personal use or for an online seller like myself. They are accustomed to handling a lot of packages, and they have a large fleet of trucks to handle the load. My local USPS mail carrier drives a small mail jeep, and they don’t handle large packages as well as the other carriers.

UPS is cheaper than USPS, especially for packages larger than 1 cubic foot. The Postal Service made an effort a few years back to get out of the large package business by increasing their rates above the 1 cubic foot mark to discourage people from shipping larger packages. It’s hard for USPS to process large packages through their system, and they wanted to leave that to FedEx and UPS, which specialize in that area. I can also schedule a pickup with UPS up to 1 p.m. on the day of the pickup. The general UPS route in my area is in the morning, and they deliver in the afternoon, so I can get my products out easier that way. I don’t have to be a day behind in my shipping. I can get orders up to the 1 p.m. cutoff time or even after, and I can still schedule a pickup. My UPS usually shows up between 4 p.m. and 5 p.m., which gives me the rest of the day to add to that shipment. Also, I have a sunroom where they pick up the products, and they also deliver products there, so it saves me from having to go out in the weather.

When it comes to choosing between FedEx and USPS, it’s honestly a toss-up. However, I choose USPS over FedEx because I don’t like FedEx at all.

USPS has slowed down their shipping service to save money, and now a lot of products shipped through Amazon take a while to arrive. This also applies to eBay. During COVID, there was an issue where packages shipped around Black Friday were not put in the system and showed up six weeks after Christmas. As an online seller, I can’t have people ordering Christmas presents three to four weeks before they need them and then receive them six weeks after Christmas. That resulted in a ton of returns, bad reviews, and bad feedback. Since then, I haven’t been super happy with USPS, as they’ve raised rates on all their packages, increased rates on very large packages, and slowed down their shipping times. The only real plus I have for them is that when I have smaller items, I can slide them into my mailbox, and I don’t have to go to the post office and drop them off. When I’ve had large amounts of product going out, the post office has demanded I use scan sheets, and they get upset when I show up with two or three hundred packages at a time, even though I see other people dropping off truckloads of packages while I’m there. I definitely rate them lower than UPS, but I still use them more than I use UPS.

FedEx is at the bottom of the barrel for me. FedEx seems very disorganized to me. They hire a lot of independent contractors for delivery, and when I get stuff delivered to me at my house, I never know where they’re going to put it. They deliver at odd times, including weekends like Saturdays and Sundays I receive packages late at night, and I think that’s due to the independent contractors FedEx uses. However, they never put my packages inside my sunroom like UPS or USPS. I have had packages sit out in the rain, and they have delivered my packages to the wrong address. There is an apartment complex across the street from me, and a few years back, they delivered 10 or 12 very large boxes to somebody’s apartment. It was posted on a local Facebook page that people were looking for me because I had the packages at their apartment. I had to go pick them up myself and make two or three trips to get them all back to my house. I tried to contact FedEx the next day, but it was almost impossible to do so. They do not have a help number, and their chat is automated and just turns you in circles. Additionally, FedEx uses the USPS sometimes, especially if you’re selling on Mercari. This is a lower-cost option where FedEx delivers it to a postal hub somewhere, and then the post office ends up delivering it, which adds to the time frame it takes for stuff to get delivered.

When I sell on Amazon, customers want their stuff quickly, but FedEx is really bad about it. Even eBay customers want their stuff quick. I have used FedEx on my own account, and they offer different discounts. I used it one time to ship a package, and when I checked my bill, it was substantially higher than the quote. I do not know why they raised the price. I also know some other resellers that used to be able to sort of hack the FedEx shipping. They got a good discount, and they were using some sort of bag that was provided by FedEx, and they could fit the product in it in a certain way and get discounted shipping and a really good price, and it was pretty fast. This worked great for them until they found out after Christmas when they had the pickup, they were getting charged $4 extra per item with a pickup, and they had a humongous bill because they were shipping hundreds and thousands of product items a day. Because of this, I avoid FedEx unless I absolutely have to ship it, and when I do ship it, I drop it off at Walgreens, which just adds another step for me that I don’t want to do.

If you go through this list, you may agree or disagree with me, and that is fine. This is my personal experience of being a full-time online seller for over 9 years. I know other sellers that rate FedEx as number one and despise the USPS. I normally don’t hear them ever complain about UPS. So, I would say, use what’s the most cost-effective and the most dependable that works for you and your business.