Original designs. Made in the U.S.A.
Cork/Iberian Swift, Cork Organizer Wallet, Cardinal/Steel Western Flyer, Cardinal OP, Iberian Yarn Stuff Sacks (all 3 sizes) Black/Iberian Side Effect, Iberian PCSB, Iberian Travel Tray, Nordic Travel Tray, Steel Travel Tray Iberian Travel Stuff Sack Navy/Solar Synapse 25, Black/Iberian Ristretto for iPad
Not surprisingly, our position regarding different carriers is based on our own personal experiences - and generally a reflection of the local drivers who deliver to us.
At least for me, my position on these companies can be considered at best anecdotal. I may get 2 or 3, perhaps even 4 shipments in a busy week. Whereas, Tom Bihn ships a huge volume of packages on a daily basis. And their position on the carrier they use is based on a larger, more significant data set.
Really, what it comes down to for me is - because I trust Tom Bihn, I trust that their choice to use UPS is a sound one - one that is in the best overall interest of the company and its customers.
It is small businesses in tune with their customers, who have pushed big shipping companies to look into, then implement, carbon neutral policies.
UPS tracking is the most efficient, however, the way to keep UPS prices in check, is to make sure it has competitors that understand they are competing, hence the adoption of carbon neutral policies by Fedex and USPS.
There was a time, when I would never consider using USPS for anything but, certified letters or correspondence.
When I was living in the U.S east coast, I seldom did any business online, but for TB items, which took a week to arrive via UPS.
Pouches are Small and flat, so they can be sent via USPS inside padded envelopes.
All other TB items need a box to avoid being damaged, this is also true for yarn and the needles and spinning tools needed to work it, other items like office things and writing instruments (especially vintage ones) need to be boxed properly.
I always pay extra for better boxing and shipping methods for online orders.
Some entities entice customers with "free shipping", but, shipping, by definition, isn't free, because it entails the use of resources.
People are needed to select the items, package them, fill the shipping paperwork and get them ready for the carrier. Fuel of some kind is needed to power the heavy loads, and people are needed to drive the vehicles and carry the packages from smaller to bigger shipping containers to offices and doors.
Right now, James Brown lyrics drifts into my consciousness, as I visualize the trains rolling on the vast Midwestern plains.
Too often, it is the people who are doing the heavy work who carry the brunt of the heavy price of free shipping.
I am happy to pay extra for reliable tracking and first class packaging because I only buy sustainable products made by skilled workers.
I don't order wardrobe items online, so that helps.
I'm curious - what does carbon neutrality entail? It sounds like a good thing. I noticed that some airlines are now allowing passengers to manage their travel impact with purchases of carbon offsets.
My concern is similar to what I observe with recycling and compostable materials, that the availability of such processes can lead to increased use of disposable materials, thinking that it's all OK because the stuff will be recycled/composted anyway, when actually reduced use is the goal.
(I am lucky to live in a city that supports municipal recycling and composting.)
I think it is a process, in the 50, 60's, until now, the goal was to produce and consume as much as possible.
In the 70's, the environmental movement began to grow from "fringe activists" to mainstream advocates inspired by scientist works who helped spread the word on sustainability.
From Boomers inspired by the 30's and 40's philosophy of buying things that can be hand down to the Millenials reduce, reuse, recycle and love of vintage quality; we all understand that we have to consume wisely if we want to keep our lovely Blue Dot in shape to sustain life.
Which means us, among others, because we don't belong to the Mineral Kingdom.
My experience has shown FedEx to have the best tracking. ÜPS is usually lacking in that dept. And once I received a letter by USPS from Canada to Texas under 2 days.
All of the shipping carriers have their evils. Living in a condo, I prefer USPS, in theory, because of those nice lock boxes they put the package in and leave me a key. However. I had a crazy pants mail carrier for awhile who would continually put the key in the wrong person's mail box. The keys were lost for a time, too, and she would just put packages unlocked and leave a note with smiley faces all over it saying I had a package in whichever unlocked box. I finally complained when she did this with a TB bag that I bought on ebay for $150. (Usually packages that come for me via mail are yarn and not terribly expensive.) She had no idea what was in the package, but that's the point. So not cool of her to do that. So, having had an enormous amount of trouble for six months or so after zero troubles for 12 years, I reluctantly say that for big ticket items, UPS feels safer to me. (I still shudder at the thought of a missing TB! Especially of one no longer available!!!!).
I just got back from the USP store after taking my Bihn box there for a return. They wanted $18 to ground ship is back to Seattle. So $10 is evidently a deal. I'm going to the USPS tomorrow because I do not need duplicate bags and hopefully it will be more reasonable. And I'll be more careful in the future to not have to make returns. Too bad we can't do online printed return labels for the same shipping price to save the time suck of getting postage estimates.
~ one of virtually everything ~ Happy victim of Tom Bihn mind control
Last edited by kkintea; 07-10-2014 at 12:30 PM.
* Favorite TB: Steel Little Swift * Latest TB: Nordic/Solar Synapse 25 * 2014 Wishlist: New 400d Color
Holy moly - I'm so glad I said something! Thanks for that tip. I've never returned anything before and I certainly don't need 2 BBs. An awesome revelation kkintea - appreciate it!
~ one of virtually everything ~ Happy victim of Tom Bihn mind control
I know! I was joking in my opening post about people knowing what was inside if they know what TB makes. Maybe TB should use plain boxes to send things by stealth so no one walks home with your SE or MCB or S19 or .....
Not everyone lives where UPS delivers. I live in the mountains of New Mexico, about an hour from Santa Fe. My house is 17 miles from the post office, down a lot of bad roads. In July and August the roads can be impassable for days at a time due to "monsoon" rains.
UPS and FedEx are TOTALLY unreliable for me. Sometimes UPS and FedEx leave my packages at the post office, once in a blue moon they actually come to my house. I always specify USPS when possible and TB's policy makes me reluctant to order anything other than very small items.