Cheapest way to mail and track documents going from US to Russia?
January 5, 2011 11:48 AM   Subscribe

I need to mail some important documents from the US to Russia via a method that is trackable. The cheapest price I can find is $28.95 via USPS. Does anyone know of a less expensive method that includes tracking information? These are just paper documents, not a package. Thanks!
posted by emily37 to Work & Money (9 answers total)
I would stick with USPS for mail to Russia. DHL is also a possibility, but I wouldn't trust FedEx or UPS.
posted by nasreddin at 11:55 AM on January 5, 2011

I would stick with FedEx or UPS for something important and trackable. Definitely wouldn't trust USPS.
posted by Perplexity at 11:57 AM on January 5, 2011

I would stick with FedEx or UPS for something important and trackable. Definitely wouldn't trust USPS.

Within the US, maybe. Not to Russia.
posted by nasreddin at 11:59 AM on January 5, 2011

Nope, there really is no cheap way to do this. Russians/ex-pats use (sometimes very extended) family members as couriers to avoid this exact situation.
posted by griphus at 12:02 PM on January 5, 2011

For what it's worth, I've never had a problem sending or receiving mail to and from Russia via DHL/USPS (I send via USPS, receive via DHL). Sure, it's expensive and takes a long time, but if it really can't be sent by email then surely it's worth it.
posted by nasreddin at 12:04 PM on January 5, 2011

Yeah, seconding nasreddin--I love FedEx and UPS for shipping inside the US, but outside the US, the Post Office or DHL is always the move.

And the Post Office is definitely cheapest to Russia; DHL is fastest, but you'll pay for that.
posted by Sidhedevil at 12:21 PM on January 5, 2011

Yep, the important thing to remember with this is that you are shipping something halfway around the world for $30.

USPS is the best bet, as they'll handle hand-offs to the official carrier in your destination region and so on. UPS DHL and FedEx deliver themselves (in essence), but they're going to be far more expensive, to support the network they have to maintain, rather than relying on the infrastructure of the destination nation.
posted by Rendus at 1:10 PM on January 5, 2011

Are you looking at the post office's website or are you actually going to your local branch? The clerks at the branch might be able to help you find a cheaper way.
posted by IndigoRain at 4:30 PM on January 5, 2011

If you for sure need tracking, go with Fedex, UPS, or DHL. USPS express international tracking is sporadic at best, no matter what they claim. I used to work in a shipping store, so I know this first hand.
posted by blargerz at 4:36 PM on January 5, 2011

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