Can I influence how Amazon ships to me?
October 6, 2007 12:07 AM   Subscribe

There seems to be no pattern at all re. whether Amazon ships to me via UPS or USPS. Since USPS is much, much more convenient for me, is there any way to influence this in the future?

I'm talking about items sold by Amazon itself, the ones eligible for Free Super Saver Shipping, so this is not an Amazon vs. third parties issue.

Googling seems to just show other people confused by this issue. There is an AskMe question sort of about this but that person needed a way to get UPS not to ask for a signature, since she was never at home daytimes.

I have the opposite problem, I am always home during the day because I work overnight and need to sleep daytimes. Therefore the UPS delivery guys wake me up. But USPS just leaves a note in my mailbox, and I get the box at the post office at my convenience.

(There is no way UPS could leave a box outside my apartment, it would get stolen. I don't have another person in the building I'd trust to accept a package who's home daytimes.)
posted by lorimer to Shopping (10 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Response by poster: (ps - I know one solution is to rent a PO box, which I have done in the past. I'm asking in case there is something I can do at the level of Amazon ordering to get them to ship USPS to me.)
posted by lorimer at 12:16 AM on October 6, 2007

Well, you could go the amazon prime route and then with the tracking numbers request UPS hold the packages. Might be more hassle than it's worth. Amazon prime is awesome if you use amazon often and may get you locked in to some sort of delivery consistently you ccan plan or cope with.
posted by iamabot at 12:24 AM on October 6, 2007

I wonder if there's some way you can simply request delivery to the post office, without actually having a PO box? After all, you'll be picking up the package there anyway.
posted by hattifattener at 12:42 AM on October 6, 2007

What hattifattener refers to is poste restante, which is apparently called general delivery in the US. That might be worth looking into.
posted by nomis at 12:52 AM on October 6, 2007

I know one solution is to rent a PO box

You'd think so, but it's not a total solution. There are some items that they refuse to ship to P.O. boxes. In fact, on more than one occasion, I've ordered a not-for-P.O.-boxes item, reluctantly given a street address to have it shipped to, and then had it arrive via USPS.
posted by oaf at 5:02 AM on October 6, 2007

If UPS is unable to deliver a package, you can go pick it up at the depot with ID. Perhaps you can leave a note on your door asking the UPS guy to please not wake you up by ringing the doorbell and to instead conclude that you aren't home.
posted by Caviar at 6:09 AM on October 6, 2007

I had the same problem and sent an email to Amazon customer service asking if they would set my preferred shipper to USPS, as I had numerous problems with UPS. They replied with a canned response about how they could not guarantee one shipping company over another...but all of my packages since have been delivered by USPS.
posted by wearyaswater at 9:10 PM on October 6, 2007

Response by poster: I realize I shouldn't have provided so much detail. My question should just be "IS THERE ANY METHOD OR TRICK AT AMAZON'S WEB SITE TO FORCE USPS, NOT UPS SHIPPING?"

Having UPS hold it is not good (it takes two hours roundtrip and $3 for me to get to the warehouse where it would be held -- whereas my post office is a two-block walk) and my post office definitely does not accept general delivery.
posted by lorimer at 10:43 PM on October 6, 2007

posted by Caviar at 6:11 AM on October 7, 2007

Best answer: as a former Amazon CS rep, I can confirm that there is no "trick" to specify a particular shipper. the only way to guarantee USPS is to have something shipped to a PO box. otherwise, once the order goes to the distribution center, a computer decides which carrier your order will be shipped. if it's any consolation, you are not alone in your request, so maybe someday Amazon will make the option available...
posted by amymargr8 at 6:24 PM on October 12, 2007

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