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Transcript: The cheapest way to mail gifts

Standup Intro: If you're the type to do their shopping last-minute, you're probably also the type that has to send presents out last-minute. So knowing the cheapest way to ship overnight is the information you need, and delivers.

Voice over 1: Getting stuff from A to B is part and parcel of life in America. When it comes to sending packages, especially overnight, there are several services that compete for your business.

Voice over 2: The three most popular are the Post Office, UPS and FedEx. Think they're all about the same price? Not even close.

Voice over 3: Consumer Reports recently did a survey by sending a paperback book overnight to 16 recipients in 12 states using recommended packaging from all three services.

Voice over 4: Results? The Post Office charges a flat fee of $16.50 for a letter-sized envelope anywhere in the lower 48. But the other two charge based on weight and distance, so FedEx was 27 to 55 bucks. And UPS was 30 to 63. So depending on distance, they were up to four times more for that sized envelope.

Voice over 5: They also shipped a five-pound package cross-country. Again, when it came to overnight, the Post Office was cheaper. Although on ground shipping, FedEx was basically the same.

Voice over 6: But there are potential drawbacks to the Post Office. For example, they only offer delivery some time the next day. UPS and FedEx offer options like early-morning delivery. They also offer same-day delivery; the Post Office doesn't.

Standup: So who you use depends on your needs. But the bottom line here is don't assume everyone's the same price. Get online and do some homework before you send anything. Then maybe you won't be shipping money down the drain. For, I'm Kristin Arnold.'s corrections policy
-- Posted: Dec. 12, 2008
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