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#4268251 - 12/06/16 07:46 PM Shipping Oil Samples - How To
Bandito440 Offline


Registered: 02/13/12
Posts: 3855
Loc: NEUS
Hi folks. It seems that we get a monthly complaint thread about how the USPS First Class Parcel service isn't fast enough, or how an employee at the Post Office is giving a member a hard time about the sample being hazardous materials.

First Class doesn't come with a guaranteed time frame, so expect it to take a week or two if you go that route, but be pleased if it arrives at its destination quickly. It's not intended as a reliable service for packages that need to get somewhere quickly. You're getting your $3 worth if it arrives at all. So, here's a thread that shows you how to ship from home with USPS Priority Mail.

This will cost $3 - $4 more than First Class postage at the Post Office. For me, the half-hour that it takes to drive there, wait in line, and drive home makes it worth spending a few extra bucks. Maybe some of you have lots of spare time or just enjoy a visit to the Post Office. That's fine. This thread is for people who have better things to do.

You'll need:
  • Packaging; I reuse small boxes with bubble wrap and padded envelopes from Amazon deliveries. Walmart also sells them for cheap.
  • A credit card or PayPal
  • The UOA kit
  • Clear packaging tape
  • The ability to print from your computer
Step 1
Package the sample. If it's in a box, add some peanuts, bubble wrap, or scrap paper to keep it from rattling around. I just put the whole Blackstone sample kit into a small padded envelope, black plastic shipping container and all.

Step 2
Go to the USPS website and create an account.


Step 3
Start a Click-N-Ship transaction, being sure to add whichever lab you're using to your address book for future use. Everything up to 16oz is the same cost, so just enter that as the weight if you're unsure. A Blackstone sample weighs significantly less. I have a digital kitchen scale that holds up to 22 lbs. which has been invaluable over the years. Amazon sells several models for under $20.


Step 4
Once you've completed the transaction, follow the instructions to print out the label. Cut it out and affix it to the package, covering it with clear tape. Be sure that there's just one layer over the barcode, and that it isn't bunched up.

Step 5
Place it into your mailbox with the flag up, or any of the blue mailboxes you see around. You can also arrange for your mail carrier to pick it up if you'd rather leave it on your porch or the front desk at your place of business. Tracking information can be found in your order history, or just by entering the number from the label.


There. You just saved yourself a visit to the Post Office and the aggravation of explaining that it's not hazardous or worrying about why First Class is taking so long. You'll just have to find something else to rant about. As an added bonus, you can also have your mail forwarded/held and order stamps and packaging supplies from the same website.

Cheers.
_________________________
'14 Grand Cherokee EcoDiesel
Rotella T6 5w-40 & OEM filter

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#4268261 - 12/06/16 07:57 PM Re: Shipping Oil Samples - How To [Re: Bandito440]
simple_gifts Offline


Registered: 07/26/04
Posts: 11988
Loc: Middlesex County CT
Thanks for taking the time to write that up.

A "shut your suck" has never been so helpful.



Edited by simple_gifts (12/06/16 07:59 PM)
_________________________
2004 Prius; 97K ML Syn 5W-30
2007 Yaris 71K 0w-40 Castrol
2006 B2300;130K;ALM


Was driving an ox cart; Now on the USS Enterprise

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#4268271 - 12/06/16 08:05 PM Re: Shipping Oil Samples - How To [Re: Bandito440]
Donald Offline


Registered: 03/21/04
Posts: 20549
Loc: Upstate NY
I mail it in its round container. It takes maybe 2 weeks until I get results via email. I have gone to NAPA UOA kits. $16.00 with TBN.
.
_________________________
2015 Subaru Forester 2.5 engine/CVT
2015 Ford F250 w/Powerstroke
2016 Subaru Crosstrek CVT (wife's)


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#4268311 - 12/06/16 09:06 PM Re: Shipping Oil Samples - How To [Re: Bandito440]
DoubleWasp Offline


Registered: 05/21/12
Posts: 5269
Loc: Fort Lauderdale, FL
Post officesubject here no longer accept used oil samples, even when presented the letter.

I just put them in priority mail boxes. It works for the drug dealers, so why not used oil?
_________________________
07 Lincoln Navigator M1 0w-40/FU
68 Charger R/T / Supercharged 440 VR1/DBL7349
07 Ram 3500 4x4 / Cummins 6.7 /DBL7349
17 Maserati GranTurismo Cabrio

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#4268322 - 12/06/16 09:18 PM Re: Shipping Oil Samples - How To [Re: DoubleWasp]
Bandito440 Offline


Registered: 02/13/12
Posts: 3855
Loc: NEUS
Originally Posted By: simple_gifts
Thanks for taking the time to write that up.

You're welcome.

Originally Posted By: DoubleWasp
Post officesubject here no longer accept used oil samples, even when presented the letter.

I just put them in priority mail boxes. It works for the drug dealers, so why not used oil?

Ship from home and save the hassle.
_________________________
'14 Grand Cherokee EcoDiesel
Rotella T6 5w-40 & OEM filter

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#4268340 - 12/06/16 09:49 PM Re: Shipping Oil Samples - How To [Re: Bandito440]
i_hate_autofraud Offline


Registered: 05/19/16
Posts: 713
Loc: Canada
I ship my oil sample bottle in a mid size padded envelope, never had any problems!

Posties can't tell the difference and so they can't bugger it up!!

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#4268391 - 12/06/16 11:44 PM Re: Shipping Oil Samples - How To [Re: Bandito440]
DoubleWasp Offline


Registered: 05/21/12
Posts: 5269
Loc: Fort Lauderdale, FL
Exactly.

I'm also coming to appreciate just how much auto correct creates more errors than it solves.
_________________________
07 Lincoln Navigator M1 0w-40/FU
68 Charger R/T / Supercharged 440 VR1/DBL7349
07 Ram 3500 4x4 / Cummins 6.7 /DBL7349
17 Maserati GranTurismo Cabrio

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#4268475 - 12/07/16 06:37 AM Re: Shipping Oil Samples - How To [Re: Bandito440]
racer12306 Offline


Registered: 10/06/05
Posts: 2310
Loc: Baltimore, MD
Your logic reduces the need to [censored] and moan, therefore, it is not effective. [censored] and moaning are mandatory.

grin
_________________________
16 Ford Focus/2.0/6A
04 Dodge Neon SXT/2.0/MTX
12 Chrysler T&C/3.6/6A

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#4268505 - 12/07/16 07:20 AM Re: Shipping Oil Samples - How To [Re: Bandito440]
BigD1 Offline


Registered: 08/12/15
Posts: 2580
Loc: NC
I have mailed exactly one NAPA kit, and my local back woods post office put up a fight, but the postmaster set them straight. Don't blame them though because they get fined if they allow something to be mailed that's not supposed to be in the mail.

I told my local post office that the flash point was approximately 430 F. They said that was dangerous. I said yes, but everything else will be on fire at that temperature. That went right over the top.
_________________________
1992 Toyota Pickup--Formula Shell 10W-30--Fram PH3614

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#4268513 - 12/07/16 07:37 AM Re: Shipping Oil Samples - How To [Re: Bandito440]
DuckRyder Offline


Registered: 10/20/05
Posts: 4254
Loc: Atlanta
I agree with the OP, most hassle free way to send is Priority Mail. Many times I drop the Blackstone container in a flat rate envelope. Certainly not the cheapest way to send it, but it works.

They are behind right now though the 3 day priority mail I sent Monday is showing to arrive on Friday...

Also it bears mentioning that if you study the USPS regulations, I believe you will find you are required to label the outside of the package "LIQUID".
_________________________
Robert
  • 2007 Toyota Prius Touring
  • 2005 Honda Civic Sedan
  • 1972 Ford F100

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#4268547 - 12/07/16 08:41 AM Re: Shipping Oil Samples - How To [Re: Bandito440]
Miller88 Offline


Registered: 04/09/08
Posts: 12743
Loc: Onondaga County
I've always wondered about using local labs. I'm sure there's a local lab or two that I can get it done at.
_________________________
18 Forester 2.5I 6M
00 Jeep Cherokee
01 Ford F-350 XL 4x4 5M

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#4268671 - 12/07/16 11:20 AM Re: Shipping Oil Samples - How To [Re: Bandito440]
EdwardC Offline


Registered: 11/14/13
Posts: 1886
Loc: Chicago, IL
I've never had any trouble using USPS first class. I usually put the bottle in small cardboard box, then weigh it and print the postage from eBay/Paypal. I tape on the label and throw it in a blue box. It costs me about $3 and has never been lost. I don't have to make any trips to the post office. I use the NAPA/Wix kits from Amazon.

https://www.paypal.com/us/cgi-bin/webscr?cmd=_ship-now

http://www.ebay.com/gds/Secret-PayPal-Sh...07215096/g.html

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#4268869 - 12/07/16 04:05 PM Re: Shipping Oil Samples - How To [Re: Donald]
meborder Offline


Registered: 04/27/14
Posts: 842
Loc: SD - South Dakota
Originally Posted By: Donald
I mail it in its round container. It takes maybe 2 weeks until I get results via email. I have gone to NAPA UOA kits. $16.00 with TBN.
.


I used to do the same, until I had two of them get lost. One was recovered, one never was. When I asked what happened I was told that perfectly round containers can roll off the belt or roll past the automatic label readers and get kicked out of the system, or don't get sorted and end up at the wrong destination.

From that point on, I have paid the extra for an envelope with automatic insurance for the contents.

This ship from home method is a very good idea, though.


Edited by meborder (12/07/16 04:07 PM)
_________________________
Too many cars using too many different oils to list in 150 characters.

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#4270481 - 12/09/16 02:31 PM Re: Shipping Oil Samples - How To [Re: Miller88]
dustyroads Offline


Registered: 05/13/13
Posts: 1076
Loc: upstate NY
Originally Posted By: Miller88
I've always wondered about using local labs. I'm sure there's a local lab or two that I can get it done at.


If you have a Caterpillar dealer/shop nearby, they are a great place to use for oil or coolant testing. There are usually several dealers in each region under one name (in upstate NY and New England we have Milton Cat), and they have their own trucks that make the rounds picking up and delivering parts. You can purchase kits and drop them off there to be picked up and delivered to whichever location that has the lab.

FWIW, using the Cat labs is a pretty quick way to get results and you don't have to mail the sample. This works nice if it's not out of the way to do so.
_________________________
2013 F150 XLT 5.0 4X4 96k+
Edge 5W-30 / Fram 10575

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#4279866 - 12/20/16 07:51 AM Re: Shipping Oil Samples - How To [Re: EdwardC]
Triple_Se7en Offline


Registered: 12/04/04
Posts: 8916
Loc: 1/2 hr. north of Detroit
Originally Posted By: EdwardC
I've never had any trouble using USPS first class. I usually put the bottle in small cardboard box, then weigh it and print the postage from eBay/Paypal. I tape on the label and throw it in a blue box. It costs me about $3 and has never been lost. I don't have to make any trips to the post office. I use the NAPA/Wix kits from Amazon.

https://www.paypal.com/us/cgi-bin/webscr?cmd=_ship-now

http://www.ebay.com/gds/Secret-PayPal-Sh...07215096/g.html



I can't get either of those links to show me kit packaging.

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