SparkFun Forums 

Where electronics enthusiasts find answers.

How long did it take to get to your neck of the woods?
By gchristopher
Most people living in Alaska or Hawaii do not order from retailers that only ship FedEx or UPS, primarily because of the large cost difference. Sparkfun offers FedEx SmartPost to save on shipping cost, but the performance is not close to competitive with USPS shipping options.

Here's what happened with a recent order:

On Friday, September 22, I place a small order at Sparkfun. Let's try a Teensy and some breakout boards. (Spoiler: the Teensy is fun.) The total was $69.80, and FedEx SmartPost shipping was $12.13. (The other FedEx shipping options were exorbitant relative to a $70 order.)

Sparkfun promptly reported the item as shipped on Monday, September 25.
FedEx tracking reported the item as received on Tuesday, September 26. (Still reasonable)
The item shuffled through various FedEx locations until October 4, when FedEx claims it transferred the item to USPS.
USPS tracking claims that shipping info was created on October 4, but the item was not physically received until October 10.
The item reaches the destination and goes out for delivery on October 13, at which point USPS tracking says "notice left," but actually he misplaced it. They eventually found the red box and called me so I could go to the airport post office and pick it up on October 17.
That last part is an aberration, so we'll credit Sparkfun shipping with getting it there on Friday, October 13. Total transit time from "shipped" was 18 calendar days, or 14 business days.

Let's compare that with a friendly competitor:

On Monday, October 9 I placed an almost identically sized order with Adafruit. USPS priority mail shipping was $10.15.
On Tuesday, October 10, the item was reported as "shipped"
On Wednesday, October 11, USPS tracking lists the item as received.
On Saturday, October 14, the item was delivered to my house.
Total transit time from "shipped" was 4 calendar days, or 3 business days.

So, Adafruit delivery using USPS priority was 4x faster, and a little cheaper, than Sparkfun using FedEx SmartPost. This is typical of my experience with the two types of shipping services.

Please consider offering USPS delivery options to more than just mailboxes, at least for AK/HI. You're getting beaten on the quality of service you're getting from your shippers relative to your competition. Obviously we're not a big slice of the customer base, but if I care even slightly about shipping transit times, Sparkfun isn't a sane choice.

Sparkfun does send a cool little red box instead of a padded envelope, so there is that, at least. It made it very easy to describe what I was expecting to the poor post office staff who were searching for it.

long long title how many chars? lets see 123 ok more? yes 60

We have created lots of YouTube videos just so you can achieve [...]

Another post test yes yes yes or no, maybe ni? :-/

The best flat phpBB theme around. Period. Fine craftmanship and [...]

Do you need a super MOD? Well here it is. chew on this

All you need is right here. Content tag, SEO, listing, Pizza and spaghetti [...]

Lasagna on me this time ok? I got plenty of cash

this should be fantastic. but what about links,images, bbcodes etc etc? [...]