I agree that the postal system is capable of excellence. Most of my LP's are purchased from HMV in Canada and shipped via post (handled by both countries). I have yet to have one damaged and the cost is reasonable due to value and weight.
For shipments that require speed, FedEx overnight or same day is the best there is. I happen to be lucky enough to have dual discounts (Eastman Kodak and ASMP Photo Org.), bringing the price of overnight service BELOW the cost of USPS by several dollars.
If you have FedEx account, you can fill out paper work via internet, get a rate and time guarantee, purchase insurance, print commercial invoices for overseas shipping and drop at the FedEx box until 8:00 PM and still get guaranteed delivery.
FedEx supplies are free and delivered via FedEx for free. Shipments are billed only after delivery, and if they fail to meet promised deadline, you are entitled to a discount BEFORE you pay.
When using on line services, the recipient is emailed tracking numbers, delivery date and a personal note from you. Upon delivery you receive delivery information as to who signed for the parcel. This is all automatic and free, and builds you a library of shipping profiles that allows you to deliver to that person again by pressing one button. If you are unsure of the address, FedEx will verify for free DURING the ship process, avoiding that parcel and your ship profile being filled out in error.
I've sold and shipped seven pair of Wolcott Presence 220 mono blocks via FedEx second day with no damage. This to locations all over the USA , with one pair going to an Audiogon member in Europe.
I don't dislike the USPS, but considering the 30 minutes in line compared to pushing the container into a FedEx drop box through your car window, there is no comparison. Especially for those of us that have both services nearby. This does not even take into consideration that FedEx allows drops up until 8:00 PM. This is three hours after the post office has locked its doors here in Dallas, TX.
For those with busy schedules, making the late drop at FedEx for two day can still beat missing the deadline at the post office, paying next day and getting same service for less.
I am not in disagreement with the quality of the post office. I think is it important to point out that for some of us. They will never get more than 20% of our business.
That being said, my wife and I "adopted" an American soldier (19 years old) serving our country in the middle east. The USPS is the only reliable way to ship our gifts to this young man. Bless them for that.