USPS has come along way, but you can't use them to ship a bicycle. The two neanderthal companies are our only choices.
Jay Sexton Sebastopol, CA
As far as smaller items go, I have shipped over 300 paris of knickers by USPS Prioirty, not only domestically but all over the world, without a single problem. 3-day service in the US (inc. Alaska and Hawaii) for the price of USP ground. Nothing destroyed so far, including shipments that consisted of pants + a plastic bottle of WoolWash.
When I worked retail, both our UPS and FedEx shipments often arrived crushed--I mean looking as though they'd been danced on! This was delicate photo equipment, which was obvious from the logos on the boxes.
USPS has come a long way in the last five years. I'll be strolling down to the post office again in a few minutes, in fact.
Los Angeles, CA