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Shipping Talk General discussions on shipping, customs, tracking, USPS, UPS, FedEx, DHL, EMS, etc.

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  #1  
Old 01-28-2011
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Default Flate rate... Isn't "whatever you can get in here" anymore

So get this one, i get a message from a buyer that she was told she had to pay 1.25 to receive her flat rate priority mail envelope. Let's say i sold... A hand purse (just an example) and it fit inside the flate rate envelope, meaning it closed w/o extra tape or stickers etc..

THIS POST OFFICE in alabama (yeah you better believe i googled and called them) that anytime a flat rate envelope is "distorted" beyond flat rate, it's no longer considered flat rate, the guy tells me this is a mandate all across the country, i told him.. You know i ship 20-40 items a week. I ship a lot of flat rate envelopes that i see with extra tape and NOT ONCE have i ever heard of this...And he tells me, well we do here. LOL

If you wanna know the city let me know, i can look it up so you know for future reference.We got us a "nazi" postal office in backwoods alabama!!
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  #2  
Old 01-28-2011
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I was told to tape all of the flat rate envelopes or they could get caught in the machine so I do.
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Old 01-28-2011
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I cram flat rate envelopes full all the time and always seal them with tape. That postal guy must think he is next in line for US Postalmaster.
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Old 01-28-2011
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They are also apparently messing with some people over media mail. So far, this seems isolated to a few local post offices. But you can expect this to get worse - MUCH WORSE!

The postal system is desperate for money. By law, they have to break even, and there is no political appetite right now to give them a subsidy.

Credit card and utility bills are now being sent and paid via email. Advertising is down. Catalogs are disappearing. And how long can DVD rentals via US Mail last when streaming is a no-brainer? This has decreased their revenue significantly.

Of course, a postal clerk STILL averages $70k per year. And their unions intend to keep it that way. In their minds, the argument is... why face reality when the taxpayers can fund any shortfalls?

This leaves management with very few options to increase revenues. So, they are looking at everything they can. And enforcing the current rules is an easy thing to do, politically speaking. So, where in the past they may not have said anything about that flat-rate envelope that was overfilled, today they just might. Tomorrow they can rule that the "coming attractions" on DVD's constitute advertising, making them ineligible to be sent at the media mail rate. And God only knows what else they might decide to do.

So fasten your seatbelts, guys! It's gonna be a bumpy ride!
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  #5  
Old 01-28-2011
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you would think with tens of thousands of sellers online, that the post office would make up for whatever shortfall they may have with people not mailing their bills, letters, etc. or is it that more online sellers are using other means of courier such as ups,fedex?



Quote:
Originally Posted by jeffweico View Post
They are also apparently messing with some people over media mail. So far, this seems isolated to a few local post offices. But you can expect this to get worse - MUCH WORSE!

The postal system is desperate for money. By law, they have to break even, and there is no political appetite right now to give them a subsidy.

Credit card and utility bills are now being sent and paid via email. Advertising is down. Catalogs are disappearing. And how long can DVD rentals via US Mail last when streaming is a no-brainer? This has decreased their revenue significantly.

Of course, a postal clerk STILL averages $70k per year. And their unions intend to keep it that way. In their minds, the argument is... why face reality when the taxpayers can fund any shortfalls?

This leaves management with very few options to increase revenues. So, they are looking at everything they can. And enforcing the current rules is an easy thing to do, politically speaking. So, where in the past they may not have said anything about that flat-rate envelope that was overfilled, today they just might. Tomorrow they can rule that the "coming attractions" on DVD's constitute advertising, making them ineligible to be sent at the media mail rate. And God only knows what else they might decide to do.

So fasten your seatbelts, guys! It's gonna be a bumpy ride!
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  #6  
Old 01-28-2011
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I just love the government
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Old 01-28-2011
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I ran into this problem already couple years ago when I was visiting family in North Carolina. The Postal Employee said I had to remove the extra tape that was over the self sealed part. So I gently removed it and the area was still sealed. I told him it was ok to tape any area on the envelope for reinforcement as long as I do not alter the properties of the envelope itself. I knew what I was talking about because I read this on the USPS Site itself but was unable to prove it to him because I did not have internet access right at the counter. I later came back with a printed copy of the Actual rules and guidelines for Flat Rate envelopes and he apologized. Case Closed!

Read Below.

"
Using Tape on Envelopes/Boxes

·Can tape be used to close, reinforce or enlarge Flat Rate envelopes / boxes?

When mailing using the Priority Mail® service, Express Mail® service or Priority Mail International® flat rate, the contents of the flat rate envelope must be confined within the envelope with the adhesive provided on the flap as the primary means of closure. Contents must also be confined within the box secured with tape.
    • The flap must have the ability to close and adhere to the envelope.
    • Tape may be applied to reinforce the flap of the envelope and to secure the box.
    • The design /shape of the envelope or the box may not enlarged by any means.
Note: Turning a flat envelope into a small "box" shape by including bulky items is a method of enlarging the dimensions and is not an acceptable use of the Flat Rate envelopes.
·Mail was returned to me because there was tape on the stamp. Why?
When stamps are covered, the canceling machines cannot imprint directly on the stamp; therefore, they are not acceptable for mailing. The machines must also be able to read the ultra-violet ink on stamps to detect them on the envelope. If your stamp had only been partially covered, perhaps at the top and bottom, the stamp may have been acceptable for processing.
·Tape on shipping label barcodes – is it okay?
No. Barcodes with tape over them cannot be scanned by our equipment."

Actual Link to USPS FAQ found Here


BooMer

Last edited by BooMer; 01-28-2011 at 07:45 PM.
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  #8  
Old 01-28-2011
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Thank you Boomer

I always tape the shipping label completely but will make sure the bar code is not tape
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  #9  
Old 02-03-2011
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I had one Flat Rate Priority package arrive with postage due. Apparently almost $5.00. No way was it proper...just a stupid Post Office. I paid the buyer of course, but still ship the same way. Taping the package? Sometimes the guys at my PO counter tape 'em themselves so of course I do.
I believe that the limit you can put into a Priority Flat Envelope is 70 pounds. That's the funny part about it. Sort of impossible to stuff that much in anyway.
As the commercial says...
If it fits...it ships

But I don't get rediculous with the Priority Envelopes...if it can't seal, then it didn't fit.
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  #10  
Old 04-02-2011
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i wrap a dvd season in bubble wrap and put it in a nonpadded flat rate envelop. Then I put one long piece of tape across the entire seal strip after i pressed it down to seal it. Never once had a problem. Maybe i'm just lucky tho
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  #11  
Old 04-02-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Axcend View Post
i wrap a dvd season in bubble wrap and put it in a nonpadded flat rate envelop. Then I put one long piece of tape across the entire seal strip after i pressed it down to seal it. Never once had a problem. Maybe i'm just lucky tho
What you are doing is fine of course. But I have seen a lot of abuses of the Flat Rate system, and honestly it kind of irks me as a shipper that tries to be reasonable with the rules.
I saw a guy stack a bunch of medium flat rate boxes on the counter that he had modified by not entirely closing the "flaps" on the box. What he ships is close but not quite fitting. Apparently this guy ships like this all the time. I wouldn't be surprised if he's saving $50 every day he ships....as long as he keeps getting away with it. Actually I HOPE some Postmaster puts a stop to it.
The point is....if you are staying within reasonable boundaries you will be OK. Even if once in a great while some Post Office rejects a package for "non-conformance" in their opinion, that's no reason to change your methods.
I had one Flat Rate envelope get rejected and I had to reimburse my buyer 4.00 for additional shipping cost, but I probably have shipped that same item the same way 100 times since with not a word. It was just a fluke and not worth worrying about.
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  #12  
Old 04-09-2011
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Get the padded envelopes they fit more.
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  #13  
Old 04-09-2011
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yeah but padded envelopes cost an extra 20 cents :/. Wish they hadn't raised the prices jan 1st. small flat rates use to be 4.75
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Old 04-09-2011
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They refuse to send the padded envelopes to any of our local Post Offices. In fact, I drive to many post offices so I can get different size priority boxes then some of the postmasters are shocked when they see them. Never knew that size existed so they order but the P.O won't send it to them. Weird
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  #15  
Old 04-09-2011
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@Melissa...

Just order them from the USPS site, I usually order twice a month and they take about 5 days for delivery.

https://shop.usps.com/webapp/wcs/sto...WT.ac=10007166

Simple
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  #16  
Old 04-12-2011
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You can also call up and order higher quantities, if you are not going to abuse the system I really recommend them.
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  #17  
Old 04-12-2011
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You guys are lucky to have "Flat Rate" envelopes regardless of weight...
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  #18  
Old 04-12-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TGMT² View Post
@Melissa...

Just order them from the USPS site, I usually order twice a month and they take about 5 days for delivery.

https://shop.usps.com/webapp/wcs/sto...WT.ac=10007166

Simple
great! THANK YOU
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  #19  
Old 05-28-2011
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Is there a chance of the postal clerks messing with you on using the Flat Rate bubble mailers as well? I would just like to make sure because I am planning on fitting a small lot of action figure toys and as long as it closes with the adhesive provided then i am fine right?
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  #20  
Old 05-28-2011
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I got into a debate over on slickdeals... Supposedly flat rate bubble wrap envelopes do not have a "width" rule unlike the flatrate regular envelopes.

I am probably jinxing myself. But i just ship the bubble mailers at he $4.75 price. no problems thus far =P
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  #21  
Old 06-03-2011
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I have this same problem with a smaller post office about 1/4 mile away from my house. If I go to the bigger post office I dont have that problem. They accept anything and everything.

My guess is that its just the smaller post office does this.
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