Mailing costs for Bubble Envelopes (BE)

Chemocurl zn5b/6a Indiana(zone 5/6)October 21, 2008

Bubble envelopes which are empty, or under 3/4" thick are classified as and to be charged as Large Envelopes and referred to as Flats) The contents (seed packs) should be taped in place, so the BE will be uniformly thick, and that the seeds don't shift, and then cause problems with the USPS equipment.

Large Envelopes rates (BE under 3/4" thick)

1 oz=$ .83

2 OZ=$1.00

3 OZ=$1.17

4 OZ=$1.34

5 OZ=$1.51

Other rates up to 13 OZ can be found at the link below. Anything over 13 OZ will then go as Priority mail (1 LB) and will be $4.80 unless one tells the clerks it is to go Parcel Post.

If there are numerous generous amounts of seeds sent, or if the seeds are bigger, the BE may be more than 3/4" thick, and then will go at Parcel Rate. It is not necessary to tape packets down if it is a bigger bulky envelope over 3/4" thick.

Parcel Rates

1 OZ=$1.17

2 OZ=$1.34

3 OZ=$1.51

4 OZ=$1.68

5 OZ=$1.85

6 OZ=$2.02

Other heavier (First Class) Parcel Rates can be found at the link below.


Here is a link that might be useful: First Class rates for Large Envelopes and Parcels

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littleonefb(zone 5, MA)


Good post, but I'm gonna play devils advocate on you for the Newbies. Don't hate me for this one PLEASE.

what should the postage be if the weight is over 1 ounce but under 2 ounces.

Just want all the Newbies and the "oldies" to be sure they understand what the correct postage should be.

Just trying to help make things as clear as possible.

    Bookmark   October 21, 2008 at 6:56PM
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Chemocurl zn5b/6a Indiana(zone 5/6)

Mercy Fran, Hate is an awful 'strong' word there, isn't it?
I'm glad you played devils advocate and asked, sweetie.

The charge for 1 OZ is for weight up to and including 1 OZ.
The charge for 2 OZ is anything over 1 OZ, and up to and including 2 OZ.
The charge for 3 OZ is anything over 2 OZ, and up to and including 3 OZ.

etc, etc, etc.

Sue...resident busy body

    Bookmark   October 21, 2008 at 9:50PM
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littleonefb(zone 5, MA)

Sue, sorry about the strong word. Must be getting paranoid these days with the politics going on.

Lots of people seem to be "hating me" these days cause they can't get me to support their candidate.

I must have hate on the brain, the foggy old brain that has to look at some snow flakes tomorrow mixed in with the rain. that's what the weather guys are saying and it's too early for that stuff.

Thanks for being glad I played devil's advocate. I'm told by my kids, I love to play that role all the time, they don't mind as long as I don't do it with them. They keep telling me they are all grown up.

I tell the oldest, he has to suffer it cause he's now a little over 30 and from where I come from it's "don't trust anyone over 30", the younger one is only 25, she's still safe to trust.

OK got off topic.

Love ya Sue, and think you being the resident busy body is one of the best things this forum could ever have.


    Bookmark   October 22, 2008 at 12:26AM
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littleonefb(zone 5, MA)

Just want to bump this up to the top

    Bookmark   October 29, 2008 at 2:15PM
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well, ya kinda went backwards there but i get it!! LOL now i just wish all the postal workers got it!! LOL if they ALL got it we'd be in envi heaven!! LOL Hee Hee!! speaking of your thing Fran, ya know what tomarow is?? i'm so excited!! WOOO HOOO!!! nope, i'm not talking about htat!! nope not that either!! Heee Heeee tomarow is hubs and mine's 20th anniv of the first time we met!! :') and on the 10/20/89 we got married. i met him 11/04/88. do you know he will count down the days 2-3 months befor hand. crazy guy!! LOL sorry about the ot!! ~Medo

    Bookmark   November 4, 2008 at 2:00AM
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I argued long and hard yesterday at my local PO--the woman at the counter insisted all my small bubble envelopes were parcels. I tried to explain, but it was close to closing time and I was several days late in sending out my end of several trades, so I overpaid once again.

It is SO hit and miss.


    Bookmark   November 9, 2008 at 12:30AM
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suecirish(6 SE MA)

Here's a little word to the wise, and a bit of turn about is fair play, I think!

Out of all the numerous bubble envies that I have received from trades this summer, there were four that did not have the stamps cancelled - three 6x9 with 4 stamps each and one smaller (4x6?) with two stamps. As a test, I took one of the larger ones with 4 stamps to the PO, asked the worker to check it and she said it was fine, and off it went. It was received with no problem on the other end.

Soooooooo... always take a look at the stamps to see if they are cancelled, and if not you can use them again. A little bit of compensation for all the overcharging? ... Is this wrong? ;o\

    Bookmark   November 10, 2008 at 12:39PM
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Yes, I seem to keep getting overcharged too. No matter WHICH PO I go to here. The one closest to me in the little town or the bigger one is the town I actually live in!

They tell me a bubble mailer is PARCEL POST EVERYTIME!
And no matter how many seeds I put in I have to pay over 2.00 almost always!

They clerks that work at either one of my closest PO's tell me that Sue is WRONG and they are correct. How do you argue with someone who actaully WORKS behind the counter of a service provider YOU are trying to use? You can NOT say well this lady tells us on our website that YOU are overcharging....
maybe it is time to wage a war on the PO's around the country and go to the media and see what happens! Think there are enough GWers to make a postal rate change? hehe

What can we do but pay it.


    Bookmark   November 16, 2008 at 8:26PM
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jaleeisa(6b Oklahoma)

You can take a copy of the guidelines that Sue linked us to and print them out and take them with you. If they keep arguing after you show the clerk that, ask to speak to a supervisor. If they argue, with you having the guidelines directly from the USPS site in hand and in front of their face, ask to see the Postmaster. If they keep arguing, contact the Postmaster General. And let them know you fully intend to do so.

My DH is a rural carrier, but agrees we shouldn't be overcharged. Sometimes I swear they put some of the most braindead people applying in the clerk position. Thankfully the PO's in my area haven't ever given me trouble. And it's even better now that I bought a postage scale on ebay per Sue's suggestion! Even with the shipping rate, of like $16, I bought it for less than $20. Paid $0.96 for the scale itself and it works wonderfully! Much less than I could have bought one from Wally World, even with my employee discount, or the USPS. A very sound investment!


    Bookmark   November 17, 2008 at 9:32AM
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Hello Kathy!
I want a postal scale too, for this and other reasons, but mainly for this.

Taking a copy of the charges in wouldn't matter BECAUSE they tell me it is PARCEL POST matter how large or small my bubble mailer is...I HAVE told them it is supposed to be large envy rate, and they tell me I am WRONG! Because it HAS been the supervisor a few times that HAS argued with me...
I have even put them in the outside boxes of this one PO and it ended up showing back up in my mail box the very next day postage insuffient! There is nothing I can do except pay it and I am hoping to get a postal scale for Christmas and then I will just print my own and ship it from my own mailbox without having to worry with the PO's clerks!

It is so annoying... I wish I could get a job there!


    Bookmark   November 17, 2008 at 8:46PM
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angelady777 (was angelady on GW) - Zone 6(6)

Suecirish - Shame on you, girl! (hee hee) Okay, I've done it, too. (LOL) I felt justified that I've been overcharged so many times! I think I'm almost even now for what they stole from me.... LOL

NCGG - The only way I am getting charged correctly now is if I mail from home. I did get a postal scale off ebay, too, but the most part, I can tell exactly how much it will be since I've gotten it "down pat" now.

I usually use the little clear baggies (I got the tiny 2" x 2" ones off of ebay, so they're a wee bit smaller than the 2" x 3" ones others usually use.) I use notebook paper since it's thinner than printer paper to write a note and tape the seeds down to so they don't shift and bulk up in one spot, too. I use very limited amounts of tape as it can weigh down the package. Then, I measure it to be sure how thick/thin it is after it's sealed. Without even using the scale now, I know I can send at least 15 (except for heavy bean type seeds) varieties of at least 25 seeds each (maybe a bit less on bigger seeds like squash) for 83 cents. If the outside of bubble envelope is taped over and has numerous labels on it, all that has to be removed or it will weigh significantly more. I do put a small amount of shipping tape on the outside before putting address labels on so the next person can reuse the envelope, but that's it.

Well, I don't think you should be forced to pay more than what is truly due, so if I were you (which I basically am from what I can tell by your posts, except that if I drop them in the outside P.O. box without taking it to a clerk, it isn't returned to me), then I would just mail them from home and hope that it still isn't returned. If you know you're doing it right, then I wouldn't go in to the post office and be overcharged again and again. It's just wrong.


    Bookmark   November 18, 2008 at 3:43AM
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jaleeisa(6b Oklahoma)

Fran, on the guidelines that Sue has and shares, it states that a bubble envelope that is under certain dimensions is a large envelope, not a parcel. That's the fact that I would put right into their faces. Go above the supervisors then, to the Postmaster. We've found that oddly, many PMs aren't aware that their clerks have no clue that a bubblies are large envelopes, not parcels. Many clerks consider anything needing to be hand canceled as a parcel, but according to the stated guidelines posted by the USPS on their public website, that's not the case. I would certainly give meeting with the PM a shot. It really sucks to have to pay more postage than you should. When trading on a regular basis, it makes the fun of trading very, very painful.

Sue, can you provide us with that link again? I'll look for my copy of the guidelines and if I can find them, mail them to Fran, but I'm not sure I have them any more since all three POs near me are on board with the guidelines.


    Bookmark   November 18, 2008 at 8:51AM
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Chemocurl zn5b/6a Indiana(zone 5/6)

First-Class Mail Fact Sheet
What is First-Class Mail Shape-Based Pricing?

Print out and take to your PO and show it to the Post Master.
Highlight for them where is says For padded bags (e.g., ReadyPost® "cushion mailer"), when the thickness is 3/4" or less and the item is flat-size and somewhat flexible, the item should be classified and priced as a large envelope.

If they insist on overcharging you, you are welcome to mail me a bubble envy with the overcharged postage shown on the Postage sticker, and be a part of The sting operation where numerous overcharged envelopes will be boxed and forwarded to the Post Master General. You might even inform your Post Master that the bubble envelope you are mailing me, will be sent unopened to the Post Master General, in a boxed mass mailing as proof that they are overcharging you.
That 'may' get their attention, but may not.

Large Envelope Dimensions
First-Class large envelope dimensions:

Large envelopes exceed any one of the maximum dimensions of a letter.
The maximum size of a large envelope is 12 inches high by 15 inches long by 3/4 inches thick.
Mail pieces that exceed the maximum dimensions for a large envelope are charged parcel prices.

I will maybe add more later after I stop twitching. I have been avoiding this thread, knowing full well I would get the twitches.


    Bookmark   November 18, 2008 at 10:41AM
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west_texas_peg(8a West Cen TX)

Our Postmaster asks the clerk how much to charge...the same clerk who overcharges. We can no longer put any mail over a certain weight in the outside must go to the clerk inside. I can not mail from my mailbox because they just send it back and I have to start over with more stamps.

I had someone this week who did not understand why I wanted 2 stamps for a SASE offer. He said he mailed all the time for just 1 stamp on a bubble envelope and often put 15 or so seed packets in it. Wonder where he lives??

We have one clerk at our post office that charges even more so I often did not get enough postage for the SASE and we have to pay out of our pocket for it. My husband said he is a really smartalec and tells my husband he is wrong about the bubble envelopes.

Seems all parts of our government has slipped into complete ruin the last 8 years.


    Bookmark   November 18, 2008 at 10:47AM
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Chemocurl zn5b/6a Indiana(zone 5/6)

Our Postmaster asks the clerk how much to charge...the same clerk who overcharges.
Peggy, would you mind sending me a BE showing that it was overcharged at your PO that I can include it in the The Sting operation? I have had to extended the date on it for numerous reasons.

Sue...who would welcome anyone sending her 'proof' that they are being overcharged. Let's band together in getting a Big Ole box of proof together for the Post Master General.


    Bookmark   November 18, 2008 at 11:26AM
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went to the post office today and was charged parcel rates for my bubble mailers. i left, but then went back in and handed the clerk the template that was right there on the counter. after careful examination, he agreed that i was correct in believing that i was overcharged. (he thought there was a MINIMUM size for large envelope rates and that my bubbles were too small to qualify, therefore they must be parcels!) lord help me!

    Bookmark   November 21, 2008 at 4:26PM
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Chemocurl zn5b/6a Indiana(zone 5/6)


You are my HERO!

I know you got kind of lucky, in catching a clerk who was open minded, and who would look at and read the template with you, and then give it some additional 'thought', and admitted his previous erroneous thinking. I just wish all clerks and even Post Masters could be so easily instructed and convinced.


    Bookmark   November 21, 2008 at 4:51PM
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I mailed five trades yesterday at the local PO. This time I took several bubble envies that had been sent to me that were current (within the last 3 months) that showed 83 cents in postage. Just in case, I had a printout of Sue's info she posted above, but it wasn't needed, the clerk actually believed me, voided the first parcel charges she'd printed out and charged, me, (gasp!) 83 cents instead of $1.17 for all five trades! If I was taller and bolder, I would have leapt the counter and given her a hug.

Instead, I'll tip my snow cap to Sue...


    Bookmark   November 22, 2008 at 2:12AM
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token28001(zone7b NC)

Sent 4 BE's today. $1.17 each. Only one was thicker than 3/4".

    Bookmark   December 1, 2008 at 11:33AM
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littleonefb(zone 5, MA)

a gentle bump up to the top of the page


    Bookmark   December 9, 2008 at 6:33PM
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I will never go to the P.O. across from my work anymore after what happened last year. Sue probably remembers. The worker there was trying to overcharge me and things got rather loud and I left in a hurry with my envelope before they called the police.
This year all envelopes are being mailed from my local post office. I was there last Saturday and talked with 2 very nice ladies and they were up to date on the current rates for bubble envelopes. I can only go to the post office on Saturdays but at least I know I'm not being overcharged.

    Bookmark   December 11, 2008 at 1:38PM
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playintheyard(zn6 MA)

I just paid 1.17 to send a 4 by 6 bubble envie. I tried to tell the man it is considered a large envelope.He made an attempt to put it thru the little slot, he was holding it at an angle. Oh did I say it was empty besides a little thank you note. I could of fit it thru w/ no problem. There was a customer behind me tisking and scuffing his feet. I finally said the heck w/ it & gave the man the $. I was angry at myself the whole ride home. should of stuck to my guns. As I left I realized I had not even put return postage in it. Now I have to contact the person who offered sasbe offer. I feel like a putz.


    Bookmark   January 14, 2009 at 2:53PM
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today i was told (by a postal worker) that the usps doesn't produce $0.83 stamps anymore because since postage went up there was no such increment anymore!

    Bookmark   January 14, 2009 at 4:09PM
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I sent a bubble mailer to my father in Florida. It was very flat definitely less than 3/4 inch. So I put two stamps on it, and with a sharpie, I wrote "Large Envelope(Flat) Postage Rate" under the stamps. It got there fine.

I've also figured that if you have large card envelopes(I got some at work, not sure what they were from,) you know when you buy over sized greeting cards and the envelope has "extra postage" written where the stamp goes, you can use them. If you make your own bubble/foam protection inside, you can mail them no problem as a large envelope with 2 stamps. It is the regular bubble mailer itself that is throw postal workers off. It looks just like the other big pkgs. People are dumb that way.
Maybe even covering a bubble in paper might work too...

You need to print up the price chart and take it in with you!

    Bookmark   January 14, 2009 at 10:29PM
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sassybutterfly_2008(7 NorthWest GA)

Sue ~ maybe you have experience w/ this one.. I recently mailed a 5x7 envy. Now it was packed fullllllllll, no way gonna go thru the slot...that was ok. The kicker was I wanted to just mail it 'normal'.. but I wanted a DC# on it. I was told there was no way to add a DC# to it unless I instead mailed it either a) priority mail w/ added DC# slip charge or b) Return Receipt (which would give me the tracking feature). Any experience w/ that? I don't see why they couldn't just stick a dang DC slip on there and be done with it!?! Instead I had to pay nearly $6 for priority mail AND 75c for the DC tracking slip (cuz I wasn't sure the person would be able to sign for it).

I've learned that the easist way for me to get my bubble envys out is to mail them from home w/ 2 stamps. Most often I can spread the seed packs out to make it thin. I've only had 2 ret'd for more postage and that was longg ago before I knew the size/width requirements. If I try to mail them at the post office EVERY time we have to go into the arguement of the $1.17 charge.... ughh.


    Bookmark   January 15, 2009 at 12:50PM
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Chemocurl zn5b/6a Indiana(zone 5/6)

I was told there was no way to add a DC# to it unless I instead mailed it either a) priority mail w/ added DC# slip charge or b) Return Receipt
I sure think they are mistaken on that one, but I will have to check for sure.

There is a place where one can go to on-line and it will let you print out postage for First Class Mail, and it will allow a DC along with it.

I can't locate it right now, but maybe someone else can provide it. I'm thinking medontdo uses it.


    Bookmark   January 16, 2009 at 4:31PM
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plant-one-on-me(MI 5b)

I too have tried time and again with the BE's but am told they are parcels. I have taken in the information supplied by Sue to no avail. It has cut down on the number of things I can send since money is tight. Guess I can only send for or trade for things I really, really want. But then again, I really, really don't have much space for anything else LOL. Kim

    Bookmark   January 16, 2009 at 7:19PM
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mnwsgal 4 MN(4)

I go to the PO in my grocery store to mail bubble envelopes. The first time they were correctly stamped with no input from me. Last week a different person there stamped them as a parcel. When I pointed out the mistake she said that she had been told that all bubble envelopes are parcels. When I informed her of the correct requirements she promptly changed the postage and mailed them as a large envelope. Success but one I though would be unnecessary. Guess we have to educate them one by one.

    Bookmark   January 22, 2009 at 4:12AM
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mnwsgal 4 MN(4)

Yesterday and today I tried to mail a BE as a large envelope and was denied at two locations. One said ALL BE are parcels. It fit easily through the template. The BE was uniform throughout the inside portion of the BE. The post master at the P. O. told me that the envelope was not uniform because it was not as thin as the crimped edge. How ridiculuous is that?
One could not even mail an empty BE with a crimped edge unless it was a parcel according to him.

I took copies of the e-mail and postal information but all refused to even look at them. They "know" the regulations. I even had to insist several times just to get to talk to the post master.

So what did I do? I took the BE home and mailed it with stamps and put it in an outside mail collection box.

Don't know how you do it, Sue. I fully understand about the twitching.

    Bookmark   January 28, 2009 at 5:42PM
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Maybe they are overcharging to make up the 2 billion deficit reported last week!!


    Bookmark   January 31, 2009 at 8:55PM
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Chemocurl zn5b/6a Indiana(zone 5/6)

Sue ~ maybe you have experience w/ this one.. I recently mailed a 5x7 envy. Now it was packed fullllllllll, no way gonna go thru the slot...that was ok. The kicker was I wanted to just mail it 'normal'.. but I wanted a DC# on it. I was told there was no way to add a DC# to it unless I instead mailed it either a) priority mail w/ added DC# slip charge or b) Return Receipt (which would give me the tracking feature). Any experience w/ that? I don't see why they couldn't just stick a dang DC slip on there and be done with it!?! Instead I had to pay nearly $6 for priority mail AND 75c for the DC tracking slip (cuz I wasn't sure the person would be able to sign for it).

Sassy/Wendy, I finally checked with me PO. I was told that DC was available for First Class PARCELS, but not on First Class regular envelopes or FC Large Envelopes. It would HAVE to be over 3/4" thick to be able to get the DC.

If you paid nearly $6 for Priority then your envy was well over 13 OZ. In fact, it would have to had been over one LB, so it had to go as Priority since the FC cut off weight is 13 OZ.

Sue....trying to not think about the deficit and the possible dropping of Tuesday mail. It is sure gonna make plant trading a lot harder to assure plants don't sit an extra day somewhere not being delivered.

As someone else pointed out, if they are overcharging this often, just how many times are they undercharging folks when they mail packages. There sure has not been much undercharging on BE, that is for sure, though they do seem to 'miss' postmarking an awful lot of them it seems when stamps are used. I wondered how much 'loss' that accounted for. I wonder if the Postmaster General knows that happens a lot.

I'm for hire if they would like someone to point out some of the many flaws throughout the country.

    Bookmark   January 31, 2009 at 10:01PM
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littleonefb(zone 5, MA)

Oops, lost on page 4.

Time to move to page 1 again


    Bookmark   March 16, 2009 at 4:55PM
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sassybutterfly_2008(7 NorthWest GA)

Hey Sue,
I'm wondering if there's an updated sheet that I can print out w/ the new postage prices on it? I rec'd 4 envys back in the mail today requesting additional postage to equal that $1.17 price! Some were just sasbes and didn't even HAVE anything in it but stamps and a label! I'm really irked.. and I want to print whatever I can out to take to the post office tomorrow to raise cain. Can you point me in the right direction?


    Bookmark   March 19, 2009 at 8:35PM
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littleonefb(zone 5, MA)

Bumping up to the top of the page


    Bookmark   March 26, 2009 at 2:21PM
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grovespirit(Zone 9)

My PO used to charge .83 for a flat BE, but now that they have heard of the postal deficit they are insisting that every single BE needs to be sent package rate, no matter how thin it is. :(

They are also telling us that they cannot put delivery confirmation on BE's, and that to get a DC number the item must be sent Priority.

I bet they are being told to do this to 'plus sell' people into sending via Priority Mail, to help raise money.

    Bookmark   April 3, 2009 at 3:46AM
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sharon5840(z6b Southeast MO)


I am new to Garden Web, just joined 2 weeks ago. So I have been doing a lot of research trying find out the right way to do things. One question I had was about postage on the bubble envelopes. I ran across this post tonight and I had read another one similar a week ago. Sue had told someone to get a copy of the "Shape-Based Pricing Template". After reading the 1st post about it I got one from my post office. And thought I was following it correctly. Most of the BE I have used are 6x9 and they fit thru the 1/4" slot. The template shows these dimensions to be a letter. My BE's also weighed less than 1 oz. When I go to USPS to calculate the postage I verified the dimensions are correct for a letter. And according to the calculation the postage is $.44 for First Class Mail Letter. That is what I put on the BE and mailed it from my house. I have not received anything back. And now after reading this post I am really confused and have a couple of questions. Actually, more than a couple. Would the post office send my BE on to the destination and try to collect the additional postage from them? Where does the additional $.39 come from? Is there info somewhere that says a BE automatically gets an additional $.39? I know most everyone else is being overcharged so I don't want to ask these questions at the post office. But I do want to use the correct postage.


    Bookmark   April 3, 2010 at 12:52AM
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littleonefb(zone 5, MA)

Hi Sharon,

Welcome to GardenWeb and the seed exchange.

First let me say this. The post office seems to like to make life difficult and confusing for the public, but especially those of us that trade seeds and use bubble envelopes.

Having said that, let me try and answer your questions for you.

" Would the post office send my BE on to the destination and try to collect the additional postage from them?"

The answer is, it depends on what the post office decides to do. They can send it back to you, if your return address is on the bubble envelope with a print stamp on it for the additional postage.
Sometimes they actually will cancel the postage stamps that you put on the bubble envelope originally, requiring you to replace those stamps as well as add the additional postage that they claim is due and no doubt is not correct.


They can just send the bubble envelope on, having not seen the error, missed the error and the receiving post office may or may not catch the error. If they see the error, they may add the postage due to the bubble envelope and try to collect it on the other end, They may just ignore it.

I have yet to have anyone actually deliver a bubble envelope to me with postage due on it and actually ring the door bell to get the postage due.

"Where does the additional $.39 come from? Is there info somewhere that says a BE automatically gets an additional $.39?"

I'm not sure where the post office comes up with the $.39 charge. I've gotten them marked on bubble envelopes myself and the amount asked for does not equal what the postage should be.
I have not been able to get an answer to that question myself, either.

It sounds like to me, with your price based pricing template that you are using, you are using the wrong one, the post office gave you the template for regular first class postage and that would be $.44.

Bubble envelopes are first class large envelopes and therefore go with the first class large envelope price and the template pricing is different.

For first class large envelope pricing under 1 0z, the price is always $.88, no matter what the heck the post office says.

The prices listed on this thread, are the old prices. There is a new thread that I started with the correct prices for the bubble envelopes. The link is below.
In the first post on the thread, I posted a link to the USPS website, with the information directly from the site that tells you specifically what the requirements are for bubble envelopes and how they should be posted.

Hope this helps.


Here is a link that might be useful: mailing costs for Bubble Envelopes (BE)

    Bookmark   April 3, 2010 at 10:23PM
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sharon5840(z6b Southeast MO)


I am so amazed that you would be the one to answer my questions. I just sent you a BE and I think I mailed it from home with just one stamp. So when or if you get it will you let me know whether it looks like they questioned the postage? That may not be possible but if you don't get it in a couple of days let me know. Thanks for the location of the updated post. I see that I was reading outdated postal pricing. That's why I couldn't figure it out. I have tried to be aware of the dates on any seed exchanges I read so that I don't post to some one making an offer months ago. My mistake that I didn't catch myself on this one. I'll check out the pricing area on USPS and see what is up with the template I got.

Thanks so much.

    Bookmark   April 4, 2010 at 12:24PM
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littleonefb(zone 5, MA)

Hi Sharon,

Have no fear, your bubblie arrived on Saturday, 2 $.44 postage stamps on it. Will be emailing you later. Mailing the seeds in the morning


    Bookmark   April 4, 2010 at 11:28PM
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phylis(9b CA)

This morning I brought two BEs to my local post office, one BE size #1 7.5" x 11", another size #000 4" x 8", each carries 10 packs of seeds carefully taped down. The postal clerk accepted the large BE with 2 stamps on it without hesitation, but insisted that I paid parcel rate for the 4" x 8" BE. It looks thinner than 3/4", but the small BE couldn't get through the shape based template.

So much to learn.. I received a 4" x 7" BE from a veteran and she fit in 10 packs of seeds, nice and compact, with 2 stamps! I'm going to use this package as my template on how to mail and pack for future trades.

This post was edited by phylis on Sat, Nov 1, 14 at 8:29

    Bookmark   October 28, 2014 at 3:17PM
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leila hamaya(8 nor cal)

i really dislike being overcharged all the time by my post office. i've tried to be polite, moved on to insistant, and now i just have to pay it and shut up. but it really made trading a LOT harder, ANYTHING that i send in a bubbly is automatically charged 2.50. even if i put bubbly in a regular envelope, i am charged 2.50. i live in a super tiny town way out in the middle of nowhere, so i just have one option for mailing and have to pay it to be able to trade with a bubbly.

    Bookmark   December 7, 2014 at 9:38PM
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phylis(9b CA)

Hi leilahamaya,

If you must send via parcel, try Paypal Ship Now you can save $0.50 for each shipment. First Class Parcel - thick envelope rate is $1.93 for up to 3 oz. Tracking is free.

But I would try to reason with the mail clerk by bringing my own Shape-Based Template. I asked at different post offices they wouldn't give it to me for free, it costs $7.99 to buy one on

    Bookmark   December 8, 2014 at 8:03PM
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leila hamaya(8 nor cal)

hmmm i dont know about this paypal ship now???
like i said i live in the middle of nowhere, in the mountains WAY WAY out three hours drive to town of any significant size....theres less than a thousand people who live in this town. anywho the post office basically has a monopoly on mailing and the postal people are weird. they have their own template. when i complained in the beginning, they would sometimes bring out their template and then pretend half assed that they couldnt push it through (it was very flat and they were just being weird.

they also say its anything over 1/4 inch. i thought it was 3/4 inch? matter how thin i make them i am ALWAYS charged 2.50. i sent a bubbly sase, with NO SEEDS in it, and it was 2.50. on the coast where i used to live that was just one dollar to mail.

    Bookmark   December 10, 2014 at 3:06PM
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leila hamaya(8 nor cal)

anyway i have been trying to sort this out, and find all the specifics so i can try again - politely hopefully- to convince the post people they are over charging. i think its possible they have recently changed the post prices? so i have been searching for the current info, they make it (deliberately!) confusing.

the actual price i am charged is something like 2.47, or 2.49. i forget which...i just round it out to about 2.50. and if i do a fat trade with many seeds its 2.47, if i do a small trade in a small thin bubbly, it's 2.47. i feel like the postal lady just has it in her head that all bubblys are 2.47. course she puts it on the scale and all that, but i think she uses a different section than a "flat". yes thats my best guess at this point....for whatever reason she doesnt consider my thin bubblies to be "flats" and is charging me for "parcels"....

    Bookmark   December 10, 2014 at 3:49PM
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leila hamaya(8 nor cal)

another thing is they are sticklers for incoming mail, and they use their (distorted) pricing for INCOMING bubblies. so at least a dozen times now i have gotten trades where i had postage due....sometimes a LOT of postage. even one that had been paid for at the post office...had the official post stamp on it....and then they hold it at the post office and put a postage due on it. the person mailing obviously thought they had the right postage (and they did, it was from a mailing clerk on the other side charging CORRECT postage) and i still get charges a postage due on this side.
then they get all weird with i am somehow horrible for getting mailed something without proper postage....

    Bookmark   December 10, 2014 at 3:55PM
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phylis(9b CA)

Using the Paypal Ship Now you print your own label (stamp), then just leave the packages in your mailbox for the mailman to pick up.

I'm sorry your postal office is being NOT nice. I went to a small post office inside hallmark store, the mail clerk said, "by using a bubbler, you're automatically charged parcel rate!", so I took my mail back and avoid that office FOREVER.

What you're going through is not right. I think you should write to the Post Master in your region to complain (and ask for a free shape based template), like Sue did in the original post.

Good luck and hope for holiday miracle! :)

    Bookmark   December 10, 2014 at 4:25PM
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leila hamaya(8 nor cal)

well anywho, thanks for letting me rant about my going postal over being overcharged! it really sucks and i stopped trading entirely for a while. at the very least i feel i have to do huge trades. because those are the only ones i am charged correct postage for. for a sase or i have done some newbies packages, i have to ask 5 stamps, because that is the cost my post office charges unfairly and innacurately....but it is my actual cost. so i wont offer stuff for sase...or just have to tell people thats my actual cost.

now i am packing up some things and i am ready to go try again to mail stuff and insist they charge correct postage.
i may wimp out (i have already tried to reason with them) and just decide to do my own postage at home. i have a scale. i found the post prices that are current.
i may either print shipping labels from home or just put the required stamps on it and drop in the box outside the PO. actually i have found this works, i have mailed some with two stamps (thin small bubblies) and had that work. but maybe they are just to lazy to turn around and return to sender or whatever....
actually yes, i think this is my answer. use the correct postage, weigh each bubbly and mail from outside the post office. this seems to be the only way i can pay the correct amount. actually printing those offical looking mail shipping labels might be good too....

Here is a link that might be useful: postal prices -flats

This post was edited by leilahamaya on Wed, Dec 10, 14 at 18:23

    Bookmark   December 10, 2014 at 5:29PM
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leila hamaya(8 nor cal)

and i now know for sure it is max 3/4 inch, not 1/4 inch as my postal lady has repeatedly lied to me! it is MIN 1/4 inch, max 3/4 inch.

i dont know if she deliberately lied or thats they what she thinks it is. she is not new or anything, shes the postmaster in this little town. i told her its not 1/4 or less, but 3/4 inch or less and she said no it wasnt. then did the thing where she pulls out the dealio and pretends she cant push it through the 1/4 inch slot. only its not supposed to be 1/4 inch! thats regular mail, one stamp! 3/4 inch is the maximun for "flats". but she has it in her mind its either regular mail or parcel. pretty sure i see it is..she is charging me for parcels and completely ignores "flats".

but i am going to figure out my own postage and just mail from outside the post office. mailing from my house is weird since they only come if theres mail, once a week. like i said this a tiny town...the delivery service isnt every day.

    Bookmark   December 10, 2014 at 5:39PM
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leila hamaya(8 nor cal)

well...last post i promise, but i felt i wanted to write out my solution. if everyone started doing this it might help someone else too...

i am going to weigh each package and then write on it, exactly how much it weighs, also "large envelope/flat" beside the weight, write out the proper postage amount....then put proper postage on it.
so the one i just did it was - 0.687 ounces - large envelope/flat - $0.98. i am going to write that on the envelope.

maybe this seems excessive, but i think its the way to go.
in my opinion it says - yes i really did weight it! and yes i know what the proper postage is! and if they weigh it and see that it is 0.687 ounces, and that i wrote "large envelope/flat" on it, indicates i know this is what it is and what should be charged.

then if they ever give me flack about it (or return to sender)
i will bring in the printed out copy of the postage prices for flats, and am now armed with knowing it is in fact 3/4 inch max.

this seems like it could be so much easier. if anyone is actually going to petition the post office for something i think it should be this- that the post office make a specific category of "small bubbly" and "large bubbly". then the small bubbly price should be the same as what is now ambiguously called "flats" and have a requirement of no thicker than 3/4, plainly stated...and the large bubbly should have the same rate as "parcel" and would be larger than 3/4 inch thick, also very plainly stated.

then even a dim post office worker could get it, a bubble envelope is a bubble envelope and there would be no confusion about what it is. if its smaller than 3/4 inch, it would be a "small bubble envelope" and thicker ones would be "large bubble envelopes". no confusion or weird little fussy rules and extra f**k you charges or whatever else.

and none of their weirdness about something being rigid or bendable or all this other weirdness i had to read through to get the info on this.....

well if only i ruled the world! ha...or well even if i just ruled the post office =)

    Bookmark   December 10, 2014 at 8:14PM
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leila hamaya(8 nor cal)

well i lied i still have more rant!
i did this and my envelopes were returned. only they held them for a week! and then returned it with a note saying this was too thick for a "flat/large envelope" and had to be a parcel price. !
the other weird thing, in some kind of not funny irony, was i also got some seeds i bought, they were in a small thin bubbly, and at "flats/large envelope" postage rate. 1.19 in postage, made it perfectly fine ( as it is the correct, CORRECT postage)...and my envelope which looked almost the same...with the note saying not enough postage even though theres three stamps.

so i went over with the printed out copy of the size requirements for "flats/large envelopes". and she tried again to say anything over 1/4 inch is a parcel, and i said nooooooooo...its 3/4 inch and it says right here, and that they have been overcharging me for quite a long time. she said we havent been overcharging!
and i said yes...this is what i usually mail..."flats/large envelopes" and they are at these prices....and even though these are IN FACT flats/ large always charge me for parcels. and pointed out that if i mailed from the coast or a nearby ish town it would be that rate. i shouldve brought in the other show her...but i didnt realize that until later.

well actually they did eventually agree to mail it. but said well if someone turns it around and returns it for not enough postage its not our fault. i told them i have to weigh ity at home and put the correct postage oin it, as that seems to be the only way not to overcharged. and sometimes even have to factor in how they overcharge me if i want it to make sure it gets there...but thats not fair because if i was somewhere else at a post office they would charge me the correct amount and i wouldnt have to pay more than i am supposed to...

i sort of wished i had brought up how they say theres been not enough postage on some stuff where other people sent it to me...when in fact it was correct postage, but not their (distorted) idea of what "correct" postage is...
but of course i didnt...i suppose i just have to be happy enough that i finally made some headway and now when they see my envelopes they maybe wont return them.
but the person waiting for my side of the trade had to wait an extra week...before they even sent it back to me!

    Bookmark   December 17, 2014 at 3:32PM
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bakemom_gw(z6 Central Ohio)

i use bubble mailers and anticipate the parcel designation. i send out 20+ seed packs at a time to newbies and I would rather see them get there. I provide the bubble mailer and ask for six stamps. i'm guessing the actual price is at least 2.50 with the amount of seeds I send. it's probably closer to $3, so just to be certain. i can't imagine the frustration you traders go through just sending a few packs and trying to figure the system out.

    Bookmark   January 16, 2015 at 3:56PM
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