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WANTED: postage question

Posted by ngraham z6 KY (My Page) on
Wed, Jul 18, 07 at 10:37

Ok, I have a question about the postage rates. I have been told by 2 local post offices that the rate for bubble envelopes is $1.13, & that is what I have been charged. I recently offered seed for sase, had a bunch to go out, to I took them to the post office. I was in a rush so I decided to let the post office stamp them. The clerk there charged .80 & told me that is the correct rate. Of course, I had received more postage for them, so I feel rather bad but I did provide a bubble envelope so they probably aren't out in the long run. But, I still should still have some more to go out. Do you think if I put 2 stamps on each envelope (returning the extra postage of course) & dropped them in the post box, the enevelopes will be delivered? I would hate to just have them returned to me. Hopefully that won't happen with this bunch, but I'm assuming since it is metered they wouldn't return it.


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: WANTED: postage question

Everything I have mailed has cost from 1.13 - 1.31. I am not sure, anybody really knows the correct rate. 2 different post offices here gave me that rate as well. I am receiving packages with less postage though. I know this isn't much help, but I feel that if you are providing the bubble envelopes, and sharing the seeds, I would not mind if you kept the extra postage. Linda


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RE: WANTED: postage question

I did this:
bought a digital scale that I used to weigh my envelopes and ship from home (and to weigh my tomatoes)
and I printed out the USPS rates for first class postage (letter and package). You have to read it carefully because if it's 1 oz. and uneven (as seeds are) you have to add 17 cents because of that.
I've found that even the P.O. gets it wrong and is inconsistent in their calculations.
So far I haven't had anything returned or charged to the person on the other end.


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RE: WANTED: postage question

Nancy,
If one of those packages was mine - I don't mind at all that you keep any extra postage. You did supply the bubble envelope! Thanks,
Penny


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RE: WANTED: postage question

Thanks, at least the postal service seems to be consistently inconsistent :) It is just so confusing. I know I have seen some people requesting .80 for sasbe so maybe they will go through with that. I may try getting a digital scale, I have just a kitchen scale I have weighed boxes to ship, but of course it isn't accurate enough for an envelope. I was planning on offering my last year's seeds for sase, & just hate to ask for $1.13 if .80 will do it. I guess it is not much either way, & most people won't care.


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yes

Penny, yours was one of those & is on its way! Thanks!


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RE: WANTED: postage question

The First Class rates are based on weight so I would put either 2or 3 stamps on to be safe. I just mailed a bubble envelope today and went to the post office website to use their "domestic calculator" (as I have a scale at home). I was surprised the rates have gone up so much. I believe they consider our bubble envelopes irregular, in which case here are your First Class Rates

<1oz........ $0.80
<2oz........ $0.97
<3oz........ $1.14
<4oz........ $1.31
etc.

My small bubble envelope with 8 seed packs in it cost 97cents, if that helps. :)

Here is a link that might be useful: USPS Domestic First Class Rates


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RE: WANTED: postage question

My post office charges a flat 1.30 if it won't go through the machine. It's not just the weight but the thickness is factored in. I argue with them, but it does no good.
Barbie


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RE: WANTED: postage question

$.80 will suffice for bubble envelopes that meet the following criteria
1. Must be less than (maybe equal to) 1 ounce
2. Must be within the 6" by 9" range. Not an eighth more.
3. Must be less than 3/4" thick.


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RE: WANTED: postage question

Nancy,
I hate to sound like an echo, but if one of those was mine, I don't mind at all. The bubble envelope more than makes up for it and I would not mind anyway.
At my P.O. it seems to depend on who is working as to how much they charge. On the other hand, the ones I mail directly from home that I put 80 cents on seem to find their way with no problem.


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RE: WANTED: postage question

Everyone I have sent out has cost me $1.13 no matter how many seed packets are in them. They told me that it made a difference on how much it weighed and the distance it was going. You can't argue with the post office. They're the government, you know. So now I just started sticking 3 stamps on them and mailing them from home. I know I'm overpaying but I don't want to mess with weighing them, multi-denominational stamps, and the chance that they might not have enough postage. I also started sending SASBEs in a legal envelope with the same postage because it was such a waste of bubble envelopes to send one in one. Would love to try the 80 cent thing but I don't want anything going out with postage due. Maybe I could mail it to myself. LOL!


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RE: WANTED: postage question

Dear Proudgm this might help you some when you are sending a SASBE All You do is place the return postage inside the evie and a return address label when it get to the destination then the person recycles your bubble envie and sends it back to you and that way you are only sending a single bubble envie


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RE: WANTED: postage question

I didn't know how they got around the fact that the envelope already had been run through the postage meter. Wouldn't want the mail people getting confused. Oh course, at heart I'm really a blonde (no offense to you blondies)! Or I'm a ditz, airhead, whatever you want to call me! LOL Thanks, seeders_husband. You just saved me $1.13 a whack! It won't be long till I'll be able to save up enought to dye my roots!


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RE: WANTED: postage question

sebastian,
My post office charges a flat 1.30 if it won't go through the machine. It's not just the weight but the thickness is factored in.
They are just plain out and out wrong. I have talked at great length with both of the small local Post Offices. They both told me the same thing, and gave me a printout of the exact dimensions (length, height, thickness) and then the cost per ounce. The printout is dated May 14th 2007. If you will email me your addy, I will mail you a copy. I'd scan and print it here, but my printer is disconnected, I'm on dial-up, and I'm computer challenged to boot. I'd like to know what they say when you come in 'armed' and with proof that what they are charging is just plain wrong. My own PO folks even admitted that a lot of the postal workers across the country were just clueless, and were not charging the right rates. I 'think' if I put too little postage on envelopes mailed from here at home, that the receiving party would likely have a postage 'due' notice on it when it was received. I told them how cheaply 'some' folks were able to mail the bubble envelopes.

proud,
They told me that it made a difference on how much it weighed and the distance it was going.
They are wrong! Distance does not make a bit of difference on first class mail, which is what a plain old letter or bubble envelope that meets the size and weight requirements.
If they are charging $1.13, they are charging First Class 1 OZ PARCEL rate...which is just plain wrong if it is not over 3/4 inch thick. They 'should' be charging $.80 for a 1 OZ bubble envelope!!! Email me your addy if you would like a copy of this printout.

seedmama,
a bubble envelope can be
up to 15 inches in length
up to 12 inches in height
up to 3/4" thick.

Bubble envelopes are classified as 'Large Envelopes (Flats)'
per their official publication printout.

FWIW...this publication they gave me is
PSN:7610-03-000-9257
Notice123, Ratefold, Page20. Effective May 14, 2007 United States Postal Service.

If anyone wants to voice a complaint, they can call1-800-275-8777...per the friendly folks at my PO.

Woohoo! I just search by the PSN # and have provided the link below. It shows the 'official' exact cost and dimensions, per their publication.

As you can see there, it includes the rates for small parcels (under 13OZ) which is great when doing a smaller trade that is not near 16 OZ.

Sue....wired!

Here is a link that might be useful: New First Class mail rates May 14, 2007


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RE: WANTED: postage question

Funny thing, I just went to the post office with another envelope, same guy that has been charging $1.13 charged .80 this time! I think I'm just going to put them in the box from now on with .80


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RE: WANTED: postage question

Chemocurl Did you notice on the large envelopes (flat) portion that it said "Pieces not uniformly thick pay parcel rates." I wonder if that is what they are doing? I just checked my receipt from one the other day and they are charging me for First-Class Parcel for a bubble envelope. I'm taking one over today and your page and asking them what they are doing.


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RE: WANTED: postage question

I'm taking one over today and your page and asking them what they are doing.
You go girl! Please post their reply...and offer to give them a copy of the publication. Either they do not have it, have not read it, did not comprehend, or they have chosen to ignore it! Consistantly overcharging you is probably just easier than finding out what is 'really' the correct rate.

Now, my guess on a big trade or several packs of seeds, the packets could all settle to one end or the other, making it more than 3/4 inch thick. In a case like that, I would distribute, and do some inner packaging to assure it was, and remained under 3/4".

I wonder if someone sent me a package, and it was 'short' on postage, if my PO would catch it and make it 'postage due'. I'll ask them next time.

I'll also ask where postage shortage is discovered...at the sending Po, receiving PO, anywhere in between, or possibly all 3.
I hope postage due problems don't start surfacing as the postal workers get enlightened everywhere (maybe), and bad reviews end up because of it.

Sue


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RE: WANTED: postage question

now look at this that i found and lets see what we can come up with

May-12-2007 19:51
New Postage Rates Begin Monday
Salem-News.com

Mailers will have the opportunity to obtain lower prices if they find ways to configure the mail into shapes that reduce handling costs for the Postal Service.
Salem-News.com


(WASHINGTON, D.C.) - New postage prices and fees go into effect on Monday, including an increase in the price of a First-Class Mail stamp to 41 cents. But not all prices are going up.

Starting Monday, the price to mail a two-ounce First-Class Mail letter (wedding invitations sometimes weigh two ounces) will drop from the current 63 cents to 58 cents.

Under a new pricing strategy, as mailpieces become heavier, the prices do not increase as much.

The charts below list some of the more common new prices and fees.

Selected Prices Effective on Monday:
First-Class Letter (1 oz.) 41
First-Class Letter (2 oz.) 58 (down from 63)
Postcard 26
Priority Mail (1 lb.) $4.60
Priority Mail Flat-Rate Box $8.95
Express Mail (1/2 lb) $16.25
NEW Express Mail (1 lb) $19.50
Express Mail (2 lb) $21.40
Breast Cancer Research semi-postal stamp 55

Extra Services and Fees Effective on Monday:
Certified Mail $2.65
Delivery Confirmation (Priority) 65
Delivery Confirmation (First-Class Mail parcels) 75
Return Receipt (Original Signature) $2.15
Return Receipt (Electronic) 85
Money Orders (up to $500) $1.05

Individual and business mailers can save money beginning Monday by taking advantage of shaped-based pricing; a new pricing system that recognizes the different costs for handling letters, large envelopes and packages.

***Mailers will have the opportunity to obtain lower prices if they find ways to configure the mail into shapes that reduce handling costs for the Postal Service. ***

For example, if the contents of a First Class Mail large envelope are folded and placed in a letter-sized envelope, customers can reduce postage by as much as 39 cents per piece. If the contents of a First-Class Mail package are reconfigured to fit into a large envelope, customers can save 33 cents per piece.

Customers also have the opportunity to save money on future mailings by buying Forever Stamps at the new 41-cent First-Class Mail letter price. The value on these stamps will always be the one-ounce letter price and can be used for any future one-ounce letter mailing without extra postage.

The Forever Stamp, other 41-cent stamps, and one- and two-cent stamps are available at post offices nationwide, online at www.usps.com, and available by telephone at (800) STAMP-24. The 41-cent stamps will also be available at Automated Postal Centers and ATMs nationwide beginning Monday.

In addition to the new domestic rates, changes will take effect Monday for customers sending international mail. USPS has simplified its eight main international products into four: Global Express Guaranteed, Express Mail International, Priority Mail International and First-Class Mail International. New packaging will allow mailers to use the same Priority Mail and Express Mail packaging for shipping within the United States and to other countries.

Additional information on the new prices is available at www.usps.com/prices.


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RE: WANTED: postage question

"Pieces not uniformly thick pay parcel rates."

If they mean "uniformly" and are using a micrometer (measures "hair thicknesses" basicly) to judge this...okay, then my seed packets aren't uniform.

but if we're talking "reasonably uniform" thickness...as in not an "SABSE'd tricycle", then we're uniform. The nature of a bubble envie is that it can't go beyond a certain thickness difference from end to end. Can we actually fit something in there that's 1/4" on one end and swells to 8" on the other end? I think not :)

If ya stuff the envelope full, but relatively flat, the seed baggies just can't move around, or pile up at one end.

Sure, if some big seeds are in there, and the bubble envie isn't that full, they could all stack up at one side, but still, we're talking a very small difference. What does "uniform" mean truly?

If there's a special equation, and a rationale to support it, I'll buy it that our envies don't fit. Until then, it's all argueable.

I propose uniform as (and I'm being really conservative here):
∆t < 0.2L (or 20% L)

Where:
∆ (aka Delta) = "change in"
t = thickness
L = Length

Ha! Use this on 'em.


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RE: postage question

I've changed my mind.

I'm now insisting that, even conservatively, a bubble envelope is uniform when:

∆t < 0.3L

(Yeah, 30% is still waaaay reasonably uniform, and still not a tricycle.)


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RE: WANTED: postage question

Your gonna love this! I took my bubble envelope into the post office along with one that I received in the mail today (same size) that had .80 postage on it. I asked the guy to weigh the one I'm sending and tell me how much it cost. $1.13. So I say, "What's the difference between that one and this one?" and show him the one I received in the mail. He weighs it and says, "Nothing. I'm glad you brought that in you owe us postage." I said, "How can that one be .80 and this one is $1.13?" He said, "That one was run through a postage machine (Ringing a bell?) and not the post office. It has the wrong postage on it." I asked him how come my mailman delivered it if it had postage due. He said the mailman probably didn't check to see if it had the right postage. So I told him okay, whatever, and asked him to explain to me why the bubble envelopes were being priced as parcels. Here is the answer according to the paper (I took in with me) and the one he had which he kept referring to.

1. In order to be considered a flat it must be able to
run through the postage machine. Bubble envelopes are
too big to do that.
2. Bubble envelopes are not uniform in shape or thickness.
(little on the edges, thicker in the middle)

There is another printout on the price changes that my office is passing out to customers. It is a Rate Change - Quick Reference Guide page 2 & 3. It has a section that is entitled, and reads as such...

Nonmachinable Large Envelopes
Large envelopes with the following characteristics are subject to package prices:
1. not flexible (rigid)
2. not rectangular (Squares are rectangular)
3. Not uniform in thickness (1/4" variation in thickness
allowed)

He says that bubble envelopes are not flexible because they won't fit through the machine.
He says that bubble envelopes because of the "bubbles" automatically make it non uniform in thickness. They have a size guide which is a little piece of plastic with a slot cut in it (which is supposed to be 3/4" but looks smaller to me) and they see if the envelope will go through that slot. If not, it is a parcel. None of the small bubble envelopes that I have sent would pass through that slot.

He informed me that the reason other post offices are charging the wrong rates is that they have not either been trained in the rate changes or half-a__ed trained. His words.
Thus they are treated as parcels. They are not considered flats and they can't go letter.
So once again I have proved that you can't argue with the government and win. They are always ready to give you a line of BS to back up their way of thinking. (Hope I don't offend anyone who works for the government.) (Heck I work in education and that's the biggest bunch of BS anywhere.) Anxious to see what anyone else comes up with.


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RE: WANTED: postage question

I'm taking one over today and your page and asking them what they are doing.
proud,
Did you take a copy of the printout with you and show it to them?

They have a size guide which is a little piece of plastic with a slot cut in it (which is supposed to be 3/4" but looks smaller to me) and they see if the envelope will go through that slot.
Get your ruler out. A bubble envy with a few seeds evenly distributed within it has got to be under 3/4 inch. Sheesh...Talk about calling the kettle black, sounds like your Po folks are 'lost'.

He says that bubble envelopes are not flexible because they won't fit through the machine.. Sheesh...you're sending seed packs, not pencils.

Hey...I got an idea...my PO folks know and are following the guidlines according to the link I attached above. I think it would be very interesting to do a 3 way call with me, my PO experts, and someone from your PO. Would you mind posting your PO telly#?...and maybe a name of the person who said. "they have not either been trained in the rate changes or half-a__ed trained."

I think I'll print out what you were told and show it to my locals. Maybe they will do something to set them straight.

Sue...who wants them all to get their act together....


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RE: WANTED: postage question

Well, you go girl! The post office number is 573-431-4906. I don't know the clerk's name but he is an older fellow who used to be in the Navy. The postmaster's name is Steve and I'm not sure he knows what he is talking about either. I talked to him on the phone before I went and he told me that whether or not a bubble envelope qualified as a flat depended on size, shape, and weight. It will be interesting to see what you find out.


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RE: WANTED: postage question

I'm no less frustrated. Now SASBEs are not showing up at times, and I wonder if it is stuck in limbo somewhere for insufficient postage. What do I do, send the seeds on their word, or wait? I don't want to cheat anyone, but can't afford to send out SASBEs for free, either.
Barbie


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RE: WANTED: postage question

So far all of the SASBE's I've sent out since the rate increase have been 80 cents. They were all 1 ounce or under. I take all of them inside at the main post office in Nashville and have them weigh each one.
Jim


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RE: WANTED: postage question

Barbie,
if you're waiting for the person to send the initial SABSE, I'd not send seeds until it arrives. I've seen people here say that up to 50% of those who say they are sending in an SABSE to get a seed offer actually do not ever send. And this was well before the postage rate increases.


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RE: WANTED: postage question

Jim,
Sounds like your Po workers are 'on board'.

Barbie, I agree with kiln...don't send until you receive.

Sue


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RE: WANTED: postage question

chemocurl did you do a 3 way with the post offices yet?


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RE: WANTED: postage question

Update on postage problem. I called the USPS 800 number and the lady told me that my postal clerk was correct in the reasons he gave me for mailing it as a parcel $1.13. But she also told me that I could put .80 on it and mail it from home and as long as the mail carrier didn't say that it needed more postage it would go through. Go figure. So do you send it with .80 hoping that the mail carrier on the other end won't catch it or do you just go ahead and put $1.13 on it? Even the government can't make up its mind.


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RE: WANTED: postage question

Sheesh!

No, I have not done the call. I wanted to go in and show them just what I would be calling to discuss on the 3-way...or maybe even leave the bubble envelopes with them.

Now I'm really confused...my PO folks are confused you say?
Wait until I tell them what the 800# said....maybe I need my PO to do a 3 way with the 800#.

Maybe I need to call the 800# and see if they tell me the same thing as they tolkd you proud.

How on earth have they taken something that worked, and was so simple, and made it so their workers and customers, are all confused, and no one giving the same instructions.

But she also told me that I could put .80 on it and mail it from home and as long as the mail carrier didn't say that it needed more postage it would go through.
So they stated the postage rule, and then told you of a possible way to break it. I'd hate to be on the recieving end and have to pay the postage due...just because of the instructions she gave.

For crying out loud! What is wrong with them?

Sue


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RE: WANTED: postage question

It doen't seem to be getting any simpler does it? I'm so glad I'm not the only one with a crazy PO


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RE: WANTED: postage question

LOL...Maybe I should contact 20/20, Primetime, or one of the other 'news' shows.

They could go live interviewing postal workers working the counter, and then also interview the Post Masters.

I wonder how many would agree on what to charge.

Better yet, get a bunch of them on TV and have them debate just what the correct charges are.

I think right now it is a little known secret among seed traders, that the USPS has taken something that was so simple, and made it so complicated, that no one knows what is really correct.

How can we get the word out?

Sue


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RE: WANTED: postage question

Sue - I think it would be great to get an investigative reporter onto this. Seed traders may be a "sliver" market, but this issue indicates that there is a larger problem with pricing policy, consistancy, and training within a governmental entity that deals directly with the public.

If Walmart was charging different customers different prices...well, the TV would explode.

--Tina


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RE: WANTED: postage question

Well, I took in 2 envys today, and both workers gave me their 'guess' on what they thought they should each be charged. I'll elaborate more later. They agreed that it was a real mess, so very confusing, and neither was convinced that they or the other employee was right. Then I put my 'take' on things. In the end we all just agreed to disagree, since I wasn't actually wanting to mail them, but just brought them in as sample to discuss the matter.

They both agreed though that it would be great to gather a bunch of data...what all the different places charged, and what all the different workers 'said' and then turn it all over to Andy Rooney.

Couldn't Andy really have a field day with it all? He could certainly get the problem some exposure...even if us thousands of seed traders can't.

Sue


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RE: WANTED: postage question

Well, I took 3 in Monday. They each only contained 1 pkg of seeds. I was only charged .80 that day. Same guy. Maybe it has to do with weight. But I can't imagine 2 or 3 pkg of seed putting it over the weight limit.


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RE: WANTED: postage question

I just wrote a letter of complaint about the 200+++ percent increase in postage for padded envelopes. My thought is if their office is flooded with "Hey! That's not fair" letters, they'll open another class of mailing just for padded envelopes and get that rate down to the cost of 2 stamps or lower.

The letters go to:
Mr. James Miller, Chairman
USPS Board of Governors
475 L'Enfant Plaze, SW
Room 10300
Washington DC 20260-1000

No doubt he has an assistant who opens the letters, but I would think the more complaints, the merrier. If you are on other seed exchange websites, please pass this on.

I'm sure they would especially like to hear from anybody who:

In general can state the 200% postage increase is a hardship of some kind.

Is old and/or infirm and looks to this as one of the few hobbies they can do which keeps them connected to the outside world.

Is strapped for cash and needs the seed to grow vegetables for themselves or their family

Grows vegetables or flowers for others - church, scouts, schools, old people homes, hospitals, food banks.

Is altruistic in other ways

Is a Katrina victim or victim of some other local catastrophe, OR donates to causes such as those

I am none of the above, but sent my 2c in anyway.

Lime


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RE: WANTED: postage question

Thanks Lime. I'm in. I will definitely put my 2 cents in and maybe up to a quarter. When I get on a roll I can't shut up! I never could find an address for whoever was in charge. Was it my envelope that put you over the edge? LOL! I sent 5 out yesterday and was charged from $1.13 to $1.98.


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RE: WANTED: postage question

Great idea Lime...Thanks for the info. I will ponder it and come up with something. In my mind, every time a postal worker over charges, (for whatever reason) the USPS is stealing from the customer.

Additionally, one might add, that if they cannot get some simple guidelines out there for their employees and for customers to check on line, that maybe Andy Rooney could get the word out about it that something might be done.

My thoughts are that they are to be
Large envelopes (Flats)
1 OZ-80 cents
2 OZ-97 cents
3 OZ- $1.14...

quite reasonable compared to the parcel rates some have been charged
Package (parcel)
1 OZ-$1.13
2 OZ-$1.30
3 OZ-$1.47

Update on postage problem. I called the USPS 800 number and the lady told me that my postal clerk was correct in the reasons he gave me for mailing it as a parcel $1.13. But she also told me that I could put .80 on it and mail it from home and as long as the mail carrier didn't say that it needed more postage it would go through. Go figure. So do you send it with .80 hoping that the mail carrier on the other end won't catch it or do you just go ahead and put $1.13 on it?
I told the 2 local workers what was said by the 800 number employee. They were shocked at someone telling a customer such a thing.

One of the employees said that flexible (non rigid) meant it was flexible and could go around the curves of a mail machine. I said bubble envelopes were always considered non machinable...thus the additional charge b4. I asked if they now had newmachines that could handle bubble envys. She stopped and thought about it, replied, "No", and we both laughed. Lucky for them it was closing time, so I left b4 they had to ask me to. They certainly agreed things are totally unclear to everyone, and quite a mess.

Sue

Maybe someone would like to start a thread and post their letter to the USPS Board of Governors. They could state if they wanted to allow others to use the same letter, or parts of it, if they so chose to.
Siting examples of who has been charged what and where should help with the case of USPS misinformation.

Anyone want to have an essay (letter) contest? Just kidding...as contests aren't allowed here I've read/heard. We could however pick a favorite, don't you think?

Maybe we should make everyone aware at Winter Sowing (Conversations so it won't slip off page one-Discussions in a day)aware of the letter writing campaign.

Sue


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RE: WANTED: postage question

Sue, this is so totally insane.

Yesterday, I took a test run with 3 envelopes to 4 different post offices in my own town.

took a 4x6 with new price should be $.80
6x9 that should be $.97
6x9 that should be $1.14.

That's based on how things where last year and adding the new price.

Wow, that was an experience. The north wanted to charge the above price. The south wanted the higher price, the west, well I left as they where having a huge arguement over the right price to charge me. The center of town, where I normally go charged the price above.
So I asked them what the hell is going on, depends on where you go as to what the price charge is, and it is happening all over the country.

The answer I got from the postal supervisor was this

"no one really knows what the hell is going on. The top brass don't seem to know their a#s from their elbow as to what these are considered. No one has really said there is a difference in the bubble mailers since the rate change, so they don't see a reason to charge any differently than they have in the past. Someone or some group needs to do something to get the mess straightened out."

So I asked him what happens if they put the postal charge on the bubble envelope and when it arrives at it's destination and that post office feels the wrong postage amount was charged from another post office?

His response was "the receiving end could put on the mailer a postage due charge and collect it from the recipient, if they wanted to."

How's that for knowing what the hell is going on?

Fran


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RE: WANTED: postage question

  • Posted by susanc Z9/Sunset 17 (My Page) on
    Thu, Aug 2, 07 at 18:27

We're not the only ones who are po'ed. There's lots of folks who trade sports cards and dvd's/cd's and sellers on ebay and amazon who are talking about this too. Maybe we should all combine forces.

Here is a link that might be useful: Other confused people seeing red


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RE: WANTED: postage question

I think we should choose some good posts. Ask those people for permission to use them. Then have someone write a good letter asking Mr. James Miller, Chairman of the Board of Governers just what the hell is going on! I'm tired of seeing governmental, bureacratical incompetence.


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RE: WANTED: postage question

I copied this from another forum...thanks susanc for the Google link.

Today I mailed a 6x9 bubble envelope containing 4 DVDs to TN. It was 3oz and classified as a large envelope. Cost for postage: $1.14
So at his PO 4 cds are a 'Flat'...yet several seed packs aren't a flat? And...his cds are flexible? and some seeds are considered a package?

The south wanted the higher price, the west, well I left as they where having a huge argument over the right price to charge me.
LMAO!


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RE: WANTED: postage question

My letter is going out in today's mail.


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RE: WANTED: postage question

I hope that when I start offering SASBE's in the next few months that all of this mess will be straightened out. It should only cost .80 cents to mail a bubble envelope if it weighs 1 ounce or less. It is considered a large envelope.
So far I haven't had any trouble.
Jim


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RE: WANTED: postage question

My PO finally seems to have it straight (although, I haven't had that clerk recently). I took 4 packages to be checked or metered. It varied from 58 cents to $1.30. Now, what do I tell the SASBEers to send for postage?
Barbie


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RE: WANTED: postage question

sebastain,

Im my opinion, the 58 cent charge for a bubble envy was wrong, as they are more then 1/4 inch thick b4 'anything' is placed in them.

I think what I would be is have them send
80 for a 1 OZ
97 for a 2 OZ
1.14 for a 3 OZ

OR
if it a bigger seed offering (several packs that could throw the envy over 3/4 inch thick, request
1 OZ 1.13
2 OZ 1.30
3 OZ 1.47

and if you take them in, and there is any overage paid, just insert the appropriate refund back in the envy in the form of stamps.

A pain I know, but until the USPS gets it 'right' everywhere, it might be the only safe way to guarantee not having to pay out of your own pocket, or to overcharge members....though it would most likely be just a small amount.

Do you have a digital scale that you 'know' what each will weigh b4 taking to the PO? They are quite cheap on ebay, and it has saved me a bundle with plant trades. One package went over the 2 LB by .2 OZ and would have been an additional $3!. I did a little repackaging, cut the box down just a bit, and 'lost' the extra .2OZ, for a savings of $3. Other times I can put in extras to go ahead and round it up to the next pound.


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RE: WANTED: postage question

So far 80 cents - 2 stamps has always worked for me.
(Just in case) I always throw in an extra stamp and
give it as a little gift for the trader.

Sometimes when you shine a spotlight on it, it can go the other way, too, and backfire.


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RE: WANTED: postage question

Sebastian's 58 cents is not unrealistic IMHO.

The issue of same thickness end-to-end is being misused too, because (their example) a key can be sent first class with 17-cent nonmachinable charge, and you can bet it's not the same thickness end to end!

I went through some dances at my PO (I know two of the clerks there) when I started to trade this year, and was baffled why a thin bubble envie with poppy-seed sized seeds would cost 1.31 to send. I challenged this the next time, because I had in the meantime received a bubble envie with more seeds and less postage. We looked at her new guidelines which all the clerks agreed they didn't understand because they are hellaciously complicated, and learned that, among other things, if the envie was plastic-wrapped (i.e. with clear tape according to one of my clerk friends) it could go as first class with a 17-cent non-machinable extra charge. I do tape well, so my envie was meter-stamped this amount, and off it went to the next state over, and that person has received her seeds with no postage due.

However, I received from that same trade partner the same size bubble envie with agreed-upon less seeds stamped with two first-class stamps probably mailed from home, and a notice from the PO that I owe 31 more cents. I called the 800 number who were sympathetic but totally unhelpful ("You could go to the main post office and talk to them about it"... that would sort of cost more than 31 cents in gas, my friend...). I wrote a quick note to my mail carrier explaining the discrepancy and asking who I should ask to contest it, but she drove off before I heard her and could talk with her. Maybe I can catch up with her next time.

Who makes these determinations that postage is due? If it's not my mail carrier, I don't want her footing the bill because we get along just fine...


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RE: WANTED: postage question

I debated on whether or not to post this because it only goes to show that the PO is very good at BS. In other words I got no sensible response. But here goes. This is the letter that I received when I wrote to the gentleman that Lime gave the address for.

Dear Mrs. Banks:

This is in response to your correspondence to James Miller, USPS Board of Governors dated August 3, 2007. The office of the Board of Govenors forwarded your concern to my office, as revisions to the Domestic Mail Manual (DMM), including those surrounding changes in rates, fall within the responsibilities of Mailing Standards.

Your inquiry expresses concern over the general increase in rates of certain mailpieces resulting from our new "shaped based" pricing structure. Specifically, you refer to an increase in postage fees for flower and vegetable seeds enclosed in padded mailing bags or bubble wrap envelopes. In addition, you relate that there is confusion among customers and Postal employees regarding the application of the new standards.

Through the implementation of our shape based pricing structure, the United States Postal Service is assigning postage rates that relate directly to our expenses in processing, transporting and delivering each item accepted. As a result, many items that can be worked through automated processes have experienced only minimal rate increases and, in some cases have actually had their rates decrease. Others which must be worked manually have experienced a greater increase in rates.

There is typically a short period following any significant change in mailing standards where our employees are still becoming acquainted with some elements of the change. However, most employees should be familiar with the majority of the new structure by now. I suggest that you direct any future questions to the Postmaster at your local Post Office who can assist you with your mailing needs.

Our new pricing structure provides significant price incentives for those who can modify their mailpieces to move easily through our processing environment. It may be possible for you to also realize savings by packaging your seeds to meet the characteristics of a letter or flat-shaped mailpiece.

It may provide clarity by looking at the individual characteristics of any prospective mailpiece to determine if it first fits into the letter category, which must be between 5 and 11 1/2 inches in length, between 3 1/2 and 6 1/8 in height, and between .007 inch and 1/4 inch in thickness. The address must read parallel to the length and can not be rigid. If your item can not meet these characteristics, you would then see if it meets those of a flat-sized piece and finally a parcel.

I would suggest that you visit our Postal Explorer Website at http://pe.usps.com for a complete list of the elements that characterize each of the categories of mailable items. Also, for your convenience, I am enclosing a First-Class Mail template to assist you in this process.

I am pleased to be able to provide you with this information. Please contact Kevin Gunther of my staff at 202-266-7208 if you have any questions.

Sincerely,

Sharon Daniel
Manager

P&C:MS:WKGunter:PhyicalStandards:dmm101:873212


Okay. Let's look at this letter in detail.

Paragraph 1: S#*% rolls down hill. Mr. Miller delegated one of his underdogs to handle the situation.

Paragraph 2: Addresses my concern and clarifies my complaint.

Paragraph 3: Gives me the sob story of how much more it is costing the USPS to operate and why that cost is past down to me, the customer. Well, my heart bleeds for them.
Going to automated processes cuts down on the need for human beings to do the job. This increases unemployment so that the USPS can make a bigger profit.

Paragraph 4: Basically tells me that they need to revamp the way they train their employees on new changes. Obviously it wasn't done to 100% mastery or we wouldn't be having this problem. Having me direct any future inquiries to the Postmaster at my local Post Office is again letting the S#&% roll down hill. Let someone else deal with it. Besides I did talk to him and he made no more sense than the rest of them.

Paragraph #5: Tells me that I need to change what I do for the convenience of the government. If I make my packages look like everyone else's I can realize savings. So, when are they going to start expecting people to look like everyone else? When will they expect us all to move easily through our environment without having to bother with differences that slow up the process? When will they expect us to all go to the same church? When will disabilities become unacceptable? Laugh if you will, but discrimination of anything has always started with but one small step that is accepted by the majority.

Paragraph 6: I have a masters degree in educational administration (so I know BS is when I hear it) and that little bit of important, number filled, non-defining information did not clarify one single thing about my complaint. Dazzle them with BS and they will forget what they wanted to know.

Paragraph 7: The website that was listed does nothing to address the real issue of the complaint. It is the same thing we are being told at the post office and in this letter. Basically nothing. And I wish I had enough First-Class Mail templates to share with you all. No home should be without one.

Paragraph 8: She is pleased to provide me with useless information. And once again she rolls the S#@% further downhill.

There you have it, know you know. The confusion of the difference in mail rates has been made crystal clear. There has never been a problem with it at all. It's us. We're the problem. D@#% non-conforming postal patrons.


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RE: WANTED: postage question

LOL, Becky :) I received nearly the exact same letter. I *did* however decide to go against my local Post Officessssss and am using the large envelope postage, instead of a package, which for things under 1 oz is 80c. The envelope must:

1. Have a thickness between 1/4-3/4" (almost all bubble envies fit this)

2. The address has to be readable from the long side (parallel to the long side). (how you'd normally do it with a standard envelope)

3. Must be rectangular and smaller than 15" long x 12" high

4. Must be flexible

5. Must be uniform in thickness. Seeds are ok, but a castor to a chair or bottle of aspirin isn't.

6. Have an aspect ratio of less than 1.3 or more than 2.5. blah blah blah. They describe this as length divided by height. I am pretty sure a standard bubble envie purchased from the store will be fine, but you may have trouble with envelopes you cut down to save money.

Here is the rundown for the first few ounces:
under 1 oz 80c
under 2 oz 0.97
under 3 oz 1.14
under 4 oz 1.31

Lime


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RE: WANTED: postage question

Thanks for the above info, Lime and Proud. Lime, the envelope I got from my trader fit the bill for 80-cents by your standards and my PO wants to charge 1.34 - don't ask me why. My trader put on two 41-cent stamps and PO says I owe 31 more cents.

I got a little bit more from the mail carrier du jour who got the note I left for my regular mail carrier (who just went on 2-week vacation so she doesn't know I'm contesting the charge yet).

1) The mail carrier does not make the postage due decision.
2) If you get a postage due envelope, the mail carrier probably paid it from his/her own pocket...
3) I'm probably going to have to talk to one of the postmasters about this anyway. >:-\ I'm saving the envelope and contents as evidence, but not bringing any of the ones I've received for lower postage in case they decide I owe them for those as well (as I see others have been decided).
4) Mail carrier du jour agrees it's a mess. But he was very nice about it.

I'll be at my closest branch before my regular carrier comes back, to drop off a swap package (now *that* will be a package, not an envie) so will be asking about the envelope then and see what they say at that time.


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RE: WANTED: postage question

I was recently at my local PO, and the worker there was so happy to see me come in, as I have had so many questions and we have discussed things at great length.

She happily showed me a new glossy stiff template that had been mailed to them. It was dated (probably printed) in Jan 07, but they just got it. It covered every thing that was less than a parcel...and even had a slot on it 3/4 inch wide for them to test if it was under the 3/4 inch requirement.
She gave me the form #, which I have since misplaced, but I will get it again, and post it here. Possibly the templates are even available to the general public. It really made things a lot cleared for them and me to see that most bubble envys would indeed pass as large envelopes.

Large envelopes (Flats)
1 OZ-80 cents
2 OZ-97 cents
3 OZ- $1.14...

Maybe once I get the template number, we could all call the number and request a free one...so we can take them to the PO with seed trades, and 'train' the workers on what they should be charging and why.

Sue


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RE: WANTED: postage question

That sounds good to me. At least lately I haven't been having problems with my post office. Of course, who knows what is happening on the other end of my trades?


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RE: WANTED: postage question

Of course, who knows what is happening on the other end of my trades?

Yeah...that's the scary part. Who knows just how much postage anyone anywhere is saying is owed "in error" on the receiving end due to not having a clue as to what is really right. I sure feel sorry for the carriers who might just eat it, rather than take the time to collect what someone somewhere thinks is 'owed'. I wonder if it has to be paid out of their own pockets...a good question for my wonderful friendly folks at 'the local window'.

Sue


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RE: WANTED: postage question

Just wanted everyone to know that I am experimenting with mail rates. I have been sending out small trades with 2 stamps. I'm not taking anything to the post office anymore. I receive trades with 2 stamps all the time and sometimes even with 1. So, if you get a trade from me with postage due, let me know and I will make it right. I am sick and tired of the post office not being able to get it right.


 o
RE: WANTED: postage question

I went to the post office today and they were now adamant that the little #000 bubble envie I received from one state over with two small seed packets (added no weight or thickness to the envelope) should indeed have been $1.34 because it is more than 1/4 inch thick.

I looked on their own website when I got home, and did their Calculate Domestic Postage and they are wrong, wrong, wrong. I will be printing off their page of definitions that calls it a large envelope if between 1/4 and 3/4 inches... it is a large envelope and should be 80 cents. Will take it on my next trip, to send the package for the next big swap I'm doing.

Either way, the post office sure mucked things up and it's a fine way of biting the hand that feeds them.... I'm not so inclined to do as many small trades as I had been I think.


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RE: WANTED: postage question

They're lost. You might ask them if they recently received in a hard glossy template with a 3/4 inch slot.(see my post from Sept 2nd) Seems they are clueless about the bubble envys that are up to 3/4 inch. I still need to get the document number of the template and post it so we can see if we the public can order them...since the some POs don't have/use them.

Sue


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RE: WANTED: postage question

They have a template, they keep waving it around, and I see it has two slots on it and a lot of text but they keep referencing the 1/4 inch slot as Gospel. I was having a Topamax moment when I was up there and couldn't remember why I knew in my gut they were wrong, but that's the problem - they only seem to know standard letter size up to 1/4 inch thick, and over that qualifies as package. They do not seem to know or remember about large letter size. I am hoping their postmaster has internet access so I can point him to their national website where I am getting my information. e_e

a la Arnold... I'll be back....

lol


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RE: WANTED: postage question

My DH mailed some envelopes for me last week and everyone of them was $1.13, did not matter where it went or how many seeds were in the envelope.

When all this started in May they were charging us $1.20.

I sent some tomato seeds last week in a note card with a thin sheet of bubble wrap. DH said postal clerk kept feeling of it but in the end let it go for 41cents.

Peggy


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RE: WANTED: postage question

This discussion has been really good for me ,I learned alot and had a lot of questions answered.My first 2 trades were mailed through mail box,those ladies received theirs in a few days.The next 2 trades were mailed from post office with all their new rules and it's been over a week and still no word of theirs(I emailed one of them yesterday and she still hadn't received!I am going to email the other to see if she got hers!I just started trading seeds and I don't want anyone to think I am dishonest!)So basicly I paid more for some added stress!!Well Thank you for the info!


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RE: WANTED: postage question

My local PO has finally *gotten* it... :-D

Reminded myself why it should only be 80 cents to mail a bubble envelope with a few seeds in it, and took a few things up to the local branch prepared to do battle with the postmaster... only there is no PM to battle with, all the decisions are made by the clerks as a whole (ah-ha moment). Showed them my two thin bubble envelopes and asked shouldn't they qualify as an 80-cent large letter charge? My clerk said, yep on one and no on the other - that one should be 41 cents plus 17 cents nonmachinable because it was just a shade thinner - no templates brought out, mind you! Just eyeballing it. But at least they know there's a charge between 41 cents and $1.31!

They noted that a memo had just come out recently that clarified things a bit, but that it was still so messed up from what they knew before that it was going to take a while.

That being cleared up, what would your policy be regarding accepting "postage due" seeds? I told my mail carrier to refuse any rather than cover it for me again and make me fight the unfair charge, but now I'm not so sure. Do you pay and then ask the sender to send more, or just forget about it?


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RE: WANTED: postage question

Anyone see this?~Angie

Here is a link that might be useful: Mailing Standards of the USPS


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RE: WANTED: postage question

To those who are still having problems I'd suggest you email them and complain, and ask to be reimbursed for the overpayment due to their workers not doing their jobs correctly. Only when they have gotten enough complaints will they do something to correct the situation. They may have to send you, the customer, documentation to show your postal worker....so they can get it right.

If you email them there is a field that must be chosen. I chose 'technical inquiry'...since technically a lot of the clerks across the country are confused it seems.

Sue

Here is a link that might be useful: email United States Postal Service


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RE: WANTED: postage question

Sue, I will be emailing.... and HOW! I went to send 4 little packets of seeds in a #000 bubble mailer today at the same PO I was so proud of just a couple of posts above, and a (male) jerk/clerk insisted (impolitely, as though I were a dolt sent there specifically to make his day rough) that the fact that it was under 3/4" and the thickness was evenly distributed had nothing to do with it, that since it didn't fit through the automatic rollers as it wasn't flat then it was NOT a large envelope - he even slid it through their 3/4" template at my request... I wonder what *they* use the template for??? I appealed to the clerk next to him who in the recent past has even sent these for 58 cents, and she took it back and asked all the clerks present ("No manager here today") who all agreed (with jerk present, and he has a lot of time put in there so I think he holds a lot of sway) that it was a small parcel.

Turns out that the clerk who had rec'd the memo I mentioned in the previous post was someone who worked in another PO and was only in this PO temporarily. I guess they have to import the smart ones when the dopey ones go on vacation. What a letdown.

So I took my envelope out to the machine, bought 80 cents of postage (plus a 41 cent stamp since the minimum is $1.00 to use the machine), and took the envelope to the main post office about 5 miles away. I advised my trade partner to let me know if/when it gets there and to let me know if there's postage due.

I hope it gets there and I can go rub jerk/clerk's nose in it. I don't understand why this is so hard to understand. I wish I had the memos the clerks are given so I could have some empathy.


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Postal experiment results

Angie and I completed our shipping experiment this week. The results were very interesting and support the supposition that it is the "bubble" thing that scares all the postal workers. I can just imagine some mid-level bureaucrat who is asked to provide guidance about the new postal regulations issuing some lame memo that for the sake of avoiding confusion, just consider all bubble envelopes as packages.
This is what we did. I sent her two envelopes. One was a bubble envelope containing one packet of seeds with 2 first class stamps. I sent another bubble envelope concealed inside a plain manila envelope which contained the same kind and number of seeds in the same size packet using one first class stamp. Both envelopes traveled at the same speed directly to Angie, no holdups, no postage due. The lesson for me is this: recycle those plain manila envelopes just like I do the bubble ones and if I am mailing just one or two packets of seeds use the two envelope method. If one ever comes up postage due, I will happily make it right.
Alana


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RE: WANTED: postage question

And another!


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