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A new way to mail envies for just 42 cents?

Posted by angelady 7 - TX (My Page) on
Thu, Sep 11, 08 at 14:53

Okay, I figure if anyone would know it's you guys/gals. I sure hope others are willing to do some testing along with me on this one.

I was replying to a SASE offer and noticed something on the person's want list that I had, so I was really busy throwing things around trying to find something to cushion the seed packet with that wouldn't throw me into a large envelope and/or over 1/4 inch thickness.

Weeeeeell...... guess what I finally landed on? AND, I think it really will work for smaller trades all the time...

Easter Grass!!!!!

It kept it under 1/4 inch, but gave plenty of padding to the seed envelope I put in the regular sized envelope.

All I did was I put my homemade seed packet on top of the piece of paper that I wrote the note on to the person who made the offer. I put some of the easter grass behind and along the sides of the packet and then on top of the packet. It was uniformly even and I folded the top of the note down over it and the bottom of the note up over it and placed it inside the outgoing envelope that was already addressed. I measured it to be sure, and yes, it was under 1/4 of an inch!

I may be overly excited at this finding, so what are your thoughts? Do you think this really could work as a long term, viable solution for smaller trades only costing 42 cents? The easter grass only cost me a buck at the dollar store and there's enough here for about 100 envies I could send out! LOL

If anyone wants to exchange one or two packets of seeds to test this out, please reply here and let's see what we can do! I definitely want to be sure it isn't causing anyone "postage due" or anything like that, so the more of us that test this, the better, especially those that have had problems in the past (unlike myself). Any volunteers?

Blessings,
Angela


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: A new way to mail envies for just 42 cents?

In short: Please don't try this.

Why not you may ask- so here's the long winded reason why not.

I've received seeds sent with this method. I very much advise against it!! It could save costs of whoever does the mailing, but it also causes loss of seeds to the recipient. :(

Over the years I have occasionally gotten seeds sent in regular envelopes, padded with (various of the following creative paddings):
Toilet paper/kleenex, Easter grass, cotton balls, scraps of cloth, polyester fluff, dryer lint, cattail fluff, cottonwood tree fluff, paper (shredded or folded), cardboard, sponge, and various spongy/cushiony plastics. And other stuff too I'm sure.

Sadly, seeds sent this way almost always get crushed between the PO's mail processing rollers. I'd say 90% of the time they arrive crushed, and wind up being totally useless to whoever receives them. :(

An exception: Flat, thin seeds like eggplant, tomato, and pepper usually make it through the rollers OK-but not always.

I got some crushed seeds in the mail today, in fact, because someone packed 'em in a regular envelope, cushioned without bubble wrap. Might be good for the sender's budget, but I am not amused at getting a packet of crushed seeds I can't use.

Please, please stick to seed mailing methods that are tried and true; bubble mailers (new or reused), readyPost padded mailers, or a combo of regular envelope and bubble wrap.


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RE: A new way to mail envies for just 42 cents?

Thanks, grovespirit. I am certainly disappointed, but totally appreciate your input. I know it's not always popular to say how you feel or to be bold enough to tell the truth, so I thought I'd write and let you know that, in my case, it is appreciated. It does surprise me as when I was hand-testing the envelope, it felt just like it was in bubble wrap.

I may go ahead and send myself some seeds and do my own test. (Do you know which ones would be the best to test?) I want to see what I think when I get them that way. It's not that I don't believe you, it's just that I want more opinions. If the overall take is that this doesn't work, then I'm willing to fold and forget about it. I certainly don't want to be sending out crushed seeds. Maybe I just think I'm doing a better job of protecting them than someone who's not as detailed as I am? LOL Also, maybe they sent you several packets at once, too? I can totally see this wouldn't work if you're sending several things at once. I bet the maximum is 2 packets or maybe 3 if they're really small packets.

Anyone else received seeds that were crushed using some kind of unusual padding? Please, post and let me know. (It's just an experiment as I AM sending out bubble envelopes on all my trades right now.) ;-) I guess I'm just the really curious type.... Well, and cheap, too (but not at the cost of sending unusable seeds).

~Angela


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RE: A new way to mail envies for just 42 cents?

ive had seeds mailed to me in the white letter envys with bubble wrap n they were just fine.:)


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RE: A new way to mail envies for just 42 cents?

I've had both happen to me.

I've had seeds mailed in toilet paper, paper towels, bubble wrap - all in regular business envies. I've even had them mail in a business envy wrapped in NOTHING (can you tell that trade really ticked me off!?!?). I've had seeds arrive okay and not okay.

Needless to say, I do not trade with anyone that will not use a bubble envy. It's a persons choice to mail without a BE, but it's also a persons choice to not trade with someone that doesn't use BE's. I make it very clear that I don't trade with people that don't use BE's and I will post negative feedback if I receive one - whether the seeds are damaged or not.

I'm just letting you know my opinion because you might encounter others that feel the same way whether you are successful in this mailing method or not.

Happy trading!
Diana


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RE: A new way to mail envies for just 42 cents?

ollierose ya got me wondering now lol how would you rate me if i sent you a letter envy? i cut a bubble envy to fit inside a letter envy, gose as a large envy [2stamps] because the 1/4 thickness. wondering if you would think of it as a letter envy or bubble? as its both.


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RE: A new way to mail envies for just 42 cents?

I have had seeds arrived both safely and crushed...Question from me is, if the seeds arrived crushed is the trader willing to back them up and send more? Nine times out of ten they don't have anymore seeds so you are out your end of the trade. If they are willing, where was the savings? Now they are sending more seeds and just doubled the postage!!!

I have been trading seeds along time both here and at another site, you can send a small bubble envelope packed with lots of seeds for 53 cents, are crushed seeds worth the eleven cent savings? Not for me it isn't...

Ronnie


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RE: A new way to mail envies for just 42 cents?

Hey Chrizty,

I'd be okay with that since the bubble envy would protect the seeds.

Mind if I inquire as to why you do that? Wouldn't it just be easier to use the bubble envy?


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RE: A new way to mail envies for just 42 cents?

i have one of those overcharging post offices that charge me parcel rates for all bubble envys. i dont mind when trading. but once when i ran out n only had 2 stamps left i used a letter envy.with a bubble inside,
[now heres the tricky part] when a letter envy is over the 1/4 thick its nolonger classified as a letter but a large envolope [flat] so it gose through the mail same as a bubble envy mailed as a large envolope [flat]


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RE: A new way to mail envies for just 42 cents?

here's the thing, some people use them, and they are going to regardless, for angela and i, we'd like to find a better way of cushioning them and going by size up even if its just for my knowledge i still would love to do this, whoever recieves the seeds a few at a time, can have them. well the thing is, we can find out what works and what don't. you can have the info or don't. its up to you. i don't think it makes you a bad trader to use the white envi's if your going to back up your product. but i do think it makes you a bad trader if you send something and there's no cushioning there, toilette paper doesn't work we all know that. some seeds i know can go in the envi's such as nicotiana, i sent datura's, i hear some got crushed, i was a little worried, but i sent them in a very good cushioning thing i thought. i also sent alot though. the recipient said that's what did it. so i'd like to see alot of different aspects of doing things because of how they are charging all of us. it surely can't hurt, i know alot of people are afraid of change. ie. Me!!! LOL but hey!! LOL
**big grinn** i'm also in for some fun too!! anyone want to join in on some finding out fun?? come on guys/gals


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RE: A new way to mail envies for just 42 cents?

I think 'some' seeds will travel just find in a regular envy. Tomato seeds being one of them. If in doubt, one should always use a bubblie, or get clearance with the member they are trading with.

I received in a trade this week, in a regular envy, no padding, and the seeds were so small, I asked another member just what they looked like. Seems they made it just fine, as I'm sure the sender knew they would.

I'm still hearing from members here on the board about being overcharged...sometimes 20 cents non machinable charge, which makes NO sense to me, or they are having to pay parcel rates.

I invite all who are still having problems, to be part of a sting operation and a mass mailing of numerous incorrectly charged envies being mailed to the Postmaster General in a box. Please see Bubble Envelopes-are you being charged correctly? for the details of sending me an envy as proof that your PO is overcharging. I am disappointed there seems to be so few willing to participate in trying to get the nationwide problem solved once and for all on a national level.

well the thing is, we can find out what works and what don't.
What works one time will not work the next, if you are referring to postage. A regular envy stuffed with anything that is over 1/4 will have additional charges anyway...It may not have the additional charges everytime, but it will part of the time. The USPS is not consistent in what they charge as we all well know. It could be returned to sender, or the receiving party 'could' have postage due. It might even accidentally get put in with the 'regular' letters that are under 1/4" and 'could' be destroyed.

i have one of those overcharging post offices that charge me parcel rates for all bubble envys. i dont mind when trading. but once when i ran out n only had 2 stamps left i used a letter envy.with a bubble inside,
[now heres the tricky part] when a letter envy is over the 1/4 thick its nolonger classified as a letter but a large envolope [flat] so it gose through the mail same as a bubble envy mailed as a large envolope [flat]

Ah-HAH!...so you are saying that if you put a part of the bubble envelope inside of a regular letter, they will then charge for a 'flat' (sometimes referred to Large Envelope) as opposed to charging for a parcel? Right?

If that is the case, then it is the 'thought in their head' that bubble envelopes are all Parcels, that is 'throwing' them. If they can't see the BE, they don't charge parcel...just instead revert to the correct Flat' rate. Great!...but pathetic on their part.


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RE: A new way to mail envies for just 42 cents?

"well the thing is, we can find out what works and what don't."

Sure, but why re-invent the wheel??

We have old-time traders here like myself who have experienced hundreds and hundreds of seed trades, including several seed trades with Easter grass.

And my experience has shown, that seeds cushioned in a regular env. without the use of bubble wrap (using Easter grass, or various other creative cushionings) will almost always get crushed. Unless they are thin/flat like tomato, lettuce, pepper, eggplant.

Tiny seeds aren't necessarily safe either. Those have gotten crushed en route to me due to no bubble wrap, too. I've gotten poppies, monarda, stock, brassicas, snapdragons... all sent with "creative cushionings", all damaged.

And one seed trader with a popular garden blog even had the nerve to block me from her email *and* her blog, just because I asked her to please replace the crushed seeds I got. Probably the rudest trader I ever dealt with (except for the no-shows who never send at all). Grrr!! Can you tell this subject gets me riled up...LOL.

This experience (crushed seeds) isn't unique to the time I've lived in Hawaii either. The seeds got crushed when I lived in CA and TX too.

I just don't see the point in re-doing an experiment that has already been done.

But I guess if y'all want to re-do this experiment and see how the seeds fare, it's your choice. Just please make sure in advance, that the recipient doesn't mind having their seeds sent that way!

I don't like to trade with people who don't use bubblies, either. But a partial bubbly cut up and put into a reg. envelope is OK with me.


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RE: A new way to mail envies for just 42 cents?

i hope i sent yours w a bubbly. some of mine went out this week in a reg. with a cushioned, but they were tiny seeds. nicotiana and such. yes, angela and i want to try this with each other and count them and see how many turn up right and keep track and such which cushioning works, the way we figure it is, we know there are lots of newbies that are gonna do this anyhow, at least the right info will be here for them, then when the recipient gets their seeds they won't be like me, someone sent me morning glories last summer, no padding, one with toilette paper, as if!! all crushed, one sent me some hyacinthe beans all crushed, toilette paper was the cushioning, see at least now we'll have some sort of info for everyone.
someone just got a trade from me with postage due, it was weighed and measured, no way was it postage due!! that just ticks me off!! ~Medo


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RE: A new way to mail envies for just 42 cents?

Quote from angelady:
"I may go ahead and send myself some seeds and do my own test. (Do you know which ones would be the best to test?) I want to see what I think when I get them that way."

FYI, I have already tried that experiment. The seeds I mailed to myself in Easter grass were fine. However, sending seeds to oneself isn't a valid test of how the seeds will fare when you do an actual trade.

This is because local mail (including mail sent to oneself,) doesn't go through the rollers at the PO that are responsible for crushing seeds.

So, any seeds I have sent in Easter grass (or other creative cushionings) to another state wound up mangled! :(

angelady said:
"It does surprise me as when I was hand-testing the envelope, it felt just like it was in bubble wrap."

Right, I thought the same thing before I tested it. But a hand does not press down anywhere near as hard as the mechanical letter-processing rollers in the PO do.

Easter grass squishes down flat very easily when mail goes through these high-pressure rollers, unlike bubble wrap which offers squishing-resistance to the rollers, and protects the seeds well.

But I have heard (from my local PO manager!) that occasionally, a regular envelope containing bubble wrap or containing a slice of a BE will jam in the PO rollers. The resulting jam and lost productivity of course wastes tax dollars, upsets the postal workers, and may result in a damaged or lost seed trade.

Another angelady quote:
"Maybe I just think I'm doing a better job of protecting them than someone who's not as detailed as I am?"

Kind of like the belief most drivers have, that they are the best driver on the road?.. LOL. ;)

Still, maybe you actually are more detailed at protecting your seeds than most folks. So am I!! :)

Trust me, I am a VERY detail-oriented person too. (HS valedictorian. I've been a professional shipper of small fragile valuables (gems, computer chips, & collectibles), as well as a professional inventory organizer/manager.)

Somehow, I doubt anyone would be more cautious in seed protecting than me. If a seed packing strategy doesn't work well for me then it's not likely to work well for others! But well, as they say: "your mileage may vary." :)


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RE: A new way to mail envies for just 42 cents?

angelady wrote:

"Also, maybe they sent you several packets at once, too? I can totally see this wouldn't work if you're sending several things at once. I bet the maximum is 2 packets or maybe 3 if they're really small packets."

The seeds which were cushioned in Easter grass and got crushed anyway, were mailed one packet at a time. It still didn't work out. It didn't work when I mailed them in Easter grass, and it didn't work when other gardeners mailed them to me in Easter grass.

Exceptions: lettuce, tomato, pepper and eggplant seeds were usually OK if sent in Easter grass or other methods that don't use bubble wrap. :)

I guess if the idea is to see whether or not this experiment (Easter grass packaging) produces equally poor results everywhere in the USA, then it might not be a total waste of time...

But quite probably, some seeds will get damaged in the experiment. Why waste those good seeds??

If you *have to* satisfy your curiosity about the Easter grass firsthand then I recommend you experiment with some seeds which are really cheap and abundant.

Like mixed MG, mixed birdseed, popcorn from the store, pepper seeds taken out of a grocery store bell pepper or storebought tomato, apple seeds from an apple you just ate, dill seeds or cumin seeds from the spice rack, marigolds, or liatris... Or seeds you know are very old anyway.. (Like 2006 or older.)

medo wrote:
"i know alot of people are afraid of change."

In my case, when I advise not using easter grass.. It's not that I'm 'afraid of change.' I just don't think it makes sense to re-analyze a seed shipping method that I have already tried several times, & sufficiently proven to myself to be unsatisfactory.

medo again:
"there are lots of newbies that are gonna do this anyhow,"

Hopefully not 'lots'! It's up to us veterans to ask them not to do it!! It will happen much less often, if we each get the word out to newbies to *please* use bubble envelopes! :)

Suggestion- When trading with a newbie: I find it helps to let newbies know that if they don't have a BE I can send my seeds first. The newb can wait till my seeds arrive and then reuse the BE, to mail their seeds. :)

medo also wrote:
"at least the right info will be here for them."

The right info on how to mail seeds is already here for them, in my opinion. All they need to do is ask an experienced trader...Ronnie17, myself, and ollierose have already stated it clearly: Most seeds travel best in bubble mailers. :)

But perhaps you were referring to the fact that the info here in the FAQ is somewhat out of date and inaccurate. Most mail these days does *not* avoid the ravages of automated machinery, even if you do mark it 'Hand Sort' or 'Hand Cancel'.

Plus, the "folded paper towel" method doesn't work well in my experience:
http://faq.gardenweb.com/faq/lists/exseed/1998033231019469.html

This FAQ answer should be updated to recommend we use bubble mailers only- *unless* the recipient gives their permission to send the seeds some other way.

If any GW moderators are reading this, please consider updating this FAQ info so that it is more accurate of what actually works best with today's mail. :)

Happy trading. :)


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RE: A new way to mail envies for just 42 cents?

This FAQ answer should be updated to recommend we use bubble mailers only- *unless* the recipient gives their permission to send the seeds some other way.

If any GW moderators are reading this, please consider updating this FAQ info so that it is more accurate of what actually works best with today's mail. :)

The moderators don't have anything to do with doing FAQ or updating them. It is either a member, or a group effort of members of a forum that put them together and then one person inputs them into the system.

I agree...the FAQ are a lot out of date. I asked gwtamara if I could do some updating, and she said I could...that I should write them up, present them to GW for an OK on them, and they I would be given clearance to do some updating.

There are numerous things I think that need addressed in the FAQ that aren't there, and continue to be a problem...but we won't go there right now, as I have made a pledge to myself (and a BF) that I am going to get my kitchen all cleaned tonight...sigh.
Newbies come along wanting to trade, and there is no explanation anywhere as to how they should have their member page, complete with an email addy, garden zone and location, and trade list set up...see...I got started on a rant...had best go clean.

After the gardening season ends and things slow down for me a lot, I'll be working on and asking for input on the FAQ.
Put your thinking caps on and be ready.


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RE: A new way to mail envies for just 42 cents?

*sigh* medo is saying that there are newbie's and frugal people out there that will send them seeds in the most cheapest ways possibles!! that much i know. what i am saying is that i'd rather put info out there that if they have to send it that way, i'd rather get my seeds cushioned in this fashion than in no fashion at all, because this way doesn't work. i have gotten seeds that were crushed, i was not happy. they didn't replace them i wasn't happy about that either. so rather than say "only do bubblers so they don't go thru the rollers" say if you must use regular envi's please cushion them with these and list somethings they could use, i think its worth a try.
i'm not worried about this affect on how it will be on anyone else at this point, because so far it won't involve anyone at this point. apparently. but that's alright. and we've decided that grass thingi isn't the one we're gonna try. but we are thinking of some. the guy from cali that everyone has a problem with cuz he kept changing his name, sue you know who i'm talking about, he sent me some seeds in a cushioned thing you put under your silverware drawer to catch it so it won't slide, do you know, not one single of them were crushed, they were pomegranite seeds, so that will be my first one to try, only with beans and things like that to see. and to see if it stays under the 1/4 of the inch. LOL it will be interesting. :') i'm so anxious!! ~Medo

sue's new rant!! LOL **big grinn** LOL


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RE: A new way to mail envies for just 42 cents?

the guy from cali that everyone has a problem with cuz he kept changing his name, sue you know who i'm talking about,

Yeah...I know the one, and have that whole thread saved to a word document because there for a while I thought it 'might' get deleted for some unknown reason.

Back to the kitchen. I've gotten anal on this cleaning thing. The more I clean, the more that I see that really needs cleaned....not meaning to highjack...(SEEDS)


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RE: A new way to mail envies for just 42 cents?

ugh!! cleaning. in any form. its has become my ultimate enemy!! sorry sooo ot!! but every time i clean, it seems more cobwebs come out, i'm really afraid of getting glasses!! i'm really afraid of what i might find!! geez what if i find something i've been missing for years?? man where in the heck am i gonna put it?? LOL ~Medo


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RE: A new way to mail envies for just 42 cents?

Diana - I do appreciate knowing how you feel. I certainly agree that if you state only to use BE (bubble envies) and they don't, then they do deserve negative feedback. It's ashame, IMO, that if the seeds were not damaged at all that you'd still feel exactly the same way, but I understand that it's more because of you only wanting to trade with BE rather than anything else. I can assume you feel the way you do based on the ones who sent with nothing and/or toilet paper, but I still understand. It does make it more clear to me that even with a test that most people will not be open to anything but the BE, which is also important for me to know.

Ronnie - You made some great points, so thank you. On this part, you said, "...you can send a small bubble envelope packed with lots of seeds for 53 cents, are crushed seeds worth the eleven cent savings?" I'm not sure where you are getting that it's an eleven cent savings. Regardless, I'm sure it's still less than a fifty cent difference even for sending lots of seeds.

Chrizty - You wrote, "[now heres the tricky part] when a letter envy is over the 1/4 thick its nolonger classified as a letter but a large envolope [flat] so it gose through the mail same as a bubble envy mailed as a large envolope [flat]". Well, yep, that's the tricky part alright. From what I've tried here, it throws it over 1/4 inch every time even with the small bubblies. BUT, at least they didn't flag yours JUST BECAUSE it was a bubblie and charge you parcel rates when they shouldn't. grrrrr

Medo - Thanks for encouraging the curiousness I have. I am happy to try some small trades together just to see how this all pans out, even though it appears that it won't matter what the results are. LOL

Sue - You made some great points as well. You wrote, "If in doubt, one should always use a bubblie, or get clearance with the member they are trading with." I think that's exactly where the problems are coming in is that traders are sending for trades and not caring what the receiving member wants. If they're particular, then you've ruined the trade from their side of things. What I was hoping to do was side-track the bubblies being flagged at the post office for parcels... so, it's really not an issue of sending for just 83 cents when soooo many members are having to pay well over a buck because of the PO having their issues charging us correctly. It would be nice to resolve this issue with the PO, but if we cannot, then I was hoping we could find a better way. I know I'm new at this, though, and others may very well have gone before me and tried everything.

Grovespirit - I will have to make another post here in moment to comment on all your wonderful additions to the thread. I appreciate your insight and keeping this to a great discussion, rather than an argument. You have a lot of knowledge in shipping, too, that I highly respect. You have made me double think this whole thing and also have given me quite a bit of advice in case I want to try it anyways, which I may, but only while taking your suggestions and experience to heart when doing so.

~Angela


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RE: A new way to mail envies for just 42 cents?

It would be nice to resolve this issue with the PO, but if we cannot, then I was hoping we could find a better way.
Exactly...anyone who is paying parcel rate, please email me, and I will send you my addy...so you can send proof that your PO is overcharging.

I really think the Postmaster General can and will help if PROOF is presented to him, and he sees the problem exists in numerous states.

I know I must sound like a broken record...but I need help (proof) in proving there is a HUGE nationwide problem. Help me help us all please.

Sue


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Re: A new way to mail envies for just 42 cents?

"Sure, but why re-invent the wheel??"

There's been numerous issues with post offices which are clear because of all the posts about them overcharging. It's ridiculous what many are being charged and/or ending up getting returned envies or 'postage due' notices when we shouldn't have to pay these.

Of course, I didn't know how many people have tried Easter Grass before posting this thread. I thought I'd stumbled on something unique. I'm excited at all your input and that you've tried this before yourself, very excited, but so far you're the only one who's mentioned receiving crushed seeds inside of Easter Grass cushioning.

Also, as Medo stated, newbies who don't want to spend over $1 to send out will try to send some other way that doesn't end up making traders happy. It might be wise to at least try once again to see if there's anything else out there that will work.

This experience (crushed seeds) isn't unique to the time I've lived in Hawaii either. The seeds got crushed when I lived in CA and TX too.

This is another very interesting nugget. Again, I would so love to know what kind of padding was used and how many seed packets were in these. It seems that using nothing and/or tissue papers and the like don't work at all, at least on most seeds... LOL... so, I won't be testing those methods...

The seeds I mailed to myself in Easter grass were fine. However, sending seeds to oneself isn't a valid test of how the seeds will fare when you do an actual trade... This is because local mail (including mail sent to oneself,) doesn't go through the rollers at the PO that are responsible for crushing seeds.

Awesome info! Thanks again! You saved me tons in postage to myself in testing different seeds. LOL

Right, I thought the same thing before I tested it. But a hand does not press down anywhere near as hard as the mechanical letter-processing rollers in the PO do.

Again, I can definitely see your point. You're making a lot of sense here.... :-)

But I have heard (from my local PO manager!) that occasionally, a regular envelope containing bubble wrap or containing a slice of a BE will jam in the PO rollers. The resulting jam and lost productivity of course wastes tax dollars, upsets the postal workers, and may result in a damaged or lost seed trade.

Well, I have a lot of opinions on this one. Many of us are being ripped off and overcharged time and time again. Now, if it IS within the dimensions and rules of the USPS, then it jamming is not my problem. Now, if the jam is caused because I'm trying to sneak an envelope in that's really over 1/4 inch and not get caught, then that's MY bad and it isn't right to do it. I am trying to find a way to get the envies under 1/4 inch and abide by all their rules while still protecting them without dealing with all the bubblie problems the PO is trying to give us unnecessarily.

Kind of like the belief most drivers have, that they are the best driver on the road?.. LOL. ;)

What? You trying to say I'm NOT the best driver on the road... LOL... hmmmm... I always thought I was, except when I was pregnant, that is... LOL

Somehow, I doubt anyone would be more cautious in seed protecting than me. If a seed packing strategy doesn't work well for me then it's not likely to work well for others! But well, as they say: "your mileage may vary." :)

Oh, so maybe YOU'RE the best driver on the road, huh? LOL (Just kidding!!!!) Yes, with your experience and all, that does sound like a fair comment to make, even if you are the one making it yourself... hahaha... But, honestly, you do sound like the perfect person to do some testing with us as well, but somehow I think that's not going to be a go.... LOL... Medo and I will be posting later on what we've tried that worked and didn't work. At minimum, it will be fun to see what comes of it, even if you're right on and we've wasted our time....

I guess if the idea is to see whether or not this experiment (Easter grass packaging) produces equally poor results everywhere in the USA, then it might not be a total waste of time...

Hmmmm.... that wasn't exactly the test I was going for... LOL

If you *have to* satisfy your curiosity about the Easter grass firsthand then I recommend you experiment with some seeds which are really cheap and abundant.

AWESOME idea! I love your suggestions that you made, too. Thanks!

And, yes, all kinds of info is here for the newbies, although I personally find much of it to be hard to find, and I'm only figuring things out after weeks of reading and searching around. The first time a newbie goes the post office to send off seeds and gets charged well over a buck to send, many WILL try to find some other way to do it, whether we like it or not. I'm sure that isn't what all the seed exchange veterans wants to hear, but that's what is happening and hopefully we can find maybe ONE more way to send seeds than in bubblies. Yes, bubblies work and are tried and true. I'm glad that they are. It certainly doesn't mean we can't find something else that could become tried and true as well.... Maybe we won't find anything else, but it IS worth a another try IMHO...

~Angela


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RE: A new way to mail envies for just 42 cents??

Oh, and I guess I'm not totally stuck on just the 1/4 inch for a regular envelope. Even if we use a larger envelope (which is allowed to be up to 3/4 of an inch) and it doesn't get flagged over and over as a parcel, that would be REALLY nice!

~Angela


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RE: A new way to mail envies for just 42 cents?

I really don't think 83 cents is all that much to pay for a trade, if it is a seed one is really wanting. If it can be found and bought cheaper than that, the member would have purchased it. I traded for just one variety of seed this week, but it was a native variety that I imagine would be hard to find on line at a larger price plus shipping.

Few folks trade for just one variety anyway....so 83 cents is not bad for 2-3-4 or more varieties until it either goes up to 2 OZ or is so thick it must go as a parcel.

I often encourage newbies to look for seeds for postage offers where more than one variety of seed is being offered...so they can get the most bang for their postage buck.

JMHO

OH...and padding with Easter grass I think would be kind of like padding it with feathers....both are soft and mash down easily.

Sue


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RE: A new way to mail envies for just 42 cents?

Perhaps I was just too long-winded or difficult to understand, but I thought I just clarified that anywhere from 42 cents to 83 cents (depending upon regular envy up to large envy) is great. The problem is many are not being charged that price and some are getting 'postage due' when you send out bubblies that way even with 83 cents on them just because they are bubblies.

In my little time trading already, I've seen many people suggesting that you go in to the post office and get them checked to make sure that your postage is accurate... well, I know mine is and I'm sure others are doing theirs correctly as well by weighing at home and everything, but yet we're still being overcharged... It's fine for a trade to be a buck or less, but in many cases, it's well over a buck now. I hope this clarifies what I'm trying to do... I think 83 cents is a fair price as well for several varieties of seeds in one trade, no doubt about it. I was just recently told to put 3 stamps on my outgoing envelope if I wasn't going to the post office to mail it and it have their cancellation on it or whatever.... I did go to the post office because of this and it was almost $1.40 when it should have been just $1.00 in postage based on the PO printed rules regarding the matter, AND I had the additional gas expenses for having to drive to make the trader happy that they wouldn't get 'postage due'.

~Angela


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RE: A new way to mail envies for just 42 cents?

just to clear me up lol i dont try to sneak a bubble in a letter. i do mail as a large flat:) lol i dont want people thinking im sneaky lol n yes sue my po sees a bubble n thinks parcel. i dont mind sending as parcel. least i know who i send to dosnt get charged. also when i get on a postal rant [usualy when i run out of stamps lol] i stop n remember well before joining GW i bought my seeds. not only did i pay for the seeds, [sometimes up to 3-5 bucks per pack] but i also had to pay their shipping n handing.
so trading saves me money, even with sending pacel. trust me the 3-4 stamps is less than what most co charge in shipping, im not paying for the seeds in return, n i get to give my seeds to someone instead of tossing them in the field.:)
yes you can buy any seed online! ive bought lots.alls ya gotta do is google it. dont get me started on the special, rare, trades. lol ill rant more about them than postage.
if theres a way you send n want others to send just put it in your [my page]. i will always send in a bubble but i dont care how someone sends to me,
this week i got 2 letter envys [1stamp] one had wrap around the seeds n the other nothing, both seeds were just fine:)


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RE: A new way to mail envies for just 42 cents?

so far this year, no mishaps, reg envi's, all but iris's and token, and pradise acres i believe ohhh and lets see, anne, and angie's. the rest were all reg envie. that's why this is so close to me. it makes me want to find the right cushioning. so far i've done, lets see. 12 trades. ohhh and angela's came in bubble envi. so 6/12, hmmmm not to good of odds really. i've got two more confirmed that are coming regular envi. another lady sent tabor one in a manilla with some foam to wrap it. so i'm sure you all can see, ok here's another thing i'm looking at, regular envi's=1 at the dollar store, huge thing of bubble envi's at sams, i think 12? i don't remember. something like that, and if your a newbie, your thinking the same thing, and if your on a tight budget your also thinking the exact same way!! LOL
~Medo


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RE: A new way to mail envies for just 42 cents?

Very interesting info you gals are adding. (And, for the record, I wasn't accusing anyone of sneaking under-priced postage out on envies... LOL!)

As for 6 out of 12 trades being regular envies... Wow! That alone tells me we have to see what comes of this test just so others who are budget-conscious don't send without proper protection of the seeds.

It is also nice to know that when you receive a couple things in the mail, one being protected and one not (both in a regular envy), that they can get through without being crushed... again, this is great info for our test, so thanks so much for posting your info! I'm a little more encouraged to give this a good try to see what really will work and what won't.

~Angela


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RE: A new way to mail envies for just 42 cents?

Quite frankly I don't care if others are having to pay parcel rate. I have offered up a solution, yet no one seems to want to put forth the simple effort of trying to help with the solution to the problem.

I understand that there are those like myself who don't have any problems with 'their' PO overcharging, so there is no way they can help in the matter.

I'm sorry...I just keep seeing folks say how they are being overcharged, yet they do nothing about it. Have I ranted so much and so long that everyone just automatically tunes me out, and ignores my long posts? I'm depressed.

Here is a link that might be useful: The simple solution!!!!!


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RE: sigh........................just so ya know...

If anyone mails me seeds in a regular envy, with or without makeshift padding, and they are damaged, I will expect the seeds to be sent again. If there are no more seeds to be sent, I will then ask that they reimburse me for my postage AND for the cost of my bubble envelope they ended up with. This would not apply to the case like chrizty has described above...placing a portion of BE in a regular envy, and then paying the rate that 'should be charged' for a regular BE. Its sad her PO workers have bubble envelope/PARCEL RATE charge on the brain...sigh

I will also leave a sort of neutral feedback for them, stating what happened...seeds packed improperly, and damaged, yada, yada, yada. had to resend...reimbursed postage costs, etc.


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RE: A new way to mail envies for just 42 cents?

Sue, I'm sorry you're depressed. I'm getting fairly depressed over this issue myself, and I haven't posted about it anywhere close to how long you've been dealing with it. I do want to thank you for trying to do something, though, as many people will complain, but most of them won't do a thing to try to change it.

I'm pretty sure that it's planned by the post office to charge parcel for the bubble envies, though... I'm starting to think it's not some oversight or undertraining or what have you... So, my conclusion is that if they know it's bubble, they're gonna try to charge more than a large envelope... So, again, that's why I'm trying to find another way to deal with the issue.

"Quite frankly I don't care if others are having to pay parcel rate. I have offered up a solution, yet no one seems to want to put forth the simple effort of trying to help with the solution to the problem."

I know you're frustrated, but I for one have to disagree here. I do care if others are having to pay parcel, but especially I'm concerned over the "postage due" when I send knowing that I sent it with correct postage, like what Medo said just happened to her. I don't want to have to spend the gas money and time to go to the post office every single time I want to make a trade and take my chances if I'm going to get parcel rate on top of that.

I agree that it would be nice if more people want to help with your possible solution. It is possible, though, that they see it more like a wasted effort that won't help change the post office system no matter what we do to "explain" it to them. Again, that's why I'm trying to figure out something else that might work.

~Angela


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RE: A new way to mail envies for just 42 cents?

see, my po is like yours sue, no problems, we have two workers only, and they are very good in their stuff. they weigh, measure, and if the one girl doesn't know, she calls the boss. and thats that. but i live in a mini tiny itty bity town. so that's why. i don't have like 4 lanes to choose from. like my mom in her town at their po. yuck!!! and 6 different po's. (maybe LOL)
so are you saying (sue) that if they get a receipt that says what they charged and it has the measurements that they can send it to you? or do i not understand that right.
so if they go to the po to mail off their seeds, they should get the receipt so it shows them overcharging a few different times? so it proves that. please tell us EXACTLY what we need to do and somehow maybe we can get the word out, but ya know, spell it out for us dingy people in those not so smart days (like me LOL) ya know, some days i can comprehend it like you wouldn't believe and others i have to read it over and over and i say honey, what in the heck is it saying?? LOL he say's in "laymens" terms LOL **slap slap** **onery grinn** ok so maybe we can kill two birds with one stone?? LOL once this is explained maybe we or you can put it on ONE thread and hopefully no one will post on it. LOL so people will look to it and use it. LOL ~Medo


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RE: A new way to mail envies for just 42 cents?

I agree, Medo... I guess I wasn't getting the other thread like I should have until Sue's last post to it.

Is there also some kind of way to show the problems with "postage due" on the receiving end? I'm starting to think we really have a shot at getting some attention taken to this matter on a bigger scale! I just don't want to overlook that the overcharging isn't just happening at the counter.... It's also happening when the recipient gets notices to pay up and/or when the envelope is returned to sender for insufficient postage... Know what I mean????

~Angela


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RE: A new way to mail envies for just 42 cents?

Angelady wrote:
"The first time a newbie goes the post office to send off seeds and gets charged well over a buck to send, many WILL try to find some other way to do it, whether we like it or not."

Maybe. But there are better ways to avoid paying $1 or more, other than altering the padding, in my opinion.

I often will offer to send my seeds to the newbie first so they can reuse my BE after my seeds arrive.

If concerned about high postage costs- they can simply take my BE with the cancelled .83 postage still on it, to their PO clerk and say:
"This got to me just fine with .83, so why can't I send it back with .83."? In fact I hope they do just that, armed with information from Sue (chemocurl) about what the rate for a BE should be!

We seed traders should all cooperate together to educate the PO clerks that a BE under 3/4" thick should cost .83, using Sue (chemocurl's) recommended documentation... She's written lots of great info in this forum about how to stop getting overcharged. :)

Another, more convenient, way to escape overcharging is to always mail from a public mailbox in a location you already pass by regularly, or from home, instead of taking it to the PO clerk. I usually send my BEs this way because I dislike using the time and gas to go to the PO.

Another way is to use a partial BE which is tucked inside of a regular envelope, so that the item looks like an overstuffed letter and not like a parcel, thus avoiding parcel rate. I've gotten these in the mail from other traders and I am cool with it. Usually, these arrive safely with only .62 on them, too. Yay! :)

"It's fine for a trade to be a buck or less, but in many cases, it's well over a buck now."

Sorry to hear you (and probably some others) are dealing with this overcharging from your PO.

From my viewpoint-- I know that in many cases, the postage required for a BE is still *under a buck*. :)

Personally, I have had four different BE's arrive safely in my mailbox this week. They each had different postage amounts: .53, .62, .79, and .83. They all weighed one ounce or less. None of them were over 3/4" thick. The .83 one was about 1/2" thick though.

This means none of these four senders were charged parcel rate for their BE. And when I mail my BE's at the PO, I don't have to pay parcel rate either, unless the BE is 3/4" thick or thicker.

So maybe it's actually a *minority* of folks who are still getting hit with inappropriate parcel rates whenever they are just sending seeds in a BE.


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RE: A new way to mail envies for just 42 cents?

so if they go to the po to mail off their seeds, they should get the receipt so it shows them overcharging a few different times? so it proves that.
A receipt proves nothing.

please tell us EXACTLY what we need to do and somehow maybe we can get the word out, but ya know,
There is not much you can do medo, since your PO is getting it right. You can however encourage members to assist in the the mass mailing by me of envies mailed to me. The envy itself, with the postal tape is the only actual proof

Join in the mass mailing to the Postmaster General himself. Bubble Envelopes-are you being charged correctly?

Is there also some kind of way to show the problems with "postage due" on the receiving end?
Again...this problem will persist until a member addresses and debates the issue with his or her postmaster/mistress.
They could print out bubble envys now 80 cents-print out for 'your' Post Office! The post is so old that it should read 83 cents

Please take my Survey I would like to get together a rough estimate of how many POs are getting it right (or wrong). Right now I think it may be 25% to 50% getting it wrong.


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RE: sigh............................

We seed traders should all cooperate together to educate the PO clerks that a BE under 3/4" thick should cost .83, using Sue (chemocurl's) recommended documentation... She's written lots of great info in this forum about how to stop getting overcharged. :)
That documentation for printoutcan be found at bubble envys now 80 cents-print out for 'your' Post Office! except the post is so old that the cost should now read 83 cents

They each had different postage amounts: .53, .62, .79, and .83.
3 of those 4 charges are clearly incorrect. Either the PO that affixed the postage is clueless or the member is clueless and/or confused about the postage. Just because it arrived without postage due, does not mean it is 'correct' or that there won't be postage due the next time...or be returned to the sender.

Anything over 1/4" thick (and this would include bubble envies cut up and placed inside a regular envelope,) requires 83 cents postage To put any less on it, is cheating the PO, and one is risking the receiving party having postage due.
If one is padding it with Easter grass, feathers, TP, paper toweling, etc, it may be under 1/4", but it also may not be protected well enough.

Everyone is invited to participate in my Survey

Anyone who is being consistently overcharged is invited to be part of PMG (Postmaster General) Sting Operation
Bubble Envelopes-are you being charged correctly? Join in the STING!


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RE: A new way to mail envies for just 42 cents?

Angelady wrote:
"you do sound like the perfect person to do some testing with us as well, but somehow I think that's not going to be a go...."

Will be interesting to see the info that is collected. I'm flattered that you think I'd be a good co-experimenter. Thanks! :)

I'm definitely -not- the best driver on the road, but I do have a bit of an ego (based on professional shipping experience) when it comes to mailing small fragile stuff. Guess it shows, LOL.

If I knew the seeds I was receiving were test seeds of little to no actual value I'd be game to see what happens with a few other paddings that could offer decent resistance to high pressure or impact. Such as:

That cushy netting stuff sometimes used to line kitchen shelves and silverware drawers, styrofoam slices, or maybe slices of sponge. But not Easter grass which I have already found unsatisfactory. :)

As for helping mail out seeds in such experimental cushionings, well- I don't have those materials on hand, and I don't want to have to go buy them when I already have perfectly good BEs here for me to use.

But maybe if someone sent me test seeds in one of those experimental cushionings, I could then re-use the experimental material (if the material remained in OK condition) and send test seeds to someone else in it!

"...we have to see what comes of this test just so others who are budget-conscious don't send without proper protection of the seeds."

I understand the desire to gather more info on some different cushioning materials, in hopes it might save traders some money. :)

However, being budget-conscious doesn't necessarily mean one can't afford to use BEs.

I am extremely budget conscious because my family is a one-income household, poor enough qualify for food stamps. I applied. We qualified, but then we didn't actually go get food stamps. Hubby is too proud and I have a good amount of free time- so I use that time to grow food instead! :)

We recently went about 4 years straight without traveling home for xmas (couldn't afford airfare). We did without buying any new clothes, new electronics, new furniture, or new books for anyone during this 4 yr stretch. Plus, no seeing any movies in the theater for 4 yrs.

Yet even during these tight 4 years I've used, (and still use) BEs whenever I mail seeds! I will give some budget-friendly tips on how I manage that below. :)

medo wrote:

"regular envi's=1 at the dollar store, huge thing of bubble envi's at sams, i think 12? i don't remember. something like that, and if your a newbie, your thinking the same thing, and if your on a tight budget your also thinking the exact same way!!"

I'm on a tight budget, but not quite thinking that same way, not exactly. I like to save money, sure. But I also like to use BE's to be 100% sure the seeds are safe. And I love to reduce the number of BE's that wind up in landfills.

So, a couple yr.s ago I scrounged some gently used BE's for FREE by asking a small business owner near me to please save me any BE's that they get in the mail, instead of tossing 'em. This business owner gets a lot of product samples in BE's and was tossing them out, so they were happy to cooperate! :)

When our cost of living suddenly went up by 50% this year due to the impact of fuel costs on island life, I became concerned about the cost of BE's. So instead of buying them I made them!! :)

I scrounged various used manila envelopes from a church office (they got lots of them in the mail and usually tossed 'em out). I scrounged bubble wrap too- We had recently moved, and movers had wrapped bubble wrap around our fragile goods. So I kept it instead of tossing it.

All I had to do was cut open the manila envelopes, and glue the bubble wrap to the inside of each envelope. Several reusable BE's for the cost of a little time, creativity, and a few cents worth of glue! :)

And this might sound odd but guess what I asked my hubby to buy me for my birthday this year when he asked for hints??

Yep... I said I could use some new bubble envelopes!! And a 'Bolero' rose with awesome fragrant flowers which cost only about 1/2 what a dozen roses from the florist cost.

This rose and the BEs lasted much longer than cut flowers, and are way better for my figure than cake & ice cream. 'Bolero' has probably produced at least 4 dozen roses so far this year, and it is budding out today as we speak. And I still haven't quite used up my dozen new BEs yet! :)

I think even those of us who are poor can still find ways to get and use BEs which don't break the bank, if we are resourceful enough.

As for how to mail a BE frugally:

The cheapest reliable way seems to be enclosing a slice of a BE (with seeds) inside a regular envelope, slapping .62 on it, marking it "perishable" and "fragile" in bold letters, and placing it in a mailbox. :)


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RE: A new way to mail envies for just 42 cents??

Chemocurl writes:

"Anything over 1/4" thick (and this would include bubble envies cut up and placed inside a regular envelope,) requires 83 cents postage To put any less on it, is cheating the PO,"

Sorry, but I have to disagree with that being considered 'cheating the PO'.

Personally, I don't believe it is cheating anyone at all!

I get lots and lots of seeds arriving in a partial BE for .62 (without any postage due.) So I think it's only fair (and NOT cheating!) for me to be able to mail out seeds the same exact way I received them, and for the same exact amount of postage as whoever mailed seeds to me used.

My view is also based on the fact that a local postal robot actually charges me just .62 for a regular letter envelope "containing items that make its surface uneven" (like a partial BE).

I did honestly let the robot know that my letter "contains items such as pens that make the surface uneven". The robot did not at any time ask me if the letter exceeded 1/4" thickness, or tell me that it had to be under 1/4" thick to be a letter. And the robot charged only .62 to print out my postage sticker even though I did not ever lie to it, so this cannot have been "cheating" the PO!

It is also based on the information at the USPS website concerning postage rates for letters. If the letter meets certain shape/size rules and "It contains items such as pens that cause the surface to be uneven", it looks like the postage is .42 plus .20 nonmachinable surcharge= .62.

Well, in my case the item it contains that causes the surface to be uneven is a partial BE, not a pen.

But I think if folks can mail a pen that's a bit over 1/4" thick and have it only cost .62, then we should also be able to mail a partial BE which is slightly over 1/4" thick and have that cost .62 too. Why make it .62 if it's a 1 cm thick pen, and .83 if it's a 1 cm thick partial BE??

Also... many of the BEs and partial BEs I mail actually do fit into a 1/4" mail slot, because the seeds inside are tiny... So those *definitely* should be mailable for .62 and not .83.

And if the above is not enough to make it fair dealing... then this should:

I asked a local PO clerk if my regular letter sized envelope (containing a partial BE and seeds) could be mailed for .62 and she told me yes!!

So for me, that settles it. I am not "cheating" the PO just because I sometimes mail stuff for .62.

Here is a link that might be useful: USPS postage price info for letters


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RE: A new way to mail envies for just 42 cents?

"This got to me just fine with .83, so why can't I send it back with .83."?

This is great for some of us more bold individuals, but way more people would just pay what was asked and not be able to muster up such an easy alternative. I don't understand being shy or non-confrontational myself, but I know many people are that way. LOL

She's written lots of great info in this forum about how to stop getting overcharged. :)

Absolutely, you have, and I'm SO grateful for all those posts! Thank you! Somehow I doubt most people will do as much searching through old posts and reading all the threads on postage that I have, though. :-(

Another way is to use a partial BE which is tucked inside of a regular envelope, so that the item looks like an overstuffed letter and not like a parcel, thus avoiding parcel rate. I've gotten these in the mail from other traders and I am cool with it. Usually, these arrive safely with only .62 on them, too. Yay! :)

I would definitely like to try this and see what happens. In my tests here so far, bubble made the envy more than 1/4 inch thick or at least arguably close to it. Would you have to take these into a clerk at a PO to see how much they charge?

Another question I've somehow not figured out yet also is if there is some kind of a difference in the receiving end not getting "postage due" when you take it to a clerk at a PO rather than just dropping it in a mailbox somewhere with the correct postage (or at least what ought to be correct)?

I have had four different BE's arrive safely in my mailbox this week. They each had different postage amounts: .53, .62, .79, and .83.

Wow! Yes, well, maybe it is a minority that are getting charged parcel now then... hmmmmm...

~Angela


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Re: A new way to mail envies for just 42 cents?

Right now I think it may be 25% to 50% getting it wrong.

That's a minority, yes, but still a significant percentage...

Sue, you've made some very good points once again. I don't want undercharged, either, just charged correctly for sending and receiving at any post office across the country that I want to go to... UGGGH

I'd be game to see what happens with a few other paddings that could offer decent resistance to high pressure or impact. Such as...

WoooHoooo! :-) Thanks! Those are some very good suggestions, and I'd be very happy to sent to you in some of them. I think the first thing I'd like to try to both you and Medo would be the stuff that lines the drawers. I'll get some of that, the seeds, and go from there...

This post is getting long again, so I'll post now and continue the rest after a short break.... LOL

~Angela


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RE: A new way to mail envies for just 42 cents??

I will give some budget-friendly tips on how I manage that below. :)

Wow, you've really given quite a few great tips! It's nice to know that I'm not alone in wanting to be careful with money. I really respect what you've done in conserving for your family and the landfills.

So for me, that settles it. I am not "cheating" the PO just because I sometimes mail stuff for .62.

In your case, it doesn't sound like you are. If the bubble is 1/4 inch or less and everything else is according to the link to the USPS you showed, it should be fine. 62 cents included the non-machineable charge, too, so it should be fine. I personally would love to be able to mail for this amount, but haven't figured out how to get mine under 1/4 inch. Boy, I've gotten close or right at 1/4 inch, though. I'm just scared how picky the receiving end will be so I put 83 cents on so the person I'm trading hopefully won't be overcharged and mad at me! LOL

~Angela


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RE: A new way to mail envies for just 42 cents?

Angela, maybe I didn't word my statement correctly

Ronnie - You made some great points, so thank you. On this part, you said, "...you can send a small bubble envelope packed with lots of seeds for 53 cents, are crushed seeds worth the eleven cent savings?" I'm not sure where you are getting that it's an eleven cent savings. Regardless, I'm sure it's still less than a fifty cent difference even for sending lots of seeds.

53-42=11 If you put your seeds in a regular envelope for 42 cents instead of a bubble for 53 cents you only save 11 cents...if the seeds arrived not crushed great... if they arrived crushed, now you are sending again, and spending more, so the "original", 11 cent savings isn't worth it!!


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RE: A new way to mail envies for just 42 cents?

ok ronnie has a great point, so does iris, and so does sue, now here's the thing ronnie, that why we're trying to find out what works to do this to, but i'd also like to find out more about iris's thing on the bubble thingi, ya know how to be bold enough to ask business's to save them for you,. OMGoodness in person!! not in email!! LOL **big grinn**
also i had another thought, hmmm...its slowly coming back.
OK i thought the whole purpose of using the dang b.e was because they didn't go thru the danged machines! that is what someone told me in the very begining of trading. because otherwise we could just use the danged bubble and put that with reg envi and notice how that doesn't work as well sometimes?? (as told by someone) so whats the deal?? just asking. the manilla's arent supposed to go thru the machine's am i right?? cuz i actually think you can buy i huge thing of them at wally world. cut them up into 6 x 9 and put the bubble or something in it. but you'd have to see if all the things would weigh out in the end. because if some foams work you can go behind the outlets stores and get them, for the washers and dryers and fridges they put on displays they throw the foam away. tape the foam down. tightly if you can. IMO whatchya think?? ~Medo
where am i wrong??


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RE: A new way to mail envies for just 42 cents?

medo- On scrounging BEs:

When I ask an organization to save me their BE's or manila envelopes for me, it tends to be somewhere I am a regular customer or member of. Such as my acupuncturist's office, my health food store, local church, etc. Folks are more likely to help a customer than a total stranger. Also, I usually wait till it's a slow time at the business so nobody else sees me asking for the office's used BE's.

I don't care what others might think about me scrounging things. But I use discretion, because hubby is real proud and would be a bit annoyed if word got out around town that I was seen scrounging stuff. He doesn't like getting teased by peers about his wife 'being cheap'.

When $$ was super tight I've also scrounged used 2, 3, 4 and 5 gallon plastic buckets/ pickle jars from restaurants and delis we ate at, just by asking nicely. Many food service establishments have empty buckets and plastic jars they need to dispose of that used to contain veg. oil, ketchup, mayo, pickles, salad dressing etc. I washed them out well, poked holes in the bottoms and used them as plant pots! :)


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RE: A new way to mail envies for just 42 cents?

see i don't see anything wrong with it, now my hubs is the same way, when i was younger i loved to go to the dump, it was fun, we lived in a tiny town, we still live in a tiny town and tabor loves to dumpster dive LOL takes after his mommy!! LOL i said wait till i get my gh set up finally then we will so i can find the things i will need for it!! WOO HOO, but that's non people!! LOL so i don't mind. don't know why!! i go to walmart and sam's club and ask for their 5 gal buckets that had icing in it, for my winter sowing, the cool thing is if i have to clean it out, way better!! WOOO HOOO free icing!! LOL
but they are also good for other things too because you get the lids!! sorry about the ot again!! i'll ask the church. they are the only ones!! LOL ~Medo


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RE: A new way to mail envies for just 42 cents?

angelady wrote:
"In my tests here so far, bubble made the envy more than 1/4 inch thick or at least arguably close to it..."

If the envy is not *over* 1/4 inch then you should be able to mail it for .62, provided it's a small (letter sized) envelope.

If over 1/4" thick, it's best to ask a clerk just to be sure. My clerk would probably accept such an item for just .62, as long as it wasn't over 1 cm thick. But many other PO's would charge .83 or more for such items.

Many small-envelope sized BEs I've received (and sent) were slightly under, or exactly at, 1/4" thick. Since they do not *exceed* the max thickness of 1/4" they can safely (and fairly) be mailed for .62.

More from angelady:

"62 cents included the non-machineable charge, too, so it should be fine. I personally would love to be able to mail for this amount, but haven't figured out how to get mine under 1/4 inch. Boy, I've gotten close or right at 1/4 inch, though."

It doesn't technically need to be *under* 1/4 inch, it just needs to not exceed that dimension. :)

"Would you have to take these into a clerk at a PO to see how much they charge?"

Yes, that is the fairest way to handle it. Personally, I take out my 1/4" tape measure to mail all my BEs.

If the item appears to be a bit over the 1/4" thickness I will probably just put .83 on it. Or I might take it to a PO, to have a clerk or the PO mailing robot price the item for me. Depends on whether my other errands that day are in the same direction as a PO or not.

Typically, I save up all mailouts that are going to the PO for just one weekly trip, and plan that trip for a day when I'm already heading that direction anyway. That way I don't use a bunch of time and gas on numerous PO trips. :)

"I'm just scared how picky the receiving end will be so I put 83 cents on so the person I'm trading hopefully won't be overcharged and mad at me!"

OK. Whatever floats your boat. :)

In psych class I am learning that I am not responsible for the emotions of others. I cannot *make* anyone mad at me, they have a choice how to feel.

Plus-I believe that sort of anger is misdirected. I did not do anything wrong, I mailed it with the amount of postage that my local clerk or PO robot deems adequate.

So, instead of getting mad at me, someone whose seeds arrive marked 'postage due' should be mad at the PO system. The PO is wrong for overcharging them.


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RE: A new way to mail envies for just 42 cents?

I'm gonna be out of town for a few days, so I thought I'd let you all know that I'm not ignoring the thread. I'll respond when I return.

One note, though... to my big surprise as I'm very new to trading, I got 3 envies in the mail today that 2 were clearly overcharged to send. One was $1.52 (and there were only 12 medium-sized seeds in that one, too) and the other was $1.34. Soooooo, it definitely is a problem being charged more than 62 cents or even 83 cents or $1.00 for that matter.

BUT, I do have to say, I JUST figured out that my envies couldn't possibly qualify for large envelope or for regular envelope the way I've been sending them (at least for those over 1/4"). A 6x9 envelope is NOT considered a large envelope. If you're trying to send these out as large envies (1/4" - 3/4") for 83 cents, then you shouldn't, because this IS a parcel. If you want to sent a 9X12 bubble envelope that is evenly spaced out with seeds inside (not bulked up in the middle), then this CAN be sent out as a large envy.... pretty interesting, huh?

Here's a picture of the large envy dimensions allowed by the USPS:

A large envelope is not suppose to be smaller than the smallest dimensions on this pic. Anything less than 6 1/8 x 11 1/2 cannot be considered a large envelope in the sight of the USPS.

~Angela


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RE: A new way to mail envies for just 42 cents?

I am not going to go into this in length,but I am on the side of the bubble envy (my preferred method)/padded mailer. I have tried a few methods and have received some using different methods,sometimes it worked and sometimes it didn't.And the times it didn't, it was a headache one way or another! I have even received some in regular envies that had bubble wrap that had clearly seen it's day and the seeds were crushed,so I urge anyone using bubble wrap inside a regular envy to make sure the bubble wrap is good! Otherwise I am fine with that method of mailing. :)

I have to agree with the fact that taking a chance on mailing them any other way,could cost more in the long run and/or short the person on the receiving end. And who wants that? I am certain many of us do care how they arrive to the receiver and don't want to spend twice as much to send them,right? :)

We all have epiphanies,and sometimes they seem brilliant and may be good for smaller seeds ,as it has been said, but,when it comes down to hibiscus,4 o'clocks,ect....it isn't a good idea. It is just better for everyone involved if it is just played safe with a bubble envy,bubble wrap or padded mailer. Many members have been there and done that many times with this and it always comes back to the same thing...BE,BW and PM's are the way to go! :)

~Angie...who cannot address the postage subject in fear the twitch will come back....lol..


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RE: A new way to mail envies for just 42 cents?

I've been without power for 3 days, and am twitching...but will reply more when caught up some, and the twitching subsides. I will admit I used a poor choice of words in a post above...Sorry.

Sue....who has to stay away a few more days b4 the twitching will subside


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RE: A new way to mail envies for just 42 cents?

LOL sorry sue!! you poor thing, my hubs threatened not to pay the dsl, i freaked, i'd rather not go with my cell phone than my pc!! i don't talk on it or text even anymore!! LOL but i'm on this almost constantly, either for the kids's k12 or this!! LOL
ok, update, i just got in 4oclocks, in regular envi, brand new bubble wrap, and they were fine, this was the bigger bubble wrap,
day lilly seeds, r.envi, smaller bubble wrap, kinda outdated. they are fine.
cardinal seeds, bubble envi small enough to go around them in a reg envi, everything great.
all from good traders!! now this to me is very curious. i thought i'd update. but the 4 oclocks were the big thing. ~Medo


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RE: A new way to mail envies for just 42 cents?

Medo are you getting them in regular envelopes with .42 postage or is there more postage on them?


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RE: A new way to mail envies for just 42 cents?

the last one was with 82 cents.
this one i got today was 62, they clearly overcharged her, it fits thru my 1/4 of inch thingi, and it has canna seeds, mbop in them, none crushed, with the pink bubble, very good bubble. small manilla envi.
ok, i never asked these people or mentioned to them about it. but its funny that i keep getting things like this, and whats more funny is that they coulda just sent it in a bubbly and got charged just the same. small manilla's must be cheaper?? i'll have to look at them. are they considered machineable?? what is machinable and not?? yep that's my question!!

more postage. i think they are slapping a few more because they are used to it. because it fits thru the 1/4 " slot.
~Medo


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RE: A new way to mail envies for just 42 cents?

what is machinable and not?? yep that's my question!!

Taken from the link below...


1.2 Nonmachinable Criteria

A letter-size piece is nonmachinable (see 6.4) if it has one or more of the following characteristics (see 601.1.4 to determine the length, height, top, and bottom of a mailpiece):

a. Has an aspect ratio (length divided by height) of less than 1.3 or more than 2.5.

b. Is polybagged, polywrapped, or enclosed in any plastic material.

c. Has clasps, strings, buttons, or similar closure devices.

d. Contains items such as pens, pencils, or loose keys or coins that cause the thickness of the mailpiece to be uneven (see 601.2.3, Odd-Shaped Items in Paper Envelopes).

e. Is too rigid (does not bend easily when subjected to a transport belt tension of 40 pounds around an 11-inch diameter turn).

f. For pieces more than 4-1/4 inches high or 6 inches long, the thickness is less than 0.009 inch.

g. Has a delivery address parallel to the shorter dimension of the mailpiece.

h. Is a self-mailer with a final folded edge perpendicular to the address if the piece is not folded and secured according to 201.3.14.1.

i. Booklet-type pieces with the bound edge (spine) along the shorter dimension of the piece or at the top, unless prepared according to 201.3.14.2.

Sue...still twitchin

Here is a link that might be useful: 101 Physical Standards


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RE: A new way to mail envies for just 42 cents?

Medo I was asking because I believe if there is more postage on it then it automatically gets hand stamped and doesn't go through the machine and that would be why the seeds aren't getting crushed. Just a guess on my part though...


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RE: A new way to mail envies for just 42 cents?

you may be right!! ok, now i do have another question sue, so if it is say....the small manilla envi's with them clasps, they dn't go thru the machine's right? does that mean that they will still get charged 42 cents? and do they need the big bubble or the say smaller bubble to protect them seeds? can i ask them to hand cancel it here and it be ok through out?? do all po's have a hand stamper?? just curious, that made me think for a minute. i know we do, but some people sending me seeds, i could ask them to do that! LOL if they send that way. ~Medo


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RE: A new way to mail envies for just 42 cents?

.the small manilla envi's with them clasps, they dn't go thru the machine's right? does that mean that they will still get charged 42 cents?
A manila envy with a clasp if it meets the length, width, and thickness of less than 1/4", would be for a 1 OZ 42 PLUS 20 cents nonmachinable charge--TOTAL=63 cents.

Now if one uses the Manila envy, with a clasp, and uses bubble wrap folded that makes it more than 1/4" thick, then it would go as a Large Envy...83 cents for 1 OZ.

You take about any bubble wrap and fold it over, and it is 1/4" before seeds and an envy are added to the thickness.

Sue...still twitchin...be back in a few days


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RE: A new way to mail envies for just 42 cents?

ohhhh sue!! i hope you get better!!
i have this one stuff, its not bubble, but datura seeds have gotten to their destination just fine. its the stuff they put around the fridgerators and the drawers and the glass inside of them. to keep them separated. now when i wrapped them, they were under the 1/4" and made it fine. of course i've never tried anything over datura seeds. and they were just one stamp. ~Medo


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RE: A new way to mail envies for just 42 cents?

Wouldn't it just be so nice if we could all put 83 cents on a regular bubblie, and not have to concern ourselves with it either being returned to us for additional postage, or fear of the receiving party maybe having postage due?...with the exception of a few seeds that can travel with little to no padding?

I just talked at great length with my Postmaster (did I mention he is such a sweetie to talk to and work with me on all this?)

I'm twitching again/still.

BUT, I do have to say, I JUST figured out that my envies couldn't possibly qualify for large envelope or for regular envelope the way I've been sending them (at least for those over 1/4"). A 6x9 envelope is NOT considered a large envelope.
Wrong! This is just what I discussed/debated with my Postmaster. He said it would be a large envelope because it was over 1/4" and under 3/4" and falls within the appropriate shaded area on his template for large envy.

Today I am mailing out a 5.5" X 9.5" X 1/2" and he said it would be 83 cents.

He has not heard back anything on the Shape Based pricing Template-Notice 3-S being available to the customer. He is going to do a follow up on getting information about it as another customer who regularly mails in padded envies is wanting/needing it also. He agrees that it would be so helpful to the customer who regularly mails bubble envelopes...be they regular bubbles, or regular envies with bubble wrap or other padding placed inside them...............big twichin'sigh

Sue...outta here for a few days until I quit twitchin


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RE: A new way to mail envies for just 42 cents?

ok sue, what is all the twitching about?? this cat is dying!@!
is it because of the stamp/bubbly thing or the electricity? pc? shut up medo!! LOL
oh ya, i'm supposed to be looking up denise's gw name. errr!!
i think you have mentioned that. i am really interested in this!! i want to send seeds the safest/right/frugal way.
i do wish they'd all get it together so people wouldn't send out seeds in the wrong way. i am afraid one time i will get seeds all messed up!! ~Medo


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RE: A new way to mail envies for just 42 cents?

* Posted by chemocurl zone 5/6 S IN (My Page) on
Fri, Sep 19, 08 at 0:17

"A manila envy with a clasp if it meets the length, width, and thickness of less than 1/4", would be for a 1 OZ 42 PLUS 20 cents nonmachinable charge--TOTAL=63 cents."

Close, but not quite... Last I did the math, .42 plus .20 is 62 cents, not 63 cents :)

"You take about any bubble wrap and fold it over, and it is 1/4" before seeds and an envy are added to the thickness."

Perhaps it is 1/4" thick when you do that.

But I have personally managed to fit several bubble envelopes and homemade BE's (with seeds inside) through a 1/4" postal template.

And my PO clerk says if it goes thru the 1/4" template then it's under 1/4".

So, some BE's do exist which, once seeds are added, are still thin enough to mail for .62 according to PO rules!

"Wouldn't it just be so nice if we could all put 83 cents on a regular bubblie, and not have to concern ourselves with it either being returned to us for additional postage, or fear of the receiving party maybe having postage due?.."

Yes, it would. But I think it'd be even nicer yet, if we could all put .62 on the bubbly and *still* not have to be concerned about possible returns or postage due markings.

Which is why I will often put .62 on it, and have no concerns about doing so. No returned envelopes yet. :)

If one of 'em gets marked Postage Due then that's unfortunate, but I don't *fear* that outcome. I don't think of it as being my problem. As I see it, I put the right amount on it (the amount my PO is okay with).

So, anything that still gets marked "postage due" is a result of the PO being incorrect. Their error, their problem.


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RE: A new way to mail envies for just 42 cents?

I'm going to have to kill this thread for the time being. I will start another thread when I get enough time to do the testing of the foamy material that we've discussed.

For those that offered to help, I'll email you off the forums to complete our tests, if that's okay by you. I apologize for the delay. I have been out of town 3 times in the last month for hospital appointments with my daughter, and now I have two more appointments that are being booked. There are a lot of things above I'd like to comment on, but it's just clearly not a good time for me.

I am thankful for gardening, seed trading and learning how to collect seeds as a way to relax. I'm really thankful for all you wonderful people I've met in the process as well.

Okay, now I best get off and get going. Please, do look for a thread in the future in regards to the results we've had after we complete our mailings and tests.

~Angela


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RE: A new way to mail envies for just 42 cents?

fwiw...for anything else to work, or pass, I think will just be confusing to newbies, needing to make sure the seeds have proper padding and are still under 1/4".

I'm sorry, but I just think using BE consistently, and encouraging all newbies to use them is the simplest and maybe the cheapest way in the long run...when you consider possible seeds damaged, or postage being due on trades. There is a pretty fine line between 1/4" thick and something just a hair over 1/4 " thick....which will cause problems with the sorting machines.

I think working toward bubblies consistently being 83 cents for a 1 OZ is the way to go....discussing it with the Postmaster/Mistress, and/or refusing to pay postage due without them proving it is due. I have 2 unopened envies I received in, that I believe were overcharged. I'm going to verify them with my Postmaster and they will then be added to the Postmaster General sting.

So, some BE's do exist which, once seeds are added, are still thin enough to mail for .62 according to PO rules!
If a BE is under 1/4" it would then go as just 43 cents. There would be no need to pay a nonmachinable charge, as the BE would protect the seeds through the rollers.

and yes...43 plus 20 equals 63 cents...I'm blaming that one on oldtimers.

Sue...still twitchin...who has 'news' from her postmaster.

Here is a link that might be useful: Postmaster General Sting operation


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RE: A new way to mail envies for just 42 cents?

More postage is being due on the bubble envies, honestly. If the postmasters across the U.S. were making sure people weren't being overcharged, then I wouldn't even attempt to try any other method. It's only a test. I am not encouraging newbies to use anything other than bubble envies, that's for sure! ☺ I even have it on my trade page as that is the only way I want to receive my seeds and it's the only way I'm sending them, too.

I have found bubble mailers that are under 1/4" thick with seeds, but it appears they're not easy to recycle as all the ones I'm getting in on my trades are almost all at 1/4" or over with even a few seeds inside. Then, is the person at the counter going to notice that it's under 1/4", too...

Again, I know you're right, Sue, but you've already spent, what, at least a year talking on the forums about people being overcharged and we're still being overcharged. I just don't see the harm in trying to find one more method that might work and won't crush seeds.

How about this... if the test sucks and nothing comes good of it, I won't post another word about it. If we find it works beautifully without a hiccup, and we still haven't gotten things straight across the nation with the post offices and postmasters, then I will post the good news that there might be one other thing they can try. Fair enough?

I've received numerous envelopes in the past few weeks. ALL of them would have qualified for, at the most, a large envelope, but nearly all of them had more than $1.00 postage on them. Only two had $ .83 and at least one of those appeared as less than 1/4". Only one of all the trades I've done so far had less postage than $ .83, so I REALLY do not see why I should not TRY at least to find another method. If it doesn't crush the seeds and really does end up working for everyone, why would you not want me to tell people about something that works as well (in the case that it does work, of course)? If it doesn't work, fine, I'm with you... I wouldn't want to confuse newbies, either.

~Angela *who can't keep her mouth shut tonight for some reason*

P.S. This really is my last post to this thread now... LOL....


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RE: A new way to mail envies for just 42 cents?

Sue, but you've already spent, what, at least a year talking on the forums about people being overcharged and we're still being overcharged. I just don't see the harm in trying to find one more method that might work and won't crush seeds.
I agree, there is no harm in seeing what might work part of the time with certain seeds, and in certain quantities.

Now one could say that poppy seeds are small, and would maybe be all right to send with alternative packing and keep it under 1/4". I have rec in packs of poppy seeds that the little plastic baggie alone was probably 1/4" thick.
25 sweetpea (what is referred to a normal amount when trading), I 'think' would be over 1/4" with backing. Beans, corn, hyacinth beans, etc all come to mind that would not work. If they were padded at all, they would exceed 1/4".

ALL of them would have qualified for, at the most, a large envelope, but nearly all of them had more than $1.00 postage on them.
Was that where a member guessed it needed that much and just put additional stamps on it, or were they postal tapes?

I have found bubble mailers that are under 1/4" thick with seeds,
Where did you buy them? I'd like to buy some too, for those instances where it was just a really small trade of really small seeds, in a small quantity.

so I REALLY do not see why I should not TRY at least to find another method.
I really don't have a problem with anything anyone finds works.

Then, is the person at the counter going to notice that it's under 1/4", too...
If you are taking it in to the counter, they should be using their template to check it. If they don't, and attempt to guestimate it at over 1/4 " and charge Large Envy rate, one could just ask/suggest/tell them to check the thickness and cost....Just say "NO". I will not let you overcharge me without checking and verifying the thickness.

If the postmasters across the U.S. were making sure people weren't being overcharged, then I wouldn't even attempt to try any other method.
Folks merely need to address the overcharging at some point with their postmaster, and see that he is aware, and that all of his employees are aware of the correct charge.

Until all PO workers across the country get on board, I would think that those members who are being overcharged could address the issue.
bubble envys now 83 cents-print out for 'your' Post Office!

Anyone and everyone who is having problems with being overcharged are cordially invited to be a part of The USPS sting of overcharged envies being sent to the Postmaster General.


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RE: A new way to mail envies for just 42 cents?

You know, it's crazy that so many traders are willing to be overcharged. Perhaps, they don't know they can do anything about it and never visit this side of the forum? I even wrote one of the ladies as it was insane what one packet of seeds cost... it was over $1.50! She never even responded. I was trying to help her. (ugggggh) Anyways....

Here's my responses to your questions:

Was that where a member guessed it needed that much and just put additional stamps on it, or were they postal tapes?

I was thinking I really should keep track in a notebook or write a list or something. I am a very new trader, so I was really suprised seeing so many being overcharged. I should have kept better records, so I could tell you exactly. I am sure that many of them had postal tapes. I think most of them did, but I can't swear to it. I'll try to keep better track from here on out as this is good information to know.

Where did you buy them (bubble mailers that are under 1/4" thick with seeds)? I'd like to buy some too, for those instances where it was just a really small trade of really small seeds, in a small quantity.

I found them at Wal-Greens. The are Scotch brand from 3M. They are #0 size, 6x9 inch. They were in a bin that had a bunch of other bubble envies that were bigger. This one was priced 3 for $1.98.

I did take note that they could be cut in half lengthwise and put inside a regular envy as padding very easily and fit almost perfectly. Even so, if you don't get these back in from trades that you can reuse, then you're still spending 33 to 66 cents for each trade before factoring in postage. It would be neat to see if they have just the thinner bubble wrap itself (not a bubble mailer) available somewhere.

And, yes, I couldn't agree more... We all do need to address the postage issue with our own postmasters and stand up for not being overcharged at the counters as well. I wish more people were able to confront the issue rather than just not saying anything at all, paying more than they should, and just walking out.

My biggest factor is that I do not want to have to go in to the post office as this costs me gas which far outweighs what I spend on postage. Plus, it's a toss-up whether I'm going to get the guy that overcharges behind the counter or the lady who charges correctly at my post office. I think like most everyone else, I'd rather not have to tell them that they've charged me incorrectly and argue with them with a line a mile long behind me, but I WILL do it, whereas many other people won't...

~Angela *who has no idea if she's going to stay away from this thread, but still has to pack and get ready for her trip to Dallas*


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RE: A new way to mail envies for just 42 cents?

ok i see what sue is saying i think, we are defeating the purpose of getting everything where it should be. if we find another way, then we let them win. i'm thinking small again. but that's what i think it amounts too. am i right? in so many words?
and i do agree. unfortunatly. so we need to just say HEY this is what we want our seeds to come in. blah bla bla. LOL
thing is, today i got seeds in from fl, wrapped in cut up bubble envi. inside another long envi. 59 cents. no seeds crushed. seeds sent. brugs, and hyacinth. ~Medo


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RE: A new way to mail envies for just 42 cents?

thing is, today i got seeds in from fl, wrapped in cut up bubble envi. inside another long envi. 59 cents
As we both know, 59 cents is not a correct charge for anything. I'm guessing that it was just stamps on it then as the member just guessed it would be some more than a regular envy.

if we find another way, then we let them win.
No, I don't see it as anyone winning...I just see where it will likely cause a lot of confusion as members think, and try different methods. Just because something works one time, doesn't mean it will work the next, or that there won't be postage due the next time.

To each his own though. I will continue to use BE, with the exception of maybe some tomato seeds, and will ask that traders use BE when mailing to me...unless it is maters, or something similar.


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RE: A new way to mail envies for just 42 cents?

that wouldn't be from bri would it? mine came that way, and it was 59 cents. came fine but its amazing how the different po are charging people. and you are so right. they will continue to do that!! how in the world did they come up with that?? i mean really??
"I will continue to use BE, with the exception of maybe some tomato seeds, and will ask that traders use BE when mailing to me...unless it is maters, or something similar."
ya, us too. tabor is getting the idea that bubby;s are the way to go. i am thinking yep. mainly because of the point. it just ticks me off that the dang po people won't do their job right. ~Medo


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