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Topic: APC not allowed for Media Mail?

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Subject: APC not allowed for Media Mail?
Date Posted: 4/3/2012 7:17 PM ET
Member Since: 12/26/2005
Posts: 21
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I usually print out a bunch of APC stamps for mailing PBS packages. It's very convenient as I'd heard that APC packages were exempt from the 13 oz limit for blue box mailing. Today, however, a postal counter employee said that APC stamps are not allowed for media mail. Has anyone heard about this? Thanks. Tim
Date Posted: 4/3/2012 11:34 PM ET
Member Since: 8/5/2009
Posts: 8,077
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Tim, your postal worker is uninformed. There is no option to specifically buy media mail stamps on the APC, but you can buy any value stamp you like, so as long as you know the rates, print away, then put them in the blue box or chute at the PO.

mistie -
Date Posted: 4/4/2012 1:01 AM ET
Member Since: 9/27/2007
Posts: 2,024
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yes  What Jennifer said

Date Posted: 4/4/2012 12:22 PM ET
Member Since: 5/4/2009
Posts: 440
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I've used the APC to buy postage for media mail packages probably close to 100 times (in Minneapolis), and I have never had one returned to me. The only thing is that many locations seem to want all APC packages to go in the same bin and some even ask that no other mail go in that bin.

Date Posted: 4/4/2012 1:19 PM ET
Member Since: 12/28/2006
Posts: 14,177
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Your postal worker is mistaken Tim.  Not all PO's have APC machines and many staff members seem to know very little about them.

I've received many, many PBS books Media Mail with APC postage on them.  It's merely electronic postage, like a stamp only trackable.  Although the APC machine will not automatically figure Media Mail rates for you, there also is no specific restriction against this use.  APC is not allowed for transactions that require a PO counter visit, such as customs forms, Registered Mail, high levels of insurance, etc.

Last Edited on: 4/4/12 1:30 PM ET - Total times edited: 2
Date Posted: 4/4/2012 2:41 PM ET
Member Since: 12/26/2005
Posts: 21
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Thanks for all your replies.  I've used APC stamps for mailing PBS books for some time now and have not had one of them returned.  The postal worker's reasoning was that since the APC machine didn't figure MM rates for you, it is not allowed.  All MM packages more than 13 oz need to go across the counter, he said.  If the APC machine doesn't figure a rate for MM, there is a reason for that and a MM package mailed in a blue box could be returned to the sender, he claimed.

As for me, I'll keep putting this to the test here in Minneapolis along with Sarah!

Date Posted: 4/4/2012 2:59 PM ET
Member Since: 8/27/2005
Posts: 4,136
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This is why it's so important for all of us to become familiar with the rules so we can correct the postal employees.  This week, a post office MANAGER told me that packages over 13 ounces could not go into collection boxes even if they had online postage on them.  I corrected her. indecision


Date Posted: 4/4/2012 9:44 PM ET
Member Since: 8/16/2007
Posts: 15,226
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Tell the postal person it is a stamp. That is all it is. It can be used on any mail just like any other stamp. He should not be using reasoning to come up with new rules, just go by the ones in placecheeky

I had the main branch return my APC stamp as a stale meter postage once. The branch I took it back to that has the APC educated the main branch on APC stamps being just stamps.

Last Edited on: 4/4/12 9:44 PM ET - Total times edited: 2
Date Posted: 4/4/2012 10:00 PM ET
Member Since: 12/28/2006
Posts: 14,177
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APC is just like a stamp, except it's trackable...therefore the 13 oz. rule does NOT apply.

Unfortunate that some postal employees don't seem to apply a bit of logic to their own guidelines.  I suspect the APC machines do not offer Media Mail as an option because of the potential for abuse.  The rates it offers/suggests are not content specific, anything legal can be mailed at those rates.  Doesn't mean you can't use other mailing rates, just that the APC machine isn't set up to try and explain complex content restrictions to customers on that little bitty screen.

Last Edited on: 4/4/12 10:05 PM ET - Total times edited: 2
Date Posted: 4/6/2012 9:25 AM ET
Member Since: 5/16/2009
Posts: 8,610
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I do this all the time- saves me from having to stand in line. My postal workers were the ones who suggested it to me, (since I'm there so often), and they even showed me how to use the machine, and how to use the "buy a stamp of another value" feature to get the correct postage for my media mail packages. Your postal worker was definitely mistaken. Good luck. :)