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Topic: APC rates vs Online rates

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Subject: APC rates vs Online rates
Date Posted: 9/30/2009 3:36 PM ET
Member Since: 2/22/2007
Posts: 203
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I can't figure out this discrepancy!

When I weigh a book at an APC (let's say the package was 1 lb 9 oz), it sells me postage for $2.58 for zone 6. Another package, weighing 1lb 6 and going to zone 8, costs $2.07. Both of which are first-class mail rates, according to my receipt. But, when I put in those exact same weights and zips into the online postage calculator, first-class no longer becomes an option and everything is $4.95 and up at the priority rate.

Have I been underpaying for my postage? Why am I getting such drastically different rates from each source? I recognize that different zones will produce different rates, I don't have a problem figuring that part out, but why do I get first-class options at the APC and not online?

Date Posted: 9/30/2009 7:10 PM ET
Member Since: 1/8/2009
Posts: 2,016
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Jinna,

just looking at the the first class mail rates, I think it's possible that you've been charged First class package (parcel) rate.

$2.58 for a 0lb, 9oz package

$2.07 for a 0lb, 6oz package.

There's no way to send first class mail over 13oz (priority mail is the service class equivalent for things over 13oz). The APC probably calculates the zones, but it doesn't apply to first class mail which is dependent on weight only.

http://pe.usps.com/text/dmm300/Notice123.htm

For reasons unknown to me, one can't buy first class package postage from the USPS website. It's available from paypal and other online postage sources or at the post office. So if your packages actually weigh 1lb 9oz, 1lb 6 oz -- then your APC is consistently weighing (or charging you as if) things one pound less. Otherwise you are paying the correct amount.

In general, if you use the Packages rate shipping books and not the "Large envelope" or "flats" rate you are paying the correct amount .

hope this makes sense.

Date Posted: 9/30/2009 9:06 PM ET
Member Since: 8/23/2007
Posts: 26,510
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It sounds like you are using the wrong postal rate.  THey might come back to you or arrive postage due. 

I have never used an APC machine because I've never had a post office that had one. But people have posted on here that you can get it to create the postage amount you need for media mail.  Just make sure your package says media mail.

Date Posted: 9/30/2009 10:15 PM ET
Member Since: 8/16/2007
Posts: 15,186
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 (let's say the package was 1 lb 9 oz),...weighing 1lb 6

There is no first class rate for over 13 oz, it switches to Priority or you go to Parcel Post. Are you entering it wrong and you need to change the online entry (it defaults to put the 1 lb in there) so that it say 0 lbs, 9oz and 0 lbs 6 oz?

Date Posted: 9/30/2009 11:47 PM ET
Member Since: 2/11/2007
Posts: 808
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The APC display has a display quirk where it looks like there's a "1" in the pound column, but there's not; the first couple of times I used it, I couldn't understand why it said that, even though I was being charged correctly.

Date Posted: 10/2/2009 4:26 PM ET
Member Since: 2/22/2007
Posts: 203
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The APC display has a display quirk where it looks like there's a "1" in the pound column, but there's not; the first couple of times I used it, I couldn't understand why it said that, even though I was being charged correctly.

That didn't occur to me, but the receipt has the 1 lb+ on there too, which is what I was looking at when I wrote the original post. But that does make a lot of sense, because I was wondering why my books were so heavy (per the scale)!

Date Posted: 10/7/2009 7:44 PM ET
Member Since: 9/29/2009
Posts: 2,551
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Media Mail doesn't use zones like priority mail. Since it's a bulk mail they use it to fill up space in their trucks. That's why it can take just a few days or the full 28 to get to where it's going, no matter where that is. As far as I know you can not use an APC to buy Media Mail, you'll have to go the counter or mail from home. Just remember that anything weighing over 13 oz. using stamps has to be mailed at the counter.

Date Posted: 10/8/2009 1:34 AM ET
Member Since: 12/28/2006
Posts: 14,171
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It's also my understanding that APC doesn't  automatically figure rates for Media Mail.  But some members say they weigh their package and figure postage themselves, then use the APC 'other amount' option to print a the amount of postage.  Hope this makes sense?  My PO doesn't have an APC  :(



Last Edited on: 10/8/09 1:34 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 10/8/2009 8:47 AM ET
Member Since: 5/26/2009
Posts: 111
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Yes, you can use the APC to weigh your package, then select...I think it's "create a stamp" or some other similar option. The rates for media mail are here http://www.usps.com/prices/media-mail-prices.htm  Make sure you write "media mail" on  your package. You don't have to mail packages from the counter if you buy the printed stamps from the APC machine. I sent out several books like this last week and they went through fine.

Date Posted: 10/8/2009 9:52 AM ET
Member Since: 8/16/2007
Posts: 15,186
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As far as I know you can not use an APC to buy Media Mail, you'll have to go the counter or mail from home. Just remember that anything weighing over 13 oz. using stamps has to be mailed at the counter.

This is incorrect, I mail over half my books from the APC and it doesn't matter what the weight is, the 13oz rule does not apply when using the APC.

The APC does not have the Media Mail feature in their rate options, but as long as you have the MM rates, you just use the print a stamp option and type in the amount. I always weigh my packages when wrapping, so the PBS estimate is correct. I take it the the APC, punch in the amount I need and print it then drop it in the mail bin in the lobby. I even print out extras of common amounts and blue box them around town or from home.  An APC postage strip is considered electronic postage for the 13 oz rule so it never needs to go to the counter.

mistie -
Date Posted: 10/10/2009 7:58 PM ET
Member Since: 9/27/2007
Posts: 2,017
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it doesn't matter what the weight is, the 13oz rule does not apply when using the APC.


The reason for this is that you need to use a debit/credit card to purchase postage on the APC machine -so, you are considered a "known" sender.