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Topic: Is this allowed? Re-using USPS padded envelopes

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Subject: Is this allowed? Re-using USPS padded envelopes
Date Posted: 2/26/2014 6:38 PM ET
Member Since: 2/2/2009
Posts: 3,789
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I received a book (not from PBS, but from Amazon) in the mail today and the sender re-used a used and previously sent (was ripped up, not usable again for an outer envelope) Priority Mail padded flat rate envelope to wrap the book in & offer some protection, and then placed it inside a gray tyvek envelope which was marked as Media Mail, since a book was inside.  Is this allowed?  Seems like a 'green' thing to do, recycle an envelope that would be thrown out, but I am wondering if this package had been opened and inspected, would they have returned it to sender?  Or what?

Date Posted: 2/26/2014 8:35 PM ET
Member Since: 7/30/2007
Posts: 4,275
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in a word....NO

Priority Mail supplies are only to be used for Priority Mail regardless of whether it has been previously used or has been reconfigured. If they find reused/reconfigured supplies, they are not going to take the time to try to figure out if they had been previously used or not, so the rule is it's not allowed at all

Had this package been inspected, you could have had a postage due package for the Priority Mail rate.

Date Posted: 2/26/2014 8:55 PM ET
Member Since: 2/2/2009
Posts: 3,789
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Well, I would have refused the package, if they came after me to pay the Priority Rate, as it was the sender's fault, not mine.  But, good to know.  I'm thinking maybe I should let the sender know so she doesn't send out more books this way. 

Date Posted: 2/27/2014 11:06 AM ET
Member Since: 7/30/2007
Posts: 4,275
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Refusing it is always an option. the Post Office notifies the receiver of a postage due because 1. it may be time sensitive 2. they may not mind paying for it and 3. it is more cost effective to collect at that point then transporting it all the way back to the sender for the additional postage, then transporting it BACK to the receiver to deliver. 

Date Posted: 3/6/2014 6:26 PM ET
Member Since: 1/4/2007
Posts: 3
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Just an FYI for anyone who wants to reuse the bubble part of the padded mailers, you CAN separate the bubble part from the tyvek. It takes some wrangling but it's possible. That's totally OK as long as the padded mailer has already been used, my mail carrier told me herself! :)



Last Edited on: 3/6/14 6:29 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 3/13/2014 6:27 PM ET
Member Since: 5/25/2009
Posts: 599
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It's foolish to do that for media mail, as the packages are subject to inspection. I have re-used them for first class parcels before, even though it is against the rules. Inside a poly, of course, where the odds of being "caught" are pretty slim. Or I've cut up used ones and used them like bubble wrap. I know it's breaking the rules, but I think morally it's better than adding more garbage to the landfill. But yeah, I would never take the risk with media mail. 

Date Posted: 3/14/2014 5:53 PM ET
Member Since: 1/15/2007
Posts: 1,410
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.



Last Edited on: 2/2/15 1:51 PM ET - Total times edited: 2
Date Posted: 3/14/2014 8:31 PM ET
Member Since: 12/28/2006
Posts: 14,177
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Take the packaging, including address label with senders address, to your Post Office. 

I received a package (not Priority rate) that the sender had used brand new Priority packaging for their inner wrapper inside a tyvek envelope.  I took it to my PO and they were going to follow up with the sender.
 



Last Edited on: 3/14/14 8:32 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Subject: No it is not allowed
Date Posted: 6/13/2014 6:29 PM ET
Member Since: 12/15/2007
Posts: 8
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I just got a book in the mail in a flat rate envelope wrapped with brown paper. Hate it when people do that as my wife worked as a rural route carrier for 20 years. They will come after you with postage due if they find something like that.

Date Posted: 7/17/2014 3:26 PM ET
Member Since: 6/15/2009
Posts: 151
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So people reuse priority envelopes and boxes without knowing they aren't supposed to. Then there are people who know and do it anyway. I agree it's good to let the sender know that it's not allowed, but be aware that's it's possible to get back a nasty message from them. Some people get very offended that you don't seem willing to help them save the environment or think you're accusing them or going to turn them in or something.

Date Posted: 7/18/2014 11:20 AM ET
Member Since: 12/28/2006
Posts: 14,177
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The problem Heidi, is if USPS becomes aware that Priority packaging has been reused for a different rate the package will arrive postage due for the difference.  Considering the difference between say Media Mail and Priority, a requesting PBS member could have a book arrive with $5/$8 postage due.

Also, the cost of Priority Mail packaging is included in the postage.  Some mailers consider it free packing materials and never pay for it.  I've received E-bay packages with an unused/unrecycled (brand new) Priority box inside one of those plastic mailing envelopes.  If unpaid and not reused...this is just stealing from USPS and raising everyones postage rates.
 

Date Posted: 9/27/2014 2:30 PM ET
Member Since: 11/14/2006
Posts: 2,552
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i still don't get why it's so "horrible".  someone reused, a USED Priority envelope, compleetey wrapped INSIDE another package.  How can USPS be so greedy as to try to charge for that?  it's recycling!

Date Posted: 9/27/2014 4:07 PM ET
Member Since: 7/30/2007
Posts: 4,275
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the problem is people are dicks, and will take perfectly good, new packaging and wad it up, rub it in the dirt to make it look "used" then claim they are "reusing" it and they want a "cheaper" price. It is much easier to just say no reuse unless its at Priority Rates, than to take the time to investigate peoples "claims" of reuse

the priority mail stream is separate from the standard post stream, and right now, if a priority piece gets in the standard mail stream, it is very easy to identify in a Priority branded mailer and reroute it into the faster mailstream, but if they allowed reuse in the standard mail stream, there would be no way of spotting the small number of missorted packages and they would stay in the slower mailstream