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Topic: Attaching printal postage to envelopes

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Subject: Attaching printal postage to envelopes
Date Posted: 8/22/2010 10:45 AM ET
Member Since: 10/24/2008
Posts: 1,382
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Trying to find out if you tape over the delivery confirmation bar code?

Date Posted: 8/22/2010 11:02 AM ET
Member Since: 1/30/2009
Posts: 5,696
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I do most of the time and I've never had a problem.

Date Posted: 8/22/2010 11:48 AM ET
Member Since: 9/25/2008
Posts: 3,648
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My post office prefers that I don't as it can interfere with the scan.

Date Posted: 8/22/2010 11:59 AM ET
Member Since: 1/17/2009
Posts: 9,722
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I always tape over it ... no problems. I do make sure that it is one layer of tape, very smooth with no wrinkles and bubbles.

I think there is differences in some postal offices equipment, that makes it OK at some POs but hard to scan at others.

Some people tape over half of it and leave the other half uncovered. (put tape over the numbers and the bottom half of the bar code). This way, you can scan it unless the ink runs, in which case, the tape should protect the numbers so they can be typed in.

Date Posted: 8/22/2010 12:09 PM ET
Member Since: 6/28/2009
Posts: 5,738
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Last Edited on: 5/27/11 5:46 PM ET - Total times edited: 2
Date Posted: 8/22/2010 12:48 PM ET
Member Since: 12/31/2009
Posts: 3,995
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I tape over it. Printer ink runs very easily.

Date Posted: 8/22/2010 1:25 PM ET
Member Since: 10/24/2008
Posts: 1,382
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Thank you everyone. I'll just tape over the numbers and leave the bar code untaped. I can never get the tape to go on without the wrinkles and bubbles to begin with.

Date Posted: 8/22/2010 1:50 PM ET
Member Since: 2/26/2009
Posts: 35,627
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I always tape over the numbers, but not the code itself.

Date Posted: 8/22/2010 3:09 PM ET
Member Since: 12/28/2006
Posts: 14,171
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I've taped over hundreds of barcodes.  Then I go to the post office, buy counter postage, and watch them scan in the barcodes.  Exactly one did not scan the first time, but worked fine the second time.  That said, I'm careful to use only very clear packing tape and no wrinkles over the barcode area.

I've received packages that had been exposed to moisture enroute...and yes, printer ink is easily damaged by water.  One was so blurry, I've no idea how postal clerks could read enough of the address to deliver it...the DC was completely unscannable and it's numbers unreadable.  This particular label was partially taped over, but the package had been so wet it bled under the tape and ruined it anyway.  Fortunately, the book inside was wrapped in plastic and arrived in mint condition.

Date Posted: 8/22/2010 5:25 PM ET
Member Since: 2/13/2007
Posts: 2,262
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A postal worker who I deal with regularly commented on the fact that I must have an excellent printer (I have a laser printer) because my bar codes scanned so easily and he said that most barcodes printed at consumer homes that he dealt with, didn't. I think it totally depends on the scanners used at the P.O., and the clarity of the printed barcodes -- if your printer is not printing crystal clear, the tape on top only adds to the problem. But having said that, I would tape over the barcodes because of their vulnerability when exposed to moisture.

Date Posted: 8/22/2010 6:16 PM ET
Member Since: 7/19/2008
Posts: 15,398
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Remember that we can reprint both the eDC and the printed postage if we wrinkle the tape over the label.  (I have an inkjet, any hint of moisture will make the bar code disapear.)

Date Posted: 8/22/2010 7:09 PM ET
Member Since: 5/14/2009
Posts: 6,852
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I tape over the bar code.  However, I once printed a wrapper at work on a highspeed production printer and the bar codes were too close together for the scanner to the read.  The PO clerk said that it was because the printers dpi was too high. So now I always print on my desktop laser printer with a 300dpi.   I had thought the high quality printer would be better,  but no. 

Date Posted: 8/22/2010 11:57 PM ET
Member Since: 5/25/2009
Posts: 598
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I have a laser printer. I dont use PBS postage, but I use USPS Click 'n Ship a lot (for my business). I have never taped over the bar code, and I have never had a problem. 

Date Posted: 8/23/2010 11:05 PM ET
Member Since: 12/28/2006
Posts: 14,171
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Interesting perspective Robin, thanks for sharing  smiley

Date Posted: 8/23/2010 11:13 PM ET
Member Since: 8/16/2007
Posts: 15,186
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I always tape over. My postal clerks said its best to tape over inkjet labels because one drop of moisture can make them unscannable.  I had one that didn't scan and they said that scanner was touchy all the time and needed new batteries.

Briana -
Date Posted: 8/24/2010 8:11 PM ET
Member Since: 4/8/2009
Posts: 2,763
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I tape half the bar-code and over the numbers. When I print postage off the USPS website for priority mail- the instructions say to not tape over the barcode. I hear that it reflects on the scanner or something.

Date Posted: 8/25/2010 10:55 AM ET
Member Since: 11/5/2009
Posts: 1,083
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The post office asks you not to do this since it CAN interfer with their ability to read the bar code.  I tape over the number below the bar code since that is what they will use if the bar code can't be read.

I know that many people say that they have done it with no problem.  But, my thinking is, why take the chance.  Why take a chance of causing a postal employee the extra trouble of having to hand enter the bar code numbers if the scanner can't read it because of the tape.  If the post office asks me to do something, I do it.