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Topic: Automatic Postal Centers?

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Subject: Automatic Postal Centers?
Date Posted: 3/14/2011 11:25 PM ET
Member Since: 8/18/2008
Posts: 7,759
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Ok, I know what these are, at least in theory, but can anyone tell me why we don't have them here?  Are they just in big cities, or are they being phazed in over time?  Our postage dispensing machines (the ones that sold single and books of stamps) were taken out years ago, and now we just have a blank space there.  I have to go to the counter to get things weighed, which is why I do a lot from home with PBS postage or Paypal.  Any idea when I may see one of these?

Date Posted: 3/14/2011 11:38 PM ET
Member Since: 6/25/2006
Posts: 382
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apparnelty it depends how busy the station/post ofice is

sometime they have been taken out -that was the case with the pasadena (califironia) post office, i was there one day and couldnt find

so i just conducted my business wtth clerk who told it got removed,

but i know the mar vista, get lot of use

there is also one in Marina del rey (well the last i tried use that one in marnia del rey it was out of order

Date Posted: 3/14/2011 11:49 PM ET
Member Since: 5/25/2009
Posts: 599
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I think they are mostly in busier post offices in larger cities. They are probably pretty expensive to install and maintain, so they would only be financially viable in places where they would get used heavily and could keep people away from the counter (and thus employee costs lower).

Date Posted: 3/15/2011 1:30 AM ET
Member Since: 12/28/2006
Posts: 14,177
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I've no idea how they decide these things.  My PO is a busy little suburban office.  Our automated stamp machines were removed at least 10 years ago and have not been replaced...no after hours postage options at all.  The next PO over (which doesn't look much busier than mine) has APC...go figure.

Date Posted: 3/15/2011 9:44 AM ET
Member Since: 11/14/2010
Posts: 220
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"My PO is a busy little suburban office.  Our automated stamp machines were removed at least 10 years ago and have not been replaced...no after hours postage options at all.  The next PO over (which doesn't look much busier than mine) has APC...go figure."

 

Well, it may be that they figure people who use your PO can go to the next PO over out of hours if it's that urgent.  I suspect they don't put them in multiple POs close to each other.

Date Posted: 3/15/2011 12:15 PM ET
Member Since: 8/23/2007
Posts: 26,510
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I've never seen one either but I've mostly lived in small towns. I figured it was probably a city thing.

Date Posted: 3/15/2011 3:12 PM ET
Member Since: 5/25/2009
Posts: 599
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I'm guessing now that they sell stamps online, they figure it's not cost effective to have the old school stamp machines anymore. Plus you can buy stamps at a lot of grocery and convenience stores. 

Date Posted: 3/15/2011 6:54 PM ET
Member Since: 8/25/2009
Posts: 699
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The nearest one to me is 50 miles away.

The next nearest one is 110 miles away.

Date Posted: 3/15/2011 9:25 PM ET
Member Since: 8/27/2005
Posts: 4,130
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Wow, I didn't realize so many places didn't have them--I'm in Chicago, so all of the post offices I have access to have them--I love my APCs!  I'd be very upset if the one at my nearest branch was taken out, it would completely change my whole book shipping system.

Diane

Date Posted: 3/16/2011 2:51 AM ET
Member Since: 8/3/2009
Posts: 542
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We had APCs in some of our local branches for a while, but then they were pulled out. No clue why, but I suspect the postal workers weren't thrilled about the idea. I think there are some around, but certainly not conveniently close.

Date Posted: 3/18/2011 3:56 PM ET
Member Since: 4/11/2006
Posts: 1,032
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I live in San Francisco and all of the POs in the business district have APCs.  In the residential areas, some of the POs have them and some do not.  I also had expected that it was based on anticipated usage of the machines.  The clerks at the PO near my home didn't like it when the APC was installed but I love it.  Now I don't have to wait in line anymore to buy my weekly supply of $2.38 and $2.77 stamps.  Also the Macy's Department Store has a PO inside and it is open 7 days a week, which is a true convenience.



Last Edited on: 3/18/11 3:58 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 3/18/2011 6:19 PM ET
Member Since: 4/28/2009
Posts: 9,657
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Our APC can't be used for media mail so it doesn't help with PBS mailouts, only other packages and large envelopes.  They take a debit or credit card so you don't have to worry about having the right amount of cash or writing a check.  Saves me a lot of time when I'm sending out RAOK packages!

Only larger POs here have the APCs here in central FL, not the small, rural POs.

Date Posted: 3/19/2011 12:40 AM ET
Member Since: 5/25/2009
Posts: 599
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No APCs officially take media mail, but you can use the print your own postage option to print the correct amount. If you ask someone if you can do it, they'll say no, but if you just do it and drop it off in the bin it works fine (just make sure your package is clearly labeled as media mail). And of course many books are light enough to go first class anyway which is easy to do through the machine.

Date Posted: 3/20/2011 2:11 AM ET
Member Since: 12/28/2006
Posts: 14,177
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What Becca said.  Many members report successfully using APC for Media Mail, they merely take a MM rate chart to the PO, weigh their packages, and use the 'print custom postage' (or something like that) option.  Don't forget to add .19 if using DC.

Date Posted: 3/20/2011 11:32 PM ET
Member Since: 5/4/2009
Posts: 404
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Wow, that is an awesome tip to use it to weigh the package and then print the MM rate! I love using the APC after work when the window is closed. Would the stamps printed from an APC on a package over 13 oz  mean it would not have to be handed to a postal worker and I can drop it in the box?



Last Edited on: 3/20/11 11:39 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 3/21/2011 12:29 AM ET
Member Since: 12/28/2006
Posts: 14,177
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Yes Sarah, APC is considered 'trackable' postage so the 13 oz. rule does not apply.