Discussion Forums - Questions about PaperBackSwap Questions about PaperBackSwap

Topic: Mailing from a vacation location

Club rule - Please, if you cannot be courteous and respectful, do not post in this forum.
  Unlock Forum posting with Annual Membership.
Subject: Mailing from a vacation location
Date Posted: 7/18/2015 2:35 PM ET
Member Since: 4/28/2009
Posts: 10,087
Back To Top

  Is there any reason I need to let PBS  know that I mailed a book from a location other than my home address on record?  I let the requestor know where it was coming from, but didn't know if TPTB need to know.  As I read WL books I brought with me while I'm away for 2.5 months, I'm posting them and sending out from wherever I am staying.  Hubby is manning my bookshelf back home so those are still going out too.

Last Edited on: 7/26/15 10:40 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 7/18/2015 5:15 PM ET
Member Since: 7/19/2008
Posts: 15,485
Back To Top

The post office might demand a local address as the return address. This really varies with local branches. PBS will be fine with it. 

Date Posted: 7/18/2015 7:07 PM ET
Member Since: 8/19/2007
Posts: 4,399
Back To Top

I've mailed from an address (used my own return address) in another state, and not ever had any problems. Pat

Date Posted: 7/20/2015 9:28 AM ET
Member Since: 6/20/2007
Posts: 5,045
Back To Top

I rarely mail from my home address. I usually mail from the office. A return address is simply the address where the mail should be returned to if it is undeliverable, refused, etc., and does not have to match where you actually mailed from.

Date Posted: 7/20/2015 1:16 PM ET
Member Since: 7/19/2008
Posts: 15,485
Back To Top

I've had mail refused at the counter due to the return address not being local.

Date Posted: 7/20/2015 1:59 PM ET
Member Since: 6/20/2007
Posts: 5,045
Back To Top

I've had mail refused at the counter due to the return address not being local.

I'd love to know on what grounds it was refused--the actual postal rule/regulation. I don't think that they are actually allowed to do that. I know there's been discussion about folks being given a hard time when they mail with printed postage from a zip code other than the one on the return address, but AFAIK the USPS can not actually refuse to accept this mail.

I have been mailing all of my outgoing mail from my office for 21 years. Not once has anything been refused. And there are a lot of folks here who mail out their personal mail from the office. None of us live in this zip code, and many live one state over (I work in NJ but we're 15 minutes from the PA border and many coworkers live in PA). People go on vacation and business trips all the time and mail item when they're far away from home. Heck, there are even postal stations in some airports--and you know that no one is putting the airport as their return address.


A web search yielded this:


A Postal Service worker told Chris he wasn’t allowed to send packages from that specific office because the return address was from a zip code other than the one where the office was located, and thus the location wouldn’t receive credit for the transaction.

He writes:


USPS says that prepaid return address must reflect PO package was dropped off at.


Interesting discussion at the [redacted], PA PO. The guy ( he was wearing a visitor badge) said that next time I prepay and print labels at home, they need to have the Wheatland zip code on the label or this branch won’t take them. I laughed, but he was serious. He said that they don’t get credit for the handling so they won’t take them. I argued my way past it today (three packages prepaid and on my work commute) but he was emphatic that next time he would refuse the packages.

Never had this problem before. I mail about a dozen packages a month.

We asked Dave Lewin of USPS whether there is a policy about where you were allowed to ship your package from, and he replied “No, of course not.”


And a search of the DMM yielded this:

1.5 Return Addresses

1.5.1 Purpose for Return Address

The return address tells the USPS where the sender of a mailpiece wants it returned if the piece cannot be delivered.


So there should be no restriction on where a piece of mail is actually mailed from. Incidentally, a return address is not always required.

Last Edited on: 7/20/15 2:17 PM ET - Total times edited: 3
Date Posted: 7/22/2015 1:33 AM ET
Member Since: 12/28/2006
Posts: 14,177
Back To Top

Great points Sheryl.  PBS members get that 'outgoing zip codes must match" occasionally.  Common sense would indicate that refers to mass/bulk mailings, not individual pieces of private mail...otherwise, stamps would be issued printed with a specific zip code and people could not mail postcards or packages home from vacation.

Unfortunately, dealing with grumpy & poorly trained USPS counter staff can be the lessor frustration over contacting admin staff to correct (retrain) the problem.

Date Posted: 7/23/2015 5:27 PM ET
Member Since: 8/16/2007
Posts: 15,222
Back To Top

I have mailed from Vegas, Washington, northern MN, I think Maine. I just print the PBS postage and drop it in an outgoing mailbox somewhere. Never had an issue with one yet.