Discussion Forums - Questions about PaperBackSwap Questions about PaperBackSwap

Topic: Please, please, PUH-LEEZE tell me this is OK

Club rule - Please, if you cannot be courteous and respectful, do not post in this forum.
  Unlock Forum posting with Annual Membership.
Subject: Please, please, PUH-LEEZE tell me this is OK
Date Posted: 12/4/2008 10:42 AM ET
Member Since: 2/24/2006
Posts: 18,471
Back To Top

I recently moved from LA to a rural area.  There is no Post Office for MILES.  There is a little annex where I could go to change my voter registration, but they  don't even sell stamps!

I have never had this problem before, so I need to know -- with this 13-oz rule, can I put a HB book, wrapped and w/ appropriate postage, n the mailbox with the red flag up for the carrier to pick up.

If not, I am not going to be able to post HBs in the future because right now it is too hard for me to drive for miles and miles in a strange area where I got lost easily.  I need to mail a HB today or tomorrow, so somebody --

PLEASE tell me this is OK.

Date Posted: 12/4/2008 10:49 AM ET
Member Since: 8/16/2007
Posts: 15,194
Back To Top

You can, but only if you use some kind of printable postage. A package over 13 oz with only stamps has to be handed to a worker at a retail postal counter.

Now, some carriers don't follow that rule, but I wouldn't try it in a new area not knowing the post office.

Date Posted: 12/4/2008 10:50 AM ET
Member Since: 6/20/2007
Posts: 4,979
Back To Top

If you use electronic postage--PBS postage, stamps.com, USPS.com--then you can place packages over 13 oz. in your mailbox for your letter carrier to pick up.  This is because the electronic postage is traceable.  You cannot use regular postage stamps on 13 oz or heavier packages and leave them in your mailbox.

Date Posted: 12/4/2008 10:53 AM ET
Member Since: 2/24/2006
Posts: 18,471
Back To Top

Damn.  (Sorry.)

There go my HBs.  I have bought a computer but can't afford a printer yet.  I don't know what I'll do about the one that needs to be mailed. by Sunday.

Date Posted: 12/4/2008 11:11 AM ET
Member Since: 8/16/2007
Posts: 15,194
Back To Top

Carly, one option that might help in the future is to find the nearest Automated Postage Center and print a bunch of labels that are for the standard MM rate, and maybe a few for the next rate up. Those can be used at any time just like stamps, but unlike stamps they are treated as printed postage for the 13oz rule so you could use them on books going into your mailbox. I would OK this with your carrier first since some carriers don't pick up packages at all and some are just plain weird ;) Just a thought. 

Date Posted: 12/4/2008 12:01 PM ET
Member Since: 5/10/2005
Posts: 2,357
Back To Top

Carly, if you are home when your mailman comes by maybe you can hand them the package this once?   They might accept it, especially if it is a one time thing.  Then you can get the one book out.

Subject: Check With Mail Carrier
Date Posted: 12/4/2008 4:19 PM ET
Member Since: 3/5/2007
Posts: 73
Back To Top

I too live in a rural area.... I talked to my mail carrier and if I leave the package in the mailbox with the red flag up, and money to pay for the postage, he will affix the correct postage, mail the package & he returns the change (if any) the next day.  He will even come to the house and pick up multiple packages (one time I had 30 some) and put the postage on them.  This is truly a postal employee who goes above and beyond for his rural customers!  Lucky me!

Date Posted: 12/4/2008 5:17 PM ET
Member Since: 8/9/2007
Posts: 4,058
Back To Top

Yeah, Carly, you might want to try to catch your carrier out on his route & explain the situation and see what he suggests.  It also might be worth a trip into the station for your zip code so you can talk to them there.  Not all stations & carriers do everything 100% "by the book", and they can sometimes help you come up with solutions to problems like this.   I live in a major metropolitan area with POs everywhere, and the people at the one I use bend over backward to help with problem situations.  Something like this, I don't know, but I think it's worth a try.

Date Posted: 12/4/2008 7:17 PM ET
Member Since: 2/24/2006
Posts: 18,471
Back To Top

Thanks, everyone.

The problem with my carrier is the mailbox is up a steep driveway difficult for me to navigate and across the street, and all I know is s/he comes sometime between 2-4.

However, I found out they cleverly disguised my local PO as a stationery store, which happens to be across the street from my bank.  So I can buy birthday cards and send mail at the same time.

Mapquest got me lost, however -- it seems to do its mileage in as the crow flies, not taking into account winding country roads.  I actually got lost (didn't know at the time it was across the street from the bank -- they're the ones who told me).

So all is now well and I can post HB books.

Date Posted: 12/5/2008 11:20 AM ET
Member Since: 5/16/2008
Posts: 2,167
Back To Top

Awww, I'm sorry to hear it Carly. I feel bad for you and something like this makes me realize I am lucky. I work directly across the street (and next door to the gym I go to) from a Hallmark with a real post office inside it. I'm also just a few miles down from a regular PO (two actually). I don't use printable postage, but one of the highlights of my day is getting the mail. But I guess we don't realize the lucky spots until we hear someone else who has it a bit harder.