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Topic: I really love that little APC machine!

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Subject: I really love that little APC machine!
Date Posted: 9/23/2009 9:48 PM ET
Member Since: 5/16/2009
Posts: 8,197
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In and out of the P.O. in 1 minute flat... instead of standing in line for 25 minutes...  I love that thing!!!

I wasn't aware until recently about the "create your own postage stamp amount"  under the "buy postage stamps" heading... I had thought that I could only use the APC for First Class packages.   Now I just use the scale to make sure that Media Mail is still cheaper, (or First Class, if it's a smaller book- sometimes the weights in the system are wrong...), then I create my stamp! (& I just add the $ 0.19 extra onto that amount if I'm also using the PBS DC.)   I just make sure to leave the area that prints out with "Media Mail" or "First Class" on the label untaped so that I can cross it out & change it if I need to.    (I have my little price chart printed off the USPS site that I bring with me.)

Since I live almost right around the corner from the P.O., it's no big deal to stop in there- but the waiting in line is the pits!  (And there's always a line there... even right when they open!)

Did I mention that I love the APC??    :D

Date Posted: 9/24/2009 5:12 PM ET
Member Since: 10/23/2005
Posts: 7,719
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I love the APC machine too. In addition to not waiting in line, the lobby in the PO near my job is open 24 hours, so I can stop and use it anytime of the day or night, and I have no misinformed clerks to deal with.



Last Edited on: 9/24/09 5:13 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Subject: Question
Date Posted: 9/25/2009 3:56 AM ET
Member Since: 9/24/2009
Posts: 3
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So I can just use the APC to create a stamp in the amount that PBS suggests for Media Mail and drop it in the box? I always thought that if it was Media Mail they required you to wait in line. Wow, this would be great if it's true!

Date Posted: 9/25/2009 9:59 AM ET
Member Since: 8/23/2007
Posts: 26,510
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None of our POS have these :-(

Date Posted: 9/25/2009 10:57 AM ET
Member Since: 5/16/2009
Posts: 8,197
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Yep- Lauren, it's true!

I just have my price sheet that I printed from the USPS website with me, in case the weight is different for some reason.  But that way, I don't even need to buy a postal scale for at home, I just use the one on the machine.  Go under "buy postage stamps", then under "purchase other amount" (I think it is...) I couldn't find that until a postal worker asked me why I kept waiting in line when I could just use that function on the APC... {Forehead slap!!} 

It's much faster!

Date Posted: 9/25/2009 5:58 PM ET
Member Since: 1/7/2006
Posts: 91
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I have used the machine too.  The only problem is that sometimes the suggested price on the label is wrong.  I have had it be too much and too little.  So to be sure I usually just go to the counter unless the line is so long.

Date Posted: 9/25/2009 7:08 PM ET
Member Since: 5/16/2009
Posts: 8,197
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Just weigh it on the machine first, using the scale as if you were mailing a first class package!  The weight will still be the same, even if you pay for media mail...  Then you just hit the back arrow until you get to the main menu again so you can go in to make your stamp...  easy peasy!  I always weigh it first too- but you don't have to stand in line for just that!!!

Date Posted: 9/26/2009 4:53 AM ET
Member Since: 9/24/2009
Posts: 3
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Thanks! WIll have to try this on Monday. :)

Subject: APC machine
Date Posted: 9/26/2009 7:17 PM ET
Member Since: 11/18/2005
Posts: 5,426
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I would be interested in using one. There isn't one at out PO....unless they have gotten one in the last 6 months!  I don't go to the PO because I use the pre piad postage.



Last Edited on: 9/26/09 7:18 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 9/26/2009 7:36 PM ET
Member Since: 5/16/2009
Posts: 8,197
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You can search for locations near you that have one on the USPS website... I just found out that mine has 24 hour access too! 

Date Posted: 9/26/2009 8:42 PM ET
Member Since: 2/11/2007
Posts: 808
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An APC benefit I've noticed: a single media mail package in a huge bin of first/priority packages usually gets sent along airmail, rather than taking the trouble to be set aside in "the penalty box".

Date Posted: 9/26/2009 11:38 PM ET
Member Since: 8/13/2008
Posts: 13,147
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I wish ours had one. Our postal workers are real a$$holes here. I go out of my way to avoid dealing with them even if it entails driving to the next town to visit that PO.

Date Posted: 9/28/2009 8:16 PM ET
Member Since: 9/24/2009
Posts: 3
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Thanks! Will try this out tomorrow. Anything I can do to avoid dealing with grumpy understaffed PO workers is a good thing!

Date Posted: 9/30/2009 5:43 PM ET
Member Since: 1/15/2007
Posts: 1,410
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I like the APC machine for after hours, but I usuall prefer the "human touch" when the PO is open. 

Not today, though.  The line was long, long and not moving.  I was in and out using the APC before the line moved.

Date Posted: 9/30/2009 11:56 PM ET
Member Since: 2/11/2007
Posts: 808
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I'm going to repeat myself like a broken record here - your "human touch" includes clerks who are specifically trained to toss Media Mail items into the "penalty box". I've found consistently that a single Media Mail item in the APC bin is not "de-selected" from among the many first/priority ones, but goes along "for the ride". It also drives me bonkers that they are so afraid of being "mystery shopped" that they insist on asking about hazardous possibilities for a media mail package, even though they understand that a declaration of "media mail rate (please)" is a "no" by definition ("there is only a book, with no other enclosures whatsoever").

Oddly enough, the last time I used the APC there were two other folks ahead of me, which is about as "crowded" as i've ever seen it (although both transactions went quickly).

Date Posted: 10/9/2009 4:30 PM ET
Member Since: 6/20/2007
Posts: 4,979
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I too love my APC!  I almost never go to the PO when it's open now, specifically to avoid the crowds.  As a matter of fact, I'll go tonight when I get out of temple, at 9:30 at night!

I usually print out extra APC stamps for $2.38 and $0.39.  I have a postal scale at the office, so I can weigh my packages at work and then add APC stamps as needed to get to the desired postage, then mail them out with the office outgoing mail.

Only once or twice did I have to wait for the APC more than a minute or two.  Both times were people who, for whatever reason, could not figure out how to work it. 

Date Posted: 10/12/2009 12:16 AM ET
Member Since: 4/11/2006
Posts: 1,032
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I'm also a big fan of the APC and if possible, never to go to the postal counter.  I've received way too much incorrect info from the postal clerks at the counters.  One or two negatives that I've noticed at the APC bin, lots of people mail big boxes so I'm afraid that my book will get damaged by a heavy box falling on it. So instead of dropping it into the APC bin, I usually put it in the blue box right outside the PO.   There has been a few times where I came across a line at the APC machine, usually from someone who isn't sure how to use the machine and read each and every word slowly.  I also wish people would have their credit/debit card out and ready to use.  It bugs me that some people don't take it out of their wallet/purse until the machine asks for it.  Then they slowly pull it out of their purse/pocket and extract their card...all in slow motion.

Date Posted: 10/12/2009 10:31 AM ET
Member Since: 2/11/2007
Posts: 808
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Susan --

I have that problem on the city bus system as well - folks who were obviously there for a while as we approach not having their fares ready.

Yes, I also put books into the regular mail slot much of the time, though on occasion it's because the lever mechanism on the APC bin can get jammed. I feel sorry for folks who come in after hours, buy APC postage for a big package, affix it, and then discover the bin is jammed, and they can't use mail their parcel!

John

Subject: First-time user
Date Posted: 10/13/2009 1:51 PM ET
Member Since: 8/5/2009
Posts: 7,999
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I used the APC for the first time today, and I will be using it from now on. The only drawback today was a girl in front of me who was really slow. She was also talking to herself (or reading the screen out loud) -- I heard her! I look forward to 100% pleasant PO experiences from now on.

Date Posted: 10/18/2009 2:01 PM ET
Member Since: 9/7/2009
Posts: 130
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I tried using the APC machine recently but it only gave me two options, first class and overnight. Am I doing something wrong here?

Date Posted: 10/18/2009 8:38 PM ET
Member Since: 2/11/2007
Posts: 808
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Holly --

Without actually having been there with you, I'm not sure which of two possible situations you're describing ...

If you were looking for a specific "Media Mail" option - there isn't one. You use the APC option "buy stamp" to purchase the correct postage based upon the book's weight; it's up to you to figure out the correct price for media mail packages.

The other possibility, esp on a Sunday, would be that the "other stamp" tray is empty, so the machine is only dispensing first class postage until the next business day.

John

 

Bowden P. (Trey) - ,
Date Posted: 10/23/2009 6:04 PM ET
Member Since: 9/26/2006
Posts: 32
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They are nice aren't they?

As to the no Media Mail problem, make sure you print up or note the price from the label and buy a stamp of that value like John S. says.

Date Posted: 10/27/2009 6:37 PM ET
Member Since: 10/22/2009
Posts: 1,891
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I LOVE the automated postal machine. if it wasn't for that I would not be so willing to mail out books so quickly or often. It's in and out in a minute!