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Topic: Wet mailbox

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Subject: Wet mailbox
Date Posted: 3/17/2009 10:03 AM ET
Member Since: 8/31/2008
Posts: 2,608
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I'm one of those people who usually goes to the Post Office to mail out my books.  I don't have a postal scale, and I feel more comfortable  having the book package weighed at the PO.  Usually the PBS postage estimate is correct, but sometimes it is not.  Last time I was at the PO I bought some dollar stamps and other stamps to make it easier to just put the stamps on the books and stick them in my mailbox.  So today I walk across the street to my mailbox to mail my stamped book (12.6 oz, so I can do this).  The inside of the mailbox is very wet!  Duh!  is has been raining for days here.  What was I thinking?  Well, the book is well-wrapped with a layer of plastic on the inside and lots of tape on the outside.  So I checked the weather report - cloudy, but no more rain expected today.  I dried the mailbox well inside and out and put the book in.  Now I'm keeping my fingers crossed for no more rain for awhile.

Date Posted: 3/17/2009 10:08 AM ET
Member Since: 9/11/2008
Posts: 203
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No more rain until Thursday at least :o( but hopefully your book will get picked up by then.

Date Posted: 3/17/2009 11:08 AM ET
Member Since: 2/19/2008
Posts: 2,007
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Um... did you weigh the book before or after you wrapped it?  12.6 ounces makes it exactly 13 as far as the PO is concerned (since you always round up to the next ounce) and they may refuse the book.

Date Posted: 3/17/2009 1:27 PM ET
Member Since: 8/31/2008
Posts: 2,608
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I'm back from outings that were nowhere near my Post Office(why I stuck the book in the mailbox in the first place).  I did not know that the PO rounds up to the nearest once.  That's good to know, Bernhard.  I'll keep that in mind for the future.  Anyway, when I returned home, the flag was down on my mailbox, the book I put out there was gone, and in it's place a book for me!  If the Post Office rejects the book for being 13 ounces, what happens?  Does my mail carrier return it to me?  Does it sit a while at the PO?  Has anyone had experience with this? 

Date Posted: 3/17/2009 1:49 PM ET
Member Since: 8/9/2007
Posts: 4,058
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USPS rounds up to the next pound on Media Mail - but that's for the postal rate - which only means that anything 1lb or less costs the Media Mail 1lb rate to mail.  As long as your package is 13oz or less, it is not required to go through the PO counter.  The 13oz rule replaces the old 16oz/1lb rule, and it's for security reasons and has nothing to do with the mail rates.

Date Posted: 3/17/2009 2:22 PM ET
Member Since: 8/15/2007
Posts: 3,044
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I don't think the PO will return it to you. When I first started I used stamps and had a member PM after receiving a book I simply stamped that they'd had to pay extra postage on to receive. So the post office didn't bother returning it to me, just sent it on it's way and made the receiver pay the extra charge I missed.

I'm so glad that member was so nice to me! I've never used stamps again. I'm too paranoid and no every member would be so understanding.

Date Posted: 3/17/2009 3:26 PM ET
Member Since: 12/9/2007
Posts: 9,601
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I'm glad to hear that I'm not the only one whose mailbox gets wet inside.  It's very annoying when people claim that doesn't happen.  It does happen.  Please use plastic prewrap!!  Now back to the regularly scheduled thread!

Ruth

Date Posted: 3/17/2009 6:32 PM ET
Member Since: 6/15/2006
Posts: 5,751
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In my area, if the book weighed 13 oz or over and I used stamps, they would return the book to me. That even happened with DC on it. The post office is only supposed to pick up books 13oz + from a a mailbox if it has prepaid postage on it.

Date Posted: 3/17/2009 6:56 PM ET
Member Since: 2/19/2008
Posts: 2,007
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Kim, I was thinking about the 13 oz. rule when I posted that.  You are correct about Media Maul being rounded up by the pound, same as with other forms of parcel shipping.

Date Posted: 3/17/2009 8:23 PM ET
Member Since: 8/9/2007
Posts: 4,058
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Heya, Berhard.  yeah, I figured that's what you were trying to say, but I thought it could be confusing.  Some people don't automatically think about that - that media mail is per lb and 1st class is per oz, and that the 13 oz rule is 13oz or less.  Meaning that anything that's just .something over 13oz is considered 14oz in terms of postage, but in terms of the 13oz rule, means it should go to the counter.  Some carriers will take things over 13oz if you ask them to though.  Mine does.



Last Edited on: 3/17/09 8:24 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 3/17/2009 8:31 PM ET
Member Since: 8/31/2008
Posts: 2,608
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Well, the mail carrier did pick it up.  It was PBS that said the book weighed 12.6 oz. so it is quite possible that my wrappings brought it up past the 13 oz. mark.  I'll let you guys know if it makes it to the intended recipient or comes back to me.  Maybe some day I will invest in a postal scale.

Date Posted: 3/17/2009 10:55 PM ET
Member Since: 2/19/2008
Posts: 2,007
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What will usually happen is that you'll get it back in a few days with a sticker on it and then you'll have to take it to the PO to send it.

Date Posted: 3/17/2009 11:09 PM ET
Member Since: 8/9/2007
Posts: 4,058
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One thing I've noticed about the USPS is that enforcement of the "rules" varies from station to station - although I doubt they'd actually admit to that:P  The station I regularly use says that as long as I use PBS postage, I don't have to wait in line & have them ask me the question (as they put it); "anything fragile, liquid, or perishable?", which is about the extent of counter inspection or whatever for anything over 13oz, as far as I can tell.  They say just bring them in and leave them at the end of the counter if I have a lot of packages going out, or I can hand them off to my carrier & let him know that they're books.  Another station that I have used however, got peevish with me one time for leaving my packages at the end of the counter & fussed at me the next time I went in - and this was even after one of the workers there told me I could do that & didn't have to wait in line.  The guy who made the fuss said "We have to ask you the question!".  I just laughed and said I would use the non-anal retentive station from now on:P

Date Posted: 3/22/2009 2:27 PM ET
Member Since: 8/31/2008
Posts: 2,608
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Just to let you know, the book did arrive at its destination and I got a nice thank you yesterday from the recipient.  4 days to go from NC to WI via Media Mail from my mailbox to theirs.  Pretty good.  But to be on the safe side I probably would go to the PO or use PBS postage next time I mail a book that is close to 13 oz.