Discussion Forums - USPS Postal Regulations USPS Postal Regulations

Topic: What happens if you ship a book > 1 lb through the blue box?

Club rule - Please, if you cannot be courteous and respectful, do not post in this forum.
Page:   Unlock Forum posting with Annual Membership.
Subject: What happens if you ship a book > 1 lb through the blue box?
Date Posted: 7/18/2007 1:24 PM ET
Member Since: 6/30/2007
Posts: 58
Back To Top

 

I sent out a book earlier this week that PBS said cost $2.45 or thereabouts.  I assume that means it was over a pound.  I put it in a blue post office box, not knowing the 1lb limit.  Will it be returned to me?

I guess I should take all >1 lb books off my bookshelf :-( 

 

 

Date Posted: 7/18/2007 1:29 PM ET
Member Since: 11/13/2005
Posts: 510
Back To Top

It might be.  If it was marked "media mail", I don't think it should be, but it might still be.  If you printed postage online (stamps.com, etc.) it shouldn't be.

Date Posted: 7/18/2007 3:06 PM ET
Member Since: 12/21/2006
Posts: 315
Back To Top

If you use trackable postage -- meaning, the post office can find out who bought it if they have to -- then you can keep dropping them in blue boxes no matter how much they weigh.

Examples of trackable postage include stamps printed at APCs, and print-at-home postage from the various online dealers (stamps.com, paypal, etc).

Date Posted: 7/19/2007 11:34 PM ET
Member Since: 6/25/2006
Posts: 382
Back To Top

you could get lucky and it will get to where is going

thats seems to be the case with me (or I'm sending weighs less the then a pound

 

Date Posted: 7/20/2007 7:13 PM ET
Member Since: 6/15/2006
Posts: 1,691
Back To Top

Or it could come back to you with a bright green note on it telling you that you need to mail it at the post office.  If you use regular stamps, that is.

Date Posted: 7/22/2007 8:58 PM ET
Member Since: 1/22/2006
Posts: 1
Back To Top

Hi all.  Very very important!  Beginning on July 30th any package over 13 ounces (not a pound anymore!) that bears stamps for postage *MUST* be mailed at a retail counter or it will be returned to you!  Before this rule change the rule didn't necessarily apply to "Media Mail" because it travels by surface...the new rule applies to all packages.  You can mail in a mailbox if you use a postage meter or any kind of online postage, but if you're using stamps you must go to the post office and mail it at the counter.  This starts on July 30th, so be aware and spread the word :)



Last Edited on: 7/22/07 9:00 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 7/23/2007 9:05 AM ET
Member Since: 2/28/2007
Posts: 2,164
Back To Top

I don't know about the rest of you, but until there is a sign on my blue box indicating this change, I'm gonna keep doing what I'm doing, which is mailing almost all my books using the blue box.  I read on the other thread that signs notifying us of the change will be posted on the boxes.  Well, as of yesterday, there was no sign on mine, so I mailed the books using the mailbox.  That's just my rebellious streak against ridiculous postal regulations, I guess.  :)

Date Posted: 7/23/2007 1:24 PM ET
Member Since: 8/26/2006
Posts: 9,308
Back To Top

Well, rebel all you want until July 30th!  :-)

Date Posted: 7/23/2007 3:50 PM ET
Member Since: 2/25/2007
Posts: 73
Back To Top

Those rediculous postal regulations regarding parcels in a drop box are actually imposed by the FAA. Those rediculous postal regulations are to help prevent unibomber type incidents, and  airplanes and luggage being destroyed by hazardous materials that should not be shipped by air because when the cargo hold compresses at altitude the packaging will not contain the packaged materials.

Date Posted: 7/23/2007 8:32 PM ET
Member Since: 7/18/2005
Posts: 209
Back To Top

And I'd like to remind any one who says, "But Media Mail travels by truck" of two things.  Awhile back we had a thread going on the fastest a book got to the other member.  Across country in a couple of days can only happen if it goes by air, even if it isn't "suppose" to.

This new regulation obviously targets all packages that don't have traceable postage on them, there is a reason for this.  Just give it some thought, OK?

Date Posted: 7/24/2007 6:19 AM ET
Member Since: 11/14/2005
Posts: 1,442
Back To Top

Don't assume it's July 30th!

!!!  The > 13 ounce rule has already gone into effect, at least in my area (MA) !!  I mailed a 13.5 ounce book last Friday and it was returned to me yesterday (Mon) with a typed note saying that this new rule is in effect for security reasons.  Luckily they didn't cancel the stamps, so I don't need to add any.

Posted this yesterday in the forum:  http://www.paperbackswap.com/forum/view_topic.php?t=60983

 

Date Posted: 7/24/2007 11:35 AM ET
Member Since: 5/10/2007
Posts: 5,526
Back To Top

I just want to make sure I understand this...if I buy the postage from the APC and it is over the 13 oz (which is rare) I can still mail it in the blue box.  It is only if it is over 13 oz and I use lots of $0.41 stamps (or whatever denomination) that I need to stand in that long line and give it to a postal worker. 

Date Posted: 7/24/2007 1:09 PM ET
Member Since: 2/28/2007
Posts: 2,164
Back To Top

Jean - Please note the smiley face in my above post, meant to indicate that of course, I know I am being silly with my fake rebelliousness.  I realize the regulations happen for a reason.

Date Posted: 7/24/2007 1:10 PM ET
Member Since: 2/11/2007
Posts: 808
Back To Top

Yes, except that I find it isn't necessary to stand in line - at my P.O. clerks allow you to "crash" the line for the specific purpose of leaving the package with them to place in the outgoing bin themselves. They do not ask any questions whatsoever, nor look at I.D., but move on to the next waiting customer. Like the airport farce, it's all about "show" - sigh.

Yes, you can (theoretically) mail APC-postage'd packages of any weight in blue boxes. As with what's allowed at airports, each P.O. gets to mis-interpret the regulations as they see fit (APC means mailing *only* in APC's, etc.).

Date Posted: 7/24/2007 3:59 PM ET
Member Since: 5/10/2007
Posts: 5,526
Back To Top

usually if I have gone up to the APC I have the pkg with me and drop it in the box inside.  it is rare for me to do anything heavier than 13 oz but that isn't to say I won't!  at least I know if it is just a book I should be ok (unless it is a heavy book!)

Date Posted: 7/24/2007 8:38 PM ET
Member Since: 7/18/2005
Posts: 209
Back To Top

What we have here is a mess... :-)

I would like to clear a lot of this up and say "this is the way it will work and this is what will happen when you take your packages into the PO to mail, drop off, or whatever".  As anyone knows who has spent any time in this forum though, no matter what rules, regs, policies, and mannuals say , like John says, some Postmasters, station managers, retail supervisors, or clerks will interpret it how they think it should be done.  This inconsistancy has bugged the heck out of me for 28 years now and I know of no way to change it.  I can only state here how things are supposed to work and caution members that their mileage may vary.

APC postage is traceable and so if you are using it then you can drop packages over 13 oz using it.  The problem with APC postage comes in with some employees thinking the purchase date is a postmark.  It isn't.  There is also no requirement on the ZIP code matching, that only applies to Click n Ship and PayPal postage due to revenue considerations.  However again not all employees understand that and get testy over it.

How about packages with mixed postage, ie a combination of APC and actual postage stamps?  I don't know, I haven't seen anything on this yet.  Common sense tells me it's OK but I can find nothing in writing addressing this so we are at the mercy of what ever postal employees handle it.  Even under the soon to be outdated 1lb limit there was nothing addressing this as far as I know.

Here's a heads up on the new way of doing things starting July 30 th.  BTW, not all employees are trained on this yet.  I just trained another clerk today and have a few more to go (and none of the 100+ carriers associated with my station) so it is quite possible any discussion about this with an employee in the next few days may be with one who hasn't been trained yet. 

Four major changes are taking place.  The new weight limit, the rule applies to all packages and not just those going by air, the elimination of the "known mailer" exception, and tied to that how clerks will have to handle stamped mail over 13oz with stamps that customers bring into the station.

The clerk must now apply a $0.0 postage strip to the package.  Since this is done with the POS system each package will have to be put on the scale, the ZIP entered and the whole proceedure of rating it will be the same as if it were being paid for at the time of mailing.  The only difference is on the last screen of the POS system when you tell the system how postage is being applied there is an option "no postage necessary" that prints out the $0.0 strip.

In the past all we had to do was round date the stamps, this is no longer allowed.  This means, if the clerks are following proceedure (and they will eventually because management and the FAA will get very heavy about this) there will be no more just dropping it off at the counter or in a liner or whatever.  That's why the clerks, supervisors, station managers, and postmasters who have already been trained are so dismayed about it.  It translates into longer lines and grouchier customers.

The exception may be small very slow POs where they may have the time to "get to it later".  In other words, don't count on being able to just drop these off any more after the 30th.

Compliance will be insured because the FAA has the ability to cancel our permits to fly mail by commercial air.  This would stop all letter traffic as well as 1st class and Priority packages.  It would put us out of business.  You can bet management will insure compliance.

The way I see it the only hope for change is maybe sometime in the future, the near future I hope, someone will decide this was a mistake or not necessary and we'll go back to round dating them.  Maybe a busy holiday like Christmas will help but who knows?  For now we are all stuck with it.

 

 

 

 

Date Posted: 7/25/2007 9:55 AM ET
Member Since: 9/21/2005
Posts: 65
Back To Top

I am honestly and truthfully not trying to be a trouble maker....but how is this rule really, truly going to stop "letter/package" bombs?  If I wanted to I can put any return address on the package.  I can look in the phone book and pick one.   In large cities, I could even totally make one up.   I've never had anyone ask for ID at the post office when I've gone in to mail a package and even if they did...I could always have the package marked with a fake company address and say I was mailing to package for employer.   And as far as wanting traceable addresses....if the plane blows up there isn't going to be a package to trace.   Also, won't this possibly force all those potential bomb makers to develop a bomb that can go in a regular envelope or weigh less than 13 ounces?  Terrorists already send anthrax in regular sized envelopes with fake return addresses.

It just seems that once again, bureacracy has forced an issue on it's employees and customers that will adversely affect the employee and the customer...not really solve any true problem or deter any determined criminal.

Date Posted: 7/25/2007 10:55 AM ET
Member Since: 12/21/2006
Posts: 315
Back To Top

Come to that, Alita, it's not terribly difficult to make a bomb that weighs less than 13oz.

However, a bomb that small isn't likely to take down the whole plane with it, which is what the FAA is most worried about ...

Date Posted: 7/25/2007 4:29 PM ET
Member Since: 7/18/2005
Posts: 209
Back To Top

We've had people mailing bombs long before 9/11, not all security precautions are aimed at terrorists.  There are still plenty of locally grown nuts out there who are willing to try to settle a grievance or perceived wrong by mailing a bomb.  The target can be an individual as well as a group.

Profiliing based on experiance and psychology plus other factors enter into it.  People who mail bombs generally have an adversion to entering a place where they are going to be video taped or photographed while commiting their crime.  Modern forensics are amzazing.  Pieces of bombs survive, usually enough to tell investigators a lot about it and its builder.  The resources of the Postal Inspection Service and BATF are truly amazing.

Traceable postage is just that.  PVI (applied at the window even if it is a $0.0 applied to a package with stamps already on it) and APC postage can be traced back to the station and a photo of the purchaser.  Postage meters and PC postage can be traced back to an account.  This immediatly puts the authorities that close to the purpetrator.  Keep in mind most bombers do get caught.

It's a matter of playing the percentages.  Measures that discourage the act in the first place are best and those that help catch the perpetrator not only help do that but also act as a deterent to others.  I'm comfortable with just about anything that will deter this activity, especially since I'm one of the people that will be handling the package.  I think my wife appreciates it also  :-)

Date Posted: 7/25/2007 8:19 PM ET
Member Since: 5/11/2006
Posts: 100
Back To Top

Thank Jersey!   I was looking in this forum for that info!

Date Posted: 7/30/2007 11:13 AM ET
Member Since: 2/5/2007
Posts: 30,791
Back To Top

Bump for newbies that might need the info Steve left for us here.

Date Posted: 7/30/2007 4:44 PM ET
Member Since: 9/21/2005
Posts: 65
Back To Top

Steve, I guess the security camera fphotos can be matched by time/date with the cash register receipts?  In the smaller post offices (and I'm thinking of mine - the town only has 900 residents) I think it would be very easy to spot a suspicious package/customer but not so easy in large cities, i.e. Chicago, New York, LA, etc.

Date Posted: 7/30/2007 7:18 PM ET
Member Since: 7/18/2005
Posts: 209
Back To Top

Sorry, I don't think I can go into detail on security systems but anyone familar with security cameras can figure it out.  The APC probably works the same as an ATM I would guess.

Date Posted: 7/31/2007 8:45 AM ET
Member Since: 9/21/2005
Posts: 65
Back To Top

This is off the topic, sort of, but what happens when I have a package that needs to be returned and it has a postage prepaid preprinted label/sticker on it?  It has a traceable address, but it's not the address of the person sending it, it's the address of the company receiving it (and they aren't in the same town)?   I always take these to the post office to drop off, but will I have to pay the postage and put my return address on them?  Or will the post office have to put a $0.00 meter strip on it instead?

Date Posted: 7/31/2007 8:08 PM ET
Member Since: 7/18/2005
Posts: 209
Back To Top

They are OK to drop Alita. 

Page: