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Topic: What's going on with my post offices?

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Subject: What's going on with my post offices?
Date Posted: 12/21/2009 7:17 PM ET
Member Since: 12/26/2008
Posts: 1,958
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I went to my local post office yesterday to check my P.O. Box and I noticed that the stamp machines were gone.  Sacre bleu!  I needed stamps for Christmas cards.  So, I thought, "No prob.  I will go to another post office tomorrow."

All THREE post offices had dismantled their stamp machines.  What gives?  Is this just a California thing or just a big-town-close-to-Los-Angeles thing?  Or a Postal Service thing?

It resulted in my standing in a llloooooooooooooooooooooog line and losing some Christmas spirit.  Ho-ho-give-me-my-machine-back!

Subject: It's a postal system wide thing.
Date Posted: 12/21/2009 7:50 PM ET
Member Since: 1/8/2009
Posts: 2,016
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But some post offices have a new Automated Postal Centers (APCs) which also sell stamps. I miss them too.

 

http://www.usatoday.com/news/washington/2006-10-18-stamp-machines_x.htm

Date Posted: 12/21/2009 9:00 PM ET
Member Since: 12/26/2008
Posts: 1,958
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Thanks Sophia!  There was an APC at the post office I went to, but the line there was long as well.  

Date Posted: 12/21/2009 9:14 PM ET
Member Since: 2/11/2007
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Bear in mind, you can't get just a 44 or two (or a single stamp of less than $1.00 of additional postage).  A sheet of 44's is fine, as that fulfills the $1.00 minimum initial transaction requirement.

mistie -
Date Posted: 12/22/2009 2:01 AM ET
Member Since: 9/27/2007
Posts: 2,017
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I noticed all three stamp machines at the local "larger" post office were empty and in the process of being removed.

"They" also removed the very old and very basic (but, very useful!) stamp machine from my local rural PO. There is no APC machine there - so, if you are after hours, or on the weekend, there is no way to purchase stamps. 

Luckily, the local market next door took it upon themselves to buy booklets of stamps to sell individually.

But, I'm just wondering - is it legal for anyone other han an official USPS agent to sell stamps.

The other drawback to an APC machine - no using coin tor notes to purchase stamps - must be a debit/credit card.

Date Posted: 12/22/2009 5:27 PM ET
Member Since: 12/28/2006
Posts: 14,171
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Most of my local post offices have gone to APC, my closest option has nothing in the lobby for afterhours postage...my only complaint for an otherwise excellent branch.  We used to have 3 blue boxes in town, now down to one...and it isn't at the PO lol.  Grocery & drug stores have been selling stamp booklets here for years, and many of the ATM's can also dispense the stamp booklets.



Last Edited on: 12/22/09 5:28 PM ET - Total times edited: 2
Date Posted: 12/22/2009 6:55 PM ET
Member Since: 6/25/2006
Posts: 382
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some times you can get stamps at local grocery stores (and even some  bank ATMs (and they wont charge you a service fee (well

at least the wells fargo atm i used didnt charge a service fee)

you aslo order online to get some stamps

Date Posted: 12/22/2009 10:44 PM ET
Member Since: 8/25/2009
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The stamp vending machines were outdated - couldn't get parts for them anymore.  For the past several years, they have been cannibalizing the older ones for  parts for the ones that were still in service.  Then that got to be impractical too.  They are all being removed.  I thought they already had been all removed.

Date Posted: 12/23/2009 1:06 PM ET
Member Since: 2/13/2008
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Thanks, Diane.  I've been wondering why all our stamp vending machines disappeared recently.  I didn't use them very often, but I've been standing in line with folks who miss them. 

Date Posted: 12/23/2009 2:45 PM ET
Member Since: 8/23/2007
Posts: 26,510
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I POs don't have stamp machines or APS machines.  I have 5 POS near me and none of them has an APC machine. 

Date Posted: 12/23/2009 3:31 PM ET
Member Since: 8/25/2009
Posts: 695
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The nearest APC to me is 50 miles away.  But there used to be vending machines, 9 miles away and 20 miles away.  But I live one block from the local post office, so no need to go traipsing all over the county after a stamp!

Subject: Stamps
Date Posted: 12/24/2009 12:22 AM ET
Member Since: 11/18/2005
Posts: 5,420
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Ipay most of my bills on line or they are automatically taken out of my bank balance so I rarely buy stamps, so for the first time in a long time I went to the PO, went inside, stood in line and purchased stamps.  I wasn't completly sure what the price of stamps was!! I fot forever stamps, so I won't have to worry about the price.

Date Posted: 12/25/2009 7:04 PM ET
Member Since: 8/21/2005
Posts: 989
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They removed ours too, it was old and never worked right half the time anyway. They did leave up a sign where stamps can be purchased in town if the customer counter is closed.

Date Posted: 12/25/2009 11:49 PM ET
Member Since: 4/2/2007
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I asked one of the clerks in my post office what was going on with the removal of the stamp machines.  He said they were removed because they were frequently vandalized when the offices were closed.  the main area is left open because of the postb boxes.  Luckily, the supermarket where I buy my groceries sells stamps for the face value price (not for profit).  Looks like the idiots of the world that have no respect for property are making things difficult for the remainder of us.

Date Posted: 12/27/2009 1:56 PM ET
Member Since: 8/16/2007
Posts: 15,186
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You can also get stamps delivered to your mailbox, ask your carrier. I keep one of the orange envelopes for doing that by my computer and when I need stamps, I fill out what I want, put a check in it, and put it in my mailbox. The next day or two I get the envelope back with my stamps. Its not as immediate as the stamp machine, but it is pretty quick and no lines!

Date Posted: 12/27/2009 2:14 PM ET
Member Since: 6/25/2006
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i think there is a service charge for doing that (i think its about  $1.00)

Date Posted: 12/27/2009 3:14 PM ET
Member Since: 8/27/2005
Posts: 4,127
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I haven't seen a stamp machine anywhere in ages.  I buy mine online, because my post office usually only has forever stamps, and are frequently out of other denominations too.  There IS a one dollar service fee but I buy several months worth of stamps at one time so it's worth it.

Date Posted: 12/27/2009 6:31 PM ET
Member Since: 8/25/2009
Posts: 695
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What MelanieD is talking about is a service provided by rural carriers (the orange envelope) and there is no service fee for it.

There is also a stamps-by-mail envelope that is supposed to be distributed to all city delivery customers a couple of times a year, but the post office has to order and pay for the envelopes, so I imagine a lot of postmasters just don't order them.


There is a dollar fee for ordering online.  Some people feel it is worth it not to have to stand in line at the post office, and to be able to choose what kind of stamp design they want.

Date Posted: 12/27/2009 6:50 PM ET
Member Since: 8/16/2007
Posts: 15,186
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i think there is a service charge for doing that (i think its about  $1.00) - I've never paid for it. I think our postal service may still be considered rural even though we are a normal suburban city. We get the orange envelopes in our box 2-3 times a year. Since I've gotten them since as long as I can remember, I didn't realize that it wasn't standard everywhere.

Date Posted: 12/28/2009 9:41 PM ET
Member Since: 7/18/2005
Posts: 209
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There is no service charge for "Stamps by Mail" through a city carrier or stamps purchased from or through a rural carrier.  The $1.00 fee is for stamps ordered on line and mailed from the stamp fulfillment center.