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Topic: Why mail at PO if book weighs over 13 oz?

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Subject: Why mail at PO if book weighs over 13 oz?
Date Posted: 9/27/2008 12:31 PM ET
Member Since: 9/14/2007
Posts: 60
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Ok, I'm mailing a book---Money's tight so I'm saving gas $ and postage cash by mailing from home (+ I'm sick and don't feel like going to the PO today!).  So my recommended postage on my label is $2.58 and I just slapped 6 41-cent stamps and 4 23-cent stamps on my package and stuck it in my mailbox here at home.  The problem is my husband says my book probably weighs at least 2 lbs.  and he thinks the postman won't take it out of our box!!  (We'll know shortly) 

ANYWAY--question is, Why do you have to take books that weigh over 13 oz. to the PO to mail?  Is it because they are bulky and the mailman can't be filling up his vehicle with big packages?  Is it b/c the books HAVE to be weighed?

I appreciate any answers and I'll let you know if the mailman takes the book!

Date Posted: 9/27/2008 12:57 PM ET
Member Since: 10/27/2005
Posts: 503
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From the USPS web site.


Drop Off
Domestic and international mailpieces that weigh 13 ounces or less, with postage stamps affixed, can be dropped in a blue collection box, or handed to your letter carrier.  Mailpieces that weigh more than 13 ounces, with postage stamps affixed, must be handed to a Retail associate at your local Post Office.

Date Posted: 9/27/2008 3:27 PM ET
Member Since: 9/24/2005
Posts: 447
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As for the Why of it all, it's the Unibomber rule. Packages with stamps only leave no traceable trail (assuming the return address is faked). The rule is meant to make it harder for a mail bomber to anonymously mail his "package".

Scott out.

Date Posted: 9/28/2008 3:49 PM ET
Member Since: 8/16/2007
Posts: 15,209
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Caroline - be aware that your carrier may take the package, and it can still come back to you if it weighs over 13oz.   I have seen quite a few instances on here where someone's carrier took it or they dropped it in a blue box and it showed back up at their house a week later with a sticker on it about the 13 oz rule requiring it to be taken to retail counter at a PO. Some carriers take it and it gets by, but many POs catch it. Hopefully yours is one that lets it go.

Subject: Wait and see...
Date Posted: 9/28/2008 4:34 PM ET
Member Since: 9/14/2007
Posts: 60
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Thanks, everyone, for the replies.  My mail carrier actually DID take the book so I hope it's not returned.  I totally understand the reasons for security, but it would be nice if my small town PO could say, "Oh, this is from queenofbooks who was born & raised in this town and has lived at her current address for 13 years and she has a return address on her label and it certainly feels like a book in here...."  :) Trust like that might be a thing of the past!  I let you know what happens.

Date Posted: 9/30/2008 12:00 PM ET
Member Since: 7/16/2005
Posts: 80
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But keep in mind too, that if you use the pre-printed postage on PBS and it's over 13 oz. you CAN drop in a blue mail box.  I have a 2 lb. book I am mailing today and I will just print out the total amount of postage needed and drop it. This way they know who sent the book.

Date Posted: 9/30/2008 9:10 PM ET
Member Since: 8/23/2007
Posts: 26,510
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Next time use the printed postage. It's trackable by the PO to the person who bought the postage.  I don't usually use the printed postage. But sometimes it's worth the fee to me to not have to go to the PO if I only have 1 book to mail and it happens to be over 13oz. 

If the book comes back make sure you let the requestor know so they don't reorder the book if it goes lost. 

Subject: Book Arrived!
Date Posted: 10/1/2008 8:07 AM ET
Member Since: 9/14/2007
Posts: 60
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Not only was the book not returned to me, it reached it's destination fast!  That's the most amazing part to me---I mailed the book from here on in South Carolina on Saturday afternoon and it reached California (3000 miles) by Tuesday afternoon!  That's fast!  It takes an entire week to mail letters between here and family in Kentucky which is just three states away (about 500 miles).

Anyway, my friend's mother works for another rural small town PO near here, and she said the postal carrier was probably unaware of the "over 13 oz" rule or didn't care.  I guess things are a little more relaxed here.

Subject: Queenof books is a home town girl
Date Posted: 10/1/2008 10:20 PM ET
Member Since: 7/25/2008
Posts: 55
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Your local post office may know you are the "queenofbooks", but the mail processing center in the next town doesn't know you from a hill of beans.  You are lucky that the book got to it's destination.