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Topic: cannot wrap in paper?f

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Subject: cannot wrap in paper?f
Date Posted: 10/17/2008 3:03 PM ET
Member Since: 1/29/2006
Posts: 5
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I was told the other day that if I wrap my packages in paper that I will be charged $3 extra . . . . I have to use an envelope.  Is that true?  I have been recycling scrap paper all this time, and was even told by one postal worker how great that was (not killing trees, was her comment, as if they aren't a renewable resource) but then the other day was told the $3 charge would apply.  Can someone tell me?

Date Posted: 10/17/2008 3:21 PM ET
Member Since: 10/27/2005
Posts: 503
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Never heard of that one. I send the majority of mine out wrapped in paper.

Date Posted: 10/17/2008 3:45 PM ET
Member Since: 10/23/2005
Posts: 7,719
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Since being a member here, I have learned this invaluable question to ask at the PO: "Please, may I see the regulation or ask your supervisor to show me the regulation?" And while I dont say it out loud, the last part of the sentence is 'While I wait right here at your counter, blocking the whole line until you do your job and stop making up rules as you go along."

I use paper or recycle bubble wrappers, or most any other packaging that PBS members send me books in. I have used paper grocery bags, old inside-out wrapping paper, blank newsprint, in-side out envelopes that samples come in, printer paper, recycled manilla envelopes (cut the clasp out so it doesnt scratch the book or recipeint).

The key is lots of packing tape and I try to use some sort of plastic lining to save the book incase it gets wet.

Edited since I cant spell

Last Edited on: 10/17/08 5:37 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 10/17/2008 4:56 PM ET
Member Since: 5/10/2007
Posts: 5,526
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I always wrap in paper so not sure why they are telling you that.  I would do like Cheryl says and ask to see that in the regulations because it isn't there.  They probably just want you to buy an envelope from them or something is my guess

Date Posted: 10/18/2008 10:01 AM ET
Member Since: 6/30/2006
Posts: 2,303
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Aren't envelopes paper?

Date Posted: 10/18/2008 5:32 PM ET
Member Since: 4/25/2007
Posts: 11,697
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As long as all edges of the paper wrapping are secured with tape, I don't see the problem.  Loose paper can get caught in machinery and torn off but if your package is tightly wrapped and securely taped, that won't happen.

No where do the PO regulations say they can charge extra for paper wrapping!

Date Posted: 10/18/2008 6:27 PM ET
Member Since: 7/30/2007
Posts: 4,275
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Parcel Post Extra Postage
    Extra postage is required for Parcel Post service when you are mailing:
  • a can, roll, or tube.
  • a package less than 6 inches long or 1/4 inch thick or 3 inches wide.
  • more than 34 inches long or 17 inches high or 17 inches wide.
  • books and other printed materials weighing over 25 pounds.
  • a package with more than 24 ounces of liquid in one or more glass containers.
  • a package with 1 gallon or more of liquid in metal or plastic containers.
  • a metal-strapped or metal-banded box.
  • an insecurely wrapped, unwrapped, paper-wrapped, or sleeve-wrapped article.
  • a metal or wood box.

That is straight from the USPS website. That is on official PO regulation. No it is not enforced like it should be but the clerk who told you that is doing thier job properly and should be commended

Date Posted: 10/18/2008 9:53 PM ET
Member Since: 10/23/2005
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Media Mail and Parcel Post are 2 different classes of mail.

Date Posted: 10/18/2008 10:50 PM ET
Member Since: 4/20/2006
Posts: 5,748
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The PBS wrapper is paper.  If that were true, we'd all have problems.  That clerk was misinterpreting a rule.

Date Posted: 10/19/2008 12:32 AM ET
Member Since: 2/13/2007
Posts: 8,411
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What Cheryl said!

Subject: The Parcel Post surcharge is for:
Date Posted: 10/19/2008 9:31 AM ET
Member Since: 5/19/2008
Posts: 562
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What is classified as "Non Machineable mail" and the line    "an insecurely wrapped, unwrapped, paper-wrapped, or sleeve-wrapped article" does not relate to what we do when we ship out a book in media mail.

"an insecurely wrapped, unwrapped, paper-wrapped, or sleeve-wrapped article"

I have seen this portion used for such items as plants, tires, and other items that fall into this category, but not a "properly" wrapped book.



Subject: wrappings
Date Posted: 11/8/2008 4:13 PM ET
Member Since: 11/18/2005
Posts: 5,445
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Ditto again on what Cheryl said..especially the part about standing there and holding up the line while they look up the


Date Posted: 11/8/2008 9:19 PM ET
Member Since: 6/25/2006
Posts: 382
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now if you were using fedex and using grocery paper we will ask you to put into another box

as what can help if you dont do that the grocery paper can get torn or fall off and there goes the shippng label

so that might be another reason for not allow grocery wrapping paper

(although another way around it is to securily tape then entire box with tape

Subject: No.
Date Posted: 11/8/2008 9:34 PM ET
Member Since: 8/20/2005
Posts: 2
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It is a lie, there is no such regulation. Please report the incident to your local postmaster so they can smack the employee around with the training guide. If the postmaster also makes  such claims, report them to the US Postal Inspection Service of the USPS Officer of the Inspector General because it's fraudulent.


Date Posted: 11/8/2008 11:40 PM ET
Member Since: 1/29/2006
Posts: 54,837
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No it is not enforced like it should be but the clerk who told you that is doing thier job properly and should be commended

Not if he doesn't know the difference between Parcel Post and Media Mail.  As Cheryl already said, they are not the same thing.  So, unless those extra charges *also* apply to Media Mail he was, in fact, not doing his job properly.  There seems to be a lot of confusion about regulations and I know they are changing all the time.  I don't envy any postal worker having to keep it all straight, not for a second.  Still and all, if info IS going to be passed out, accuracy is needed.  

Date Posted: 11/10/2008 4:25 PM ET
Member Since: 4/11/2006
Posts: 1,032
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Seems like the clerk was giving parcel post info for media mail.  I've  never had a problem with mailing any of my books wrapped in paper and I use all manner of paper.  In fact, I'm using election material and hopefully that won't tick off anyone.  After noticing that all those nice campaign material come in nice thick glossy paper, I just had to use it for mailing out my books.  In another month, I am going to go through the office and ask everyone to save me their wall calendars too.  They also make for very good book wrappers.

Subject: wrapping in paper
Date Posted: 11/12/2008 1:40 PM ET
Member Since: 1/29/2006
Posts: 5
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Thanks for all the responses- - I just have tons of paper of all sorts I can use without cost, so buying envelopes really cut into my "fun" budget.  I am going to try again and ask to see the regulation, as some have suggested . . . I do tape very well - - every edge and around the whole package so I cover the address and all the edges of the shipping label . . . I don't see how it could be any more secure if I did use an envelope, in which case I tape it exactly the same.  I wrap in a plastic bag first, or bubble wrap if I have some (recycled from something I've received) - - - I'm going to try again and see what happens.  (One clerk commended me for recycling paper , the other told me the above "regulation".  Go figure.



Date Posted: 11/26/2008 1:05 AM ET
Member Since: 11/28/2007
Posts: 285
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I'm a window clerk for the PO. The only time we worry about paper wrapped around a package is at Xmas time, when we have a bunch of dern fools come in with a beautifully wrapped present, ribbons, bows and all, and expect us to mail it for them just like that. We get to explain to these ninnies that (a) The package isn't going to show up looking that pretty, and (b) the paper, and the address that's attached to it are almost certainly going to get torn off in processing, leaving us with a box that we don't know where to send. That's the point of that rule.

Date Posted: 11/29/2008 1:55 PM ET
Member Since: 11/26/2008
Posts: 9
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Solution...Go to a different post office branch if possible.

Date Posted: 11/30/2008 3:12 PM ET
Member Since: 8/21/2006
Posts: 4,790
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Last Edited on: 1/31/09 11:04 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 12/2/2008 11:02 AM ET
Member Since: 2/5/2007
Posts: 30,805
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I mailed 3 books yesterday.  One of them in brown grocery paper, one in a manila envelop and one in a recycled bubble wrapper.   Lots of tape used on all.  NO complaints from my post office.

Date Posted: 12/2/2008 4:41 PM ET
Member Since: 8/21/2006
Posts: 4,790
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Last Edited on: 1/31/09 11:04 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 12/3/2008 11:13 AM ET
Member Since: 4/25/2007
Posts: 11,697
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You should always have your address or the senders address inside the package too.  I put it on a sticky note or print out the one-page PBS wrapper (that's not really a wrapper) and put that in the book, then wrap in cling wrap, then the brown paper.

That way, if the paper manages to get torn (and I don't see how with it mummified in tape), the address is still attached to the book itself.

Date Posted: 12/4/2008 9:16 AM ET
Member Since: 9/25/2007
Posts: 357
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Parcel post and media mail are sorted together...... So, technically, they are NOT the same, but are treated as such by the PO (at least according to the postmaster we deal with at our CPU.  We sort our outgoing mail according to her instructions).

In the past two weeks,  I have received two empty pieces of brown paper with nothing left but my address and a sticker from the PO: "Received without contents".  The volume of mail in the postal system at this time of year is tremendous, and brown paper is going to be torn up, especially if not properly taped.  In the past two weeks, our parcel post/media mail bins are overflowing.  You have little media mail packages underneath hundreds of pounds of boxes.   It was explained to us that parcel post and media mail are sent strictly on a "space available" basis.  So  priority boxes are loaded first, then first class packages, then if there is space on the truck, parcel post and media mail. 

Brown paper can and does get torn in the mailing process.  I have now lost four books to shredded brown paper wrapping.  From what I can tell from what was left, there was only tape across one side of the wrapping, where it was folded together.  If you have to use brown paper, wrap the book with 2" shipping tape front to back, width and length, several times, as if you were securing it with a rubber band..... and especially secure corners!  Take a look at your package..... consider if a corner or edge gets torn.  Is there enough tape to secure the rest of it?  If you've only taped the seam in the back, then addressed it in the front, what happens if a corner gets torn and the front gets ripped away?  Or a big enough tear that the book falls through?  There should be enough tape around the whole package so that there wouldn't be enough paper ripped away for the book to fall through....   In other words, criss-cross front-to-back with tape, length and width around the whole girth of the book.  Your edges could be secure with tape, but what happens if the address portion gets punctured with something and a tear begins?  Little tears turn into big tears and before you know it, the whole front of the package could be ripped away.  Never, ever be stingy with tape.  It is your friend :)

Last Edited on: 12/4/08 10:22 AM ET - Total times edited: 4
Date Posted: 12/5/2008 1:22 AM ET
Member Since: 8/21/2006
Posts: 4,790
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Last Edited on: 1/31/09 11:02 PM ET - Total times edited: 1