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Discussion Forums - USPS Postal Regulations USPS Postal Regulations

Topic: Bad news for those of us who use stamps and drop the books in collection bo

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Coffee avatar
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Date Posted: 8/6/2007 7:50 PM ET
Member Since: 7/18/2005
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Nothing special to say, it's all been said.  Since I started this thread I thought it appropriate that I post the 100th comment!

:-)

 

connieb118 avatar
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Date Posted: 8/6/2007 7:59 PM ET
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LOL, Steve!! Congrats!

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Date Posted: 8/7/2007 12:57 PM ET
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Last Edited on: 8/7/07 5:45 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
MeadowbrookManor avatar
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Date Posted: 8/7/2007 2:18 PM ET
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"how is my package safer when it is metered than when I put stamps on it instead?  This whole thing is just silly."

--------

This has been explained several times in this thread - I suggest you reread some of the earlier posts from Steve. In a nutshell, though, it has to do with there being a record of the transaction. With metered mail there is a way to trace the mailer, with postage stamps, there is not.

There is always a tradeoff between security and convenience (witness MS Windows for one extreme example..)
;-)

tpsoles avatar
Date Posted: 8/8/2007 8:23 PM ET
Member Since: 11/5/2006
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This may have been asked and already answered in this thread (so I'm sorry for asking it again, just don't have time right now to go through 11 pages but will try later).  I currently mail any books from PBS though work.  We put it in bins in our office then take the bins down to the loading dock for the postmaster/mistress to pick up at 5:30.  Does this new regulation mean I can't do this anymore?  Or will I have to start paying for postage at work (we have a postage machine that prints out the postage on tape) instead of using my stamps?

Again, sorry if this something like this has been asked before or is confusing.  Hopefully it makes some sense because I'm half awake trying to type this.

Thanks in advance for any assistance.
~Terri

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Date Posted: 8/8/2007 10:09 PM ET
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Packages of at least 13oz total weight must *be trackable*. There are several ways of being trackable, all of which are fine:

  • Trackable postage: postal meters, APC stamps, and online-bought labels (like Paypal and Stamps.com)
  • Walking up to a postal counter and having them print you a zero strip (or the whole postage) means you're 'trackable' now as well.

It applies, so far as I know, to all mail of at least 13oz, no matter whether it's mailed from a business or not.

murder101 avatar
Date Posted: 8/9/2007 12:56 AM ET
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Since I have been mailing my books thru a mail station my books are taking forever to get where they are going since the first one I mailed this way I have not recieved a credit yet and 2 of my books are getting within days of the expected arrival date? I never had this happen before . I talked to the people at the station and they assured me they went out on schedule. Anyone else having this problem? I hate it because I'm a prompt mailer and this is really messing me up.

   Thanks,           Heather

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Date Posted: 8/9/2007 1:40 AM ET
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Unless your mail station is losing your packages, I don't see how they could slow anything down significantly. I'm willing to be proven wrong, but will guess it's completely coincidental - or at least unrelated to changing your mail station.

louisiana-susan avatar
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Date Posted: 8/9/2007 10:44 AM ET
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I feel stupid.  I saw the new message that printed out on PBS labels.  I thought it meant that I could still use stamps but I just had to drop it off at an actual Post Office...not get the postage at the Post Office.  Now I guess I need to figure out what this APC stuff is all about.

 

Susan

hugbandit7 avatar
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Date Posted: 8/9/2007 1:50 PM ET
Member Since: 5/10/2007
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Susan, you can use actual stamps, but if it weighs more than 13 oz you have to hand it to a PO employee (you don't have to wait in line is my understanding but as your PO for their preference).  So go ahead and use your stamps, just be aware of the weight

I prefer to buy $2.13 stamps from the APC.  I will but a few at a time (not many since I might only ship 1 book a week if that) and have them at home to use later.  this solves all the problems if the books is over the 13 oz limit (but remember to buy stamps with more postage for the heavier items!)

Generic Profile avatar
Date Posted: 8/9/2007 1:51 PM ET
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I hate to hear this. This has me rethinking things. I love this site. But I don't like having to go in the post office. I like being able to drop books in the drop box. I might have to just start going back to the used book store. Thanks for the info.

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Date Posted: 8/9/2007 2:24 PM ET
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Sarah:

You can "stock up" on APCstamps (stickers), which are fine in blue boxes.

 

Generic Profile avatar
Date Posted: 8/10/2007 7:01 AM ET
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Where do you get the APC stamps John? I'm new to that LOL!!!

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Date Posted: 8/10/2007 9:26 AM ET
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An APC is an Automated Postal Center -- it's a machine about the size of a large old-style ATM machine, with a scale and a screen, in a post office lobby. USPS.gov's website can tell you where your nearest one is. You want to 'buy stamps in some other amount' off the first screen, then tell it the amount you want (like $2.13, etc).

Generic Profile avatar
Date Posted: 8/10/2007 11:12 AM ET
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As Eloise said, one selects the BUY STAMPS option off the first screen. The machine dispenses small rectangular stickers (what they call "stamps" - not to be confused with actual postage stamps!) just as an ATM does cash.You can stock up in advance as the date on the sticker does NOT restrict when yo can mail stuff; it is only a date-of-sale, not any sort of postmark. You're only "supposed to" use those APC stickers in the same zip code area as the machine (for revenue, not security, purposes), but you can try a test package to see whether your own post office will return it? I infer that they should accept it, but there's a chance they might return it with a note advising you to mail it where you bought the postage.

If you want to check the weight on a  package first, pick option #1 SEND PACKAGE and exit after you get the weight info. The APC will *NOT* have Media Mail info at all! You will need to know the media rates of 2.13/2.47/etc. yourself. Also, the first couple of times I looked up the weight I had trouble reading the info as the lower case "L" in "lb" made it look asw though the book was over 1 lb. when it couldn't have been - you need to read that info very carefully the first couple of times until you're familiar with how it looks.

 

 

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Date Posted: 8/10/2007 11:21 AM ET
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Thanks for the info all. My post office doesn't have one of those :(

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Date Posted: 8/10/2007 1:38 PM ET
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I  had a conversation with my postal clerk yesterday, and the postal employees are just as unhappy about all these new rules and regulations as we are. He said he has been eligible for retirement for over a year, and is seriously considering taking it because they have taken all the joy out of his job. I was discussing with him all the complicated rules about size, thickness, flexibility, etc. Many of the rules are hard to understand, and  I am afraid to just put postage on and send it from my mailbox for fear that I have misunderstood some regulation and it will arrive at its destination "postage due"  He advises everyone to voice their discontent by contacting the Postmaster General in Washington DC with our complaints.  I am going to do just that, and hope thousands of others do the same

Harlean from Arkansas

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Date Posted: 8/10/2007 7:43 PM ET
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Good for you Harlean.  If enough do complain maybe they will revisit the whole idea.

I understand what he means about retirement.  I've been eligible for 2.5 years and I'm trying to hang in for another 1.5 before taking the jump but they are making it harder to stay.  Several things have happened this week alone (none involving customers) that right now I'm very burnt out.  I better not say anymore. 

amjones1 avatar
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Date Posted: 8/11/2007 4:10 PM ET
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Thanks for explaining APC, I had never heard of it before. Does anyone have a specific online postage site they could recommend for those who do not have access to APC?

Anne J

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Date Posted: 8/11/2007 7:00 PM ET
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You can find APCs in your area by going here: http://www.switchboard.com/usps.1355/dir/6_0/index.htm?mem=1355 and under "What Are You Trying To Locate?" choose "Automated Postal Center" from the drop-down box.

Here is the USPS http://www.usps.com/onlinepostage/ about online postage. They don't mention Paypal, which many PBS members use and which has been discussed on here a few times, most recently here: http://www.paperbackswap.com/forum/view_topic.php?t=63213

Hope this helps - keep those books moving!

Generic Profile avatar
Date Posted: 8/14/2007 4:21 PM ET
Member Since: 3/1/2006
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Hi everyone,

I have a question about this new rule. I apologize if it's been addressed already, but this post has become so big that I don't want to wade through all the messages.

I understand the basics of this new rule and have been complying with them. However, I'm not sure as to what the weight limit is for dropping stuff in the blue box. I mostly like to use meter mail stamps, because that's the best way to go for me.

Okay, so if I use a meter mail stamp, what amount of weight can I have a package going into the blu box?

I have no idea if I'm making sense. But if anyone does understand my question, I would greatly appreciate any feedback.

Thanks!
Natalie

 

Generic Profile avatar
Date Posted: 8/14/2007 4:40 PM ET
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My understanding is:  if the package is over 13 ounces it must be taken to the post office counter...you can still use stamps, the clerk will have to print a $0.00 meter strip to put on the package...you cannot drop the stamped package into a blue box.

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Date Posted: 8/14/2007 4:41 PM ET
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12.9oz packages can be mailed from blue boxes with untraceable, ordinary stamps.

13oz packages, and anything heavier, must be trackable (paid at desk, bought online, from an APC, etc).

If you use trackable postage (postal meter, online, APC), it does not matter how heavy your package is, as long as it's under the 70lb limit for media mail -- you can drop it in a blue box anywhere, no problem, because if need be the post office can figure out from the payment records who paid for the postage on it.

connieb118 avatar
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Date Posted: 8/14/2007 4:43 PM ET
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If it's metered postage, any weight package can go in the blue box as long as it will fit.

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