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Thread: How to mail fabric question

  1. #1
    Super Member AlwaysQuilting's Avatar
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    I've never mailed any fabric before. Do y'all just use the free(?) envelopes from the post office? (they are free, aren't they???)
    As you can see I don't use the post office for anything other than paying a bill with its envelope.
    I have some fabric I'd like to sell here and want to be able to give everyone the best but cheapest packaging.
    Thanks-

  2. #2
    Super Member Maggiesmom's Avatar
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    Flat rate envelopes from the PO work the best.

  3. #3
    Power Poster
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    A fairly accurate scale is very helpful to have. One can get one that weighs up to five pounds from USPS for around $25.00.

    One can give an accurate weight and cost to the prospective buyer.

    (One can also use it to weigh food portions if one is trying to keep an accurate food diary)

    It's also worth while to be able to print the postage through PayPal or some other service

    http://www.quiltingboard.com/t-101275-1.htm

    I was very resistant to doing it this way, but now that I am, it saves the buyers money and is more convenient for the shipper.


    For USA addresses to USA addresses:

    I use manila envelopes when the fabric plus envelope plus plastic bag weigh 13 ounces or less. Then I mail it using first class postage. I also enclose a file card in the inner package with "to and from" on it. "From" includes my board name, real name, and home address.

    Flat rate envelopes (FRE) work well from over 13 ounces to as full as one can get them. They come in three versions (that I know of) now - the regular size cardboardy one, the legal size cardboardy one, and the padded one. The post offices only carry the regular size cardboardy one - the other two need to be ordered on-line through USPS.

    There is a lot of Priority Mail mail packaging available. Sometimes the Flat Rate is the best deal - but not always.

    The packaging is "free" - the postage is paid at the time of shipping.

    One does need to pay attention to what the labeling is on the Priority Mail packaging. If it does not say "Flat Rate" somewhere on the package - one will be charged the "regular rate"

    I've found that there is a "gap" between the FRE capacity and the medium size boxes. I use the Tyvek priority mail envelope for those. For those the postage cost varies from $5.00 to $10.45 depending on the weight of the package and where it needs to go.

  4. #4
    Super Member ptquilts's Avatar
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    The "free" envelopes from the PO will cost you a minimum of $4.75. More than you need to pay for a yard of fabric. Unless you are shipping more than 13 ounces, you might want to get your own envelopes and pay First Class Rate.(max $3.41.)
    i would not recommend using paper envelopes however, they tear too easily, unless you are sending something very light weight. I get poly mailers (plastic) online for about 7 cents each in lots of 100 or more. Not sure where you can buy them retail.

    PS - do not count of the PO clerks to tell you the best way to send something. They are trained to "upsell" and make more money for the PO.

  5. #5
    Super Member Darlene's Avatar
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    There's nothing free at the Post Office anymore. I use a regular manila envelope with a tie or a splitter. It works great but I do wrap the fabric in plastic wrap to protect it from water damage.

  6. #6
    Super Member AlwaysQuilting's Avatar
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    Wow thanks for all the info.
    I'm going to start sorting fabrics this weekend and hopefully start taking photos and listing it here next week.
    I have a post office just behind me (less than 1/4mile) so I can just walk over there and weigh everything.

  7. #7
    Power Poster
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    As a buyer, I do appreciate a seller that will try to send the item(s) the most economical way.

    One yard of ordinary quilting fabric in a FRE is NOT the most economical way to send something!

  8. #8
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    Recently mailed fabric using the priority envelope from post office, postage was $4.95. Had I used regular mail it would been almost $9.00. It pays to check each package.
    Local post office has a scale in the lobby area for customers. It is free, you only pay when you are ready to puchase postage.

  9. #9
    Super Member AlwaysQuilting's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bearisgray
    As a buyer, I do appreciate a seller that will try to send the item(s) the most economical way.

    One yard of ordinary quilting fabric in a FRE is NOT the most economical way to send something!
    What is a FRE?

  10. #10
    Super Member lauriejo's Avatar
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    FRE is Flat Rate Envelope. Thanks everyone for the tips.

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