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Thread: About those USPS flat-rate envelopes...

  1. #1
    Super Member Favorite Fabrics's Avatar
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    We had a USPS sales rep stop by on Tuesday, and I asked her to find out if really-stuffed envelopes are acceptable or not.

    And... she researched the issue, and could not find any place where the rules say that the envelope has to be less than a certain thickness to qualify for the flat-rate price.

    And you *can* tape over seams, and the flap closure, to reinforce those areas.

    Thought those of you who are using these envelopes to ship your materials might like to know what the official word is.

    Don't know how to advise you, though, if your own local Post Office is giving you grief about your envelopes. Other than to ask to talk to the PostMaster, armed ahead of time with all the definitions of what a Flat Rate Envelope is, printed off from their own website / Domestic Mail Manual (which is their "bible", so to speak).

    It's been my experience that being a polite and knowledgeable customer, it's possible to ask the right questions so that they may reassess their position.

  2. #2
    Moderator Jim's Gem's Avatar
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    Thanks for the info Nan!!!

  3. #3
    Super Member Tink's Mom's Avatar
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    Thank you...at my branch, it depends on who takes it in...some will give you a hassle about anything.

  4. #4
    Super Member Rebecca VLQ's Avatar
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    From what I've been told the envelope must be able to close of its own accord (Like, you can't cut the flaps and retape them to make it work for you), and you may reinforce the seal with a single strip of tape, as long as it doesn't wrap around to the front.

    Now, Flat Rate BOXES also say you may reinforce the tabs and flaps, I've never seen anything about reinforcing the bottom flap on the FRE. Never had one bust, but it *is* a sealed opening, you know?

  5. #5
    Super Member Favorite Fabrics's Avatar
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    I don't think there is a bottom flap on the FRE... but there are sealed (small) flaps on the sides.

    We've had FREs returned to us from abroad (undeliverable, or unclaimed) and have never seen the side flaps give way, though frequently the corners and bottom edges are abraded away so that the package has some openings.

    Keep in mind, though that those packages have gone twice the distance they should have!

  6. #6
    Super Member Rebecca VLQ's Avatar
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    ^^^That's what I was thinking of...the side flaps!

    When I ship soap the corners get all chewed up, so I know exactly what you're talking about!

  7. #7
    Super Member mom-6's Avatar
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    I'm a 'tape it everywhere' kinda gal. So far no problems at the PO counter.

  8. #8
    Super Member natalieg's Avatar
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    My postmistress says that it has to be able to close on it's own....you can tape it for extra security, but it must be closed all the way.

  9. #9
    Senior Member DebbyT's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Favorite Fabrics
    I don't think there is a bottom flap on the FRE... but there are sealed (small) flaps on the sides.

    We've had FREs returned to us from abroad (undeliverable, or unclaimed) and have never seen the side flaps give way, though frequently the corners and bottom edges are abraded away so that the package has some openings.

    Keep in mind, though that those packages have gone twice the distance they should have!
    Definition of Priority Flat rate - If it fits it ships. There are assorted sizes from envelopes to parcels provided free from USPS. (If you over stuff, the contents are at risk.)

    Definition of Priority Lg envelope - 12" high X 15" wide and no thicker than 3/4". your own envelope, not rigid and even thichness, no lumps. Next step is a parcel.(What a deal with the FRE.)

    Side flaps on Priority FRE will give if they are exposed to moisture. This will happen with wet weather. It is impossible to shield hampers from rain when moving and not all facilities have covered docks. If the envelope is buldging I recommend plastic envelope/zip bag and tape to reinforce. This link may help - (Retired from the PO) http://www.usps.com/prices/first-class-mail-prices.htm

  10. #10

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    Our post ofice measures the thickness with a template if it does fit through easily they make you go to the next box.

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