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Thread: Does your post office allow stuffed Flat Rate Envelopes?

  1. #1
    Senior Member dogpursemaker's Avatar
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    I am finding that more and more ebay sellers are saying that their post offices won't allow them to stuff flat rate envelopes. I've not had that problem with my post office, which is on the picky side-I have to add extra postage if I send a tiny handmade button in a letter! :roll:
    I'm wondering if this is becoming a regional thing, local only, or does the seller just not want to stuff? Have you ever not been allowed to send a stuffed envelope?

  2. #2
    Power Poster BellaBoo's Avatar
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    My local PO will accept stuffed to almost bursting if I use the good packing tape to hold it all together. Some of my packages are so full they look like throw pillows. I asked one clerk and he said it was up to the clerk, no one gets in trouble by allowing it.

  3. #3
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    Yep, depends on the person waiting on you too. They say that the envelopes were made for documents.........

  4. #4
    Super Member ptquilts's Avatar
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    They should ALL allow it, this business of having each clerk make up their own rules is bogus.
    Just avoid the arguments and get FR padded envelopes though, is the easiest way.

  5. #5
    Super Member leatheflea's Avatar
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    And they wonder why the postal service is failing. I rarely use the post office to ship anything.

  6. #6
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    i've never had a problem with them. Although the last box(the new game box) i sent was a bit bulgy and the clerk commented on it but still accepted it. I think the problem is when it really doesn't shut and people use tape to make it bigger.
    everthing is automated so i can see why they want to keep things uniform. If the envelope or package doesn't fit thru the machine it can get damaged.

  7. #7
    Senior Member dogpursemaker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ptquilts
    Just avoid the arguments and get FR padded envelopes though, is the easiest way.
    I didn't know about these! What is the charge to send the padded ones, please?

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by dogpursemaker
    Quote Originally Posted by ptquilts
    Just avoid the arguments and get FR padded envelopes though, is the easiest way.
    I didn't know about these! What is the charge to send the padded ones, please?
    $4.95 at the post office plus delivery confirmation

    $4.75 if purchased through PayPal, which includes delivery confirmation

    I think the padded ones tear easily.

    One can also order a flat rate legal sized envelope.

  9. #9
    MTS
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    Quote Originally Posted by bearisgray
    $4.95 at the post office plus delivery confirmation
    $4.75 if purchased through PayPal, which includes delivery confirmation
    Actually, that's a current glitch that PayPal hasn't yet updated because...well, they're PayPal.

    The price really should be $4.95 with NO DISCOUNT and free DelConf.

    However, since PayPal hasn't yet added the padded option to the form, the only option is the regular FRE which does provide a $.20 discount.

    I haven't yet had a package returned for the extra postage (over 150 as I'm halfway done with my 2nd box).
    Yet. :roll:
    Technically, I guess they could ask for it.
    My packages are either deposited in the kiosk, or scanned on the multi-order form, so nobody really notices.
    And my mailguy is a dream
    Or worse, ask your buyer for it on the other end.

    If you buy your postage at usps.com, you'll see that both the padded and legal FRE's have no discount on the postage.

    Delivery Confirmation, however, continues to be free on all the Priority options when postage is purchased online.

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    I aksed at post office today and postal policy is its a flat rate for whatever fits in package. They do however refuse it if it is not adequately taped shut. Just FYI

  11. #11
    Power Poster ckcowl's Avatar
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    nope= flat rate envelopes are supposed to be for documents only- more and more post offices are (following the rules) now- we were never supposed to be able to stuff anything in the flat rate envelopes except flat paper-
    you can still stuff tyvek envelopes from the post office and the 4 sizes of flat rate boxes- which start at $5.95 to send- those you can put what you want in.
    some places the p.o. has always enforced the rules- others were (lax) and pretty much let anything go- with budget cuts and the financial situation of the post office the (big chiefs)have started insisting the rules be followed- so now there are some things we have taken for granted for a few years that will change- just one more of the effects of our present days--

  12. #12
    Super Member Favorite Fabrics's Avatar
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    The official rules, as posted on the USPS website, do allow for stuffed envelopes. Details have been posted here on the forum quite a number of times.

    No more than 4 pounds per envelope, though!

    Seriously... you could not fit 4 pounds of documents in an envelope that size. Nor could you fit 4 pounds of fabric. Three, maybe...

    I have always been able to send stuffed envelopes. The only problems I have encountered were on the receiving end. I have had to call the destination Post Offices and speak to the postmaster and cite the rules, regulations, and applicable rulings to them. I have also on occasion had to have my local USPS Business Services Specialist call the destination Post Offices on my behalf.

    I think this was more of a problem in December-January when the rules were in flux and updated memos regarding USPS rulings had not been sent to (or read) by all the branches. I have not had any problems since February.

  13. #13
    QKO
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    The rule for FRE's is -- It has to close within its own folds, you're not allowed to make it into a box by cutting or modifying it in any way. The adhesive strip has to be adhered to its mating surface. You're not allowed to add any material to make it larger.

    You should always add additional tape to all the seams, the FRE's are just not that robust.

    Postal clerks are allowed to refuse over-stuffed FRE's, at their own discretion, if they feel that they can't be shipped safely without danger of bursting, so use additional tape.

    A couple of other comments -- the new legal-sized FRE's hold more and ship for the same price -- $4.95 if purchased at the post office, $4.75 if postage is purchased online.

    The padded FRE's are the same price for postage whether purchased online or at the PO - $4.95. For certain items these can be handier, but these are meant for businesses, so the post office normally doesn't have them. You can order them for free from usps.com.

  14. #14
    Super Member Lori S's Avatar
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    When It comes to the envelopes mine tells me if I can get it shut they will take it. Well taped of course. .

  15. #15
    Super Member raedar63's Avatar
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    My postmaster says as long as I can tape it shut.Small town though,only two workers total lol

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by MTS
    Quote Originally Posted by bearisgray
    $4.95 at the post office plus delivery confirmation
    $4.75 if purchased through PayPal, which includes delivery confirmation
    Actually, that's a current glitch that PayPal hasn't yet updated because...well, they're PayPal.

    The price really should be $4.95 with NO DISCOUNT and free DelConf.

    However, since PayPal hasn't yet added the padded option to the form, the only option is the regular FRE which does provide a $.20 discount.

    I haven't yet had a package returned for the extra postage (over 150 as I'm halfway done with my 2nd box).
    Yet. :roll:
    Technically, I guess they could ask for it.
    My packages are either deposited in the kiosk, or scanned on the multi-order form, so nobody really notices.
    And my mailguy is a dream
    Or worse, ask your buyer for it on the other end.

    If you buy your postage at usps.com, you'll see that both the padded and legal FRE's have no discount on the postage.

    Delivery Confirmation, however, continues to be free on all the Priority options when postage is purchased online.
    I took a couple of those to the post office window to see if I needed to pay extra postage - and the clerk just shrugged and let them go.

  17. #17
    MTS
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    Quote Originally Posted by QKO
    A couple of other comments -- the new legal-sized FRE's hold more and ship for the same price -- $4.95 if purchased at the post office, $4.75 if postage is purchased online.
    That is incorrect info.
    http://postcalc.usps.gov/MailService...&MailingTime=8:00%20AM&mt=37

    And when, and if, they get added to the PayPal form, they'll still be full priced.

  18. #18
    MTS
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    Quote Originally Posted by bearisgray
    I took a couple of those to the post office window to see if I needed to pay extra postage - and the clerk just shrugged and let them go.
    Exactly!! :thumbup:

  19. #19
    Power Poster amma's Avatar
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    We are only allowed to add a small piece of tape on either end of the cardboard envelope, where the adhesive is... no other tape or they reject them.

    I do take some to other POs where they are not so picky :D:D:D

  20. #20
    Senior Member dogpursemaker's Avatar
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    Geez, I didn't realize they were so big. Guess I have to order new supplies! Thanks so much for all your input. I've learned so much, and I thought I was pretty mail savvy!

  21. #21
    QKO
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    Quote Originally Posted by MTS
    Quote Originally Posted by QKO
    A couple of other comments -- the new legal-sized FRE's hold more and ship for the same price -- $4.95 if purchased at the post office, $4.75 if postage is purchased online.
    That is incorrect info.
    http://postcalc.usps.gov/MailService...&MailingTime=8:00%20AM&mt=37

    And when, and if, they get added to the PayPal form, they'll still be full priced.
    They have been priced the same as regular FRE's since they appeared several months ago. We use stamps.com and they do differentiate this price difference between the padded FRE's and the regular FRE's, however they do not yet differentiate a price difference between the regular and the legal-sized FRE's, so we've been shipping the legal-sized at $4.75. Our post office has yet to tell us there is a difference in price. We've shipped hundreds of legal-sized ones at $4.75 so far without a problem.

    Thanks for the info, we'll have to keep an eye on this to see if they do indeed raise the prices as your reference shows. It's also possible that services like paypal and/or stamps.com get a discount not available elsewhere.

  22. #22
    Super Member Tink's Mom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ptquilts
    They should ALL allow it, this business of having each clerk make up their own rules is bogus.
    Just avoid the arguments and get FR padded envelopes though, is the easiest way.
    I depends on the clerk here, too...I just got the padded envelopes so I'm waiting to see what happens.

  23. #23
    QKO
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    Quote Originally Posted by QKO
    Quote Originally Posted by MTS
    Quote Originally Posted by QKO
    A couple of other comments -- the new legal-sized FRE's hold more and ship for the same price -- $4.95 if purchased at the post office, $4.75 if postage is purchased online.
    That is incorrect info.
    http://postcalc.usps.gov/MailService...&MailingTime=8:00%20AM&mt=37

    And when, and if, they get added to the PayPal form, they'll still be full priced.
    They have been priced the same as regular FRE's since they appeared several months ago. We use stamps.com and they do differentiate this price difference between the padded FRE's and the regular FRE's, however they do not yet differentiate a price difference between the regular and the legal-sized FRE's, so we've been shipping the legal-sized at $4.75. Our post office has yet to tell us there is a difference in price. We've shipped hundreds of legal-sized ones at $4.75 so far without a problem.

    Thanks for the info, we'll have to keep an eye on this to see if they do indeed raise the prices as your reference shows. It's also possible that services like paypal and/or stamps.com get a discount not available elsewhere.
    This is an interesting coincidence. Just a few minutes after I posted the above, I got notified that a new update for our stamps.com software was available. So I downloaded and installed it.

    The new software now supports the new regional-rate flat rate boxes (Yay!) This will lower the cost of some shipments, especially those closer to us, and for those shipments that fall between the sizes afforded for the FRE and the medium flat-rate box. (Yay! And finally! This update was supposed to happen in May).

    The new software update also still does NOT have a separate price for the legal-sized FRE's like it does for the padded FRE's, so I guess we'll continue to ship the legals for $4.75.

  24. #24
    MTS
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    Never mind as you posted while I was writing. ;-)

    Also, FYI for everyone, if you have any international packages you want to send via FREPadded, as long as it's under the 4 lb limit, you can use the little green customs form and don't need to fill out the larger white carbon copy form.

    Those regional boxes are a very interesting concept, but I think a bit involved for the hobby ebay-er. I have some here, we'll see if I use them.

    iow, and this is just me, unless eBay and/or PayPal figure out for me that it's the best option, I don't know if I'd bother figuring it out. I certainly doubt that the buyers would have a clue.

    However, if you've got the volume and a real shipping department/software (not run out of a box), I can certainly see the advantages.

  25. #25
    Super Member Zappycat's Avatar
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    I have three post offices that I can go to. One allows it (and actually applauds me for how much I shove in there) and the other two are always a pain in the neck about everything. Guess which one I go to?!!

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