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Thread: Flat-Rate Envelope Mail Problem

  1. #1
    Junior Member apronlady's Avatar
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    Just wanted everyone to know who orders fabric online, sells it, or even gives it away NOT to use the US Post Office Flat-Rate envelope for mailing ANYTHING but documents.

    I do all of the above and am at a loss as to how to properly charge people for the postage. I LOVE FABRIC and want to share it with people, but how the heck can I figure out what a half yard or 3 yards of fabric weighs to set up a system...it will be a guessing game of sorts.

    Just needed a place to vent and to let everyone know that you may be responsible for additional postage if you've ordered or sent anything but papers in the flat-rate envelope since the beginning of the year. The PO might be having some grace period, but who knows.

    GRRRRRRR! I'm usually a positive person who always makes people laugh (many folks tell me I look and act like Carol Burnett.) This isn't funny or positive news!

    Women NEED more fiber (a/k/a fabric) every day; why do we have to pay more for it in postage costs?

  2. #2
    Power Poster amma's Avatar
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    I am not sure what you mean?
    We all use these for mailing fabric, swap blocks/swap items all of the time, without any issues...
    Infact, the workers have seen exactly what is inside the envelope many times, because they give me an extra set of hands to help get it all in and sealed :D:D:D

  3. #3
    Power Poster cjomomma's Avatar
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    Have they changed things because I heard the flat rate boxes and envelopes were going to stay the same.

  4. #4
    Power Poster ckcowl's Avatar
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    i use flat rate boxes all the time and ship fabric/quilts all over the country and canada...i understand the envelopes being used for documents. i don't understand your issue?... selling-sending just small amounts? you can use tyvek envelopes, that's what i use for all my swaps and smaller than a box full of fabrics. if you pick up a scale (available in office supply places-even walmart carries them) you can weigh your envelope-packaging and print your postage from your computer so it's pretty easy to figure out how much it's going to be. i find the usps web site one of the more user-friendly ones for shipping. :thumbup:

  5. #5
    Super Member pab58's Avatar
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    I thought the deal is: "If it fits, you can use it." It doesn't matter how much it weighs. Has there been a change? :?

  6. #6
    Junior Member apronlady's Avatar
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    The boxes are not the problem - they stay the same. The issue is with the envelopes. They fit up to 8 yards of fabric in them and you use to send them anywhere in the country for the same flat rate - NO LONGER. Now it's each package weighed and depending on where in the country or world you're sending them will be the cost.

    This is a big deal when you're selling fabric to accurately quote people. I like to give fabric away as well, but this postage thing is a pain.

  7. #7
    Super Member wolph33's Avatar
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    I shipped some yesterday a lot of them with 6 to 9 yds in each-postmaster said nothing-just the rates went up a few cents.

  8. #8
    Super Member feline fanatic's Avatar
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    If there has there is no mention of it on the USPS website.

    Here is what it says:
    Priority Mail
    A simpler way to ship.
    Take the guesswork out of shipping with Priority Mail® Flat Rates. Whatever fits in the box or envelope ships for one low rate—anywhere in the United States. There's virtually no weighing or calculating. And your packages reach their destination in 2-3 days.

    Restrictions
    Contents must reasonably fit within the Priority Mail packaging, and weigh less than 70 pounds

    Link: http://www.usps.com/shipping/prioritymail.htm

  9. #9
    Super Member feline fanatic's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by apronlady
    The boxes are not the problem - they stay the same. The issue is with the envelopes. They fit up to 8 yards of fabric in them and you use to send them anywhere in the country for the same flat rate - NO LONGER. Now it's each package weighed and depending on where in the country or world you're sending them will be the cost.

    This is a big deal when you're selling fabric to accurately quote people. I like to give fabric away as well, but this postage thing is a pain.
    It sounds to me like the person who waited on you did not give you priority mail flat rate service. They must have rang you up a different way. I have had some postal employees do that for me because it worked out to be less expensive then the flat rate.

  10. #10
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    We have to make sure we get the envelopes/boxes that have "FLAT RATE" printed on them...they have the same containers that are not flat rate.

  11. #11
    Mimito2's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ktbb
    We have to make sure we get the envelopes/boxes that have "FLAT RATE" printed on them...they have the same containers that are not flat rate.
    I have picked up several of the FRE and gotten a regular one in the mix. IT was going to cost $25+ to mail. I ripped it open and addressed a FRE, they watched me do it. Post lady grinned and said, "If it fits it ships and you sure can stuff one."
    I now make sure that I inspect them and make sure that they say FLAT RATE.

  12. #12
    Super Member luvTooQuilt's Avatar
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    The post office is having issues with the bulging envelopes that are taped end to end, corner to corner so that no part of the envelope has been left without tape. However they will accept the flap being taped and the label being taped. even if you have to call a manager- the reason you should give is: you are making precautionary measures to keep the flap secure & mailing label intact during the shipping process.



    I use flat rate all the time.. you just have to be able to seal the envelope on its own first prior to the taping. I can send a pair of jeans in them.. Yes A PAIR OF JEANS!!!!


    Their motto for flat rates is: " if it fits it ships"

  13. #13
    Super Member ptquilts's Avatar
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    there is a lot of confusion about this. From what I understand, there is a variety of mail called Critical, the new FRE rules are supposed to apply to this which is a commercial mailing class (businesses). Some PO's are interpreting the rules to mean ALL FRE's.
    Rather than fighting with them, just use the new FR padded envelope - available now on the USPS website - I just ordered a bunch - they are free and you get them delivered to your house. They may have them at the PO but I prefer to have my own supply.

    Here is the link to order them, you do have to have an account with the PO, very easy and free to set up.

    https://shop.usps.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/ProductDisplay?catalogId=10001&storeId=10052&productId=10007166&langId=-1&parent_category_rn=10000002&top_category=10000002&categoryId=10000036&top=&currentPage=0&sort=&viewAll=Y&rn=CategoriesDisplay&WT.ac=10007166]https://shop.usps.com/webapp/wcs/sto...WT.ac=10007166[/url]

  14. #14
    Super Member luvTooQuilt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by apronlady
    The boxes are not the problem - they stay the same. The issue is with the envelopes. They fit up to 8 yards of fabric in them and you use to send them anywhere in the country for the same flat rate - NO LONGER. Now it's each package weighed and depending on where in the country or world you're sending them will be the cost.

    This is a big deal when you're selling fabric to accurately quote people. I like to give fabric away as well, but this postage thing is a pain.
    you mailed priority- not FLAT RATE priority.. Same envelope just missing the word FLAT on it..

  15. #15
    Super Member sewwhat85's Avatar
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    thank god for the usps lol

  16. #16
    Super Member sewwhat85's Avatar
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    thank god for the usps lol

  17. #17
    Super Member dream56's Avatar
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    My post office told me Priority Flat Rate Envelopes could not be bulging and had to be fairly flat or post offices could charge you more.

  18. #18
    Power Poster dreamer2009's Avatar
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    There is another flat rate envelope for documents only; BUT it is not the ones we have been using for sending fabrics.
    My PO carries both in the lobby area.

  19. #19
    Super Member luvTooQuilt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dream56
    My post office told me Priority Flat Rate Envelopes could not be bulging and had to be fairly flat or post offices could charge you more.
    Try to go to another post office then. Cause all the ones Ive used tell me the same thing.. if it fits it ships.. flap must fold and clear packing tape on flap and mailing labels are fine.. I host the 10.5in swaps and I can fit 72 squares ( 6 yards) in one envelope with no problem with my dinky PO, Republics PO, Mt Vernon's, or Springfield's Post Offices..

  20. #20
    Super Member donnajean's Avatar
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    If there is a change in Priority Flat Rate shipping, could you please show or tell us where yo see this on the USPS.com website? I can't find where there is any changes in Priority shipping.

  21. #21
    Junior Member apronlady's Avatar
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    Hi Donna Jean,

    This information is not posted clearly on the USPS website. The issue concerns the supposed "abuse" of the Flat-rate envelope. They no longer will accept (without further charging) these envelopes with any kind of bulge to them. They want people to send only documents in them.

    I have a fabric website, so I'm used to stuffing up to 8 yds. of fabric in them and have been joyful of being able to send fabric across the country or around the world for such a bargain. That is no longer the case now. There are times when people only want a yard or two, so the packages must now be weighed. I'm waiting for the release of all the new flat-rate envelopes the USPS website talks about - legal size and padded, etc., none of which have been furnished to the post offices yet. It was just handled so poorly - the USPS workers should all be trained first, with the mailing products in hand, AND we, the customers, should have been told before it was thrusted on us as we go to the post office with...ok...a slightly bulging envelope! A little creativity is involved so we can still mail our goodies around! I have two trash bags full of scraps I want to dispose of, so when all the dust is settled with the PO, I can clear them out!

  22. #22
    Super Member Deb watkins's Avatar
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    I have used the Flat Rate Envelopes for my last two swaps without any problems. They Tyvek envelopes are nice, but they are priced according to weight and distance.

  23. #23
    Power Poster ckcowl's Avatar
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    that is the way the flat rate packaging works, but there is different packaging for documents or books separate from (generic-packaging) the p.o. has choices. i use flat rate boxes all the time...and regular tyvek envelopes you can stuff...but document envelopes are for documents.

    Quote Originally Posted by pab58
    I thought the deal is: "If it fits, you can use it." It doesn't matter how much it weighs. Has there been a change? :?

  24. #24
    Super Member donnajean's Avatar
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    There has always been a rule that the Flat Rate Envelope had to be flat & not heavily tapped to close. I just got verification that a Flat Rate Envelope containing fabric was delivered today. I just make sure I fold the fabric so that container is not bulging anywhere.

    The new Priority Flat Rate Legal size container is available on the USPS.com website. I always, just order my Priority Mail containers via the USPS.com website & they send them to my house for free.


    Quote Originally Posted by apronlady
    Hi Donna Jean,

    This information is not posted clearly on the USPS website. The issue concerns the supposed "abuse" of the Flat-rate envelope. They no longer will accept (without further charging) these envelopes with any kind of bulge to them. They want people to send only documents in them.

    I have a fabric website, so I'm used to stuffing up to 8 yds. of fabric in them and have been joyful of being able to send fabric across the country or around the world for such a bargain. That is no longer the case now. There are times when people only want a yard or two, so the packages must now be weighed. I'm waiting for the release of all the new flat-rate envelopes the USPS website talks about - legal size and padded, etc., none of which have been furnished to the post offices yet. It was just handled so poorly - the USPS workers should all be trained first, with the mailing products in hand, AND we, the customers, should have been told before it was thrusted on us as we go to the post office with...ok...a slightly bulging envelope! A little creativity is involved so we can still mail our goodies around! I have two trash bags full of scraps I want to dispose of, so when all the dust is settled with the PO, I can clear them out!

  25. #25
    Super Member ptquilts's Avatar
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    Here is the relevant section of the DMM (domestic mail manual) - the BIBLE of the USPS. Print it out and bring it to your local PO if they give you a problem.

    And, I repeat, get the new FR padded envelopes.


    1.5 Flat Rate Envelopes and Boxes

    Any amount of material (up to 70 pounds) may be mailed in a USPS-produced Priority Mail Flat Rate Envelope or Flat Rate Box. When sealing a Flat Rate Envelope or Flat Rate Box, the container flaps must be able to close within the normal folds. Tape may be applied to the flaps and seams to reinforce the container, provided the design of the container is not enlarged by opening the sides and the container is not reconstructed in any way.

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