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Thread: Priority Mail game

  1. #51
    Super Member wvdek's Avatar
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    Wow, USPS is not run by the Feds? Hmmm, wonder who my daddy worked for all those years and I worked for that one season?


    The United States Postal Service (USPS) is an independent agency of the United States government responsible for providing postal service in the United States. It is one of the few government agencies explicitly authorized by the United States Constitution. Within the United States, it is commonly referred to as the "Post Office", "Postal Service", or "U.S. Mail".

    Though postal services have existed on American territory before the United States' establishment, the USPS's first incarnation was established by Benjamin Franklin in Philadelphia in 1775 by decree of the Second Continental Congress. The Post Office Department was created from Franklin's operation in 1792 as part of the United States Cabinet, then was transformed into its current form in 1983 under the Postal Reorganization Act.

    Since its reorganization into an independent organization, the USPS has become self-sufficient and has not directly received taxpayer-dollars since the early 1980s with the minor exception of subsidies for costs associated with the disabled and overseas voters. However it is currently borrowing money from the U.S. Treasury to pay its deficits.[3] The decline of mail volume due to increased usage of e-mail has forced the postal service to look to other sources of revenue while cutting costs to maintain this financial balance.[4]

    Employing 596,000 workers and over 218,000 vehicles, it is the second-largest civilian employer in the United States (after Wal-Mart) and the operator of the largest civilian vehicle fleet in the world.[5] The USPS is obligated to serve all Americans, regardless of geography, at uniform price and quality. It has exclusive access to letter boxes marked "U.S. Mail." It competes against private package delivery services who cannot deliver to letter boxes and must leave packages by front doors if no one is available to receive them.

  2. #52
    Super Member Joan's Avatar
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    Always think about it---
    Sometimes regular first class mail (anything 13 ounces or less) is way cheaper than sending it Priority Flat Rate Mail or simply Priority. The delivery time is usually just a little bit longer.

  3. #53
    Super Member judykay's Avatar
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    I use the fed ex envelopes (used turned inside out) and the postage is much cheaper.

  4. #54
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    I was fortunate enough to have a mail clerk weigh the box and tell me that it would be cheaper to use a different box. It really surprised me, as he is usually pretty grumpy. He pointed out the box and let me use his sharpee to address it. I thought that was pretty neat.

  5. #55
    Super Member gale's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tooMuchFabric
    Quote Originally Posted by gale
    Quote Originally Posted by Kathy N
    Yes, they will get us only once and then we will have learned our lesson. I went through all of my boxes at home and NONE of them said flat rate. I will turn all of those inside out and use their "free" cardboard to mail other packages...just not priority mail.
    Just so you know, I believe that is illegal. All of the priority boxes I have seen lately, flat rate and otherwise, have priority mail printed on the inside too to keep people from doing this.
    I think nowadays the boxes might have logos on the inside, but they did not used to.
    I have re-used envelopes and boxes over and over, even turned them wrong side out to use the clean inner surfaces.

    When mailed, the postage is still paid, whether for the first time on the envelope/box, or the third or fourth time on the same envelop/box.
    In fact, it saves paper to reuse the envelopes/boxes.

    I see no problem in this.
    .
    You may not but the government apparently does. Like some mentioned, it's illegal. If you turn them inside out and use them at the priority rate, it's probably fine. But if you're shipping priority it doesn't make sense to turn them inside out in the first place. I have read of a lot of people who also get the free boxes at the PO and then use them for storage. Then they complain when the cost of shipping goes up.

  6. #56
    Super Member colleen53's Avatar
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    I was just at the post office.. I was using flat rate large box.. the clerk weighed my package out of curiosity and said that I could cut my postage in half by using a different box.. He then went to back room...got me a box.. slid the flat rate box inside and wah lah... it was 6 bucks instead of 14 something.. I love that man for taking the time to help me..
    He informed me to go on line to usps store an ordr what i needed free of charge.
    For me this was very helpful and nobody had ever taken the time with me before...
    so no bashing from me...

  7. #57
    Super Member klgreene's Avatar
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    I guess I lucked out when I sent boxes on Friday. I picked up two more, so I better go check to see what they say. Thanks. I mailed the large ones for $14.50, and those boxes were shoved full. Had to tell my DDIL not to use a knife to open them.

  8. #58
    Senior Member minnow895's Avatar
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    being a truck driver i understand why everthing is costing so much when i can put 45,000 on my trailor and they only load 5,000 pounds it cost the same as 45,000 so that is part of the high rates of shipping the company i contracted to do overload stuff for the post office thaer were times ther overags was one bag of mail 50 pounds i took that mail from new york city to los angels my company charge the post office 53,00 dollars to ship 50 pounds if that is not wastfull spending what is .it happens everday every where it is crazy and raises the cost of living because that cost is put off on the purchasere not on the reciver anyway that my grip about the whole thing

  9. #59
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    Nancy G you can shipp fabrics in envelopes but once they go over a pound, cheaper in flat rate box. So many options.

  10. #60
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    I bought something from Ebay one time, and the guy that sent it to me took a priority box, turned it inside out, and used it. I was charged more for it because he did that. He paid it so I could get the package, but they said that he opened the box, turned it inside out, and used it and they could tell it was a priority box. Wow! Someone must have been carefully checking the packages that day. It looked fine to me. Yes, double check, because the Post Office is going broke and they are trying to get all they can out of us.

  11. #61
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    Maybe you didn't know, our government no longer owns the post office. It is privately owned and yes their prices are going up all the time. Flat Rate is the only way to go if you can use those small boxes.

  12. #62
    Senior Member BizyStitches's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kathy N
    My Secret Pal packaged was returned by the post office. I had to take it inside to remail and they ask for an additional $1.05 for the small flat rate box. I questioned why the flat rate box that should be $4.95 would need an additional $1.05. She said I was not using a "flat rate" box. I said yes I was, that I had gotten it from the post office and it is what I always used to mail my packages......well here is the catch. The post office had some printed with the words "small flat rate" and some without those words. The boxes are identical in all other ways. I happened to get one without the words which allows them to charge whatever postage they want. So folks....check your boxes carefully. Its so hard to believe our government would cheat us like that.....hahahaha
    The same thing happened to me, but it was the large box, and I pack as much in them as I can to send things to my grand kids, and when I went to get the postage it was a box that was NOT marked "flat rate", yes it is irritating.

  13. #63
    Super Member ghostrider's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kathy N
    I happened to get one without the words which allows them to charge whatever postage they want.
    This is just plain not true. They don't randomly charge whatever they want just because they don't like what you're wearing or something! The postage rates for Priority Mail are based on weight and distance. You can get an estimate of any rates, compare them, whatever you want at the USPS website. It doesn't have to be a surprise when you are at the PO. Be an informed consumer. http://www.usps.com/tools/calculatepostage/welcome.htm

  14. #64
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    There are two small priority boxes that are close in size but not exactly the same. The smaller one is flat rate. The other one you pay by weight and distance.

    It is illegal to use Priority mailing supplies for anything other than Priority even if you wrap it, turn it inside out, or reuse it. DON'T DO IT.

    You can order all Priority mailers free at USPS.com. You can use your own box for Priority as well. They can put a Priority sticker on it at the PO.

  15. #65
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    Gale...you are correct. Be careful about turning the post office boxes inside out. The post office has the option of opening a box if they think you are using one of their boxes for other purposes...you are only supposed to use what it is provided for.

    I use Priority Mail all the time. Spend the money and get yourself a scale for weiging your packages. All of my shipping is done on-line through the post office website. It is not that difficult. I weigh all my packages, calculate the postage, print the label and give it to my mailman! It is called "Click and Ship" and the fee is put on my charge account, or use a debit card. The extra benefit of this is that it is CHEAPER to go online and weight & pay, as much as $.25 to $.45 a package. You can use this method for Priority Mail or Flat Rate. You cannot use this for regular first class mail or book rate.

    I have been doing this for about 3 years and I love it. I have a large mailbox in front of my house on the road, and I just put the package in my mailbox and it is picked up.

  16. #66
    Super Member noveltyjunkie's Avatar
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    This is an eye opener. A great frustration of buying online from the US is how many vendors will insist on using a courier when I would like them to use the post, which would (I assume) be cheaper.

    Is your Post Office really hard to deal with? I am shocked that they have the right to open you package and see if the box you used might once have been sourced from them, even by someone else. What if I succeeded in getting someone to send this priority box to me in Australia and then relabelled it (covered the priority markings) and send something back in it? I have to pay Australian postage AND the recipient needs to pay US priority postage in receipt as well?

    Sorry, this is mad. I can see that they cant be giving out free boxs but IMO if this is a problem they should keep the boxes behind the counter and only give them out to people who are purchasing a priorty sticker to put on them. That way, they get paid for the box. ONCE. I cannot see how they can claim rights over the box in perpetuity. I am not a litigious person but I would love to see this tested in court. There are certainly some jurisdictions where individuals would have property rights over the box once they received it.

    Why dont they pre-print the boxes with the correct postage and just sell the box for the cost of priority postage? (This is what they do in several countries I have lived in- I didnt think it up all by myself, although I probably could have.)

    I seriously dont get it. If you have two ways to stop people from stealing boxes from you would you chose (a) dont give out free boxes or (b) open every package that looks like it might be using a box that was once free, without having any idea whether priority postage was ever paid on it. And then chase them all up individually and in person and ask them to pay extra?

  17. #67
    Super Member wvdek's Avatar
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    If you re-read the first and third paragraph, you will see it is still a part of the US government, just was re-oraganized and became self-sufficient, but still part of the government.

    PO's are still government property even if run out of someones home, garage, or corner store. Yes, we have all three here where I live. Our carriers here are called Hand Carriers simply because they bid on their routes, deliver to HC addresses (HC - Hand Carrier), and use their own vehicles to deliver in all kinds of weather.
    In town we still have mailmen in uniform delivering out of mail trucks. The folks at our PO's are the best and especiallly the one in town. We know them by name, they are extremely helpful, know what is allowed and what is not, and alway's give service with a smile. If I am in doubt about any way to send a package, I can alway's rely on them to help.
    Hope this helps those who weren't clear. Reading what I posted earlier should clear it up.

  18. #68
    Super Member gale's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by neonparrot
    I use Priority Mail all the time. Spend the money and get yourself a scale for weiging your packages. All of my shipping is done on-line through the post office website. It is not that difficult. I weigh all my packages, calculate the postage, print the label and give it to my mailman! It is called "Click and Ship" and the fee is put on my charge account, or use a debit card. The extra benefit of this is that it is CHEAPER to go online and weight & pay, as much as $.25 to $.45 a package. You can use this method for Priority Mail or Flat Rate. You cannot use this for regular first class mail or book rate.
    Also, delivery confirmation (very important for paypal/ebay transactions) is free for priority and I believe 19 cents for everything else if you print postage online (I use stamps.com or paypal so I can print 1st class or book rate with those). I think it's 80 cents (??) at the post office.

  19. #69
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    First there was priority mail boxes then later they eleased the flate rate boxes. Two different rates. So better check to make sure. Ask which will be less $$

  20. #70
    Member mimita's Avatar
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    OMG, This very same thing happened to me a while back and not only was I asked to pay "more" but when the clerk explained the "reason why..." she made sound as if it was my fault because I did not read the label on the box... : (

  21. #71
    Super Member katsewnsew's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gale
    Quote Originally Posted by Kathy N
    Yes, they will get us only once and then we will have learned our lesson. I went through all of my boxes at home and NONE of them said flat rate. I will turn all of those inside out and use their "free" cardboard to mail other packages...just not priority mail.
    Just so you know, I believe that is illegal. All of the priority boxes I have seen lately, flat rate and otherwise, have priority mail printed on the inside too to keep people from doing this.
    I was just going to mention the above. P.O. got smart about reusing their boxes, so they have "Priority Mail" printed on the insides, too. I have boxes boxes left that are the older ones, don't have that written down inside. Many people forget about the "Flat Rate Envelope". You can get around 5-6 yards of fabric in those puppies and they go Priority Mail for $4.90. I use them alot when mailing out items, as long as it fits in the envelope and it is not more than 2 inches in depth, it can ship in the envelope. I just make sure that I tape it closed very well and run the tape around the envelope by the top and sides. Never had a problem yet.

  22. #72
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    As far as shipping from Australia to the U.S., once you pay the postage in Aust. there is no fee or charge to the person in the U.S. that is getting the package. You pay the postage only once by the sender.

    I love our post office. Everyone is so nice, friendly and fantastic to ask questions to and work with. Yes, the flat rate fee is terrific...stuff as much as you can in one envelope for only the one fee.

    No matter what the weight of the boxes are, remember the post office is supplying them free for our use. I send out tons of stuff and haven't bought a box in years. What would I do without all the boxes, labels, stickers, envelopes, etc. they supply free? I would be scrounging all over the place, making my own boxes and buying boxes to use.

    All it takes is going into USPS on-line, reading the rules of the different choices that are available, knowing what you can get free from the post office and following their rules. They have to have shipping rules!

    Since emails started, and other reasons such as FedX and UPS, the post office is losing millions of dollars in shipping each year. That's why they are considering stopping Saturday deliveries. I want my post office and what they supply!! Without them I would be up a creek, floating in a big box. Just be informed in what they require, and all will be well. :D

  23. #73
    Super Member quiltmaker's Avatar
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    I am confused as to why some members believe the USPS is not a government enitity (sp)?????? They are and the people who work for the USPS are federal government employees. Perhaps if you google USPS you would find that they are a part of the federal government.

  24. #74
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    I don't see what the problem is if the package is sent Proirity every time it is used, first time or fifth time, they end up getting more profit off the packaging and have to use up fewer packages to get that profit, no matter what is or is not printed on the outside or the inside or on the edges.

    The organization makes more money from getting Priority postage on using the same piece of packaging over and over and over.

    It doesn't matter if I know the carrier or counter tellers or not. The rates are the same, the packages are the same, and the P.O. is getting the postage.

    I don't see anything unclear about it.
    .

  25. #75
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    Quote Originally Posted by ghostrider
    Quote Originally Posted by gale
    Quote Originally Posted by Kathy N
    Yes, they will get us only once and then we will have learned our lesson. I went through all of my boxes at home and NONE of them said flat rate. I will turn all of those inside out and use their "free" cardboard to mail other packages...just not priority mail.
    Just so you know, I believe that is illegal. All of the priority boxes I have seen lately, flat rate and otherwise, have priority mail printed on the inside too to keep people from doing this.
    They also charge Priority rates if you wrap those boxes in brown paper before mailing. They have sole use of the sizes and can make you unwrap the box to prove it's not "one of theirs". If you refuse, they will not mail it. It's a matter of survival for them so they aren't messing around.
    Sorry but no, Congress has to fund the Post office. Not a matter of survival. They've never turned a profit.

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