Can somebody explain the postal system to me?

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Can somebody explain the postal system to me?

Jul!a Jul!a
Because I just don't get it. I sold a few things on eBay recently, and went to the post office to mail out the ones that had been paid for. I was standing there at the machine (I don't know if all post offices have them, but the ones by me have sort of an ATM kinda thing that lets you do everything), and decided that a 4"x4" bubble mailer was definitely not a package that was more than 3/4" thick and rigid and inflexible. So I was sending them as the smaller packaging, less than 3/4" thick and flexible. And the lady who works there comes up to me and tells me I'm doing it wrong, all my packages are going to come back marked insufficient postage, and I have to send them all as the big packages. I kept asking her why, and she just kept telling me that they were rigid and inflexible and therefore had to be sent as parcel packages. She said this to me while I was bending one completely in half........

I mean, I can understand why I can't ship a bubble mailer as a letter, but I don't understand why having a simple ring in a package that weighs less than some letters or photographs counts as "merchandise" when a photograph in a bubble mailer wouldn't.

Ok, I think I'm done ranting now. Thank you all for listening
10/19/2010
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ToyGeek ToyGeek
A photograph qualifies as "media" and therefore gets to go at the same rate as a book, a dvd, a cd, or pamphlets and whatnot. A ring is merchandise, because it's not a means of communicating facts or ideas.

Most post office rules, though, are 'just because' and you'll go insane if you try to look for logic. Take your packages to the counter until you learn the rules. Also, it helps to act completely helpless; things will go smoother.
10/19/2010
Envy Envy
That... makes no sense. I've used those machines for years and never had anything sent back to me saying I had chosen the wrong shipping option....
10/19/2010
Jul!a Jul!a
Quote:
Originally posted by ToyGeek
A photograph qualifies as "media" and therefore gets to go at the same rate as a book, a dvd, a cd, or pamphlets and whatnot. A ring is merchandise, because it's not a means of communicating facts or ideas.

Most post office ...
See, she never explained any of that to me, just that my flexible package was inflexible and had to get shipped a certain way, and when I would ask why, she would just say the same thing over again, then show me how to select that option on the menu, even tho she watched me select that option before.
10/19/2010
Jul!a Jul!a
Quote:
Originally posted by Envy
That... makes no sense. I've used those machines for years and never had anything sent back to me saying I had chosen the wrong shipping option....
Honestly I think I might just wait until the post office is closed and I can use the machine without anybody bothering me, because I've shipped bags that I make as the middle, flexible and not rigid package option, and I've never had one come back.
10/19/2010
Blinker Blinker
Ooooh. You have the advanced post office. I have the bumblefuck post office with 60 years of vines growing on the sides of the building. I didn't know they made machines like that!

I also never knew how anal the postal service was.
10/19/2010
ToyGeek ToyGeek
I hate the post office in my town, and when I have to send something out, I drive into the next county to do it. I know I am not alone on that issue, either in my specific town, or in other areas. Some postal workers are unpleasant people, just like any people anywhere, and given a little power, they make other people's lives as miserable as possible.
10/19/2010
ScottA ScottA
Some of it has to do with what their automatic sorting machines will do and won't do. If it will snag in the machine (or damage the machine) then they need to do other, more expensive ways to route it.
10/19/2010
Darling Jen Darling Jen
The postal system is inherently flawed and meant to baffle and annoy. So once we all accept that fact, the sooner we'll be able to find harmony with the evil that is the local post office.

One another note, if you're sending a book, DVD, CD, picture, video cassette, magazine, or other "media", you will get the best possible shipping rate at the counter. They don't have Media Mail available at the automated postal centers (the ATM looking things) because they make more money on it just offering the expensive shipping options. I've sold many books from old college classes through Amazon and the media mail rate is far more affordable but, unfortunately, you gotta go wait in line for the counter to get it.
10/19/2010
~LaUr3n~ ~LaUr3n~
Quote:
Originally posted by Jul!a
Because I just don't get it. I sold a few things on eBay recently, and went to the post office to mail out the ones that had been paid for. I was standing there at the machine (I don't know if all post offices have them, but the ones by me ...
I can't explain the postal system because they just cannot be explained

However, I suggest you bypass all the crap like I do. Buy your own bubble mailers at the dollar store. Use paypal to print your labels and guess the weight based on other objects. e.g a DVD weighs about 4oz so use that as a guide. Ship everything that is under 13 ounces USPS First Class and anything over as Parcel Post, but avoid parcel at all costs because it is a rip off.

First class can be put in the boxes outside the post office and you don't ever have to speak to an agent. My packages are rarely the correct weight and I have never had one sent back.

Those are my ebaying secrets. Keep them safe lol.
10/19/2010
~LaUr3n~ ~LaUr3n~
Quote:
Originally posted by Darling Jen
The postal system is inherently flawed and meant to baffle and annoy. So once we all accept that fact, the sooner we'll be able to find harmony with the evil that is the local post office.

One another note, if you're sending a book, ...
"One another note, if you're sending a book, DVD, CD, picture, video cassette, magazine, or other "media", you will get the best possible shipping rate at the counter. "

Actually online is the best price because they give discounts for labels printed online. Also media mail for DVD's and lightweight books/cds is actually more expensive that USPS first class.
10/19/2010
Darling Jen Darling Jen
Quote:
Originally posted by ~LaUr3n~
"One another note, if you're sending a book, DVD, CD, picture, video cassette, magazine, or other "media", you will get the best possible shipping rate at the counter. "

Actually online is the best price because they ...
Oh, I never tried online. All I know is that the cheap $3.99 they give sellers to pay for shipping was only plausible when I used the media rate.
10/19/2010
Jul!a Jul!a
Quote:
Originally posted by ~LaUr3n~
I can't explain the postal system because they just cannot be explained

However, I suggest you bypass all the crap like I do. Buy your own bubble mailers at the dollar store. Use paypal to print your labels and guess the weight based on ...
I was trying to avoid the parcel post, and without a postal employee standing over my shoulder, I've been able to do it successfully in the past, but she caught me that day while I was trying to get stuff out between jobs. Next time I'm waiting til after my night job, lol.

Everything was under 13 ounces, I picked up a bunch of small bubble mailers and cut a bunch in half to ship jewelry that really didn't need an envelope that big, so it was like 2 envelopes for the price of one, lol. I had some shipping labels around and hand wrote everything out just so I could keep track of everything (works better for me that way).

Thanks
10/20/2010
Total posts: 13
Unique posters: 7