Postal tips

Discussion in 'Items For Sale or Trade' started by Crow, Oct 16, 2003.

  1. soundwaveCA

    soundwaveCA Veteran

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2002
    Posts:
    13,862
    News Credits:
    2
    Trophy Points:
    317
    Likes:
    +3
    Good Call same with UPS which I think is even higher then FedEx as I think its closer to 50 at a minimum and can go as high as a 100 depending on the item.
     
  2. Gen. Magnus

    Gen. Magnus Gagga blagh blagh

    Joined:
    May 24, 2004
    Posts:
    6,927
    News Credits:
    8
    Trophy Points:
    237
    Location:
    NJ, USA
    Likes:
    +32
    FED EX and UPS are sick for international shipping or even US territory shipping. UPS wanted a min $28 to ship a tiny package to Puerto Rico. USPS is only costing me $5 and it will get there just as fast.

    From now on, I am only shipping USPS for international and will likely stick with UPS to ship intranational.
     
  3. Blueefficacy

    Blueefficacy _

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2003
    Posts:
    140
    Trophy Points:
    91
    Likes:
    +0
    Hi, I work at UPS and I'll tell you a little bit about shipping through them.
    First, if you live near a UPS hub/center, it's best to use the customer counter there.
    If you have the driver pick it up, or go to the UPS store, they will charge an additional fee.
    You get free tracking (great tracking!) and insurance up to $100 I think. Not really free (built into the price!) but nice to have anyway.
    Make sure you package things very well. The handling process can be quite rough. "Fragile" indications are like a big bullseye.
    Here are the service levels:
    Ground:
    The cheapest service level, a package shipped will be delivered in 1-6 business days, depending on the geography between shipper and receiver. Only in rare instances will it be 5 or 6 days. Guaranteed. Most people don't know this but even Ground is guaranteed to be delivered that day.
    3 Day select:
    A combination of ground and air service which is guaranteed to be delivered in three days. Only practical if you're shipping it to somewhere Ground takes more than 3 days. It seems to be among the least commonly used UPS services.
    Second day air:
    Guaranteed by Noon (i think) on the second business day after shipping.
    Next day air:
    The most expensive regular service level, by far. Guaranteed by 10 am next day most places. Unless it is absolutely critical to get it the next day, I would go with second day air if you're in a hurry to get something. Much, much cheaper.
    Next day air EARLY AM:
    This is a PREMIUM service level, and the price shows! Guaranteed by 8:30 AM in most places. Insanely expensive. We're talking like $50 as a minimum.
    Please, don't make your own labels. Standard UPS labels are MUCH easier to read. They have the facility code, a four digit number, printed prominently on them. This is a great help to us people who need to sort boxes at a UPS hub. Another thing, MAKE SURE YOUR PRINTER HAS PLENTY OF INK if you print your own label off the UPS website. If there isn't enough ink, the barcode won't scan. In which case, the loader/driver/whoever is handling it has to key enter the tracking number. Many of us simply don't bother with that. So, as a result, you'll get incomplete tracking information.
    Another thing about tracking: Sometimes, a loader will make a mistake, and his scanner is configured to say the packages are going to, say, New Jersey, when they are really loading packages going to Atlanta into an Atlanta trailer. Even though the package will still show up on time, if the tracking shows that it is going to the wrong destination, you can still get a refund.
    Anybody have questions about UPS? I know an awful lot about how that place works. Ask away.
     
  4. Crow

    Crow Trust me

    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2002
    Posts:
    91
    Trophy Points:
    81
    Likes:
    +1
    We are just entering the Christmas mailing season again so I figure I'll leave a few tips:

    1. When you mail those extra large or square Christmas cards, be sure to put the proper postage on it! No matter how light or small it is, a square card is considered non-machineable, which translates to the USPS getting to charge you $0.49 instead of $0.37 for a letter. You don't need 2 stamps for a 1 ounce letter that is oversize or offsize, just $0.49. You can get smaller denomination stamps to make up the difference at the window or if you really want just toss 2 stamps on there. Every year we send back piles of Christmas cards that people just put 1 stamp on not realizing there is an extra charge for square cards. Or worse, we deliver them and charge the recipient the $0.12 difference. Nothing says Merry Christmas like someone sending you a Christmas card it costs you money to accept! ;) 

    2. If you see a mailbox is overflowing and you are able, call the PO in your town and let them know so they can send someone out to empty it. It varies, but I know in my office the boxes are only emptied twice a day. So if a box is overflowing in the middle of the day (and it does happen in the Christmas season) those letters could be blowing down the street instead of getting delivered.

    3. Please please please don't ask the clerks why or when stamps are going up. You may have heard that the USPS is asking for another stamp increase from $0.37 to $0.41. Trust me, we don't know any more than you do. In fact we probably know less. They tell us absolutely nothing until it happens, so unless a clerk happens to notice it in the paper or on the news as I did we have no clue there is going to be a rate increase. We especially have no say in the matter, nor do postal workers get any kind of discount.

    4. Yes, we might be out of Christmas stamps. Offices run out of Christmas stamps a LOT during this season (big surprise eh?). Some customers get extremely upset over this. Generally the clerk has no say in this matter either. One of the supervisors will be in charge of the stamp stock so if they didn't order enough (or the region office refuses to give what they ask for) there isn't much that can be done about it. You can always wait a few days and hope they get more in.

    5. When mailing a package, please don't put the address on multiple sides. A lot of people do this figuring it will help us, but it is for your own good not to do this. The reason is a postal worker might pick it up and notice only the first side he sees. When he does this he probably also is seeing one of the sides of the package that does NOT have the postage on it. So there is then a good chance he sends your package right back to you. ANYTHING returned to sender via the USPS can take forever (our return to sender system is terrible) and if this happens it is very likely you will not be able to get the package to the intended recipient in time for Christmas.

    6. In a pinch express mail is your friend. Sure it's expensive as hell, but it's also guaranteed. If you need to get something there overnight try express. If we don't do it in time we still deliver it, but even if it is 1 minute late you get your money back. This is not automatic. You have to go to the office and ask for it back but even 1 minute late and they HAVE TO give it to you. I know of some cities where express mail is late nearly 100% of the time so when I ship there I always use express hehehe.

    7. I'm not sure if they are all like this but our stamp machines give those evil gold dollar coins for change. If you do not like them, don't use the stamp machine or pay in an amount that won't require you to get dollars back. A lot of people use them to avoid the lines but most people immediately afterward come to the window complaining about the dollar coins they get as change, or worse try to exchange them for regular dollars with the clerk. We don't like them either because then we have to give them to other customers as change who then get upset as well. (Though there was one time I gave about 9 dollar coins in change to a customer who was being extremely rude and nasty, claiming I had nothing else to give her. Bwahahaha!)

    8. In the rain or snow you might want to mail your stuff in the actual office instead of in a box. All offices have indoor slots for mail (or you can just hand them to a clerk). I mention this because despite supposedly being protected from weather I still find puddles in the mailboxes all the time with totally soaked mail.

    9. If a parcel is a Christmas gift it might be a good idea to mark it as so (or put some christmas wrapping over it. This is because many offices have a special parcel run leading up to and often including Christmas day. My office has one on Christmas day and we are told any parcel that "looks like a Christmas gift" is to be delivered. Now obviously nobody wants to be working Christmas day so they want to deliver as few parcels as possible so anything not clearly marked will be left for the day after.

    I guess that's about it for now. As always I will answer any questions to the best of my ability.
     
  5. Sonscreen

    Sonscreen Casual TF collector<br><b><font color=#FF0000>aksm TFW2005 Supporter

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2004
    Posts:
    5,610
    Trophy Points:
    241
    Likes:
    +2
    I normally like to take packages to the shipping clerk, but the new Automated Postal Center machines are great when you're in a hurry (and when they work). Delivery confirmation and I believe insurance can also be tacked on to the shipping charges as well. The only thing that stinks is when your box doesn't fit in to the package slots.
     
  6. Sweep

    Sweep worse then vehicon drones

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2003
    Posts:
    794
    Trophy Points:
    162
    Likes:
    +45
    Crow,
    Is there a limit to the size of boxes provided for you if you get priorty mail?

    Also can you ship something priorty mail to Hawaii or Alaska?
     
  7. Crow

    Crow Trust me

    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2002
    Posts:
    91
    Trophy Points:
    81
    Likes:
    +1
    For HI and AK, yes you can send priority mail there.

    Do you mean the boxes we provide? You can look at the dimensions and pics of the different priority boxes we have here:

    http://shop.usps.com/cgi-bin/vsbv/postal_store_non_ssl/display_products/productCategory.jsp?prodCat=/Shipping+Supplies/Priority+Mail

    But in actuality you can use ANY box for priority mail. Just when you mail it, if you use priority the clerk will put a priority sticker or tape on it. There is a size limit on boxes you can mail but that applies to any type of mail, not just priority. I think the limit is longest side + width has to be 130 inches or less. The weight limit on any package is 70 pounds.

    If you were asking about the flat rate priority stuff you have to use our special flat rate boxes, which all are $7.70 now. There should be pics of them on the site I linked as well.
     
  8. zap dragon

    zap dragon Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2004
    Posts:
    1,728
    Trophy Points:
    176
    Likes:
    +0
    so if u used registered/tracking/delivery confimation, every postal or delivey service and each county has it's own web site for tracking, here are some

    united states postal service
    http://www.usps.com/shipping/trackandconfirm.htm?from=home&page=0035trackandconfirm

    canada post
    https://obc.canadapost.ca/emo/basicPin.do?language=en&?sblid=dc

    hongkong post
    http://www.hongkongpost.com/eng/main.htm

    ups
    http://www.ups.com/content/us/en/index.jsx

    fedex
    http://www.fedex.com/Tracking?cntry_code=us&
     
  9. Sweep

    Sweep worse then vehicon drones

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2003
    Posts:
    794
    Trophy Points:
    162
    Likes:
    +45
    Hi, I got a problem. What if you put the wrong address on a package and ship it out?

    Name, city, and zip is right, but the address number is different.

    I've been waiting for this package for 2 weeks and I haven't recieved it yet.
     
  10. Crow

    Crow Trust me

    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2002
    Posts:
    91
    Trophy Points:
    81
    Likes:
    +1
    The wrong street address? That's not good. Unless you are a business the clerks might recognize or a very small town it was likely sent back or delivered to the address that was on the package. If it was sent 3rd class such as media mail, then it's probably been tossed in the recycle bin by now. We don't send media mail back unless it's address or forwarding service requested and I don't think you can do that unless it is a bulk mailing, though I am not entirely certain.

    Wrong zip will usually delay a package, but EVENTUALLY it will get there. Wrong city will sometimes get there if the zip is right. Wrong street address is the worst possible one.

     
  11. Sweep

    Sweep worse then vehicon drones

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2003
    Posts:
    794
    Trophy Points:
    162
    Likes:
    +45

    Is they're any way I can go to my local post office and see if they can try and find it?
     
  12. Crow

    Crow Trust me

    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2002
    Posts:
    91
    Trophy Points:
    81
    Likes:
    +1
    Well you can certainly ask. Be sure to ask to talk to a delivery supervisor. But if it was delivered or sent back already there isn't much they can do. Tell them what happened and if you are lucky they have a backlog of return to sender stuff and haven't sent it back yet. It isn't high priority to send that kind of stuff out so it COULD still be there if they are shorthanded. They likely won't be of much help if you can't tell them the address it was sent to by accident though.

     
  13. Sweep

    Sweep worse then vehicon drones

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2003
    Posts:
    794
    Trophy Points:
    162
    Likes:
    +45
    I have ANOTHER problem, my TFC-20 that I ordered from JRSToys was returned to sender. Thing is, the address on the package was right! Why would this happen?! Now JRS wants another $5.99 to re-ship. Does the post office make mistakes like that alot? Can they resend my package free of charge because it was they're fault? I'd just like to know what my options are because I don't feel like I should pay for shipping again when it was the post offices screw up.
     
  14. Crow

    Crow Trust me

    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2002
    Posts:
    91
    Trophy Points:
    81
    Likes:
    +1
    As far as I know we don't screw up in that fashion that often. We screw up plenty but rarely return something with a good address to sender. Now what I HAVE seen is the same piece of mail get sent back to the sender's PO 2 or 3 times before they finally send it to the correct address. But when it gets back to the original office it should be caught there and sent out again. This usually happens when the return address is either bigger or too close to the mailing address and some lazy person just isn't looking closely enough. When I see those I circle the delivery address and put it back into the mail stream. I certainly would not give it back to the sender!

    Anyway for one thing it should say on the package why it was returned to sender. That would help a lot in determining exactly what happened. There could be a yellow RTS sticker on it, a red stamp with a reason checked off, or even seemingly random scribbles on the package might be notes from the carrier as to why it was sent back. For example NSS would be "no such street" while ANK (attempted not known) or a slew of other things the carriers use could mean they didn't recognize the name on the package. If the street and name were right that really shouldn't happen. Was it shipped in a way that required a signature? Did you get one of those pinkish cards? If you get one of those and take too long going to the post office to pick it up, it would eventually get sent back. But they are supposed to re-attempt delivery before they do that (The PO in my hometown almost never re-attempts delivery when I miss an express mail though, and I end up having to pick it up. Grr!)

    You won't be able to ship it again for free. At least there is nothing you can do on your end. The only way it is getting shipped for free is if the sender goes to the PO, brings it, tells them the address IS valid and makes enough of a stink that a supervisor or the Postmaster tells the clerk to put it through for free. The window clerk cannot and will not ship something for free under any circumstances unless someone over him/her clears it first.

    Also when they do ship again, make certain to tell the shipper to obliterate ALL barcodes on any side of the package as well as all of the return to sender markings, scribbles, stickers, etc. If they are not gone it will just get sent back to them again by the machines that sort the mail. The best route is to put it into an entirely new box and not risk it.

    It sucks I know, but the PO is pretty unforgiving these days. We had a similar situation with a day sending out some bill he forgot to put a stamp on one time. I was working the window when he came up with it. He showed me the letter and, yelling in my face the entire time, demanded to know why he got it back. I told him because he didn't put enough postage. He showed me the remailed letter with the stamp and I pointed out that he did not cross out the big return to sender stamp on the letter. I told him that you need to cross out all RTS and barcode stuff and he got angrier accusing me of "passing the buck". I then called a supervisor to deal with him.

    One last note, if you ever decide to be a customer like him it is best not to do it in your home office where they KNOW you and where you live and handle your mail every day. It is especially stupid to do so when you have a PO box in said office. We would surely never do such a thing but in that kind of situation people tend to not notice that "do not bend" stamp on something when they bend it in half to fit in a small PO box, like the one this guy coincidentally has. Fortunately for me I don't work the box section so I clearly could not do such a thing.

     
  15. Crow

    Crow Trust me

    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2002
    Posts:
    91
    Trophy Points:
    81
    Likes:
    +1
    I thought I would drop a few more comments in here since I just got out of 8 hours of "revenue protection" training this week that I shouldn't have even had to take since I don't work the window anymore. One guy there hadn't worked the window in 10 YEARS but since it was still in his job title they forced him to take it too. Anyway the PO is looking for any way to get money now. To do this they have developed some....less than friendly methods.

    For example, at the training we were told to not even mention the cheaper stuff like parcel post and media mail until the customer specifically asks for something cheaper than priority mail. Now PP and MM SUCK as I have explained in the past, but to pretend they don't even exist is pretty evil. Actually the Post Office wants to abolish them completely but is forced to have them by the federal government.

    Another example by the trainer was that even when that little old lady comes in counting her pennies and wanting to mail something to her grandson you should try to convince her to send it express mail, which would of course cost much more.

    They also want us to push the Ready-Post line of boxes the USPS sells too because they make like 60% profit on each box they sell. Of course that is because they charge like 3 times what the same box would cost at a regular store plus $3 for a single roll of tape. When I was out there I would ALWAYS recommend the customer get priority mail (free box and unlimited use of priority tape) instead of paying like $6 for a box and tape from our store. Not only did it save them money but priority is much safer and faster.

    Starting next month ALL post offices (except for VERY small ones that are exempt) will no longer open before 10AM. Nice, eh? Everyone, from clerks to carriers to supervisors and Postmasters knows this will be a miserable failure. But unfortunately someone at the top isn't listening. The customers are already pissed and calling daily to complain and it will get worse. They are going to lose a lot of money and everybody knows it, yet the plod on. *sigh* They insist we don't get a lot of customers before 10. But we get a lot of our business and regular customers before their business day starts. They are really not going to be happy.

    Finally you probably know this but stamps ARE going up again and soon. They haven't announced it yet but it was in the papers that they asked permission a while ago. They got it and will be raising prices in the near future, probably in January. The USPS is going to cry about the 100 million they claim to have lost because of the hurricane and blame that on the price raise. But like 9/11, which they blamed the last price raise on, these price changes were planned BEFORE any of that happened. It just happens to make a convenient excuse for us to push on the public.

    Ah the joy of working for the USPS.
     
  16. Sweep

    Sweep worse then vehicon drones

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2003
    Posts:
    794
    Trophy Points:
    162
    Likes:
    +45
    I talked to Bill at JRS today.

    He said the package had written on it "Unknown Addresse" but he went up there today and managed to get them to re-send it free of charge. (Thank GOD!)

    Sent it priorty mail so hopefully I get it on Monday.
     
  17. Empr Starscream

    Empr Starscream Active Member

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2002
    Posts:
    29
    Trophy Points:
    71
    Likes:
    +0
    Ebay:
    All they did was put a sticker over the original address that said unknown addressee. I pulled that off and the label was fine. There was a little note of a rte 32 written on the label, yet the lady at the counter just scribbled that out and stamped the package with today's date.

    I have a very good relationship with the post office I mail through so it wasn't a hassle at all. I was expecting some kind of problem, yet had none at all.

    Hopefully everything will go through without a glitch this time. This was the first package in over a year sent back undeliverable and I ship about 200 a month through the post office.
     
  18. Crow

    Crow Trust me

    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2002
    Posts:
    91
    Trophy Points:
    81
    Likes:
    +1
    Hmm. By any chance is your name different from the people who get most of the mail at that address? It is possible a new or part-time carrier saw a name he didn't recognize and not being the regular carrier stupidly just sent it back instead of waiting until the regular carrier came back (Assuming it was just his day off and not a vacation or something) and asking him, or at least asking a supervisor to check for him. If that wasn't it I have no idea how that could happen outside of an unfathomable screw-up. Good to hear that you got it re-sent for free though. At least some postal workers still know what customer service means. ;) 

    As a precaution Sweep, you should call or visit your own post office, let them know what happened and tell them another is on the way and please make sure it doesn't happen again. The supervisor (hopefully) will talk to the carrier who delivers to your street and prevent it from happening a second time.

    As for the label, sounds like one of the yellow RTS stickers. That is what we are SUPPOSED to use, but I have seen many other ways. Pulling it off is fine. I'm not sure what RTE stands for, return something I am sure, but 32 is probably the route number. Not really useful information though. Unknown Addressee definitely means whoever sent it back thought Sweep did not live there though, for whatever reason.
     
  19. getoninja

    getoninja 1# Porno Moderentor

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2002
    Posts:
    1,312
    Trophy Points:
    226
    Likes:
    +0
    I have a question about Measurments for International shipping for Airmail Letter Post.

    I know when you mail a package under 4 pounds it can be sent Armail Letter post (which is cheaper than Parcel Post) but the box has to within the certain measurments to be sent Letter Post. What are the measurments they go by to be sent Letter Post.

    I ask this cause latly certian Clerks at the post office say some of my packs are too large for Letter Post. I been this for many years and I know some packs are under the measurments, cause some clerks that use to work there before would measure the boxes and they would say the boxes are fine. And I dont want to challege the clerks cause I can be wrong.
     
  20. Crow

    Crow Trust me

    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2002
    Posts:
    91
    Trophy Points:
    81
    Likes:
    +1
    Sorry I took so long to answer, I didn't know and had to ask someone at work. The limit is length + width + height must be under 36 inches.

     

Share This Page