Category Archives: Shipping

What can a 44-Cent Stamp do?

Sure, it’s easy to put a first class, 44-cent stamp on your mail. You probably have a few lying around your house; it’s cheap and it’s easy. But before you put that 44-cent stamp on your next letter, MAKE SURE you understand the limitations on sending that letter first class through the USPS.

A first-class stamp has size & weight limitations. The maximum size allowed with a 44-cent stamp is 11″ X 6″ X 1/4″ thick. The maximum weight is 1 ounce, or about 4 pieces of paper inside a normal-sized envelope. If your envelope is too large or too thick or contains too much weight, it will be returned to you from the Post Office because of  “Insufficient Postage.”

Using more than one 44-cent stamp on an oversized letter or package can be VERY inefficient. For instance,  let’s say you are mailing a letter that is just over 1 ounce in weight. The quickest thing to do is just put 2 stamps on it, right? However, a 2 -ounce letter only need $ 0.61 in postage–so you are putting $0.27 cents TOO MUCH postage on your letter.  The estimate is about $2.7 MILLION DOLLARS worth of postage is wasted every year in this manner.

Putting more than one 44-cent stamp on a letter does NOT make your letter travel any faster, or more carefully. This may sound silly, but I have people ask me this occasionally. Just keep in mind that once a letter is deemed first-class mail, it is sorted through machines from the time it is picked up until it is put on a truck for delivery. So putting an extra stamp doesn’t do a thing.

A first class stamp is not insured, nor is it traceable. Therefore, if the letter is Damaged, LOST, or for whatever reason never makes it to its destination, the Post Office cannot tell you where it is, nor will they compensate you for any damages or monetary loss associated with the failure of service.

In other words, if it is fairly important for your letter to arrive in its intended destination; or if what you are sending has value that you would be upset to lose, be sure to ask for alternative methods of sending it.  Once you have heard the differences in pricing, you can make an educated decision on how to send your letter–a decision you can be comfortable with.

This message is brought to you by Goin’ Postal Tallahassee, your one-stop shop for USPS, FedEx, UPS, and DHL mailing services.  Give us a call at (850) 692-3130, visit us on the web at, or drive to our store at 5810 North Monroe Street, Suite 210A, Tallahassee, Florida, and we can help you package your items safely and cheaply!!!

You can also connect with us on Twitter ( or like our Facebook fan page!

United States Post Office loses $8.5 Billion in 2010

(AP) The Postal Service announced on Friday, November 12, 2010 that it had lost $8.5 billion last year despite deep cuts of more than 100,000 jobs and other reductions in recent years.

The post office had estimated it would lose $6 billion to $7 billion, but a sharp decline in mail took a toll. Increased use of the Internet and the recession, which cut advertising and other business mail, meant less money for the agency.

For the year ending Sept. 30, the post office had income of $67.1 billion, down $1 billion from the previous fiscal year. Expenses totaled $70 billion, a decline of about $400 million. The post office also was required to make a $5.5 billion payment for future retiree health benefits.

“Over the last two years, the Postal Service realized more than $9 billion in cost savings, primarily by eliminating about 105,000 full-time equivalent positions — more than any other organization, anywhere,” chief financial officer Joe Corbett said in a statement. “We will continue our relentless efforts to innovate and improve efficiency. However, the need for changes to legislation, regulations and labor contracts has never been more obvious.”

The post office is currently in contract negotiations with two of its unions, with two more scheduled to be negotiated next year.

The loss of $8.5 billion in 2010 was $4.7 billion more than the previous year.

Mail volume totaled 170.6 billion pieces, compared with 176.7 billion in 2009, a decline of 3.5 percent. At the same time, volume was declining the post office was required to begin service to thousands of new addresses to accommodate population growth and new businesses.

The post office has asked Congress for permission to reduce mail delivery to five-days-a-week and to eliminate annual payments for future retiree health benefits. A request from the agency for a 2-cent increase in postage rates to take effect next year was recently turned down by the independent Postal Rate Commission. The post office has appealed that decision in federal court.

While the post office does not receive tax money for its operations it still must answer to Congress, which has been reluctant to agree to closing of local post offices and centers.

Sen. Tom Carper, D-Del., blamed the loss on the recession and “operating restraints placed on postal management.” The result, he said, may represent the most serious threat to the post office in its 200-year history.

“If corrective action is not taken quickly, the Postal Service will likely run out of cash and borrowing authority by this time next year, placing its ability to continue operations in serious jeopardy,” said Carper, who urged quick congressional action.

Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., who is expected to head the House committee overseeing postal operations, said the loss “only underscores the urgent need for the Postal Service to trim its operating costs to match revenues.”

Fredric V. Rolando, president of the National Association of Letter Carriers, said the loss “comes as no surprise.”

“For the Postal Service to improve its financial situation, the government must let the USPS manage its financial affairs in the most effective manner possible, like any other business,” he said. “Essential to that process would be for Congress to fix an onerous congressional mandate from 2006, which obligates the Postal Service to make annual payments of $5.5 billion to pre-fund future retiree health benefits. No other institution in America, public or private, has to do this.”

Some have suggested privatizing the service, but the requirement to provide service everywhere in the country at the same price is not likely to be attractive to private companies.

Of particular concern has been the decline in the lucrative first-class mail, largely consisting of personal letters and cards, bills and payments and similar items. First-class mail volume fell 6.6 percent in 2010, 8.6 percent in 2009, and 4.8 percent in 2008. Traditionally, this mail has produced more than half of total revenue.

Volume for standard mail — advertising and similar business items — improved somewhat, indicating some signs of economic recovery, but generates less income.

This informative post was brought to you by Goin’ Postal Tallahassee.  Give us a call at (850) 692-3130, visit us on the web at, or drive to our store at 5810 North Monroe Street, Suite 210A, Tallahassee, Florida, and we can help you package your items safely and cheaply!!!

You can also connect with us on Twitter ( or like our Facebook fan page!

Quick Tips for Safe and Timely Holiday Shipping

The holiday season is rapidly approaching! On average, the USPS, UPS, and FedEx will do 25-30% of their yearly volume–in four weeks! What does this mean for you? It means you need to take extra care to insure that your packages arrive in their destination ON TIME and SAFELY. BE sure to follow these simple steps:

> Wrap fragile items in bubble wrap and foam peanuts, and consider double-boxing those items that are extremely fragile. DO NOT wrap fragile items in things such as newspaper or clothes, as these items do not provide adequate protection against drops or shaking.

> Include the destination and return address on a piece of note paper INSIDE your package, not just written on the outside of the package. This way, if the exterior of the box is damaged in transit, a copy of the addresses is available to the carrier.

> DO NOT wrap your packages in decorative paper, brown paper, or newspaper. These substances can get caught in the conveyor machines and cause damage to your package.

> Consider insuring all items, but especially those over $25 in value.  Keep in mind that items with “sentimental” value are not insurable. Also not insurable are gift cards and cash–send a money order or check instead–this way, you have recourse in the event your shipment gets lost.

> Even though there is usually an extra cost associated with it, strongly think about adding tracking to all your holiday shipments.  Do not confuse tracking through FedEx or UPS  with delivery confirmation from the USPS–tracking is the only way you can find your shipment, no matter where it is in transit. For valuable items, even consider the benefits of Signature Confirmation, so the package is not just left at a front door.  FedEx and UPS even offer e-mail service, so you can know the instant your package arrive in its destination.

> Make sure the item you are shipping is not identifiable from the outside of the box.  In other words, do not send items like gaming consoles, computers, or phones in their original packaging. Doing so makes them more tempting to steal. Instead, place those items in an additional (blank) box.

Goin’ Postal Tallahassee at 5810 North Monroe Street, Suite 210A, Tallahassee, Florida, can not only handle all those tough shipping needs, but we have the lowest rates around!  Make sure to call us at (850) 692-3130, or visit us on the web at, and we can help you package your items safely and cheaply!!!

You can also connect with us on Twitter ( or like our Facebook fan page!

If you have a Loved Ones Stationed Overseas in the Military, You MUST READ !!!

As the holidays approach, the need for safe and timely shipping increases as we send gifts and cards to loved ones in the Armed Services. Due to the increase of shipping during these times, remember to follow the below tips to ensure that your packages arrive at your desired destinations in a safe and timely manner:

  1. MAKE SURE to send packages to your loved ones in the Services by these dates to ensure that they arrive before Christmas (December 25, 2010):Packages: FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 26, 2010                                      

    Cards / Letters: FRIDAY, DECEMBER 10, 2010

  2. Include the name and address of the recipient (and your contact information) INSIDE the package.
  3. A fragile item needs at least 2 inches of protective material around it—such as bubble wrap or packing peanuts. Do NOT use clothing, blankets, pillows, plush toys, shredded paper, or newsprint to protect your fragile items!
  4. Don’t cover your package in any sort of paper over-wrap.
  5. Seal your package properly. Use ONLY approved packing tape such as clear or brown packing tape. Avoid improper tapes like masking tape, scotch tape, duct tape, or electrical tape.
  6. Some items shouldn’t be shipped, or can only be sent in small quantities for safety and legal reasons. Restricted materials include: aerosol cans, alcohol, ammunition, cigarettes, cigars, firearms, fireworks, lottery tickets, nail polish, dry ice, or perfume.
  7. GOIN’ POSTAL TALLAHASSEE has USPS PRIORITY MAIL FLAT-RATE APO BOXES !!! Stop in, and let us handle your holiday shipping needs !!!

Make sure to call Goin’ Postal Tallahassee at (850) 692-3130, visit us on the web at, or drive to our store at 5810 North Monroe Street, Suite 210A, Tallahassee, Florida, and we can help you package your items safely and cheaply!!!

You can also connect with us on Twitter ( or like our Facebook fan page!

eBay Sellers: One way to increase Sales AND Profit Margin…

If you’re an eBay seller, then you are already savvy when it comes to shipping.  But did you know that you can put even more money in your pocket by shipping your eBay items at Goin’ Postal?  Lots of eBay sellers send items through the shipping services offered in conjunction with PayPal service, or through their own accounts with UPS, FedEx, DHL or via USPS Click-N-Ship…but those published prices are almost always higher than the prices at your local Goin’ Postal store, particularly on items that are 2 lbs or heavier.  How can that be, you ask?  Your local Goin’ Postal store is an Authorized Shipper for UPS and FedEx, which means that Goin’ Postal enjoys much better discounts than the general public and even better discounts than most volume shippers do simply because of the ASO/ASC status discounts and the volume of packages that Goin’ Postal ships.  Goin’ Postal also has the ability to compare ALL of the rates for UPS, FedEx, DHL, USPS and other carriers within seconds so that you will know all of your options.  That means that YOU get to decide how much you want to spend on shipping and which carrier you want to transport your package.  You can even have an account with Goin’ Postal so that you can just drop off your items and Goin’ Postal can do all the work for you, and send you an e-mail of your receipt.  Goin’ Postal’s mission is to provide low, low prices and stellar customer service…and that means less hassle for you and far more money in your pocket!

Give Goin’ Postal of Tallahassee a call at (850) 692-3130, visit us on the web at, or drive to our store at 5810 North Monroe Street, Suite 210A, Tallahassee, Florida, and we can help you package your items safely and cheaply!!!

You can also connect with us on Twitter ( or like our Facebook fan page!

Things to Consider when Renting a Private Mailbox (PO Box)


See all of our mailbox services and fees in one convenient location: 

With the rising number of people exploring the idea of having their own business, especially those which are home-based, the demand for private mailboxes has risen as well.  Even people who simply dabble in the eBay marketplace occasionally feel the need to have an away-from-home location to receive items or payments. So, if you fall into any of these categories, or if you’re just tired of having your mail held every time you go out of town, here are some things to consider:

1) What are the benefits to having a P.O. Box at the U.S. Post Office?   Other than price and 24-hour access, the U.S. Post Office does not have any features that distinguish their mailbox service from private mailbox rental facilities in a positive way.  Delivery service is limited to U.S. Postal Service shipments–so the customer cannot receive UPS, FedEx, or DHL at their PO Box address.  Also, most large parcels will not fit into  the customer’s mailbox, so the postman will leave a notice in your box–then you must wait in the LONG LINE for a Postal Clerk to retrieve your package for you.

2) What can a Retail Mailbox Service Store offer me? A Private Retail Mailbox store, like ours here at Goin’ Postal Tallahassee, can offer all the services a PO Box at the U.S. Post Office can provide–with some added features:

– Ability to handle large parcels and deliver them to you WITH NO WAITING IN LINE!

– Ability to receive UPS, FedEx, DHL, and Freight packages–NOT JUST USPS packages.

– Ability to hold mail for you while you’re away, with no silly forms to fill out before you leave OR when you get back.

– 24-hour surveillance / locked protection of your mailbox and receivables.

– Notifications by e-mail when you receive mail

– For a moderate additional fee, we can scan your mail for you.  You’ll receive emails directly from us on a daily basis with images of all of the mail you’ve received.  We’ll forward physical copies of anything you request, and we can shred the remaining junk.

– If you’re going to be away from Tallahassee, we can forward mail to your current location — great for vacations or “snowbirds”!

So as you can see, unless you ABSOLUTELY require 24-hour access to your mailbox, choosing a mailbox from a private retailer is the smart way to go.  Be sure to contact Goin’ Postal Tallahassee at

Make sure to call Goin’ Postal Tallahassee at (850) 692-3130, visit us on the web at, or drive to our store at 5810 North Monroe Street, Suite 210A, Tallahassee, Florida, and we can help you with your mailbox needs!!!

You can also connect with us on Twitter ( or like our Facebook fan page!

“When Will My Package Get There?”

…this is the question we are asked most, here at our store.  And, depending on how you shipped your package, the answer can be pretty complicated.  So here’s a basic explanation:

The United States Post Office – The USPS offers NO GUARANTEED SERVICE. Rule of thumb is on first-class mail, allow for 5-7 days; for media mail (book rate) allow 10-14 days; and on priority mail, allow 2-3 days.  Express Service, which the USPS passes off as their ‘overnight’ service, should arrive at its destination by 12:00 Noon the following business day, with 2 caveats: a) rural destinations have NO overnight service, so if the destination is NOT a major city, make certain the representative at the Post Office checks to see if Express 1-day service is available there; and b) the Post Office has no Guaranteed, insured transit times, only ‘estimates’.  So if your package is time-sensitive, try to avoid using the USPS.

FedEx – Ground Service has average transit times, which are estimates, and they are usually pretty accurate, but no GUARANTEED times.  if you have something time-sensitive, FedEx offers Express Saver (3-day service); 2-day Service, and Overnight Service.  All of these are, in fact, Guaranteed services, and thus are safer ways to move shipments than USPS.  FedEx Overnight has two additional options, based on what time you need your shipment to arrive: Morning (by 10:30am); or Afternoon (by 3:00pm), and there is also a Morning version available for 2-Day shipments.  Just be aware that with some rural destinations, Morning Overnight is not available.

UPS – UPS offers services very comparable to FedEx, but will usually be slightly more pricey.

DHL – Used only for International Shipping, DHL offers the quickest overseas services; however, these services cannot be GUARANTEED as far as transit time, simply because DHL has no control over how long items will take to clear Customs.  So give yourself a week on all international shipments.

Goin’ Postal Tallahassee offers all major carriers, and a representative here can help you pick which services you need based on when you need your shipment there.  Contact us at (850) 692-3130, visit us on the web at, or drive to our store at 5810 North Monroe Street, Suite 210A, Tallahassee, Florida, and we can help you package your items safely and cheaply!!!

You can also connect with us on Twitter ( or like our Facebook fan page!

How to Make Sense of Shipping Rates…

Often customers will come into our store and have an idea about what kind of service they want, but not how to request it.  Other times, customers just say “cheapest and fastest way”—even though those two requests usually contradict each other.  There are people who always want to use the US Postal Service because they think it is always less expensive; other people who always request UPS because they think it is quicker; and still others who only use FedEx because it is safer — and unfortunately these assumptions are not always, and sometimes never, true.  So how do you make sense of it all?  here’s a basic guide for you to use:

What if I want the cheapest way, with no extra service?          For items under 2 pounds, the US Postal Service will almost invariably be the cheapest method of mailing.  This will normally be the slowest-moving of all mail, and tracking and insurance are extra, so make sure it is not that valuable or time-sensitive.

What about Priority Mail?          For documents and objects under 1 pound, the best way to get your item to its destination in 2 or 3 days without breaking the bank is US Postal Service Priority Mail. It is around $5-$6, and it will usually go anywhere in the US in around 2-3 days.  Just remember that there is no insurance, and filing claims with the US Postal Service can be an UPHILL BATTLE.

What if I need Tracking?           Tracking is offered by FedEx and UPS only.  The US Postal Service will sell you on delivery confirmation—but do not be fooled—it is NOT the same as tracking.  In delivery confirmation, the USPS will scan your item when it arrives at the destination—so if it is lost, there is really no way to re-trace the steps of the package; also, you can only know a)when/where it leaves, and b) when/where it arrives—not what happened in between.

What is the most reliable Overnight Service?           This is an opinion based on my personal experience at a Shipping Store, but I would have to say FedEx offers the best Overnight Service.  The rates are comparable with USPS and better than UPS, and it comes with tracking and up to $100 insurance.  And the US Postal Service does not provide overnight service to a lot of rural destinations, and their service is NOT money-back guaranteed.

But if a destination is close enough, won’t my shipment get to that destination in a night anyway?          This is something you can check with the shipper you are using, but yes—UPS and FedEx can get shipments to certain destinations in one day using their ground service. While this will save you some money in shipping via Ground instead of Express, be careful because Ground transit times are always ESTIMATED.  So, if that package takes 2 or 3 days, the Carrier will not hold themselves liable. In other words, if you need to GUARANTEE your shipment there overnight, spend the extra money and pay for Express Service.  If not, save your money and send it Ground..

What about International Shipping?          For international shipping, the US Postal Service will always be the least expensive—it will also be the slowest, and they do have weight and size restrictions—so be aware of those, or your package will just be returned.  Also, make sure you always keep in mind that a package going through another country’s customs can sometimes take up to 7-10 days.  For the quickest and safest international shipping, your best bet is DHL, which will be a bit pricey, but it comes with tracking, insurance, and is BY FAR the quickest–although again, there are no guarantees on time once it reaches another country’s customs.

If you need help finding out which way to ship is best for you, just give us a call at Goin’ Postal Tallahassee at (850) 692-3130, visit us on the web at, or drive to our store at 5810 North Monroe Street, Suite 210A, Tallahassee, Florida, and we can help you package your items safely and cheaply!!!

You can also connect with us on Twitter ( or like our Facebook fan page!

USPS to seek ’emergency rate hikes’…

Associated Press Writer

WASHINGTON (AP) – Battered by massive losses, the Postal Service wants to raise rates to bring in more money.

Postal officials scheduled a briefing Tuesday to discuss the amount of the increase, which will go to the independent Postal Regulatory Commission for review.

The boost comes as no surprise. Postmaster General John Potter said March 2 that a rate increase would be necessary for the agency, which does not receive tax funds for its operations.

The current 44-cent first-class rate took effect May 11, 2009.

While that change will be the most visible, rates for other types of mail will also go up, raising concern among business groups and nonprofit organizations.

Under the law, the post office is generally limited to increases no more than the rate of inflation — 0.9 percent for the year ended in May.

However, the agency is allowed to seek a larger increase in unusual circumstances. Potter said in March he planned to take that step.

“The projections going forward are not bright,” Potter said then. But, he added: “All is not lost. … We can right this ship.”

The agency lost $3.8 billion last fiscal year despite cutting 40,000 full-time positions and making other reductions. It has continued to face significant losses this year.

The weak economy has sharply reduced mail volume as companies cut their advertising. At the same time there has been a significant drop in lucrative first-class mail, with more and more people turning to the Internet to communicate with each other as well as to receive and pay bills.

The proposal drew a prompt complaint from the mailing industry.

“This proposed rate increase amounts to another tax imposed on Americans at a time when the economy can least afford it,” said Tony Conway, executive director of the Alliance of Nonprofit Mailers, a group representing charities and other organizations.

“Consumers everywhere will pay more for the letters and packages they need to send; businesses — large and small — will suffer and even more jobs will be lost,” complained Conway, who was designated spokesman for the Affordable Mail Alliance, a coalition of businesses, charities and other mailers formed to oppose the increase.

Postal officials also have proposed eliminating Saturday mail delivery as a means of cutting costs, a change that would require congressional approval.

Post office finances are also complicated by the requirement that the agency make annual payments to pre-fund future health benefits for retirees, something not required of other government agencies.

And the postal inspector general contends that the Postal Service has been overcharged billions of dollars for retirement benefits for employees who worked for the old Post Office Department before it was converted to the Postal Service in 1970.

For quality shipping service that with rates that won’t rise without notice, call Goin’ Postal Tallahassee at (850) 692-3130, visit us on the web at, or drive to our store at 5810 North Monroe Street, Suite 210A, Tallahassee, Florida!!!

You can also connect with us on Twitter ( or like our Facebook fan page!

Where the USPS sends lost packages…YIKES!!!

As hard as it may be to believe, the last time the United States Postal Service allowed an outside organization to audit their delivery efficiency was in 1989. in that study, they found that approximately 13% of mail sent through the USPS was never delivered.  THAT’S 1 OUT OF EVERY 7 PACKAGES!!! And that was over 20 years. There were a number of reasons for the mail never getting to its destinations, including:

1) The mailperson deciding what he/she has room for, and what he/she doesn’t have room for…many mailpeople were found to be going through the mail, and trying to find bulk mail, or items that didn’t look like they were important. “we just don’t have room for everything,” the mailperson was quoted as saying.

2)  The mailperson damaging the item inadvertently,and just discarding it or marking the item as ‘undeliverable’…

3) The mailperson just not wanting to deliver it. Just recently, a USPS employee in the Philadelphia area was discovered to have hidden over 6 months worth of mail that was never delivered…IN HIS GARAGE! Sometimes, if the mailperson can’t fit the package in your box, they will just keep it–instead of ‘wasting’ the time to fill out a form for you to pick it up at your local Post Office; or *GASP* walk it to your front door themselves. Sometimes, they feel like it just saves time to not deliver all of those pesky envelopes and packages, and its much easier just to stash them somewhere…

So, ever wonder where your ‘lost’ packages go? The United States Post Office actually auctions the undelivered packages off–the items inside them, that is. here is a link to when the Atlanta auctions are:

Now, when you package is lost, at least you can travel to Atlanta and make a bid and try to win it back!!!

I am posting this message right after a customer visited our store and would not fill out the customs form (his shipment was going to Canada). He told me the last time he shipped a gift to Canada using the USPS, he put ‘jewelry’ on the customs form, and his package was lost….

Maybe he should check Atlanta.

To make sure YOUR MAIL doesn’t end up in a USPS-sponsored auction, visit Goin’ Postal of Tallahassee! Give us a call at (850) 692-3130, visit us on the web at, or drive to our store at 5810 North Monroe Street, Suite 210A, Tallahassee, Florida, and we can help you package your items safely and cheaply!!!

You can also connect with us on Twitter ( or like our Facebook fan page!