Tag Archives: post office

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 http://gpoftallahassee.com, 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 (http://twitter.com/gptally) or like our Facebook fan page!

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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 http://gpoftallahassee.com, 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 (http://twitter.com/gptally) 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 http://gpoftallahassee.com, and we can help you package your items safely and cheaply!!!

You can also connect with us on Twitter (http://twitter.com/gptally) 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 http://gpoftallahassee.com, 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 (http://twitter.com/gptally) or like our Facebook fan page!

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

UPDATE:

See all of our mailbox services and fees in one convenient location:
http://www.gpoftallahassee.com/Mailbox_Rental_Fees.pdf 

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 http://gpoftallahassee.com, 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 (http://twitter.com/gptally) or like our Facebook fan page!

Goin’ Postal Tallahassee announces partnership with Epyon Technologies, Inc.

Goin’ Postal Tallahassee is proud to announce a partnership with Epyon Technologies of Tallahassee, Florida.  Epyon Technologies is a computer repair firm that specializes in Network Repair and Replacement, Software Design, Server Setup and Maintenance, and Data Backup and Recovery.  And now, you can drop off your damaged computer at Goin’ Postal Tallahassee AND pick up your repaired computer here–all for a low, flat-rate fee!

For more information, give us a call at (850) 692-3130, visit us on the web at http://gpoftallahassee.com, or drive to our store at 5810 North Monroe Street, Suite 210A, Tallahassee, Florida!

You can also connect with us on Twitter (http://twitter.com/gptally) 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 http://gpoftallahassee.com, 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 (http://twitter.com/gptally) or like our Facebook fan page!