Tag Archives: tracking

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!

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!

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!

“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!

Help Victims of the Gulf Oil Spill…

Thousands of families along the Gulf Central Coast have already been affected by the BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill. The seafood and tourism industries, among others, currently feel the initial impact of the disaster.

Video:

http://www.cnn.com/video/data/2.0/video/living/2010/06/30/sylvester.oil.al.food.bank.cnn.html

YOU can directly help families along the Central Gulf Coast by donating goods that will be used to pack emergency food boxes, or will be distributed at a ‘mobile pantry event’, a traveling food pantry that delivers groceries directly to affected coastal communities.

Most- Needed Items:

> Canned Meats ( tuna, chicken, salmon, etc. )

> Canned Fruits and Vegetables

> Canned and Boxed Meals ( Soup, Macaroni & Cheese, etc.)

> Peanut Butter

> Pasta, Rice, Cereal

> 100% Fruit Juice ( Canned, Plastic, or Boxed)

Donated items will be collected from
{Information redacted — donation drive has ended}

This announcement 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!

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:

http://www.usps.com/auctions/

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 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!

USPS Employee Sentenced to 5 Years in Prison for Mail Theft Conspiracy…

  Defendant Worked as a Mail Handler at Dallas Main Post Office

DALLAS — A former employee of the U.S. Postal Service, James Olabode Laniyan, was sentenced yesterday by U.S. District Judge Jorge A. Solis to 60 months in federal prison, the statutory maximum, for his role in a mail theft conspiracy, announced U.S. Attorney James T. Jacks of the Northern District of Texas. Judge Solis also ordered that Laniyan, pay $302,620 in restitution for disbursement to Discover Card Services and Capital Bank One Bank. Laniyan, 51, of Grand Prairie, Texas, was ordered to surrender to the Bureau of Prisons on July 28, 2010.

Laniyan pleaded guilty in February 2010 to one count of conspiracy to possess stolen mail matter and commit fraud and related activity in connection with access devices. In January 2010, Laniyan’s co-conspirator, Sulaimon Olasode, 36, of Houston, Texas, pleaded guilty to the same offense and was sentenced last month by Judge Solis to 48 months in federal prison and ordered to pay restitution jointly and severally with Laniyan. Olasode is in federal custody; following his sentence, will be referred to U.S. Immigration authorities for deportation to Nigeria.

According to documents filed in the case, Laniyan was employed as a mail handler with the U.S. Postal Service at the Dallas Main Post Office. Sometime prior to October 2008, Olasode approached Laniyan about stealing mail from the post office. After considering the money he could make, Laniyan agreed to participate in the conspiracy, which they ran until August 5, 2009.

The American public trusts the Postal Service to deliver its mail intact. When a postal employee betrays that trust and steals mail, then uses stolen financial information to wreak havoc in the lives of our citizens, Special Agents of the Postal Service’s Office of Inspector General investigate. Fortunately, these incidents are not common, and the overwhelming majority of the 600,000 postal employees are honest and hard-working. With the prosecutive support of the U.S. Attorney’s Office, we will aggressively pursue any employee committing a postal crime,” said Max Eamiguel, Executive Special Agent-in-Charge, Office of Inspector General, U.S. Postal Service, Southwest Area Field Office.

Laniyan stole credit cards and credit card customer information by removing letters and parcels from the mail stream and then sent the contents of the stolen mail to Olasode in Houston for him to activate and use the stolen credit cards in the Houston area. In February 2009, members of Discover Financial Services Organized Crime Unit identified more than 40 credit cards mailed to customers in the Dallas area that were never received and later compromised. The vast majority of the compromised cards were being fraudulently used in the Houston, Katy, Sugarland and Richmond, Texas, areas.

Approximately 150 victims had their Capital One or Discover credit cards stolen in the scheme.


Residents of the Florida Big Bend area, make sure you visit Goin’ Postal Tallahassee at 5810 North Monroe Street, Suite 210A, Tallahassee, Florida. We offer many different ways to ship your important documents with tracking, signature delivery confirmation, and insurance!!! See more on our website, http://gpoftallahassee.com !

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