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Off Topic/Non-philatelic Disc. : Another revalation at the old post office

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philb
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28 Feb 2018
11:26:16am

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I had to drop a cover off at the post office..it was going to Russia and when i mail out of the country i usually ask for a meter instead of a stamp..that way at least the receipt shows the destination. So today i did my usual thing and asked for a meter instead of a stamp. The clerk had a strange look on his face but he went through the meter ritual and then said it would be 2 dollars and 40 some cents instead of the usual $1.15 i pay. I asked him if mail to Russia did not go for the normal international rate and he seemed a bit annoyed...he said if used a meter he had to send it as a large package...if thats so i have been scamming the post office for some time getting $1.15 meters. I was sending a 4 dollar item not a twenty dollar item...if i paid the two plus dollars it would have been a charity case.
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michael78651
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SOR Auctioneer
28 Feb 2018
12:01:47pm
re: Another revalation at the old post office

Phil, what you say isn't right.

To Russia, and item weighing less than 1 ounce (you didn't specify how much it weighed):

First Class = $1.15

First Class Large envelope = $2.29

First Class Package = $10.00

As we have stated here since the January postage rate increase, all merchandise must be sent via package services (First Class Package; Priority Mail; Express Mail). The clerk may have thought you were trying to scam him to try to get make-shift proof of mailing for an item being sent First Class Letter rate that should have been sent First Class Package rate.

PayPal, if that's how you were paid, will not accept that receipt as it doesn't provide tracking in case the item never gets to the recipient.


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philb
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28 Feb 2018
01:47:27pm

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re: Another revalation at the old post office

Michael this was not the clerk i usually deal with..the envelope was less than one ounce it was the 6x9 manila envelope. He made the meter 2.29 but when i balked he removed the meter and put the 1.15 green succulent stamp on. I just sold a card to someone in Thailand for 73.99 i don't know of any really SAFE way to send it.

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amsd
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Editor, Seal News; contributor, JuicyHeads
28 Feb 2018
02:27:52pm
re: Another revalation at the old post office

which clerk, Phil?

Most of the ones I see there know their business pretty well or, if they don't, defer to me (and I'd assume to you as well, looking all presidential and such).

Meter and stamp have the exact same franking power. The only time that is NOT true is on business meters where we can take advantage of discounts (47c vs 50c) for domestic first class. I don't think it extends to foreign destinations or other services. For a while that discrepancy was smaller. It was introduced when postage was 47c and was worth 5 mils (46.5c vs 47c). I know, more than you wanted to know, but I can't help myself, as you and most of my friends know full well.

David

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pigdoc
28 Feb 2018
02:30:29pm
re: Another revalation at the old post office

Yes it does seem to be problematic to buy/sell via USPS in that part of the world anymore...

Buyer...AND seller, beware.

Feels like we've returned to the 17th century, when senders mailed three copies of critical correspondence, in hopes that (at least) one would get through.

Whatever happened to the Universal Postal Union?

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amsd
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Editor, Seal News; contributor, JuicyHeads
28 Feb 2018
02:33:09pm
re: Another revalation at the old post office

it's still there

UPU is not the problem.

local thievery is

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philb
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28 Feb 2018
03:52:27pm

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re: Another revalation at the old post office

I guess its a gamble..these guys in Thailand bid outrageous amounts on old Siam cards,they have good credentials on ebay..i don't imagine they want to damage their reputations by constantly saying they never received their item. David as always your advice is well taken ! Oh which clerk..the guy with the hair who wants to look like Ben Franklin..the others are most helpful.

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michael78651
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SOR Auctioneer
28 Feb 2018
03:58:26pm
re: Another revalation at the old post office

Phil, that's why I stated in my reply "what you say isn't right".

A 6 x 9 envelope qualifies for first class letter rate, unless it is too thick. Also, there could be the non-machinable surcharge if it is too stiff. A 6 1/2 inch high, and/or a 12 inch long envelope has to go at the large envelope rate at the least.

Regarding the USPS requirement that all merchandise being sent outside the USA must be in a parcel, that requirement is in effect. You should have used a parcel envelope and paid $10.00 to mail that to Russia.

If you don't like my statement above, sorry. I didn't write that rule. That is also the reason why international mail from the USA is taking a hit. The clerks in my post office stated that packages being sent outside the USA from my post office alone have fallen dramatically. The rule was written to combat shipping illegal drugs through the post office. They did not take into consideration that people like us send little pieces of paper that people collect. Also other nations have been complaining for quite some time that international USA postage rates are too low as the receiving country doen's share enough of the postage with the USA to cover the other country's delivery cost.

Many USA sellers on many sites have ceased selling to people who live outside the USA. We just have to wait and see if the rule changes.

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pigdoc
28 Feb 2018
04:02:31pm
re: Another revalation at the old post office

Yes, and that uncertainty is bearish for prices on items offered by sellers from these areas, which can be a Good Thing for the buyer. I always ask myself 3 questions before bidding:

1. Are you ABSOLUTELY CERTAIN that it is what you think it is (ID as well as condition)?
2. Do you REALLY need to have it?
3. Would you NOT care if you never received it?

I need to answer all three questions "YES!" before I proceed.

-Paul

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Webpaper
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28 Feb 2018
04:44:05pm
re: Another revalation at the old post office

Here's a link to the USPS page outlining requirements and prohibitions for shipments to Thailand

https://pe.usps.com/IMM_Archive/HTML/IMM_Archive_20060108/imm/immicl/immicltz_004.html

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philb
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28 Feb 2018
05:25:31pm

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re: Another revalation at the old post office

something seems a bit askew here...a dealer in the Netherlands can mail us stamps for $1.50 shipping but i would have to pay 10 dollars postage to send a 3 dollar cover to Russia. i am sure my dealer friend and wife who ship out a score of things a day would be amused if told they had to pay 10 dollars to ship overseas.Happy

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michael78651
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SOR Auctioneer
28 Feb 2018
06:51:55pm
re: Another revalation at the old post office

Phil, that's apples and oranges comparing The Netherlands to Russia regarding first class international parcel.

Ready for this?

The same cover would cost you $14.00 to mail to The Netherlands.

I'm not even going to try to figure this out.

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Stampme
28 Feb 2018
08:36:05pm
re: Another revalation at the old post office

Also, the bidders in Thailand mentioned in this thread would not harm their ebay reputation by stating that items were not received if those items can't be tracked online. The seller would be subject to negative feedback. The buyer can't be given negative feedback. If online tracking was used and did show the items were delivered, a claim that they weren't delivered would tend to harm a buyer's reputation on eBay.
Bruce

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philb
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28 Feb 2018
09:22:50pm

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re: Another revalation at the old post office

I'm 79 and still get hung up on the absurdity of life..i mean i like for things to go my own way..but if they don't..it won't be the first time. And if i really get in trouble i know my wife will step in !Big Grin

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amsd
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Editor, Seal News; contributor, JuicyHeads
01 Mar 2018
10:54:52am
re: Another revalation at the old post office

so, we've moved from meter vs stamp to international mailing regs

in both cases, Todd should have known his rules. I remember Michael talking about this before, but I obviously haven't internalized it yet.

Is Canada international or just a suburb of US, postally speaking.


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Anglophile
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RPSL, APS, EPA; US, GB, Ireland, British Europe, Italy, Mauritius Classics
01 Mar 2018
11:05:15am
re: Another revalation at the old post office

It should be noted that the “meter ritual” involves the clerk using their touch screen terminal to select from only the available options. Phil’s problem appears to have involved the clerk erring in interpreting a 6x9 envelope as “large,” given the options on the screen.

Separately, the options as updated on the terminals effective January 21 also block the clerks from using anything other than package service for a foreign destination where the mail piece is more than 1/4” thick or where the sender admits over the counter that it contains anything other than non-dutiable documents.

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michael78651
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SOR Auctioneer
01 Mar 2018
11:13:48am
re: Another revalation at the old post office

There is a template on the top of the scale postal clerks use. If a clerk considers a 6x9 envelope that is not thick or rigid as a “large envelope”, then ask the clerk to use the template to verify.

Just remember that if you are using what is known as "catalog envelopes", that those are 1/2 inch too wide (6 1/2 inches compared to 6 1/4 inches maximum width for first class letter) and are classified as large envelopes.

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Webpaper
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01 Mar 2018
02:27:31pm
re: Another revalation at the old post office

Quote:

"Is Canada international or just a suburb of US, postally speaking.""



It is International. To legally send a postage stamp to Canada (merchandise, as Anglophile notes - anything other than non-dutiable documents) it is classified as a first class package and the cost is $10. That would also hold true for covers, postcards, etc whether or not you are charging for them, trading, or sending a gift.


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bobgggg
President Cortlandt Stamp Club
01 Mar 2018
06:57:55pm
re: Another revalation at the old post office

Here is what happened to me with the Rocket Scientists at my local post office.


I make up a package to go to Israel to a collector who has an interest in cinderella stamps.

I affix two boys town Christmas seals on the envelope, and an international forever stamp ( $ 1.15 ) and I ask
the teller if she would hand cancel the two boys town stamps along with the forever stamp.

DUH... she tells me.. " I never seen those boys town forever stamps " " Are they New "


Rolling On The Floor Laughing



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d1stamper
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01 Mar 2018
07:24:09pm
re: Another revalation at the old post office

bobgggg
What was your response to

Quote:

"" I never seen those boys town forever stamps " " Are they New "
"



Doug

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bobgggg
President Cortlandt Stamp Club
01 Mar 2018
08:40:50pm
re: Another revalation at the old post office

Doug... I was nice.. I held back from saying anything....

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michael78651
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SOR Auctioneer
01 Mar 2018
08:47:53pm
re: Another revalation at the old post office

I like to use unused foreign stamps on some of my mailings. The clerks were confused at first too, but they quickly learned what I do, and look forward to seeing what I have plastered on the items that I mail. I even do this on bills that I pay through the mail. Of course the foreign stamps and any other labels are not permitted in the same area of the mailing pieces as the stamps that are actually paying postage. I put such items in the lower left of the mailing piece.

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pigdoc
02 Mar 2018
11:31:20am
re: Another revalation at the old post office

I've always found it amusing that, on envelopes received from foreign dealers, the postal clerks almost always comment, "Those are some nice stamps!", maybe with lingering looks and perhaps a wistful tone to their voices.

I wanna scream, "Ya, if YOU would stop with the stupid laser-printed labels, you TOO could RECIPROCATE!"

Admiring the hobby, WHILE contributing to its demise.

(sigh)...some people's kids...

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BenFranklin1902
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Tom in Exton, PA
02 Mar 2018
02:26:58pm

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re: Another revalation at the old post office

Did they say that as they reached for their Sharpie? Happy

I had a piece I was mailing with a bunch of different older stamps on it. The clerk looked it over and gave me advise that old stamps were VALUABLE and I shouldn't be using them for postage!

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michael78651
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SOR Auctioneer
02 Mar 2018
04:54:55pm
re: Another revalation at the old post office

Quote:

"The clerk looked it over and gave me advise that old stamps were VALUABLE and I shouldn't be using them for postage"



LOL. I hear that now and then when there is a substitute clerk. My response is, "If they're so valuable, then why am I using them for postage?" I usually get the deer in the headlights look.
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BenFranklin1902
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Tom in Exton, PA
02 Mar 2018
07:16:09pm

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re: Another revalation at the old post office

Quote:

"LOL. I hear that now and then when there is a substitute clerk. My response is, "If they're so valuable, then why am I using them for postage?" I usually get the deer in the headlights look."



We should offer to sell them some! "Have we got a deal for you!" Winking

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