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Printing postage online ROCKS!
Posted by: mattkime
Date: April 13, 2006 10:51PM
Maybe I'm slow to the party, but I recently discovered that the USPS site works quite well for printing postage. Domestic, internal, priority mail, express - whatever, and without a condescending explanation.

Beats the hell out of standing in line at the post office.
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Re: Printing postage online ROCKS!
Posted by: spearmint
Date: April 13, 2006 10:58PM
[www.usps.com]
This it?




Da Good Life
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Re: Printing postage online ROCKS!
Posted by: mattkime
Date: April 13, 2006 11:01PM
better link -
[sss-web.usps.com]



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Re: Printing postage online ROCKS!
Posted by: PeterB
Date: April 13, 2006 11:26PM
Yup, I've used that for quite some time now.

Also-- not well known-- your PO will pick up your package FREE from your home or office, saving you the actual trip to the PO to mail the package. This is a Good Thing, if, like me, it's a hassle for you to get to the PO (either because it's not conveniently close, or because it's a hassle to be hauling something heavy). There are only two major caveats:

1) At least one of the packages to be picked up, you have to be shipping via Priority, Overnight, or International (e.g., you cannot get them to pickup only Parcel Post packages, but you can have them pick up a Parcel Post if at the same time they're picking up a Priority, for example)

2) Obviously, you either have to be around for when they do a pickup, or put the package somewhere where they can get access to it if you're not around.

Linkypoo: [carrierpickup.usps.com]




Freya says, 'Hello from NOLA, baby!' (Laissez bon temps rouler!)



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 04/13/2006 11:30PM by PeterB.
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Re: Printing postage online ROCKS!
Posted by: spearmint
Date: April 13, 2006 11:38PM
Forgot about not being able to put even small packages in the boxes. The local post office is a real doozy with long,long lines and attitude up the wazoo. For at home business that could be a killer.




Da Good Life
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Re: Printing postage online ROCKS!
Posted by: PeterB
Date: April 13, 2006 11:44PM
Minty, yeah, that's another good reason to do the free pickup-- you can't put anything stamped, greater than one pound, in a box any longer because of post-9/11 restrictions. They also won't do carrier pickup for that either. You can put a non-stamped, computer-generated label mail over a pound in a mailbox, though. The way my carrier explained it to me is that they have to have the label-- because this gives them a way to trace the sender, versus stamps, which really don't.




Freya says, 'Hello from NOLA, baby!' (Laissez bon temps rouler!)



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 04/13/2006 11:45PM by PeterB.
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Re: Printing postage online ROCKS!
Posted by: spearmint
Date: April 13, 2006 11:58PM
Good tips Peter B.




Da Good Life
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Re: Printing postage online ROCKS!
Posted by: Dennis S
Date: April 14, 2006 02:04AM
"... you can't put anything stamped, greater than one pound, in a box any longer because of post-9/11 restrictions."

Technicality - it was because of the Unabomber.
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Re: Printing postage online ROCKS!
Posted by: richorlin
Date: April 14, 2006 07:33AM
The only thing that keeps it from being a complete solution is the fact that you can't print First Class Mail.
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Re: Printing postage online ROCKS!
Posted by: Zoidberg
Date: April 14, 2006 09:33AM
I was going to say the box restrictions were in place before 9/11.
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Re: Printing postage online ROCKS!
Posted by: vicrock
Date: April 14, 2006 10:27AM
Even if you cannot put them in the mailbox, you can go to the post office, and walk to the window and just turn it in - if the postage is already on it. Takes no time and you really are not cutting in line.
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Re: Printing postage online ROCKS!
Posted by: PeterB
Date: April 14, 2006 10:33AM
Zoid and Dennis, I'm not exactly sure when/why those changes were implemented. It certainly could have been because of the Unabomber rather than 9/11, but I got the impression that it was some period of time after both events, and so it may have actually just been part of the overall directives of Homeland Security. (Remember also the anthrax scares...)

Bottom line is, use the site, it works well. Except as noted, that it doesn't let you do First Class, you have to use Swordfish, Endicia, or one of the other third-party services for that... my solution for that has been this:



vlcrock, it's nice though not to have to physically go to the PO at all...




Freya says, 'Hello from NOLA, baby!' (Laissez bon temps rouler!)



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 04/14/2006 10:34AM by PeterB.
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Re: Printing postage online ROCKS!
Posted by: MacGurl
Date: April 14, 2006 10:42AM
Yeah, I've been shipping the online way for some time now. I ship anywhere from 2-8 boxes a week, all needing priority shipping (or international) and insurance, and this is truly a godsend. I do the free pick-up (since I work here from home), and it saves me all of the time and touble in the world. I also have the very best carrier on the planet - I'll hate it someday when we move or he gets another job, whichever comes first.

Remember to order your free priority shipping boxes online (they're too small for me to use most of the time, but work well for many people), as well as priority labels by the roll, global express labels, and those clear plastic/sticky backed envelopes for your customs forms to go in - all free and delivered to your home.

Kathy





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Re: Printing postage online ROCKS!
Posted by: PeterB
Date: April 14, 2006 10:46AM
Kathy, you should see my place... it's like Box Central. I've bought and sold on LEM Swap for years. No need to buy the Priority Mail boxes in my case, I just reuse all the boxes, and it doesn't save you money anyway... you would pay the same, it's just that those boxes are prepaid.

And yes, I absolutely agree with you about the carriers-- I've been fortunate and have had some of the nicest guys/gals on the planet.




Freya says, 'Hello from NOLA, baby!' (Laissez bon temps rouler!)
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Re: Printing postage online ROCKS!
Posted by: MacGurl
Date: April 14, 2006 11:04AM
Yeah - I reuse boxes (and all shipping materials) here too. I have a back room, and part of the garage, stacked with them. The ones in the backroom are for customer commissions - I send their piece back to them, once painted, in the box it came to me in, unless it was damaging in shipping. The boxes in the garage are for pieces I paint and sell myself. Nothing goes to waste here - plastic grocery bags make good wrapping material for delicate bits. winking smiley I haven't bought any shipping materials, beyond tape, for ages.

Kathy
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Re: Printing postage online ROCKS!
Posted by: RAMd®d
Date: April 14, 2006 01:56PM
It certainly could have been because of the Unabomber...

It certainly was.


I don't mail enough to use an online posatge service, but I really like making my labels with Swordfish (now Swordfish Express, I think).

When I do mail, it's always Priority Mail®. With Swordfish, I also get an electronic Delivery Confirmation barcode, which is free with Priority Mail. I take it to the PO to get postage on it, so that it gets scanned into the system.

Otherwise, putting any kind of postage on it and just dropping it off doesn't get the originating or entry scan. I can then give the DCS number to the addressee, and they can keep tabs on it, when it gets in town. (Only Express Mail is actually tracked, and though I procrastinate, I'm cheap.)






When a good man is hurt,
all who would be called good
must suffer with him.

You and I have memories longer than the road that stretches out ahead.

There is no safety for honest men except
by believing all possible evil of evil men.

We don’t do focus groups. They just ensure that you don’t offend anyone, and produce bland inoffensive products. —Sir Jonathan Ive

Perfection is the enemy of progress. -Winston Churchill

-An armed society is a polite society.
And hope is a lousy defense.

You make me pull, I'll put you down.

Mister, that's a ten-gallon hat on a twenty-gallon head.

I *love* SIGs. It's Glocks I hate.
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Re: Printing postage online ROCKS!
Posted by: MacGurl
Date: April 14, 2006 01:59PM
Delivery Confirmation is standard and FREE when you do online shipping with the USPS site also. They charge you for it when you get it at the actual PO.

Kathy
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Re: Printing postage online ROCKS!
Posted by: PeterB
Date: April 14, 2006 02:14PM
RAMmie, my point is that it probably wasn't JUST because of the Unabomber.

All Priority Mail is tracked, as far as I'm aware... you always get a tracking number when you do it online. And as Kathy says, delivery confirmation is free, and sig confirmation is only $1.30.




Freya says, 'Hello from NOLA, baby!' (Laissez bon temps rouler!)
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Re: Printing postage online ROCKS!
Posted by: RAMd®d
Date: April 15, 2006 09:28AM
RAMmie, my point is that it probably wasn't JUST because of the Unabomber.

Actually, it was, almost exclusively. Ted plauged the Postal Service for years. It seems some measures were enhanced/elevated because of Sept. 11, but for the most part they were more strictly enforced.


All Priority Mail is tracked...

No Priority Mail is tracked. You don't get a tracking number, ever, with Priortiy Mail. Only Express Mail gets a tracking number.

Online postage gets one an Electronic Delivery Confirmation label and number, which is free with Priority Mail and reduced in price for other qualifying classes of mail. That's not a tracking number.

Take a Priority package to the counter and don't use an Electronic DCS label, you won't get a DC number.

When you get DCS at the window, the package is scanned into the USPS system. This gets you a couple of scans at the origin office and at the delivery office, but seldom (and only accidentally) any points in between. This is not "tracking" by almost anybody's standards.

Priorty Mail is also the only domestic class that has DCS available as an online purchase.

Express Mail actually gets tracked. No additional service need be purchased for this; it's in the price of admission.




When a good man is hurt,
all who would be called good
must suffer with him.

You and I have memories longer than the road that stretches out ahead.

There is no safety for honest men except
by believing all possible evil of evil men.

We don’t do focus groups. They just ensure that you don’t offend anyone, and produce bland inoffensive products. —Sir Jonathan Ive

Perfection is the enemy of progress. -Winston Churchill

-An armed society is a polite society.
And hope is a lousy defense.

You make me pull, I'll put you down.

Mister, that's a ten-gallon hat on a twenty-gallon head.

I *love* SIGs. It's Glocks I hate.
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Re: Printing postage online ROCKS!
Posted by: PeterB
Date: April 15, 2006 05:05PM
RAMmie, true, it's not a "real" tracking number, but... you can use it on the website to track your package. That's good enough for most people. winking smiley

And as for the Unabomber, it may be true that it was almost exclusively because of him that the new policies were instituted, but I cannot imagine that the anthrax scares had nothing to do with it. They were also linked, temporally.




Freya says, 'Hello from NOLA, baby!' (Laissez bon temps rouler!)
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Re: Printing postage online ROCKS!
Posted by: RAMd®d
Date: April 16, 2006 08:39PM
Again, the number doesn't "track" a Priority Package.

I agree knowing that the package was *delivered* is enough for most people. That's why it's Delivery Confirmation.

As for anthrax, those were actually letters, not packages.




When a good man is hurt,
all who would be called good
must suffer with him.

You and I have memories longer than the road that stretches out ahead.

There is no safety for honest men except
by believing all possible evil of evil men.

We don’t do focus groups. They just ensure that you don’t offend anyone, and produce bland inoffensive products. —Sir Jonathan Ive

Perfection is the enemy of progress. -Winston Churchill

-An armed society is a polite society.
And hope is a lousy defense.

You make me pull, I'll put you down.

Mister, that's a ten-gallon hat on a twenty-gallon head.

I *love* SIGs. It's Glocks I hate.
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