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Old 12-06-2006, 04:44 AM   #1
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This year I made my beautiful hand stamped Christmas cards (all 40), signed them, put them in envelopes, added correct postage stamp and noted on each envelope "hand cancel" (because they had a button on the card and I didn't want the envelopes to get torn or mess up the postal service machine.

Next day TO MY SURPRISE all 40 cards are back in MY MAILBOX with a note "return for additional postage - 13 cent surcharge each"

I quickly got a marker and marked through the "hand stamp" and returned them to the postage box.

No wonder folks are sending ecards this year -- next year, I think I will send a photo of my Christmas cards!

Trying to be MERRY!
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Old 12-06-2006, 04:51 AM   #2
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Unfortunately whenever you ask the post office to hand cancel an envelope you pay extra. This is because instead of sending the card through the machine it is done by a human being and we humans cost more than a machine.
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Old 12-06-2006, 07:07 PM   #3
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Thanks for letting us know -- I did not know that - But it makes sense.
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Old 12-08-2006, 07:56 AM   #4
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Quote:

Originally Posted by Sandy Weakley
This year I made my beautiful hand stamped Christmas cards (all 40), signed them, put them in envelopes, added correct postage stamp and noted on each envelope "hand cancel" (because they had a button on the card and I didn't want the envelopes to get torn or mess up the postal service machine.

Next day TO MY SURPRISE all 40 cards are back in MY MAILBOX with a note "return for additional postage - 13 cent surcharge each"

I quickly got a marker and marked through the "hand stamp" and returned them to the postage box.

No wonder folks are sending ecards this year -- next year, I think I will send a photo of my Christmas cards!

Trying to be MERRY!

I put extra postage on my envelopes.
And I add something inside the Envelope to prevent damage to the card. Like a piece of Bubble wrap or Cardstock run through the paper crimper.
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Old 12-08-2006, 08:04 AM   #5
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I didn't even think of requesting hand stamping. What a great idea!

Maybe you could reserve the super embellished cards for your most special friends, that way you aren't paying for too much extra postage?
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Old 12-08-2006, 08:15 AM   #6
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I really don't want to sound ugly, but where else can you get customer service for 39 cents plus a little additional for hand stamping cards... Those machine they use can be harsh on cards, that you especially want to have hand stamped. I will say at our post office, if you were to put hand cancel on these, it wouldn't cost you any more, however it might of been because the button in their weight more than just a normal 39 cent card would..

Please, don't be so hard on the post office and understand that they are doing there jobs with a smile every single day, come rain, snow,hail, sleet and whatever else you can think of kind of weather.


Thank you for allowing me to add my 2 cents worth.
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Old 12-08-2006, 08:35 AM   #7
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It may also be the fact that you had a button on the card, if it's more than 1/4" thick (I think) they charge .13 extra.
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Old 12-08-2006, 03:15 PM   #8
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Quote:

Originally Posted by kristarill2005
I really don't want to sound ugly, but where else can you get customer service for 39 cents plus a little additional for hand stamping cards... Those machine they use can be harsh on cards, that you especially want to have hand stamped. I will say at our post office, if you were to put hand cancel on these, it wouldn't cost you any more, however it might of been because the button in their weight more than just a normal 39 cent card would..

Please, don't be so hard on the post office and understand that they are doing there jobs with a smile every single day, come rain, snow,hail, sleet and whatever else you can think of kind of weather.


Thank you for allowing me to add my 2 cents worth.
In my world our post office people, move slower than snails. They fully state out loud, no matter how fast I go, I get paid the same. Ha ha... I am not sure they are all trained correctly. And, we only have one automated machine and they are angry and do not want anymore, because their jobs will be gone. Meanwhile the lines are out two sets of doors....
I have had a recent upset where a package was broken into, and I think this guy who was not an official looking person, but was doing some "stuff" around the post office, overheard my package was extremely heavy. They were all joking, ha ha. Guess what??? package torn into. Heavy things, might mean an xbox??, etc.. So I had a full week of ebay issues.
My advice. Go Priority. Wrap Well. Offer insurance.
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Old 12-10-2006, 12:13 PM   #9
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I never though about my embellished card going through a machine. Now I'm afraid my snowflake brad will poke through the envelope or be squashed.

Linda
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Old 12-10-2006, 12:21 PM   #10
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I didn't even think about that. I guess that might be the end of my brads. Thanks for letting us know!. I will definately keep it in mind for next year.
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Old 12-10-2006, 12:26 PM   #11
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Quote:

Originally Posted by hedgiemama
Guess what??? package torn into. Heavy things, might mean an xbox??, etc..
I trade Hard Rock Cafe pins with collectors all over the world. I have received MANY bubble envelopes with a CONVENIENT tear along the corner or edge and the pin that was once inside GONE. The gal that delivers our PO BOX mail said when sending a package thru the postal system, she recommends tape around the edges so that any gap left is not big enough for the enclosed item to fall out of any "accidental packaging failures". Nice, huh? Now I tape my pins to something bigger (like a retired swap card if it's going to a trader I know!), put it in the padded envy and run a cross of tape so that the middle of each side has a tape reinforcement. If a corner gets torn away, there is no way for the pin to "accidentally fall out"......
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Old 12-10-2006, 12:27 PM   #12
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Quote:

Originally Posted by wiggynine
I never though about my embellished card going through a machine. Now I'm afraid my snowflake brad will poke through the envelope or be squashed.

Linda
I did snowflake brads last year and they did just fine. They were the only embellishment on the card other than silver cord which is too flat to count.
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Old 12-10-2006, 01:17 PM   #13
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I sent out my cards last year with "hand cancel" and didn't include extra postage. I think everyone got them. I didn't get any back. . . makes me wonder now, though.
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Old 12-10-2006, 01:25 PM   #14
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Quote:

Originally Posted by kristarill2005
I really don't want to sound ugly, but where else can you get customer service for 39 cents plus a little additional for hand stamping cards... Those machine they use can be harsh on cards, that you especially want to have hand stamped. I will say at our post office, if you were to put hand cancel on these, it wouldn't cost you any more, however it might of been because the button in their weight more than just a normal 39 cent card would..

Please, don't be so hard on the post office and understand that they are doing there jobs with a smile every single day, come rain, snow,hail, sleet and whatever else you can think of kind of weather.


Thank you for allowing me to add my 2 cents worth.
How is that possible? If you are going to a federal US post office (meaning not a place in a drug store that also takes mail or something like that) the charges should be standard across the country.

I have only done this once or twice, but have been told each time that there is a surcharge for the service. It just seems odd that some USPO's would have it and some would not.
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Old 12-10-2006, 01:26 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by jor
I sent out my cards last year with "hand cancel" and didn't include extra postage. I think everyone got them. I didn't get any back. . . makes me wonder now, though.

I wonder if some times they just send them through the machine regardless to save time...
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Old 12-10-2006, 04:58 PM   #16
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All I can say is that I don't think it has anything to do with hand cancel on it, I think it was the button or the bulkiness of the envelope.

I am so sorry you had a bad experience with the post office where you are at.
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Old 12-10-2006, 05:03 PM   #17
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Okay let me let you in on a little secret, I work at the post office here in our town and if you ask to put hand stamped on a card or hand cancel, we do that, we don't put them through the machines, now I can't speak for any of the other post offices, but we care about our customers. Those machine can sometimes be brutal to the things that go through them.

I haven't been to any other post offices, so I can't speak for them about what they do and how they run it.

I hope this helps you. I again am sorry you had a bad experience with your post office. I am going to ask the boss tomorrow more about this... I will keep you posted....
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Old 12-10-2006, 06:00 PM   #18
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As a Postal Employee I am seeing a lot of cards coming through the mail stream with lots of embellishments. Many of these cards go through the machines just fine but some do not they jam the machine and some time ruin the card and some other mail pieces with it. If you drop your cards in a blue mail box you run the risk of a damaged card. You may also get it through with out the extra postage. The person you are sending them to may get the card and an envelope for additional postage. Please go easy on your postal employee we are trying to get your mail to where it is going as quickly as possible. Happy Holidays!!!!
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Old 12-10-2006, 06:15 PM   #19
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Quote:

Originally Posted by kristarill2005
All I can say is that I don't think it has anything to do with hand cancel on it, I think it was the button or the bulkiness of the envelope.

I am so sorry you had a bad experience with the post office where you are at.
I didn't have a bad experience. I just went in and said "Please hand cancel this" and the lady said "there is a xx cent surcharge for that service"... So I said "ok, no problem"!

My point was that I *know* the fee is for the hand canceling service... and if the USPO has that charge here, they would have it everywhere!
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Old 12-11-2006, 05:16 AM   #20
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the whole hand cancel issue really has be befuddled.
The post office I use in Maryland, is the central postal facility in the area. It is huge. I have never been asked to pay more for hand cancel. Never. My cards have been fat, lumpy and bumpy. The only time I have been asked for more postage is when they are oversized or square. LOVE that P.O.
The post office I used to use in Florida is just the opposite. I can be the only one in the post office and when I ask for hand cancel the guy acts like I am asking him to deliver the darn thing personally. He makes such a fuss. He also hand cancels so hard that my card would have been better off in the machines. And he asks for more postage. I now travel a few miles up the road to the main facility in the area and get much better service. They do not ask me to pay extra for hand cancel.
So I really don't get it.
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Old 12-11-2006, 05:25 AM   #21
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Hand cancel meaning they put the little date stamp on there at the counter??? I have never paid more for that....thought that was a service you got when you walked up to the counter rather than putting it in the mail box?!
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Old 12-11-2006, 05:26 AM   #22
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OH and I should add I have never mailed more than a handful at a time that needed weighed and "hand cancelled".. If I were to walk up with a box full they might charge for that I dont know.
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Old 12-11-2006, 05:39 AM   #23
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Is hand cancel and nonmachineable the same thing? I would assume they are. When I take my cards in they never hand stamp them in front of me. They are put in a box for nonmachineable and I always have to pay extra postage.
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Old 12-11-2006, 05:43 AM   #24
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Originally Posted by cincimom
Is hand cancel and nonmachineable the same thing? I would assume they are. When I take my cards in they never hand stamp them in front of me. They are put in a box for nonmachineable and I always have to pay extra postage.
Yep! It's not just a matter of them stamping the card in front of you, it's a matter of keeping it separate from everything else throughout it's entire "journey" through the system.
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Old 12-11-2006, 06:47 AM   #25
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Think of it this way...if you can feel that a card has a button, chipboard, or other bulky item through the envelope...the machine that processes it can too. How much do you think it costs everytime their machine gets jammed with a highly embellished card? It costs in back-up of mail, man hours to fix a machine...and sometimes it even breaks the machine. Postal employees are not out to GET you...trust me, they want you to tell them the card is non-machinable and yes...you pay extra.
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Old 12-11-2006, 07:53 AM   #26
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when I send embellished cards, I turn them inside out, so that the embelishment is in the inside of the card. I also put a sticky on the card to let them know I did this so it wouldn't get caught in the machines.
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Old 12-11-2006, 08:04 AM   #27
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I put my cards in the envelope so the embellished front is facing the flap, and the front of the envelope remains smooth because it has the back of the card against it. I also put a sheet of crimped CS between the front of the card and the back of the envelope just to make sure there is nothing sticking out to get caught. So far, so good; the real test will be in what condition my mother receives her belated birthday card -- it had a couple of brads and a couple of deep rhinestoney flower things on it.
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Old 12-11-2006, 06:00 PM   #28
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Our local small-town post office simplified the extra postage issue. If it's got a "bump" in it, it needs extra postage for hand canceling. That could be a bulky ribbon knot or bow, brad, hardware, etc. Also, I often mail in the clear envies which is automatically 13 cents extra for hand canceling. I just bit the bullet and bought the extra-postage stamps because I want to make sure something I spend lots of time on gets there without -postage due- marked on it.

That's a great idea to use the crimped paper for cushioning, Jeanstamping2. Thanks for the tip.
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Old 12-11-2006, 06:07 PM   #29
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whoa--this is all to familiar to me. had the same thing happen with my homemade cards with ribbon, 30 out of 50 returned. so i paid the extra and next year it will just be generic cards or ecards. this is the 1st year i had this happen and i have been making cards for 5 years. i will have to remember the embellishment to the back of the envelope. you gals all have such good ideas. thanks
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