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Old 07-10-2008, 12:46 PM   #1
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Default can you tell me what will need extra postag..

i know (from experience) a square enve will need extra postage, and now I see a bow will. How bulky can it get before they charge? Anything esle? What about brads and such? buttons?? I would like to be sure cards I make are mailable with postage due fees.

TIA

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Old 07-10-2008, 01:04 PM   #2
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Any thing like ribbon,brads buttons or hardware all need the extra postage.

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Old 07-10-2008, 01:05 PM   #3
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I can give you what the postal manual says, but from prior threads here, it seems that each post office interprets that manual differently!

Quote:

Letters that are subject to the 20¢ nonmachineable surcharge (cut and pasted from the post office website)
1.2 Nonmachinable Criteria
A letter-size piece is nonmachinable (see 6.4) if it has one or more of the following
characteristics (see 601.1.4 to determine the length, height, top, and bottom of a
mailpiece):
a. Has an aspect ratio (length divided by height) of less than 1.3 or more than 2.5. (this would include square envelopes)

b. Is polybagged, polywrapped, or enclosed in any plastic material.

c. Has clasps, strings, buttons, or similar closure devices.
d. Contains items such as pens, pencils, or loose keys or coins that cause the
thickness of the mailpiece to be uneven (see 601.2.3, Odd-Shaped Items in
Paper Envelopes).

e. Is too rigid (does not bend easily when subjected to a transport belt tension of 40 pounds around an 11-inch diameter turn).

f. For pieces more than 4-1/4 inches high or 6 inches long, the thickness is less than 0.009 inch.

g. Has a delivery address parallel to the shorter dimension of the mailpiece.

h. Is a self-mailer with a final folded edge perpendicular to the address if the piece is not folded and secured according to 201.3.13.1.

i. Booklet-type pieces with the bound edge (spine) along the shorter dimension of the piece or at the top, unless prepared according to 201.3.13.2.
But some post offices seem to consider a clear envelope an envelope and some call it a poly bag. Some post offices also say that if the envelope isn't uniformly thick (and brads, rhinestones and buttons make it not uniformly thick), it needs to pay postage as a package. So far as I can tell, this is not true UNLESS the envelope is over 3/4" thick, or longer than 11-1/2" or taller than 6-1/8". The difference between the two is the nonmachineable letter is 62¢ to mail. If they class the same letter as a package, it costs $1.17. So the whole thing is just a confusing mess!
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Old 07-10-2008, 01:12 PM   #4
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I find that if I mail things from home - they go through. I've never had anything returned...yet... But, if I take it to the PO myself, they always charge me more. When you're at the counter they stand there and put it through their little guide to make sure the width fits. I'm guessing they don't do that when all the mail comes in from the carriers As long as it goes through their machines and doesn't jam them, they must make it through.

My cousin just sent out wedding invites a couple weeks ago. She took a mock-up to the PO by her work before they stuffed them all and they told her one rate. Then she took the actual invites to the PO by home and they told her a totally different rate that was 57 cents higher! Needless to say, she left and mailed them from work...
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Old 07-10-2008, 09:44 PM   #5
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I usually put a piece of tape over the embellishment so it will go through the machine without tearing the envelope...I also didn't know about the 20c for being non-machinable, so I've always just put the 42c and wrote "Please Hand Stamp" on it! oops!
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Old 07-10-2008, 09:48 PM   #6
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The USPS website had criteria that sound a tad different from what was posted above...reading this, I wouldn't think that a little eyelet should cause extra postage--I mean, that's not like a PEN! ??

Dimension Minimum Maximum
Height 3-1/2 inches 6-1/8 inches
Length 5 inches 11-1/2 inches
Thickness 0.007 inch 1/4 inch


First-Class Mail Letter Prices
Weight Not Over
(ounces) Price
1 $0.42
2 0.59
3 0.76
3.5 0.93

Any item smaller than the minimum dimensions is not mailable.
For larger items, see large envelopes or packages.
For envelopes, length is the dimension parallel to the address.

Letters that meet one or more of the nonmachinable characteristics below are subject to the $0.20 nonmachinable surcharge. For items over 3.5 ounces, see large envelope or package prices.
• It is a square letter

• It is too rigid – does not bend easily

• It has clasps, string, buttons, or similar closure devices

• It has an address parallel to the shorter dimension of the letter

• It contains items such as pens that cause the surface to be uneven

• The length divided by height is less than 1.3 or more than 2.5 (calculate this below)


Square Envelope
The minimum size for a square envelope is 5 x 5 inches.
Square letters are subject to the $0.20 nonmachinable surcharge.
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Old 07-10-2008, 10:07 PM   #7
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I am not seeing the Edit button now, sorry for posting again...I found this elsewhere on the USPS site. No wonder their workers are confused!
This one makes me think it is just LOOSE items:
Odd-Shaped Items in Paper Envelopes
Pens, pencils, key rings, bottle caps, and other similar odd-shaped items are not permitted in letter-size or flat-size paper envelopes unless they are wrapped within the other contents of the envelope to streamline the shape of the mailpiece and prevent damage during postal processing. If an odd-shaped item is not properly wrapped, it could burst through the envelope and cause injury to employees and damage to USPS processing equipment. Odd-shaped items that are properly wrapped within paper envelopes and sent at letter prices may be subject to the nonmachinable surcharge under 133.1.10 or 233.4.3 for First-Class Mail letters, or the nonmachinable prices under 243.5.5 for Standard Mail letters. Certain types of odd-shaped items, when properly wrapped, are permitted as automation price letter-size mail subject to the standards in 201.3.0. Flat-size automation price mail is subject to the uniform thickness requirement in 301.3.0.
But then, it says elsewhere:
Rigid and Odd-Shaped Items
Rigid items (e.g., pens, pencils, keys, bottle caps) are prohibited within mailpieces. Reasonably flexible items (e.g., credit cards) are permitted. Subject to 3.11, Flexibility Standards for Automation Letters, odd-shaped items (e.g., coins and tokens) are permitted if firmly affixed to and wrapped within the contents of the mailpiece and envelope to streamline the shape of the mailpiece for automated processing.
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Old 07-11-2008, 01:41 AM   #8
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Quote:

Originally Posted by nottoocreativeView Post
I usually put a piece of tape over the embellishment so it will go through the machine without tearing the envelope...I also didn't know about the 20c for being non-machinable, so I've always just put the 42c and wrote "Please Hand Stamp" on it! oops!

As long as your envelope doesn't tear and is bendable, it will likely make it fine through all the machines. It is highly unlikely that any postal worker will actually see your "Please Hand Stamp". Most postal workers operate the machinery that process the letters. The letters that get rejected or damaged by this machinery does get hand-sorted, but by employees whose eyes usually only search out a specific address part (like if they are sorting by zip code, then they usually only ["selective-vision"] see the zip code) from habit and ignore anything else on the envelope.
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Old 07-11-2008, 02:10 AM   #9
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Quote:

Originally Posted by nottoocreativeView Post
I usually put a piece of tape over the embellishment so it will go through the machine without tearing the envelope...I also didn't know about the 20c for being non-machinable, so I've always just put the 42c and wrote "Please Hand Stamp" on it! oops!

As long as your envelope doesn't tear and is bendable, it will likely make it fine through all the machines. It is highly unlikely that any postal worker will actually see your "Please Hand Stamp". Most postal workers operate the machinery that process the letters. The letters that get rejected or damaged by this machinery does get hand-sorted, but by employees whose eyes usually only search out a specific address part (like if they are sorting by zip code, then they usually only ["selective-vision"] see the zip code) from habit and ignore anything else on the envelope.
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Old 07-11-2008, 02:10 AM   #10
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Quote:

Originally Posted by nottoocreativeView Post
I usually put a piece of tape over the embellishment so it will go through the machine without tearing the envelope...I also didn't know about the 20c for being non-machinable, so I've always just put the 42c and wrote "Please Hand Stamp" on it! oops!

As long as your envelope doesn't tear and is bendable, it will likely make it fine through all the machines. It is highly unlikely that any postal worker will actually see your "Please Hand Stamp". Most postal workers operate the machinery that process the letters. The letters that get rejected or damaged by this machinery does get hand-sorted, but by employees whose eyes usually only search out a specific address part (like if they are sorting by zip code, then they usually only ["selective-vision"] see the zip code) from habit and ignore anything else on the envelope.
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Old 07-11-2008, 05:31 AM   #11
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My only problem has been with larger ribbons and bows/knots. If I use a basic 1/4" grosgrain it seems to go through just fine. It's only when I use a 5/8" GG that I tend to have troubles. But I do like other have said and put tape over the "bumpy" parts so they go through the machine better.
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Last edited by Babsnelson; 07-11-2008 at 05:31 AM.. Reason: spelling darnit!
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Old 07-11-2008, 09:09 AM   #12
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Hey, sorry for the triple post.
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Old 07-11-2008, 10:30 AM   #13
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I agree with the poster who indicated they have not had any problems with their envelopes (I only use clear) when they mail from their home mailbox. I just posted on another thread. I always use clear, very rarely ever add more than the first class rate of .42 and have (knocking on wood now) NEVER had one arrive postage due or have it returned to me for additional postage. My family and friends would certainly call me (as I would them) if there was ever postage due. I have even asked when I have sent someone a card with regular .42 postage that I knew was pushing the limit and still had no postage due. It so depends on each individual post office..mine must not check. Blessings.
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Old 07-11-2008, 08:36 PM   #14
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Quote:

Originally Posted by sprtchickView Post
I have even asked when I have sent someone a card with regular .42 postage that I knew was pushing the limit and still had no postage due. It so depends on each individual post office..mine must not check.
It also depends on the destination's post office. It's very hit and miss. Generally, the larger the post office is, the better the chances of the envelope going through unnoticed.
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Old 07-11-2008, 09:14 PM   #15
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I had started another thread recently about finding 20 cent stamps. I had gone to the post office with a card in an envelope and wanted to see what they would say about it. It was a different post office than I usually frequent and there were three very nice ladies working behind the counter. My question was how to get a pretty looking 20 cent stamp but they do not make them. Only ugly 10 cent stamps. They put my card through their template and all three agreed it would need the extra 20 cents due to the bow.

This reminded me that I had gone to my regular post office a couple of months ago and talked to a very nice man working behind the counter. He is one of my favorites. He actually gave me one of their templates so I have it at home to test cards before sending. It is item #1050251 Rev G. Maybe you can get one of these from your post office to help with your cards before mailing.

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Old 07-11-2008, 11:27 PM   #16
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You can use the 'window' in the plastic of your Fiskars cutter to measure your envelope for thickness. It can be up to 1/4" thick before it goes package rate. Not unusual bumps........I usually fold the card inside out to 'hide' the bumps OR put corragated paper over it OR put fun foam over it.
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Old 07-12-2008, 06:43 AM   #17
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I've never had a problem with mine--and I do have one of those templates from the post office. Makes it very easy to check if my card has ended up a non-standard size, too. A few brads have never made mine go over the 1/4" thickness, although if I use very many, I just put a scrap piece of cardstock in the envelope on top of the card to make it smoother for their machines.
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Old 07-12-2008, 07:45 AM   #18
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from experience no extra postage is needed if you have a ribbon, brads, eyelets, embellishments, 3D, etc. All you need to do is get a cereal box or a pasta box and cut a piece the size of the envelope and put it over the card that has the embellishments. It no longer has anything sticking out and postage will be normal.

My post office told me to do this.

I no longer mail my items in the poly envelopes (even though my friend in NM does and doesn't have to pay extra) but I do use the poly envelopes and then put it in a regular envelope to protect it in case they get wet

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Old 07-12-2008, 07:57 AM   #19
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Oh, what a good idea to fold inside out! or cut a piece from a box to protect the card (I was always afraid that would kick the weight over)
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Old 07-13-2008, 06:18 AM   #20
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a piece of cereal box, pasta box will not make a difference in weight and this is why my friends and I use them to cushion the card and it also keeps everything in tact without falling off.

I have to say though anything that I mail from my apartment, I usually always put a extra note inside the envelope to tell the receiver to check the stamps because 99.9% of the time the stamps are not cancelled and can be reused. If the package ir envelope is going outside the USA, they always return them to me.

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Old 07-13-2008, 07:04 PM   #21
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Well, I make so many trips to the post office with thick cards and clear envelopes, the nice ladies there gave me a template with a 1/4" slit and lots of information about mailing letters. If the card easily slips through this and is not over 1 ounce it can be stamped as First Class Letter (with extra postage = 62 cents). Anyway, you can ask at your local USPS for the template...
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Old 07-16-2008, 12:34 PM   #22
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I agree with the rest of you. If I put the card out for my mail carrier, it has always gone for 42 cents. I sent my husband to the Post Office and they charged him and extra 10 cents per envelope. I am going to try others suggestions of inside out, card stock, thin cardboard on outside. Thankd for the ideas!
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Old 07-16-2008, 01:01 PM   #23
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If I put it in my mailbox, it goes through. BUT if I put it in my mailbox with my return address, it gets returned to ME for extra postage.

The post office looks at the envelope; feels it, finds a bump, tries to run it through their little cardboard tester, and charges me SIXTY TWO CENTS to send it across town.

Now, I put a piece of cereal box over the brad, ribbon, whatever, pop it in my mailbox with NO return address, and it goes on its way for .42 !
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Old 07-16-2008, 01:37 PM   #24
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Wow is it just me or is all the about as clear as mud.

I too have experienced the 'difference'. The closest post office (largest) always charged more no matter what. The other two Post Offices I use (and the ones that pick-up my mail) charge less....I haven't figured out whether it is worth the extra gas though...LOL.
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Old 07-16-2008, 02:22 PM   #25
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I get tired of worrying and wondering, so on ALL my cards except a flat one-layer card with no embellies.............I add the 20 cents extra.........to me it is worth it not to worry about it.
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Old 07-16-2008, 04:11 PM   #26
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I read here before that someone has the actual template the USPS uses given to them by a poastal worker. So, when I went to my local PO (medium size), I asked for one and the guy said "no, can't give it to you, we need to have something that keeps us in business"! I didn't even know what to say to that!
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Old 07-16-2008, 05:24 PM   #27
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Quote:

Originally Posted by kmrrdhView Post
I read here before that someone has the actual template the USPS uses given to them by a poastal worker. So, when I went to my local PO (medium size), I asked for one and the guy said "no, can't give it to you, we need to have something that keeps us in business"! I didn't even know what to say to that!
I know that they gave them to bulk mailers for free. You can get them if you go the the USPS Mailing Requirements office (that is where they take bulk mail). You might tell the local office that you are working with bulk mailings and need one.
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Old 07-16-2008, 06:10 PM   #28
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It's definitely dependent on the PO and even then they are inconsistent. I've had 1 of 3 similar cards returned to me for additional postage. I've been left notes asking for postage due on cards received (altho others who were sent the same cards were not (different states, different POs). One of my POs charges me for handstamping, the other does not. I just always go prepared...can't stop making people happy with my cards just because the PO doesn't know what they are doing (just took 17 days to get a letter mailed from my apt mgr about rent increase - the PO is 3 miles from me
). Cindy
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Old 07-16-2008, 06:15 PM   #29
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It takes some navigating, but every rate and restriction that USPS uses:

http://www.usps.com/webtools/_pdf/Ra...ators-v1-2.pdf

There's also this ( more summarized ):

http://www.usps.com/communications/n...6/pr06_032.htm

This shows a basic printout of thicknesses, etc:

http://www.usps.com/send/preparemail.../measuring.htm

Hope this helps.
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Old 07-16-2008, 06:23 PM   #30
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Well, I have had people tell me at Christmas that they had to pay extra postage. I sent the same card to everyone and it had a 1/4" grosgrain knot and a couple of brads. Not everyone had to pay extra, probably 25% of the recipients.

When I take cards to the post office, they always fit through the slot. More often then not, the clerk will feel my card all over for bumps. If it's under the weight and it fits through the slot, they don't care. All they care about is if it has bumps (brads, knots, eyelets, or something up on dimensionals, etc). If there's a bump, I pay extra.

Funny thing is, I came in two times one day w/ a few cards to mail. Exact same cards. First time the clerk said I needed to pay extra. Next time I got the lady next to her. She was just charging me the regular price. I asked if I needed to pay extra (I don't want the person receiving it to have to pay). She slipped it through the slot and said, "Nope. It fits."

Whatever.

Anyhow, I would much rather pay the extra few cents than turn my card inside out or put in fun foam/cardboard inside. I can only imagine my old aunt calling and asking, "Emily, dear, what in the world is this piece of plastic doing in with my card? What am I supposed to DO with it?" or someone wondering if I've lost my mind because my card is inside out! LOL!!!

It's still a good deal to send the card if I pay the extra $.
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Old 07-16-2008, 07:28 PM   #31
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Originally Posted by tachris100View Post
a piece of cereal box, pasta box will not make a difference in weight and this is why my friends and I use them to cushion the card and it also keeps everything in tact without falling off.

I have to say though anything that I mail from my apartment, I usually always put a extra note inside the envelope to tell the receiver to check the stamps because 99.9% of the time the stamps are not cancelled and can be reused. If the package ir envelope is going outside the USA, they always return them to me.

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I went on a tour of a postage sorting facility (in Canada) and they said they use some sort of invisible cancellation, that can be detected by some sort of light (similar to the black lights at bowling alleys and nightclubs). The tour guide warned against re-using stamps because they can tell when they have been re-used. Also, in Canada anyway, there are charitable organizations that collect used postage stamps for charitable purposes. (Can't remember what off hand, I just know there's a collection box at church and they get forwarded on somewhere, similar to eyeglasses and campbell soup labels.)
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Old 07-16-2008, 07:51 PM   #32
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When I buy a book of stamps, I buy a sheet of .17 cent stamps.. so I just put one of them on all that I send out.. I know that they wont' fit in the "slot" because of embellishments, so I just put one on nearly everything I send out. Pam
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Old 07-16-2008, 08:07 PM   #33
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This whole mail thing bugs me. I wish it was at least consistent! I understand about the extra postage, but please post office, get it right. I bought a guide for the sizes and the thickness from the Kreat-a-lope site for $1. That way I know when it is going to cost extra. I just don't want the cards to be sent back or to have my recipients have to pay postage! I like the idea of protecting the card's embellishments with some lightweight cardboard but I think I will probably hide the cereal box piece under an envelope lining. Oops, I think I just added to the weight of the card! Vicious circle, lol, isn't it?
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Old 07-16-2008, 08:10 PM   #34
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I don't take anything to the PO to mail but I do have a digital scale so I know what the weight is and I made my own 1/4 in. slot to slide the envys through to check the thickness. I really like the thin packing sheets to put in the envelope covering the brads, etc.
It's really thin, can't think right now, what it comes in and why I have a little stash of it! lol I mail ATC swaps some and it's interesting seeing all the different amounts of postage on the envelope when it comes back.
Three ounces, not more than 3/4 in. thick should only be $1.17. Makes me wonder about the PO. oh well, we gotta have them!!!
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Old 07-17-2008, 07:13 AM   #35
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I recycle - cut up those old mailing envelopes (with the bubble wrap glued on the inside surface) - 5 x 4" usually. it wieghs nothing, and makes the whole envelope puffy - But still goes through teh "slot."
I mail square cards in a larger rectangle envelope - but glue a strip of paper into one end - you can punch snowflakes or whatever through the end of the envelope that way - Hallmark charges a ton for cute envelopes!!
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Old 07-17-2008, 07:20 AM   #36
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Originally Posted by nottoocreativeView Post
I usually put a piece of tape over the embellishment so it will go through the machine without tearing the envelope...I also didn't know about the 20c for being non-machinable, so I've always just put the 42c and wrote "Please Hand Stamp" on it! oops!
This is what I've always done, too!

It seems that I've read that, even if you pay the extra 17 cents for it to be hand-canceled, that it isn't always hand-canceled the whole way through... which makes me want to try finding a way for the card to just go through the machine and not pay extra! If you are going to charge an extra fee for it to be hand-canceled... it should be hand-canceled the whole way through!
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Old 07-17-2008, 09:54 AM   #37
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[
Code:
quote=kathywheat;10566382]I mail square cards in a larger rectangle envelope - but glue a strip of paper into one end - you can punch snowflakes or whatever through the end of the envelope that way - Hallmark charges a ton for cute envelopes!![/quote]
I always avoid square cards because of the extra postage. I can't believe I haven't thought of doing this before! I learn something every day on this site!!
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Old 07-17-2008, 10:53 AM   #38
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i know (from experience) a square enve will need extra postage, and now I see a bow will. How bulky can it get before they charge? Anything esle? What about brads and such? buttons?? I would like to be sure cards I make are mailable with postage due fees.

TIA

j
I just went through this at the P.O. The small cards weighing an ounce or less and with any embellishments whatsoever, take .62 cents and they have .62 cent stamps. How cool is that
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Old 07-17-2008, 07:39 PM   #39
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When I mail a card with ribbons, brads or buttons I cut a thin piece of cardboard and cover the bulky side of the card. This makes for a nice flat envelope that will go thru the spacers.
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Old 07-18-2008, 06:28 AM   #40
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What a great idea. Inserting a piece of cardboard. I will try that for sure. Of course it will have to be lightweight cardboard, to all fit in the envelope. Any suggestions on that?
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