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Old 06-07-2019, 08:33 PM   #1
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Default Discovery for mailing.

I send cards to grandsons in college. I use a lot of medium or dark cardstock and often stamp on the 'left inside' of the card as well as on a light panel on the 'right inside'. I must have written the address wrong, because I got mail returned with that yellow post office sticker.

When I removed the cards from envelopes I saw smudges from stamping on the left, on the right light panel.

AND for birthday I send a flat folded $20 held on the the left inside with a little cardstock band. Well that money also smudged on the right light panel.

AND even though I let my stamped image or computer printed message dry for a day (on the right panel), it smudged on the left (light or medium cardstock) !!
AND if you have die cuts on the front, the mailing machines will PRESS your dark cardstock and smudge that die-cut shape on the light right panel.

***I have decided to insert a tissue paper panel inside each card.***
AND Jennifer McGuire was right (when she test-mailed cards to herself with foam mounted panels on the front)...if you use a full foam panel it doesn't show any foam 'seams.' If you piece it or leave any space between foam strips the mailing machines mash your cardstock into the spaces.
Live and learn from returned mail.
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Old 06-11-2019, 08:42 AM   #2
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Good to know!
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Old 06-11-2019, 10:00 AM   #3
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Oy. Sorry that happened. Do you have a cute image on your money now?
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Old 06-12-2019, 03:56 AM   #4
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I have my cards "hand cancelled" at the post office so, at least, they don't go through that machine. I'm wondering if there is any other machine they go through that would potentially damage them??? I'll have t ask....
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Old 06-12-2019, 05:08 AM   #5
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I have a customer who makes very intricate multi layer cards. When she is going to mail these she will put the cards in one of the Stampin Up thin stamp cases, tapes all around with packing tape, and mails. Yes she pays a bit more but her beautiful card arrives in excellent shape.
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Old 06-12-2019, 06:55 AM   #6
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Back in the earlier day of my card making, I had made a card for my Mom and took it to the PO to see if it would go thru the mail. The lady behind the counter took my card and folded it half in two, down and her knuckles met, then up and her knuckles met!!! My stomach done some flip flops, I thought I would throw up right there!!! She could have cared less at what she had just done. When she bent it so violently, I heard popping and cracking. I had worked hard on that card, after all it was for my Mother!! A couple of days later, I called Mom and asked if she had gotten the card and she had. She didn't say anything else. Even after I questioned her about it. The next time I got to go up to see her, there it was, laying on top of tv in a pile of pieces and pieces parts!!! there was not a single thing still adhered. one of my sister in laws had tried to put it together for her and I was happy she at least tried to do that much. That woman at the PO was oblivious to what she had done and could have cared less if she had known. That was just the first of many disasters I have had with cards that I have put a lot of time and energy into. Even after paying more for special handling, they still damage my creativity!!! I realize that this doesn't have anything to do with with ink smearing, but even if you do pay more for special shipping and handling, it doesn't mean it will get there with special treatment and make it to it's destination in the shape that we all hope it does. It was a lesson well learned for me. we put a large amount of time in our pieces of art only to be damaged by the PO. sometimes it takes the fun out of making cards.
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Old 06-12-2019, 07:21 AM   #7
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I use the two ounce stamps for some of my things and for others I take them to the PO in a padded envelope marked "Do Not Bend" and it usually costs about $3.50 to mail them. The last time I went in I had three rather simple cards with envelopes in one padded envelope and I asked the clerk to weigh it for me.........it was under two ounces. However, since I had put "Do Not Bend" on it, they considered it a package and that's what I was charged for.........it was good to know the reasoning behind the higher costs.
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Old 06-12-2019, 08:19 AM   #8
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My post office lady told me that even if I have them "hand cancel" the card it still goes through machines.
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Old 06-12-2019, 09:09 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by cjwbView Post
My post office lady told me that even if I have them "hand cancel" the card it still goes through machines.


Yes hand cancelled goes through the machine, which in my opinion defeats the purpose.

You have to ask for non-machinable postage. Then the envelope does not go through the machine, which cost more and I can't remember off the top of my head.

Usually when I need non-machinable postage, my envelope is to thick to even go through the machine, so it is an automatic charge for me once the clerk handles my envelope, she knows it's non-machinable
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Old 06-12-2019, 09:14 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by NinaBethView Post
I have my cards "hand cancelled" at the post office so, at least, they don't go through that machine. I'm wondering if there is any other machine they go through that would potentially damage them??? I'll have t ask....


Hand canceled still goes through the postal machine, you have to ask for non-machinable postage. Which is more but I can't remember of the top of my head.
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Old 06-12-2019, 10:34 AM   #11
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My daughter sent me a beautiful (store bought) card for Mother's Day. It arrived with a dozen holes in the back of the envelope where pearls had pierced the paper. We got a good laugh out of it because the same thing had happened when I sent her a handmade card. Usually I place a piece of cutup cardboard from a cereal box or something on top of the bling so it doesn't pierce the envelope. Not sure if my ink is smeared, and I am afraid to ask recipients.
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Old 06-12-2019, 10:34 AM   #12
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According to this extremely detailed chart, it looks like its $0.15. (Under the First Class Mail section following the Keys and Identification Devices at #1):

"1. Letters that meet one or more of the nonmachinable characteristics in DMM 101.1.2 are subject to the $0.15 nonmachinable surcharge."

Notice 123 | Postal Explorer
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Old 06-12-2019, 11:53 AM   #13
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USA regular first class postage is $0.55.
USA non-machineable first class postage is $0.70.
I consider the extra 15-cents to be mental health money, even if it means the card will avoid just one machine.
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Old 06-12-2019, 12:45 PM   #14
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Quote:

Originally Posted by Alice in MdView Post
USA regular first class postage is $0.55.
USA non-machineable first class postage is $0.70.
I consider the extra 15-cents to be mental health money, even if it means the card will avoid just one machine.

I feel the same way! If the card is "special" or at all bumpy, I put a plain piece of 4 1/4 x 5 1/2 cardstock between the card front and the envelope and add that extra little stamp even if it's not heavy. Cheap insurance!

My kids who are in college, both here in Ohio and in KY, say that they have received all of their cards from me in good condition, with the exception of one that went to KY and had a detached embellishment.

My oldest is living in Shanghai. Her cards get an international stamp and have arrived in good condition but take anywhere from 10 days to over a month to get to her. Makes it a bit hard to send anything related to a holiday or special date!
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Old 06-12-2019, 04:15 PM   #15
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Quote:

Originally Posted by TeachybabyView Post
My daughter sent me a beautiful (store bought) card for Mother's Day. It arrived with a dozen holes in the back of the envelope where pearls had pierced the paper. We got a good laugh out of it because the same thing had happened when I sent her a handmade card. Usually I place a piece of cutup cardboard from a cereal box or something on top of the bling so it doesn't pierce the envelope. Not sure if my ink is smeared, and I am afraid to ask recipients.
The whole system is automated. Only parcels don’t get smushed by machinery so if you must, send it that way. I add packing tape to the outside of the envelope which reduces bulk when compared to box board (I’m often just a hair under the thickness before the rate goes up) or some very thin (1mm or less) foam sheets. This is meant for packing so not the fun foam we use for layering which is more like 2-3mm. I save the sheets of foam from when we’ve purchased electronics or small appliances. They are often wrapped in it. Even a folded piece of typing paper will prevent the envelope from tearing.

Not only do I send cards but I regularly swap ATCs, bookmarks and mixed media projects like matchboxes so I know every trick in the book. I’ve done over 1000 swaps in the last 9 years. I shudder to think how much I’ve spent on postage and the lengths to which I’ve gone to avoid paying more!!

I recently bought the Spellbinders Becca Feeken shadow box dies and I which make a 3-D frame. I’m going to make them to put around my thicker cards. I’ve found bubble mailers to be mostly ineffective at protecting thick embellies. It works for hard things like buttons, gems and pearls but not for flowers or bows as the added thickness of the bubbles just seems to add to the crushing effect. When I use foam only, I pad everything EXCEPT the flowers. Then place a piece of cardboard over top to help even things out. When things are all the same height, the pressure from machines is evened out so nothing gets crushed. The shadow box frame will create a place for the cardboard to sit above the card meaning I won’t need as much foam or to be as exact when placing it. I’ve spent ages custom cutting sheets of foam with little holes for each flower!
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Old 06-12-2019, 05:40 PM   #16
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My cards are extremely dimensional, especially my flowers. I've never had a squishing problem. I wrap the entire card in small cell bubble wrap, then put the whole thing inside a bubble padded envelope. Yes, I pay for a "small package" at about $3.60 (price seems to go up every year!), but the price is worth the shipping satisfaction!
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Old 06-13-2019, 12:23 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by happy-stamperView Post
I feel the same way! If the card is "special" or at all bumpy, I put a plain piece of 4 1/4 x 5 1/2 cardstock between the card front and the envelope and add that extra little stamp even if it's not heavy. Cheap insurance!

I do the same thing, with the exception of adding the extra postage. I only add another stamp when my card is already pretty thick/layered, then I'll tack on another stamp.

If you have a paper crimper, you can run the extra cover cardstock through it providing a little more cushion.
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Old 06-14-2019, 07:33 AM   #18
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I've had the PO ruin some cards too so ow I either use bubble mailers or boxes. I am usually late at sending special cards and have more than 1 to the same recipient by the time I'm ready to deal with the dreaded PO Going back to Jennifer McGuire's fun foam and her success... OK, to preface, I send crafty mail to by BFF in another state all the time. The first one I sent to her with the foam, she let me know right away that the entire card got warped. I used Scortape for the adhesive, so it wasn't a problem with liquid glue. She's the only one I trust to tell me when the card arrives in less than perfect condition. Other friends and family would just be polite and not mention it. That particular card was mailed in a standard A2 card envelope, not a bubble mailer, and it was an otherwise flat, one layer card with no embellishments. I need to experiment more with the foam and different card stocks. If memory serves, the card base was 110lb and the card front was Bristol. Maybe the Bristol is the problem?!?
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Old 06-14-2019, 09:07 PM   #19
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Most of the cards I mail have either flat embellishments, or no embellishments. I save all the pearls, etc. to give to my nursing home people, or to my church people. Those cards aren't mailed.
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Old 06-22-2019, 04:24 PM   #20
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Default postage for hand stamping....

Quote:

Originally Posted by NinaBethView Post
I have my cards "hand cancelled" at the post office so, at least, they don't go through that machine. I'm wondering if there is any other machine they go through that would potentially damage them??? I'll have t ask....


When i tell them to hand stamp they tell me it cost .21 more cents for non-machinable mail...
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Old 06-22-2019, 04:49 PM   #21
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When i tell them to hand stamp they tell me it cost .21 more cents for non-machinable mail...

The current nonmachinable surcharge is 15 cents; it changed with the last rate change.
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Old 06-29-2019, 08:46 AM   #22
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This is making me think twice about when I mail my cards. I have always, most of the time, been told they received my card, loved it, and thanked, but no one has ever said anything about the condition of the card they received. I hope this is because the card has arrived safe more than their being polite.
I usually put a piece of bubblewrap between the front of the card and the envelope and take it to the post office where they handstamp it and stamp non-machinable. Usually cost me $.70. Hope I don't start worrying ang get anxiety over this the next time I mail a card. lol
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Old 06-29-2019, 11:39 PM   #23
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Aw... I'm so sorry for all the damaged cards here... Actually, even packages get smushed. They go through machinery also. And they are mixed in with other packages, some of which are dense and heavy, and if such a box lands on top of another weaker box, it can smash it. Letters go through many machines. One for facing (so that it's right-side up and oriented correctly). One for cancellation. One to sort outgoing mail. One for incoming mail. And lastly, one to sort it in the order of the letter carrier's delivery route. During busy periods (like Christmas), desperate supervisors will sometimes try to run the non-machineable mail on the machines as well. Packages go on different machines. They are all collected by window clerks from customers and put into hampers. These hampers go onto a lift, which dumps the contents of the hamper onto a conveyor belt. This belt sends each package to a sack (for airlines) or a gigantic box (for trucks). The airlines treat the sacks like they do luggage (with their own system of conveyor belts). Trucks deliver the boxes to their next destination, and then those boxes get dumped onto more conveyor belts. Sacks are open, and the contents also dumped. And so on and so forth until it lands into the container which goes to the station where the letter carriers will take it and deliver it. So packages go through multiple loadings and dumpings, and in the process, they get jostled next to other packages, and risk having heavy packages landing on top of them. Here's what happens to letters: [What happens to your letters when the USPS picks them up? - YouTube] And packages and other stuff: [Machines of the USPS - YouTube] (you can skip the first minute).
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Old 06-30-2019, 03:17 PM   #24
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Very interesting videos! Thanks for posting them. I'll definitely continue to pad the fronts of my cards with small bubble wrap, then place the card into a bubble padded envelope. Looks like the added protection is worth the price because I get peace of mind and good results.
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Old 09-14-2019, 12:06 PM   #25
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Now that's scary seeing big packages dumped on top of envelopes! It's a wonder any of our handmade cards get there in one piece.
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