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Old 10-11-2004, 09:29 PM   #1
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Default Extra postage for clear envelopes?

I usually send cards in the clear SU envelopes but twice I've gotten them back w/ a sticker that says they need extra postage. (I've sent a lot of cards, so this is a low percentage.)

I know that non-standard sized envelopes need extra postage, but I've searched the USPS website but can't find anything that tells me why the clear envelopes do.

Has this ever happened to you?
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Old 10-11-2004, 09:32 PM   #2
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It hasn't but it has come up here before. Any mail that requires hand sorting requires extra postage. I just started putting it on mine automatically.

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Old 10-11-2004, 09:34 PM   #3
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I live in Canada but I have sent many cards in the clear envelopes and I have had two sent back to me. They were both ones that either had eyelets or beads on them. Maybe the thickness of the card makes a difference?

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Old 10-11-2004, 09:37 PM   #4
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Jeannie - How much extra postage do you add?

Not sure why clear envelopes would require hand sorting tho unless there were eyelets or beads as Shannon suggested.
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Old 10-11-2004, 10:00 PM   #5
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They require hand sorting because all the postal employees want to see your beautiful work. No machine would appreciate all the hard work you put in. As an experiment, we could try sending ugly cards in clear envelopes with regular postage and see if they come back.
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Old 10-11-2004, 10:06 PM   #6
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!!!!!!!!!!!
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Old 10-11-2004, 11:13 PM   #7
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It has to do with their slippieriness (probably not a word, but you know what I mean). Although I can't remember the exact wording, it is in the postal regulations somewhere.
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Old 10-11-2004, 11:41 PM   #8
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I use a lot of clear envelopes, and consequently my customers use a lot of them too. I have never had one come back for more postage. None of my customers has mentioned it either. But, another demo told me that she took hers into the post office once and they told her she needed more postage. She took them to another Post Office and they did not require her to add postage. Maybe it all depends on who is sorting it the day you send it.
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Old 10-11-2004, 11:50 PM   #9
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Default I asked my mail carrier-

He told me as long as the clear envelope is pretty much flat, it does not require extra postage. But if it has embellishments in it that make it bumpy, it has to be hand fed and requires extra postage.

HTH,
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Old 10-11-2004, 11:52 PM   #10
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I was wondering what the extra postage would be -- it looks like 12 cents. I found this on the USPS web site. It doesn't say anything about clear envelopes, but it does mention the uneven thickness aspect.

Hope it helps!

Quote:

Nonmachinable Surcharge: An additional $0.12 is required for items weighing 1 ounce or less with any of the following criteria:


a. Square letters.
b. The height exceeds 6-1/8 inches, or length exceeds 11-1/2 inches, or thickness exceeds 1/4 inch.
c. The length divided by height is less than 1.3 or more than 2.5 (length is the dimension parallel to the address).
d. It has clasps, strings, buttons, or similar closure devices.
e. It is too rigid or contains items such as pens that cause the thickness of the mailpiece to be uneven.
f. It has an address parallel to the shorter dimension of the mailpiece.
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Old 10-12-2004, 03:25 AM   #11
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that is weird because i send almost ALL of my cards in clear envelopes and have never had one returned. I sent shaker cards (just hoping they didn't get ruined) and embelished ones too and have never had a problem yet. Might just depend on the post office. Ours is a little one in a town with about 300 people in.
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Old 10-12-2004, 05:07 AM   #12
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My friend took hers to the post office to have them mailed and they told her it required extra postage cause they had to sort them by hand. The machine that sorts the mail gets jammed??? I agree with Tinnalee they are just all admiring your work
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Old 10-12-2004, 05:28 AM   #13
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In my area, it depends on who is sorting the mail. I took it to my local PO who looked at me funny when I asked about extra postage and they said no. (Good thing because it was 150 christmas cards!). I took one stray card to a bigger PO and they said yes. I did not get one card back.

I'm thinking my little PO hand sorts the mail anyway so why charge extra?????
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Old 10-12-2004, 05:44 AM   #14
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I have had your same experience--many clear envelopes mailed just a few returned for more postage. Clear envelopes, made in the required plastic thickness, are approved by USPS. I've decided that there must be old PO equipment that ends up not handling the clear envys well and those are the POs that send them back for more postage. I just add 13 cents to them, since I have that combo of stamps on hand for my square envys I mail.

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Old 10-12-2004, 08:13 AM   #15
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I'll throw my .02 worth in. I sent a card months ago with buttons on it in a clear envelope and I only put .37 cents on it and it never came back. I was quite concerned though that it might not make it to the recipients in one piece. Fortunately it did. AND only one time was a card returned to me that was in a clear envelope and that was because of the address making it undeliverable. I have sent cards with eyelets, brads and buttons. But I have also been told by the post office that to have it hand cancelled it costs an additional .13 cents. I just sent out a bunch of RAK's with ribbon tied around the card and made a knot instead of a bow. That makes the card kind of lumpy. I put those in regular envelopes and affixed a 37 cent stamp. Hopefully they will get where they are going. If not, I will add the additional postage and remail them.

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Old 10-12-2004, 08:26 AM   #16
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Default this is what I was told:

THis is what my postmaster told me....the machines have a hard time picking up the envelopes, because they are too slippery, therefore, they have to charge extra postage...and do it by hand..as soon as I started using these envies, the bigger PO that our PO mail goes to started calling our PO and hollering telling them that they had to charge extra postage--the machines couldn't pick up the cards.....whatever..so now they charge I think around 50 cents..couldn't be sure..what I do is just stick 2 stamps on it..i get sick of running to the PO sometimes!! Kerilou
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Old 10-12-2004, 08:34 AM   #17
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I have stamps.com - so I just buy the labels anyway and print the extra postage when I need it - so it is only one stamp.
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Old 10-12-2004, 08:38 AM   #18
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I have sent many cards out in clear envelopes and have never had any returned for additional postage. I heard that it really depends on the post office and no hard and fast rules.
 
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Old 10-12-2004, 09:34 AM   #19
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When I asked the lady at the window in my PO about the weight and thickness, she pulled out a plastic template with a slot in it and said it had to fit through this slot for regular postage. I should have whipped out my measuring tape and measured that slot. Never mentioned the clear envelop and I didn't ask.
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Old 10-12-2004, 11:38 AM   #20
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Default Clear Envelope Postag

I really don't understand why you needed more postage. I made a card with eyelets and put it in one of these envelopes, brought it to the post office and they said they prefered the clear especially for something that is bumpy because they know that it might have to be hand canceled. I have never had to pay extra postage. Carol
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Old 10-12-2004, 12:38 PM   #21
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Default extra postage

Cassandra is exactly right. Thanks for posting .


I use to be a USPS window clerk and instructor. If you have embellishments it usually makes them too thick to go through the machines. It will actually break the machine b/c it is set up for standard mailing. SO check out what she has posted. The clear envelopes has nothing to do with the postage. It is easier if you type and don't handwrite your addy's the machine can read them and spray on the barcode easier. The only only problem with the cellophane envelopes maybe is that it can't spray on a bar code, but still no extra postage to my knowledge is required for cellophane envelopes, unless they have changed the rules since 2000. I quit when I had Todd. to be a SAHM, 10 years at USPS was plenty!!!

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Old 10-12-2004, 09:54 PM   #22
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A friend of mine took some clear envelopes to the post office and was told they would need additional postage. I mailed out all my Christmas cards and many other cards and have never had any returned. I asked at my post office and they said that they really don't like the clear envelopes, or metalic pens (I used both!) because the machines cant read the bar codes, and many times they will have to put a white sticker with the bar code onto the clear envelope. The metallic pens are just hard to read!! I must just depend on who the mail clerk is and the post office it self!
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Old 10-13-2004, 12:08 AM   #23
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Default i just read the fine print!!!

Hey everyone,
Funny, but today I had to reorder clear envies and I noticed a little astric in the catty. So my eyes wandered to the bottom of the page and our friends at SU says that the clear and colored celo's need extra postage. I ahve been ordering these for about 4 years and never noticed it until today. I don't send my cards in these, I guess I never thought about it (dahhh) I just keep them stored in them and I think they look so much nicer when I give them away as gifts. I put a regular envie inside of the bag with the card. (a little too wordy? Best be off to bed)
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Old 10-13-2004, 10:36 AM   #24
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How much is it to send a postcard these days? I was thinking this morning about making Christmas cards for my customers (about 100 if I count the inactive ones!). I was thinking it would be nice to send them all a simple Christmas card, but I cringe when I think about the cost of cardstock, envelopes, and postage for 100 cards. If I could just send them a cardfront like a postcard that would probably cost a lot less.
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Old 10-13-2004, 10:39 AM   #25
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I just double checked and they are still 23 cents each. I do this too, send out post cards to customers, just a reminder that they NEED something!!
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Old 10-13-2004, 11:28 AM   #26
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Default clear envies

I sent out a bunch of these for my mother's birthday invites. I was told by the PO that it had to be a certain size or it would require extra postage. (.12) They got a little template out and showed me that if you make the card even slightly too small it would not hit the size of the template and would have to be hand sorted. Sounds to me like every postal worker is different.
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Old 10-13-2004, 12:42 PM   #27
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Actually, it isn't the postal worker as much as the post offices lack of information to those workers ! My DH works for the post office so I hear lots of stories and understand completely the phrase "going postal" !!

The clear envelopes are sorted through a machine, eventually. So if you have a small one man show post office, they will be shipping the mail to a main post office and it will have to go through a sorting machine.

The clear envelopes do not accept the bar coding ink. There has to be a white sticker put on for the bar coding to adhere. Hence, the extra postage.

I sent a clear envelope to work with my DH one day and he said because it was a standard size card with no major lumps (his words ) the postage would be $0.43. That is just six cents more and not too terrible.
I wouldn't put two $0.37 stamps on though - that's giving away too much money to the post office. You need that money for stamps

Sorry I don't have any information for Canadian postage. I just know that I sent a card to a demo in Canada a couple of weeks ago and it was $0.60 and this one didn't have any lumps either

Hope this helps.

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Old 05-23-2017, 12:11 PM   #28
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Default Clear envelopes

While it is sometimes possible to skirt the rules due to human error.. here is the entry from the USPS DMM entry 101.1.2.b

"A letter-size piece is nonmachinable if it has one or more of the following characteristics ...
Is polybagged, polywrapped, enclosed in any plastic material, or has an exterior surface made of a material that is not paper. Windows in envelopes made of paper do not make mailpieces nonmachinable. "

This means a clear envelope does not meet the criteria of a "machinable" piece, and thus is subject to the non-machinable surcharge.
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Old 05-23-2017, 12:18 PM   #29
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Default clear envelopes 2

The previous was for retail mailing, here is the entry for commercial (bulk) mailing in 201.2.1 concerning non-machinable letters.

"A letter-size piece is nonmachinable if it has an exterior surface that is not made of paper or if it does not meet the standards in 3.0" [3.0 concerns physcial standards for machinable letters]
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Old 05-23-2017, 01:40 PM   #30
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Booooo
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Old 05-23-2017, 01:49 PM   #31
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Quote:

Originally Posted by JC76View Post
The previous was for retail mailing, here is the entry for commercial (bulk) mailing in 201.2.1 concerning non-machinable letters.

"A letter-size piece is nonmachinable if it has an exterior surface that is not made of paper or if it does not meet the standards in 3.0" [3.0 concerns physcial standards for machinable letters]
Thank you, good info to tuck away. I wouldn't have thought about it.

Was this something you - or anyone - has recently come across? I ask since the last post before yours was in 2004 - not that the info isn't relevant.
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Old 05-23-2017, 02:17 PM   #32
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Quote:

Originally Posted by bjeansView Post
Thank you, good info to tuck away. I wouldn't have thought about it.

Was this something you - or anyone - has recently come across? I ask since the last post before yours was in 2004 - not that the info isn't relevant.
Perhaps new since 2004, but not in the last few years. I just came across this post looking for other information and it didn't seem to be adequately answered, so I was just sharing.

I prepare mailing list for bulk mail presorting at the printing company where I work, which is also a mail service provider, so it's my job to know (or where to look up) this stuff. We do mailings in plastic envelopes quite often.
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Old 05-23-2017, 02:18 PM   #33
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Quote:

Originally Posted by harvestmoonView Post
Booooo
Ack! A ghost!

Or else I can't think of any mature reason one would reply thusly.
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Old 05-23-2017, 02:30 PM   #34
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Quote:

Originally Posted by JC76View Post
Perhaps new since 2004, but not in the last few years. I just came across this post looking for other information and it didn't seem to be adequately answered, so I was just sharing.

I prepare mailing list for bulk mail presorting at the printing company where I work, which is also a mail service provider, so it's my job to know (or where to look up) this stuff. We do mailings in plastic envelopes quite often.
Good, an expert! Welcome and stick around.
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Old 05-23-2017, 02:40 PM   #35
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Quote:

Originally Posted by JC76View Post
Ack! A ghost!

Or else I can't think of any mature reason one would reply thusly.
Just speaking for myself, but I find "mature" gets pretty boring sometimes. If all posts here on SCS were mature, I don't think I'd find myself reading posts nearly as often.
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Old 05-23-2017, 02:51 PM   #36
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Quote:

Originally Posted by JC76View Post
Ack! A ghost!

Or else I can't think of any mature reason one would reply thusly.
My off-the-cuff guess, though I could be wrong and often proudly am, is that the boo is for clear envelopes not being treated like regular card envelopes. (Which is not saying there isn't good reason for the difference.)

And thusly there would be others joining in the boo.
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Old 05-23-2017, 03:15 PM   #37
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Quote:

Originally Posted by bjeansView Post
My off-the-cuff guess, though I could be wrong and often proudly am, is that the boo is for clear envelopes not being treated like regular card envelopes. (Which is not saying there isn't good reason for the difference.)

And thusly there would be others joining in the boo.
A fine distinction, to be sure. But point taken!
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Old 05-23-2017, 07:08 PM   #38
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Bjeans....EXACTLY. " Boooo" as in "bad performance, Post Office."
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Old 05-24-2017, 07:03 AM   #39
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Quote:

Originally Posted by TinnaleeView Post
They require hand sorting because all the postal employees want to see your beautiful work. No machine would appreciate all the hard work you put in. As an experiment, we could try sending ugly cards in clear envelopes with regular postage and see if they come back.

thank you!!
Funny but maybe true!!
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Old 05-24-2017, 07:22 AM   #40
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Thank you for the update on postal regs.... I have some of those leftover clean envelopes and knowing how often changes to the postal rates come about, it is nice to know what criteria the PO is using when figuring the extra postage on our envelopes!!
Wish the rates were still what they were in 2004!
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