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Old 12-11-2007, 04:51 PM   #1
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ribbon knots very costly postage

Just an FYI, I mailed out my Christmas cards today and they cost me $1.13 each because they where to thick to go through there thing a ma bob. It was because of the knots of the satin ribbon. I had 50 cards so that it really cost me alot... Next year I will be very careful.. Hope this saves someone else from the expense. darc
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Old 12-11-2007, 04:54 PM   #2
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Ouch! That's crazy.
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Old 12-11-2007, 04:59 PM   #3
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Too late! I did the same thing. Funny though, I did two batches... the first was to the US and she tried one card, it fit through the thingy ma bob so she charged me regular rate on all of them (regular rate from CAN to US is still like 90 cents - whatever). So a couple days later I took the CAN cards in and the gal tried every single card and only two made it through. So yah, I paid 1.10 for each of those! I also will be very careful next year!! Lesson learned, but the cards were worth it! And I love that ribbon!!
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Old 12-11-2007, 05:09 PM   #4
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I learned that lesson the hard way a few years ago! When it comes to holiday cards now, I'm always pretending I'm FLAT STANLEY, lol! Sorry that it cost so much!
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Old 12-11-2007, 05:09 PM   #5
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Ooooh, I'm sorry that happened; kind of takes the fun out of it a little bit.....I was careful with my cards for Christmas after some I mailed recently needed extra postage; I tried to keep the embellishments to a minimum. I'm sure your recipients will appreciate them!
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Old 12-11-2007, 05:14 PM   #6
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WOWZA! Mailing cards is gettin 'spensive!
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Old 12-11-2007, 05:29 PM   #7
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I think you were ripped off!!! And I seldom use that term. But this is ridiculous! Even the Post Office official website states that the surcharge on non-machinable first class letters is 17. That means 58 total per card.

If you still have your receipt, you could take it in and ask to speak to the Postmaster.


From USPS.com FAQs
Is there still a nonmachinable surcharge for First-Class Mail?
Yes. The nonmachinable surcharge applies to all First-Class Mail single-piece and presort-rate letters (up to the 3.5 ounce maximum weight), and is 17 cents.
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Old 12-11-2007, 05:38 PM   #8
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Quote:

Originally Posted by GarnetJView Post
I think you were ripped off!!! And I seldom use that term. But this is ridiculous! Even the Post Office official website states that the surcharge on non-machinable first class letters is 17. That means 58 total per card.

If you still have your receipt, you could take it in and ask to speak to the Postmaster.


From USPS.com FAQs
Is there still a nonmachinable surcharge for First-Class Mail?
Yes. The nonmachinable surcharge applies to all First-Class Mail single-piece and presort-rate letters (up to the 3.5 ounce maximum weight), and is 17 cents.
I'm gonna have to agree that you may have gotten taken!!! How big were those cards - 12 x 12??? Seriously, thats absolutely nuts! When I have a big knot - its only the extra .17 - I'd check into this!
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Old 12-11-2007, 05:44 PM   #9
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I know, same here in Canada except I paid 1.17 for one today. I rarely mail my cards...family who are very special get a card,the rest don't I'm afraid. All mine are hand delivered, tucked in gift bags, for friends I see. The thing a ma bob excuse I get is that they have to be hand cancelled...tell me they look at every single envelope to see which one has the big stamp on it, and handle it with care...I think not!

Very aggravating.
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Old 12-11-2007, 05:45 PM   #10
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yeah, I added the extra 17 cent stamps to almost all of my cards this year too due to the non-machineable factor, but I know my PO charges package rate if they are over 3/4 of an inch thick. They got called on it by someone higher up that they were not charging enough, so now they just charge us all package if they think it is a little thicker. They don't have a guage to check it on either. They did have a homemade one that the general manager brought in that measured 3/4 of an inch--if it fit you were okay, but if not the extra 17 cents. Her boss took it out of the PO. I think it is bull, but what can I do but take it to a different PO and drive farther--then it will cost me more in gas. *shrug*
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Old 12-11-2007, 06:10 PM   #11
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What about stuff like brads or chipboard (thin) on cards?
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Old 12-11-2007, 06:13 PM   #12
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I'm going to keep my fingers crossed that all 40 of my cards make it without being returned. They all had a ribbon knotted on the front. (A very thin ribbon.)
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Old 12-11-2007, 06:22 PM   #13
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I work for Canada Post (please don't yell at me .. lol), I am a letter carrier so do not have to much to do with the front counter retail end of it, but I think the reasoning in Canda behind the extra postage, is that if they don't fit through the "thing a ma bob", they are non-machinable, which means not only do they have to be hand-cancelled, but hand sorted as they are too thick to go through the sortation machine at the plant. I find when my cards require extra postage, i have noticed (by asking who i sent it to) that is sometimes takes a day longer to get there for this reason......Hope this helps!
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Old 12-11-2007, 06:23 PM   #14
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Quote:

Originally Posted by HoosierMamaView Post
What about stuff like brads or chipboard (thin) on cards?

Our PO doesn't like ANYTHING that they can feel... even a wee brad. I put a layer ofCS on the front of my card, just for protection and they still charged me 1.17. ANd that is why I don't mail many cards.
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Old 12-11-2007, 06:33 PM   #15
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I took my cards in today ~ I only had 15 to mail, some had pop dots & bows, but nothing outrageous, but I wanted to be safe. The lady at the counter looked at me like I had brussel sprouts coming out of my head when I mentioned that I had heard that I might need 'extra' postage for 'bulky' ones. She asked if I had anything in them, 'nope, just bows' ~ & she said not to worry about it, sold me regular stamps & sent me on my way. I've never seen any of the po people slip cards thru anything, only weight has ever caused me to need extra postage ~ so I just don't know... Guess if I get any back, I'll know she was wrong...

Last edited by AGMommyof2; 12-11-2007 at 06:34 PM.. Reason: must be tired, cause spelling isn't too good tonight
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Old 12-11-2007, 06:35 PM   #16
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Lucky you! I'm glad there are still some sane PO people in the world. Really, just bows! Shouldn't be the cause of such silliness.
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Old 12-11-2007, 07:57 PM   #17
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I got dinged today for $1.10 each card but I think of it this way how often do I send cards to these people!!!! Not often enough.. So I will pay it. Yes, I know Canada Post is ripping us off, especially when you think of the awful service we get. It takes forever to get a letter these days. In U.S. they seem to get their packages within 2 days of shipping, Canada maybe a week....
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Old 12-11-2007, 08:45 PM   #18
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Quote:

I think you were ripped off!!! And I seldom use that term. But this is ridiculous! Even the Post Office official website states that the surcharge on non-machinable first class letters is 17. That means 58 total per card.
Ah, but anything over 1/4" thick (which doesn't fit thru the thingy-bob) is not considered a first class letter anymore. It's now classified as a parcel, which is way expensive.

Way too familiar with this stuff, as I prepare all the outgoing mail at work. There are some outgoing pieces that I can get from being parcels down to letters by taking them out of a regular #10 envelope (where the paper is folded in thirds) and moving them to a 5-3/4 x 8-3/4 envelope - the envelope size still qualifies for first class, and being folded in half takes away enough thickness to be under 1/4".
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Old 12-11-2007, 08:54 PM   #19
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Exactly, same thing here. I am SO glad I figured that out before I had them all done. I revamped my design. I had a small knot in the middle of a small piece of ribbon, and the card was LIGHT, I mean LIGHT. It still cost me an extra 17 cents! It would have easily made it through that 1/4 inch rule, but they said NO.... like the above poster said, they don't like anything they can feel! It's a TOTAL ripoff, but we al know this for the future maybe to make a different design for ones you mail and go a little more out for the ones you pass out.
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Old 12-11-2007, 09:59 PM   #20
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I took one of my finished cards into the post office before I mailed them out and the lady there did not even have an issue with my cards. Five brads on each with ribbon folded, not tied. There were layers as well. She weighed it and said it would be well under the weight limited and did not say anything about thickness. It will be interesting to see if any come back to me--undeliverable.

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Old 12-11-2007, 10:10 PM   #21
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Wow, I mail out over 60 cards. Guess I better be careful about bulk on them. Boy, that is expensive!!!!
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Old 12-12-2007, 02:29 AM   #22
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i had many cards with bows, brads, layers, etc... mailed all 47 of them {and several of the really thick ones i mailed i already had the people say thanks for such a beautiful card}. i put 58 cents on all of them and threw them in the mail. all arrived safely, none returned yet and none damaged!
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Old 12-12-2007, 02:31 AM   #23
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i had many cards with bows, brads, layers, etc... mailed all 47 of them {and several of the really thick ones i mailed i already had the people say thanks for such a beautiful card}. i put 58 cents on all of them and threw them in the mail. all arrived safely, none returned yet and none damaged!
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Old 12-12-2007, 03:17 AM   #24
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I put the extra 17 cents yesterday on a few of my bulkier cards, but dumped the rest in with regular postage. I've rarely had cards come back to me as postage insufficient, but I feel like I'm living on the edge regarding this, LOL! We'll see if any come back to me, but it definitely made me think about how I'm going to do cards for next year. OLCs with cord, not ribbon, seem to be in my future!
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Old 12-12-2007, 03:43 AM   #25
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I never have had any trouble with cards coming back for extra postage until this holiday season. I even had a SS that I was sending to in Austraila. Those came back! They were as flat as could be and were not heavy at all! I had to put another .90 on those!

I just think that the PO personnel are told to "sock it to em' " if we bring our cards to the counter.... It's a conspiracy I say....

Just to be safe I put an add'l .17 on each now after having so many come back. I keep the bulkier one for people I hand cards to or send packages to that I can just toss them in a box.
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Old 12-12-2007, 04:22 AM   #26
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Me too! I got dinged the $1.13 each! IF they can't bend they are charging extra. If they have a lump, they are charging extra!

I feel like the Post Office really does not want you to mail anything at all!

Remember, simple sheet of paper, little to no text on it and folded once in an envelope!

Told hubby, next year to buy tickets to Colorado, Maine, Montona, Idaho and several places in California, so i can hand deliver them!
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Old 12-12-2007, 04:41 AM   #27
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My dh is a postmaster and he explained it to me this way...anything that they can "feel" on the card...the machines can too. All the brads, knots, clips jam up their machines and can cost the PO thousands in repairs and work time. That is the reason they are extra careful to catch those cards that really need to be handled by people...not machines. Having personnel handle that mail costs the PO $...thus the 17 cent surcharge. I promise you that the PO is not trying to sock it to you...they just really want you to get your mail in one piece. Does that all make sense?
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Old 12-12-2007, 04:42 AM   #28
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Since there has been so many posts about the postoffice charges lately, I took about 8 of my cards down and actually had the clerk check each one for me. The only one she questioned was one that had a large stone brad on it. I then asked if I could get one of the templates that was talked about in one of the threads for home use and my "NOT USER FRIENDLY" postoffice told me to go on line to order it. Had problems there and finally found out that you can talk to the "bulk mail post office" which is usually the main/larger home postoffice and they will give you a packet of items. She actually mailed it 'next day mail' to me. This is really helpful in checking your cards and what will need extra postage. She also told me that if it has a bow or large brad on it, it will take the extra .17 stamp and you can write on the envelope 'hand stamp' and it will be no problem. Even though the card isn't over weight etc, the .17 covers the guy that 'hand stamps' the envelope. Just a little FYI that I learned, hope it helps someone out.
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Old 12-12-2007, 05:06 AM   #29
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I had a few cards I was afraid were too thick so I took them to the PO and had the guy use his little 1/4" thing-a-ma-bob and he said no problem so I put them all in the regular slot. Hope they don't come back now!!!

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Old 12-12-2007, 05:14 AM   #30
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It's so annoying to me that the Postal Service made the new rates so confusing that even their own employees don't seem to know what to charge. I could live with $0.17 extra for an embellished card, but $1.17??? I'll be saving my brads and ribbons for cards I personally hand-deliver.

that reminds me....what's today's date? I haven't started my cards yet.
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Old 12-12-2007, 05:20 AM   #31
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I too, am so frustrated with this. Mine don't come back to me but arrive to the people I send them to with postage due. How embarrassing! Hi, Here's a fabulous card for you, but pay the PO .17 upon delivery! That's why I started a No Bumps Swap if anyone is interested.
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Old 12-12-2007, 05:28 AM   #32
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I also had my cards checked at the post office, and the clerk said that any lumps will get caught in their machine and it would destroy the card. It cost me .17 extra for each card. And as long as it does not weight more than an ounce it would only be the regular postage. I am so glad that I scroll thru SCS, it saved my cards this year. I also will not be putting any metal brads on my mailing cards
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Old 12-12-2007, 06:02 AM   #33
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What a rip off!! I would not want to spend over $1 for each card I sent. I would be broke in December. I'm glad I went with the simple, unembellished cards this year - nothing but paper and ink!
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Old 12-12-2007, 06:16 AM   #34
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Starting to feel better for being a slacker and doing photo cards this year. Sounds like a mess. So, is the consensus that if you put the extra $0.17 on in postage and write to hand stamp/cancel, that will cover pretty much anything extra? How are the others getting all the way up to $1.13?

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Old 12-12-2007, 06:39 AM   #35
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Quote:

Originally Posted by DarcyJoView Post
Just an FYI, I mailed out my Christmas cards today and they cost me $1.13 each because they where to thick to go through there thing a ma bob. It was because of the knots of the satin ribbon. I had 50 cards so that it really cost me alot... Next year I will be very careful.. Hope this saves someone else from the expense. darc

I have never had a problem mailing anything like everyone else has...I am sad for y'all and surprised that my PO lets everything go through...

I mailed 30+ Christmas cards so far the past couple of weeks, they all had brads, ribbon knots, etc. and they all cost me .41 (as long as they are 1 ounce or less).

The only thing I do is put a piece of cheap cardstock over the front of my cards and when I put them in the envelope I put the image and bulkiness to the back of the envelope....not sure if any of this makes any difference but i've never paid more then .41 and no one that has recieved a card from me has ever paid more when it got to them (or they have and didnt tell me but I hope not!!). Oh and I NEVER go to the PO to drop anything off.
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Old 12-12-2007, 07:20 AM   #36
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I have sent many cards to the States. I cover the back of the envie or sometimes the inside (this is a pain) with packing tape. The I put the embellished side up against the packing tape side of the envie. It protects it from rips and makes the envelope more sturdy so a brad does not poke through.

I have NEVER had one card come back. Either through Canada Post or from the U.S. All I pay for is extra weight from the embellishments. The packing tape apparently adds about 3 cents to the cost of the envie. (at least, that is what my PO told me).
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Old 12-12-2007, 07:29 AM   #37
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I'll admit it's a bit of a shock to see the postage, but when I take the time to hand make my cards and envelopes, I feel the cost is well worth it. My cards are my Christmas gift to those that receive them.

I read on some post somewhere on this board that when you are still in the planning stage of your card project to take a sample to the Post Office for weighing, so you can be prepared for the postage costs. I've done it that way a few times, but usually I just wait till I'm all done and just pay it.

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Old 12-12-2007, 07:41 AM   #38
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I am always surprised at the post office here, all the counter personnel have tape measures and templates at their registers. They pull them out like every other customer to measure, weigh, gauge, all sorts of stuff before you can mail your items.
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Old 12-12-2007, 08:06 AM   #39
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So, is the consensus that if you put the extra $0.17 on in postage and write to hand stamp/cancel, that will cover pretty much anything extra? How are the others getting all the way up to $1.13?
The extra .17 doesn't cover everything extra.

Depending on how picky your post office is, they might classify the card as a flat or a parcel, which is where the prices start escalating.

A flat can be up to 15" long x 12" high, with a maximum thickness of 3/4". Where they catch you is, a flat (or large envelope) must also be flexible, rectangular and uniformly thick. The "flexible" and "uniformly thick" is what they're catching people on. One of the examples they use in the published guidelines (which are about as clear as you'd expect a government publication to be) is mailing a pen - the envelope is still under 3/4" thick, so you'd think it qualifies as a flat. But because the pen is rigid and causes the envelope to be "lumpy", the envelope is now a parcel. The differences in price for 1 oz:

Letter: $.41 Flat: $.80 Parcel: $1.13

If I read the guidelines correctly, as long as the envelope is under 1/4" thick and no more than 11-1/2" long x 6-18" high, it qualifies as a letter and you should be able to mail it with the extra $.17 for brads or being square or whatever. Once it goes over 1/4" thick, the price for lumps goes up an awful lot.
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Old 12-12-2007, 02:32 PM   #40
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Wish I had read this post last week. I had a big thick bow on my cards along with brads, pom poms and mailed them out first of last week. They are coming back with notes on them saying they need .17 extra postage. What a hassle. Thanks for all this info from everyone. Next year I will know what to do.
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