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Old 08-08-2019, 12:04 PM   #1
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Heart silly question on mailing cards

ok, so I have a silly question on mailing cards..... I am always afraid if I don't put enough postage on a card it will not go through or return to me. So I tend to put at least 2 stamps on them.

Postage is not cheap anymore, plus I would rather save that money to buy more card making supplies! LOLOLOL ps don't tell my hubby LOL

Is there anyway besides checking the weight on a postal meter, to gauge how much an "average " card weighs?
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Old 08-08-2019, 05:33 PM   #2
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I use a kitchen scale, but be aware that weight isn't the only concern. You also have to be mindful of the thickness of the card and whether it might be too rigid. Both things have the potential to increase the amount of postage required.
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Old 08-08-2019, 07:17 PM   #3
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It is never silly to want more money to buy stuff

This is one reason single layer CAS cards are so popular. They weigh less.

Sorry but no-short of weighing there isnt much you can do to really know bc we dont know what you are going to make.

If the card is square, if the card is more than 1/4 inch thick, fancy folds, lots of rhinestones etc etc. can all cause cost to rise.

My food scale wont go below 1 ounce so I have no idea how much the CS base weighs all by itself.

This is a reason a lot of people have different CS weights. For layering. Also for price. Your base is 110 but your layers are 80 or 65 pound.

Since I may put a layer of the thin foam in also to protect the face, mine can be into 2 ounces. But my attitude if I spent all that time making it, it is worth the extra 21 cents.
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Old 08-08-2019, 09:19 PM   #4
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A lot of my cards are 'bumpy' which adds postage. I use one regular stamp plus one of the extra ounce stamps, which are a lot cheaper than using another regular stamp... I think 15 or 20 cents is the current extra ounce value.
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Old 08-09-2019, 05:37 AM   #5
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It can be tricky weight wise, but most of the time it's determined by if it can go through a postage meter. If I am worried about it, I go to the window and it usually costs me $3.50 or thereabouts. A month ago I sent three cards with two layers each and envelopes in a small padded envelope and when the clerk weighed it, it was less than two ounces so it was one stamp. Who knew?
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Old 08-09-2019, 08:08 AM   #6
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Quote:
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A lot of my cards are 'bumpy' which adds postage. I use one regular stamp plus one of the extra ounce stamps, which are a lot cheaper than using another regular stamp... I think 15 or 20 cents is the current extra ounce value.
Interesting! I've never known of this 'extra ounce' stamp! (And Mr. Grouch at my mailing station has definitely never advised of such. LOL)
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Old 08-09-2019, 12:58 PM   #7
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Yep. There are second ounce stamps and then 2 ounce stand alones.


The moon series is a lot of fun. I should have gotten some for me for space cards but you could go nuts with that-matching stamp themes to the cards.
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Old 08-09-2019, 01:39 PM   #8
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Interesting! I've never known of this 'extra ounce' stamp! (And Mr. Grouch at my mailing station has definitely never advised of such. LOL)
this is news to me...but I often take pkgs to the postal counter to be mailed so usually have them check the envies going out for adequate postage. If I'm not sure and in a hurry I'll tack on some extra postage as a precaution. Glad it's not just me who has these issues!
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Old 08-09-2019, 01:39 PM   #9
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Yep. There are second ounce stamps and then 2 ounce stand alones.


The moon series is a lot of fun. I should have gotten some for me for space cards but you could go nuts with that-matching stamp themes to the cards.

Moon series? The only extra ounce stamp I see on usps.com is uncle sam's hat, and the two ouncers are a corsage and Robert Panera.
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Old 08-09-2019, 05:12 PM   #10
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Thank you all for your expertise! good points everyone made. Wow, thank you! I have to get some stamps tomorrow anyway, I think I have a few I am mailing weighed and that will give me an idea, then that will give me a basis. I will also get some of those "extra ounce" stamps too.

I think I need to also stop at tuesday Morning and see what craft items they have too, since I'm out LOL One can never have too much craft supplies or plants. ))))
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Old 08-10-2019, 11:20 AM   #11
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A quick test I've used for thickness is to slide my card in its envelope through the guide rail of my Fiskars paper trimmer. If it goes through neatly and without catching, I put just one stamp on it. If it sticks, then I add the additional ounce stamp.
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Old 08-11-2019, 05:38 AM   #12
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I it isn't "fun" but when in doubt I take mine to the Post Office myself. I figure after spending time making the card it is worth the hassle to do so and so is the recipient.
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Old 08-13-2019, 04:32 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TexasGrammy View Post
Interesting! I've never known of this 'extra ounce' stamp! (And Mr. Grouch at my mailing station has definitely never advised of such. LOL)
Why are there so many grouchy postal workers?! One of the post offices I use has a total grump at the window - I try to avoid going there : (
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Old 08-13-2019, 03:26 PM   #14
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The issue with all the cards and extra postage and all that is this:

Cards that are too thick, too stiff, too pokey, too uneven in thickness...these will get caught in the machines, or won't even go through. Those are culled out for extra postage.

I recently had a card with two layers of thin fun foam and it was returned to me for package postage. That's the way it is. The postmaster may take it, but the machines may reject it.

My stamping buddy has an issue with about 90% of her cards delivered with the envelope open on both ends. I don't know how the machine does that to be honest.
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Old 08-13-2019, 05:21 PM   #15
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The last time I took my cards to the post office I gave the person behind the counter a card I made and told him this is what's inside the padded envelopes I use. Handed him the card and said, "This is for You!".

He actually smiled!
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Old 08-14-2019, 02:03 AM   #16
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I am from the UK so don't know if this is relevant elsewhere. In the post office there is a plastic device with a gap in it and if the envelope will go through the gap, then extra postage is not needed. Quite a long time ago I found out that if you use a Fiskars paper trimmer, the plastic blade holder has a gap and this is the same size as the post office device. So I thread my envelope through this gap before putting on a stamp. I have found this to be very helpful. Make sure it works for where you are just in case rules are different. Hope this helps.
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Old 08-14-2019, 03:46 AM   #17
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Years ago I purchased a postal scale so I could weigh my cards at home. Cards up to and including one ounce take a forever stamp; anything over an ounce takes the additional ounce postage stamp. If I have a hard embellishment on the card, like a pearl or rhinestone, I add the additional postage stamp and write "Hand Cancel" on front and back of the envelope. That seems to work well.
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Old 08-14-2019, 04:55 AM   #18
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There is a stamp "non-machinable" that is available for thicker, delicate cards available. Go to internet and check it out...USPS, non-machinable stamps.
I use them when I am uncertain if they will get processed and delivered. Extra cost for this stamp but worth not worrying about it. I purchase on a sheet at my local post office. (by the Way..they are very helpful and not grumpy at my post office..they were the ones that suggested I try using this stamp for my cards when in doubt.)
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Old 08-14-2019, 05:02 AM   #19
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Upcharge for non-machinable stamps is regular postage, plus $.15 ..in one stamp. Large Yellow Butterfly
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Old 08-14-2019, 05:30 AM   #20
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Here is a good blog article by Frenchie about this very subject, with a video at the end:
Tip to mail handmade greeting cards - Frenchie Stamps
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Old 08-14-2019, 05:41 AM   #21
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Here's my 2 cents worth (pun intended!): If it slides through a 1/4" slot (I have the actual thing they use at the PO given to me by a small town friendly post mistress) and weighs an ounce or less, is not obviously bumpy (I usually add a thin piece of card stock over a card with eyelets, rhinestones etc.), is not square and is not stiff or squishy, it should go for regular postage. That being said, I have taken things in to the PO that were beyond such parameters, and was told they were fine (not square, though---they are always non-machinable). I also sent my hubby to the PO with a package and he took a card as well that could have gone regular mail---or so I thought. It was A-6 size but had another card and envelope inside (A-2 size) all of which weighed less than an ounce, fit through the slot and was not bumpy. The "grumpy guy" (we all know who I mean) said he could feel the edges of the other envelope, so It had to go for extra as it would not be machinable. Just when I thought I had it all figured out!!! I do believe it depends on the PO and the person behind the counter (or the person doing the sorting--sheesh, now we have someone else's opinion to consider?) This is why I wish the recipients would let me know they get my cards. A quick email would do, as it takes months for a card to be returned, if it ever is.
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Old 08-14-2019, 05:44 AM   #22
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Wow Diane! I'm surprised more mail doesn't get lost! That's a nightmare! LOL

Those extra ounce stamps actually went down in price. They were .21¢ I usually just ask for a sheet of those because they are forever stamps too, so I can take as long as I need to use them up.
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Old 08-14-2019, 06:29 AM   #23
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I think this is the item mentioned above

Helix Postal Charge Template HP5010: Amazon.ca: Electronics

But It looks like the measurements are not Canadian postal sizes/weight

I think it may be UK, not sure if US standards are the same

Anyhow, I would love one of these to correspond with Canadian postal standards

I would even be satisfied with what they have at the post office even if its bulkier, I have asked too many times they, obviously won't order me one.
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Old 08-14-2019, 07:21 AM   #24
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It depends on the post person too! Bet you didn't think of that one! My hubby takes some of my cards to the post office & when one woman in particular is at the desk, they ALWAYS cost MORE! Take it to another post office, & they cost LESS! HOW IS THAT????
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Old 08-14-2019, 07:25 AM   #25
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It depends on the post person too! Bet you didn't think of that one! My hubby takes some of my cards to the post office & when one woman in particular is at the desk, they ALWAYS cost MORE! Take it to another post office, & they cost LESS! HOW IS THAT????

You are so right. I have run into this, as well. I'm wondering if the person is the deciding factor or if the machine is the final word and if my card will make it through the cheap way.
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Old 08-14-2019, 07:29 AM   #26
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I got one of these at a local post office that has a business mailing center. They gave it to me for free. It is a real time saver and help. First class postage for 1 ounce of machinable letter uses the regular 1st class letter stamp. I also use the post card guide all the time.

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Old 08-14-2019, 09:43 AM   #27
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I got one of these at a local post office that has a business mailing center. They gave it to me for free. It is a real time saver and help. First class postage for 1 ounce of machinable letter uses the regular 1st class letter stamp. I also use the post card guide all the time.


I was given one of these, too. (Luckily our small town post office is a friendly place. ) I've had it for years and it's very helpful!
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Old 08-14-2019, 10:00 AM   #28
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Another quirk in all of this - I mailed 3 cards at the same time last month. All three had different amounts of postage. I asked why and was told with the last increase in Jan. 2019, the destination of the card matters. The farther it is from your home, the more it will cost. Thanks PO
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Old 08-14-2019, 10:55 AM   #29
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Cards?! I send stuff from Oregon to MA and don't pay any more (or any less ) for the card I send to my next door neighbor. Hmmm.
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Old 08-14-2019, 11:15 AM   #30
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Maybe they were extra thick and were priced as packages instead of letters???
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Old 08-14-2019, 11:16 AM   #31
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Another quirk in all of this - I mailed 3 cards at the same time last month. All three had different amounts of postage. I asked why and was told with the last increase in Jan. 2019, the destination of the card matters. The farther it is from your home, the more it will cost. Thanks PO


Edited to add: because my cards are thick and heavy with flowers, I send them in boxes so the flowers don't get crushed.
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Old 08-14-2019, 11:18 AM   #32
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That's why, as they have to go as packages. Wow, the lucky recipients of your creations!!!
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Old 08-14-2019, 11:39 AM   #33
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I mail a lot of stuff including bulky items so I have a few tips. First the machines don’t like unevenness most of all. So there are a few ways to make your envelope flat on all sides. First you can add a piece of box/chip board over your card. This is best for hard embellies like rhinestones that aren’t too high.







You can also add padding AROUND the embellies. This makes the whole card surface even. I do this by adding thin packing foam. You’ll often find it in packages you buy with electronics or other small components. You can also buy it in rolls. I just save it when I get some. This works for even delicate embellies like paper flowers. I trim as many pieces as needed to equal the height of them embellies and then add a sheet or two depending on how thick the foam is. Then I carefully trim holes in it where the embellies are. I use Washi to secure it to the card. This is far better and often more economical than a bubble mailer.







For a card covered in delicate embellies I make a ‘collar’ for it. I measure the height of the tallest embellie. Then I cut a long strip (or more than one and staple together) of box board and stand it up like a little fence around my card. I fill any low areas with the same foam technique as above. Then I add a ‘lid’ with tape. And Washi tape the card on the reverse side to keep it centered in the collar.







If you still worry about your envelope vs a bubble mailer, add packing tape to the outside of your envelope. (Not over the postage) I’ve gotten a lot of packing tape sealed envelopes and lots of bubble mailers and the packing tape covered ones are far sturdier.







Pay attention to the rules of your post office. In Canada, you can mail a half-sized Manila envelope for the same cost as a regular card or business letter size. So mailing two cards side by side costs much less than mailing them stacked on top of each other. Also, don’t assume a thicker envelope will have to be sent as a package. I know it’s only 1/4” in the USA but in Canada and maybe other countries, we can send up to 3/4” as a letter. But if you go into the PO and ask for your ‘parcel’ to be sent, that’s how they will send it even if there’s a cheaper option. Sometimes asking, ‘what’s the cheapest possible way to get this to the address’ will get you a lower price. And always ask for a rate guide or print on out online. I’ve challenged the price given to me at the PO and suddenly ‘Oh, I didn’t know you wanted it sent that way’.









As for calculating the cost, I was fortunate enough to get a mail sorter template from my local PO when they changed a number slightly. But you could make one yourself.




I hope you can see it. Photographing something clear is very hard! The full size is quite large (for parcels) but even if you make a cut out in sturdy board for the allowable thickness, it might help a lot. I’ve found that if I’m mailing a card and then add something else (like stickers or a note if it’s a card I’m selling), it can make the card too thick for the lowest rate. But if I use a larger envelope or sometimes even shift the extra thing over a bit, away from thicker parts of the card, I can avoid paying more!









I use a small cheap scale ($12) from amazon to weigh my envelopes. It works in grams or oz and includes small fractions so I can be very accurate. I’ve never had to pay more due to an envelope being over weight. So between measuring them with my template, weighing them and being creative with how I lay everything out, I’m kind of a cheap mailing expert. Yep, I over analyze it but because I swap Art a lot, I am buying about $30-40 worth of postage every 4-6 weeks so I have to be frugal. Hope this helps.

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Old 08-14-2019, 12:02 PM   #34
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Rebecca, can you give us a link to the scale you got on Amazon? LOVE your ideas! THANK YOU for letting us know all of this! <3
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Old 08-14-2019, 12:04 PM   #35
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I got a cheap scale at Target in the kitchen items area.
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Old 08-14-2019, 06:46 PM   #36
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Sorry that did not read well. The space ones are regular forever stamps. I love the reflection in the helmet. Cool detail for a stamp. There are probably 6-7 designs I am liking this year.

Yes-the corsage is the 2 oz, the butterfly is the square card. The extra ounce used to be penguins. I guess they changed it. But you can build it yourself with a 10 and a 5 if you have 'em. I have a lot of old small values I should use up.

Last edited by wavejumper; 08-14-2019 at 06:50 PM..
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Old 08-14-2019, 07:00 PM   #37
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Yes, get a postage scale. Estate sales are great places to find one.

ALL the mailing information is on the USPS.com website. Tab at the top 'Mail & Ship'. Open that and scroll down to Calculate a price. Lots of details in there.

Basically, if you know what they charge you don't have to go to a window to get that person's OPINION of your cost. You will already know the price if you know the weight of your envelope or package. You can just buy stamps from a grouch and mail it in the drop box.
A regular Forever stamp is now $.55 and extra ounce is $.15.
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Old 08-17-2019, 02:07 PM   #38
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https://www.amazon.com/NewPal-digita...gateway&sr=8-5
Here’s the exact same scale. The one I bought on Amazon.ca was up to $41! No way I paid that much. So I searched for it on Amazon.com for y’all. Hope this helps. It pays for itself in just 20-30 envelopes sent with less postage. That’s a steal in my book. And you’ll save even more if you send packages.
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Old 08-17-2019, 02:47 PM   #39
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THANK YOU, Rebecca!!!
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Old 08-20-2019, 03:37 AM   #40
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dorie95 View Post
The last time I took my cards to the post office I gave the person behind the counter a card I made and told him this is what's inside the padded envelopes I use. Handed him the card and said, "This is for You!".

He actually smiled!
now THAT is a great idea! Sometimes when people ask why I mail things in a baggie (their name for a clear cello envy) I tell them it's so their Postal carrier can enjoy the cards too...lol! I forget about the lower cost "extra postage" stamps...I need to get some of those to keep at home vs just slapping on an add't 1st class stamp.
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