Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Avoiding the Post Office is Easy

Frequent trips to the post office are a big part of many businesses.  Before kids, repeated trips to the post office were inconvenient. But these days two babies, a large stroller, and a tiny post office just don't work out well!   During the holidays, post offices are so packed and I want to completely avoid them!  Here are some easy ways to mail from home! 

1.  Use an online source.  Stamps.com offers USPS-approved postage that you can print and mail from home.  Click the link below for their current offer.

2.  Use a scale to weigh materials at home.  Enter the information into the USPS website and affix pre-purchased stamps.  Here is what I do:

  • Buy a scale to weigh packages at home.  You can find them at Staples, Office Depot,  Sam's Club or order them online.

  • Purchase letter envelopes, manila envelopes, and bubble envelopes in bulk.  I find them significantly cheaper at Sam's Club.  You can also grab several flat rate envelopes and boxes free-of-charge from the post office or their online store to keep on hand.

  • Stock up on stamps in a variety of amounts by purchasing them from your local post office, your mail carrier, or from the United States Postal Service website.  To purchase from you carrier, request a "Stamp Purchase Order" envelope (mine is orange).  You write your order and contact information on the front, enclose a check, place it in your mailbox with the flag up, and in 1-2 days your carrier will deliver the requested stamps with a receipt at no additional charge. 

  • When you are ready to mail an item, fill your envelope or box and complete the address information.  Weigh your package using your scale.  Visit this USPS postage rate calculator site to enter the destination, type of package, and weight to calculate mailing options.  Be sure to  carefully read details to select the appropriate shipping method.  The final screen will tell you how much postage to affix to your package based on which option you choose.

  • You can place packages under 13 ounces with postage paid in stamps in your mailbox  for pick up.  You can also arrange for Carrier Pick-Up if the package won't fit.  Click the link for more information on how to pay for postage on items more than 13 ounces so they can still be mailed from home with "carrier pick up."

Mailing from home will save you time and can expedite delivery to your customer!  It is a great way to mail out catalogs, product, fliers, pamphlets, and postcards to customers without waiting until your next post office trip or having to make repeated special trips. 


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