I think that USPS hates when we print out our own postage

mzmba

ShopAHolic
O.G.
Dec 12, 2007
186
0
I have had so many issues with printing my own postage with my local po. I always print my postage online through usps.com and/or directly out of paypal. I usually use a flat rate box of some sort; but have since gotten in to mailing shoes (which by the way are high as heck and need parcel post or priority in my own box). I bought a pretty nice 75lb capacity scale just in case and I always round up.. i.e. 17.2 lbs = I print out shipping for 18lbs.

The first issue was with a priority box I printed directly through paypal. Paypal has one option for flat rate box. I didn't think it mattered. So I packed everything into what I guess what was considered a "large" flat rate box. I get to the po just to drop off and push along which had always been the case; but the postal lady goes and examines it. Saying this says flat rate box (bc the price isn't on it) not large flat rate box.. And I just look at her like there is one option in paypal for flat rate box. She huffs at me and goes to get another person who says you have to pay for a LARGE flat rate box; we can't accept it how it is. I have no problem doing that; but I say they need to change it in ebay/paypal and she goes off telling me that they are the FINAL authority on the prices for the usps and doesn't know why people are allowed to print their own postage anyway.. Again I just look blankly at her and pay the extra $5 (I was so pissed; I could've sent it another method if I was going to pay that much).

The next issue was that they were out of the flat rate envelopes and my home order for them had not come; at another post office they told me just to use that neoprene envelope that is just a smidgen bigger and its no problem. So I brought what I needed to ship and packed it there.. again.. interrogated..this is not a flat rate envelope... you need to pay extra..blah...blah.. so I paid and the very next day performed an experiment.. mailed out something in the neoprene with the flat rate label and put it in the mailbox... surprise surprise..it gets shipped to the person and not returned.

I have had so many issues with them.. boxes mysteriously gaining a lb or extra ounces so that they have to charge me the in po rate instead of the online rate I've already paid for. Don't get me wrong I am not trying to CHEAT the post office! Now when I mail stuff I make sure I measure it exactly and round up ridiculous amounts (but this is so dumb to me). I bought the scale to save on postage. I just get the feeling that they hate it so they are extra crazy about it when you go to the counter. Also a lot of them are not trained on the paypal/ebay shipping stuff I feel like when I go to the po's that have the "save money with ebay shipping" up; there is not all this "extra-ness"... Do they think this will lead to a reduction in there jobs..? I still believe that only a few people on the whole actually print their own postage so at this point at least the risk to their jobs is low. My parents don't do it..and most of my friends don't do unless they sell online.

They always make me feel as if I'm trying to cheat the system.. which I'm not! What do you guys think? Any experiences like mine.. or do I just have a nasty po in general..lol?
 

noshoepolish

Labrador Lover
O.G.
Oct 4, 2006
9,773
125
Paypal does not have the newere FRB on their page. You have to use USPS (I think they have it).

Just go onto USPS's website and order your shipping supplies there. Keep a stock of envelopes and boxes on hand.

I use plain boxes from uline for anything that does not fit into a USPS box.

I have never had a prbolem with shipping. You just have to make sure you follow the post office rules. They are getting even stricter now. If you have any questions, ebay has a shipping board. You can ask there. There are some postal employees that post on there.

Remember, if they don't catch it while you are at the counter, and it gets caught later, then your buyer is going to have to pay added shipping. That means dinged stars and neg FB.

You are still learning so just remember the employees at the PO are just doing their jobs.
 

mzmba

ShopAHolic
O.G.
Dec 12, 2007
186
0
Thanks for the feedback, but I think it's more than that. I have actually been selling for a while on ebay. New to bonanzle.

I do order supplies on there; but those are only useful when you are sending a priority package. Plus usps only has priority options; no options for first class or parcel post. I am not selling at a margin to send everything priority and I try to charge for shipping what I pay for it so as not to try to inflate the price for the buyer. And like now I ordered a ton of stuff last monday from usps and it still hasn't gotten here.

I understand that usps is the best source; but it is just easier and faster for me to go and print the label at paypal. Also usps doesn't take paypal and I find it easier to manage what my shipping costs are when they come directly from my revenue if that makes sense. If I have to charge to another card it gets mixed up with my other purchases. I agree they need to update the software or do whatever they have to do. Is there a way to import orders to usps. I thought that was the point.

I have never had anything returned and I've been selling on ebay since 2002. Are you a postal employee?? :biggrin: J/k

I still believe there is a negative connection with printing your own shipping versus doing it there. I don't believe that all the slack is "just business".
 
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Luxe Diva

LVOE 4 DESIGNER BAGS
Sep 8, 2007
2,401
0
Luckily for me, I haven't had any shipping issues with the USPS. My local USPS has a large drop box for packages which is great so I don't have to go to the counter. Sometimes packages don't fit and I end up going to the counter but no one has ever said anything about checking the label/postage. I've always been able to just drop it off. Maybe if a PO has had a history of problems with shipping labels, they are just being extra cautous but they don't need to be rude, they are there to do a service and should be happy to help you.
 

steenface

O.G.
Apr 20, 2009
71
1
Our USPS has four or five machines in their lobby that print out domestic postage. It's SO awesome. You just put your package on the scale and work your way through the touch screen menu; at the end, you just pop in your card to pay (or feed it cash) and it spits out your postage. Our PO always has a line so it's a time saver.

The people at my PO are pretty nice though; I always seem to deal with the same two or three folks. Neither my husband nor I have ever had problems sending out packages where we printed our own postage.
 

LindaP

O.G.
Dec 31, 2007
8,981
13
I work for the USPS and we love it when you print your own postage! In fact we are encouraged to tell customers about this feature and let them know that they can save money this way. It saves time at the PO for wait times in line - well unless you print out the incorrect amount of postage. ;) Usually it's quick and easy when someone brings in a package that's already labeled with postage. As you've now learned, there are two levels of flat rate boxes, sounds like paypal needs to update their options but the USPS employee was right - they are the final authority on what it costs to ship a package, not paypal. And of course, if you're not using the flat rate envelope you can't get away with only paying the flat rate, there's a learning curve there I suppose for anyone that does a lot of shipping and wants to package it all and print from home.

Hope you have a better experience at the PO next time. :flowers:

Linda
 

mzmba

ShopAHolic
O.G.
Dec 12, 2007
186
0
I am not doubting that they are the final authority. That's a no brainer. I am just saying that paypal and usps need to get IN SYNC if they're going to share a partnership. And that needs to be done ASAP; what if I didn't ship regularly and I print a postage from paypal that says "flat rate box" and there's one option; that's what I'm going to pick. That's going to cause more headache at the po for the employees as well; with no doubt disgruntled customers. Any common sense person would do that. I don't want to make it seem that I am trying to "get away" with something. The PO's need to be consistent. One should not tell you if there are no flat rate envelopes available to use the neoprene ones (at my po there are never any which is why I ordered a gazillion). It is just annoying. And as far as weights and measurements go, I don't see how even rounding up the postage has 2x out of ten been higher when I got to the counter and then they base it on the counter rate when you have to add..not the online rate.

I think I am going to try UPS; I signed up through paypal and seems like the customers like it better (I know I do) because I can see where it is at each point.

I asked this question on another forum I'm on and its not only me.. I don't think we're all trying to scam the system...;)

But in the USPS's defense one bad apple shouldn't ruin the whole barrel. The other PO I go to; the town over just accepts them and moves along. I just don't feel like I should have to go a town over to conduct my business.

I would so just put them in the box but after a certain time they lock that box; so it doesn't open. I'm always going after hours unless I take the stuff with me at lunch time to mail...
 
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noshoepolish

Labrador Lover
O.G.
Oct 4, 2006
9,773
125
Remember for UPS you have to add in the signature. Someone was just telling me I should use UPS to ship them a bag if they win. So I went through the calculator and got $20 by the time it was all said and done.
 

LindaP

O.G.
Dec 31, 2007
8,981
13
I am not doubting that they are the final authority. That's a no brainer. I am just saying that paypal and usps need to get IN SYNC if they're going to share a partnership. And that needs to be done ASAP; what if I didn't ship regularly and I print a postage from paypal that says "flat rate box" and there's one option; that's what I'm going to pick. That's going to cause more headache at the po for the employees as well; with no doubt disgruntled customers. Any common sense person would do that. I don't want to make it seem that I am trying to "get away" with something. The PO's need to be consistent. One should not tell you if there are no flat rate envelopes available to use the neoprene ones (at my po there are never any which is why I ordered a gazillion). It is just annoying. And as far as weights and measurements go, I don't see how even rounding up the postage has 2x out of ten been higher when I got to the counter and then they base it on the counter rate when you have to add..not the online rate.

I think I am going to try UPS; I signed up through paypal and seems like the customers like it better (I know I do) because I can see where it is at each point.

I asked this question on another forum I'm on and its not only me.. I don't think we're all trying to scam the system...;)

But in the USPS's defense one bad apple shouldn't ruin the whole barrel. The other PO I go to; the town over just accepts them and moves along. I just don't feel like I should have to go a town over to conduct my business.

I would so just put them in the box but after a certain time they lock that box; so it doesn't open. I'm always going after hours unless I take the stuff with me at lunch time to mail...

Good luck with UPS, if the postal service isn't working for you I don't blame you for going welsewhere!

The PO in the next town should be checking your packages as well, they are supposed to, we are reminded to via training all the time. As far as the envelope used, you can use any envelope you like, just be sure you're paying actual postage instead of the flat rate if you're not using a flat rate envelope. There was nothing wrong with them telling you to use a different envelope. We have customers that regularly weigh and measure their packages with no problems so I'm not sure why you're having an issue there. Occasionally I can see it but not often, perhaps it's a scale issue.

I don't think you're trying to get over on postage and I agree that paypal should fix their shipping options.

Good luck! :smile:

Linda
 

couture_addict

Just relax...
O.G.
Mar 25, 2007
1,104
4
Sounds like you have a cranky postal worker - the ladies (and I use that term loosely in this case) at our post office are bad, too. They actually yell at people.

We solved the problem by going to a different post office. It's an extra mile away, but it is SOOOOOO worth it.
 

sarisari

Member
Aug 29, 2008
122
0
I never had problems with USPS. I agree with what everyone said, you have to follow their requirements, i.e. right weight and box dimensions.

I did have problems with UPS charging extra costs after the package has been delivered, especially if you just drop it off in a box or a store.
 

irishgrl

Member
Feb 20, 2009
176
0
I hear you!! I think you may want to try another post-office. I have one near me that is just AWEFUL...there is a horrible, horrible woman there who finds something to complain about every time I have taken a click-n-ship posted package in. She has the worst customer service skills I have ever encountered! (I really need to call the post master and tell him of the aweful service again.)
If my mailman takes my packages with him...no problem. If I go to the other post-office near my home...no problem.
I recommend you try another post-office if that's an option for you.
 

mzmba

ShopAHolic
O.G.
Dec 12, 2007
186
0
Thanks guys! I have a jacket to mail tomorrow and I'm going to give UPS a whirl because it's heavier; there's an Office Depot not far that accepts them and it's closer than the PO. Small stuff probably is still cheaper with USPS...but the larger items; I'm definitely going to check on both to see which is more competitive!
 

caannie

Mother of Dachshunds
O.G.
Mar 28, 2006
2,882
1,545
Post offices vary like any place else. We have quite a few in my town, and I tried several out until I found the most friendly and helpful. I have never had a problem with USPS, but there is one post office in town that has a rude lady working there, so I avoid it.
 
Dec 27, 2007
704
0
I have had a similar experience to caannie. The post office in my town is terrible - the employees are rude & they have no idea what they're doing. For example - they have told me that I can't insure packages when I've already insured (and paid for insurance) through the web. They've told me that I'm not using a flat rate box, when 'flat rate box' is printed right on the package. They've told me that I've overpaid for shipping and then realized I paid correctly when I pointed out that I've added sig conf or insurance or whatever. I started going to the post office in the next town over, and I've never had another problem! The gentleman that is there in the monring (when I go in) is lovely and pleasant and helpful and smart, and he recognizes me and always pulls me out of line and asks me how my *bay business is doing. Maybe try to find another post office? Or better still, try free carrier pick up. I do that a lot and then all you do is pop the package on your porch and let the mail carrier take it from there. THAT saves a lot of heacaches (although not sure you can do this with international shipments). Good luck!
 
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