Things I Wish I Had Known Before I Went to the Post Office

Posted on February 17, 2015

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Hi folks!

Long time no blog! Right? Well, I think I’m ready to get rolling again. How exciting!

I wanted to get started with a little postal know-how. Before my experience with mass mailings – beginning in 2008 with my first secretary job, I knew not. After my mass mailings experiences, I know now. See how that works?

First, I will start with the Self-Service Kiosks. These mystical machines exist in only a few very rare places – and NOT NEAR YOU. The easiest way to get started is by googling these keywords: FML IHU.

No, no. Not those! Those are the words you SAY after you travel 22 miles and realize that the kiosk doesn’t do what you want it to do. Sssshhh. Calm down. It’ll be okay.

Instead, do this. Type “USPS” into your browser address bar. Choose the “Welcome: USPS” link. Easy so far.

USPS 1

Next, click “Find USPS Locations”. Locate the drop down bar, and then choose: “Self-Service Kiosk”.USPS 2

Awesome. Now, type your zip code and then choose the number of miles you would be willing to travel (and how much gas you would be willing to waste) to utilize the kiosk. Finally, click “search”.

Voila! Seriously. It is a really easy task. What ISN’T so easy is suddenly arriving at the kiosk and being limited to the Liberty Bell FOREVER stamps and other denominations of stamps and 5 per transaction. Das it.

If you need anything in addition to your 49 cent stamp, either make time to go to the counter and talk with a clerk or go here:

https://store.usps.com/store/browse/subcategory.jsp?categoryId=under-stamp-rate&categoryNavIds=buy-stamps%3Astamps-by-type%3Aunder-stamp-rate

Don’t give me that look. I’ll tell you how I got there.

USPS 3At the same website, click the “Postal Store” option in the blue ribbon. Then, choose “Stamps”. Now, choose the option in the left sidebar that says “Under 49-cents” or one of the others if you so desire.

Great SCOTT! Look at all those options!

Click a stamp with the cents that make sense. (I just made myself chuckle.)

Next, scroll and click through your options. Take a look at how many stamps are included in a sheet, book, or roll. Add the desired quantity to your cart. Check out, and BAM! You’re done until you’ve got those stamps in your feverish little hands.

Now, this is something you CANNOT do at the Self-Service Kiosk. And that’s okay, because we (meaning me) need to do our (meaning my) research so we can avoid the huffy, puffy anxiety once we realize the stamps we want are not available!

This will come in handy too if you want any specialty or limited edition stamps, like Black Heritage, that certain neighborhoods either run out of instantly or do not carry at all.

Next, DO NOT go with the 28lb paper at your local office supply store’s website. Go in the store. Talk to a clerk. Choose the lighter (in weight) paper.

If you choose the heavier default paper, and if you have 3 pages to fill and no more than that, prepare to edit meticulously. If you go over 3 sheets, you’re gonna be looking at extra postage – not from the Self-Service Kiosk.

So, I do hope that this has been helpful to you. Please let me know if you have any Post Office tips that folks might find handy.

Cheers!

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