We have learned a thing or two about saving time at the post office– in fact, we’ve figured out how not to have to ever wait in line there again! With this holiday season fast approaching, we are sharing our best tips with you so you can have more time to enjoy what matters most.
Post Office Avoidance Tip #1: Print Your Own Postage. Did you know you can use a credit card at any time to print a barcoded Priority Mail label on plain paper with your own printer? Go to www.usps.com and click "Print a Shipping Label." It’s also trackable at no extra cost! That rule about having to hand carry something to the post office that weighs more than 1 pound (because of terrorism) does not apply when you use this Click & Ship service, since the package is traceable to your personal credit card.
Post Office Avoidance Tip #2: Get Free Boxes. The USPS will give you, for free, as many boxes as you want for Priority or Express Mail. We recommend stocking up on "flat rate" boxes and envelopes. The Priority Mail flat rate envelope can mail everything you fit in it for $4.05, and the flat rate box will let you cram in whatever you can for $8.10 You don’t even need to know what the package weighs.
Post Office Avoidance Tip #3: Free Package Pickups from your Porch. No, that’s not just a tongue-twister, you heard right– they will pick it up for you for free. At www.usps.com, just click "Schedule a Pickup" and place your Priority or Express Mail package on your porch. You can also leave it other places as you choose to specify.
Post Office Avoidance Tip #4: Buy Stamps Online. You can purchase stamps in rolls or sheets in any possible denomination that is available. They just charge you a small service charge ($1.00 service charge to send you a roll of 100 stamps). Great idea to get the cool holiday ones you want right now.
US Postal Service won’t let you refuse mail.
If the US Postal Service would abide by its own rule, each homeowner could easily stop junk mail from getting into their mailbox by putting a written notice on their mailbox expressing their preference.
The US Postal Services practices are supposed to be according to the Domestic Mail Manual (DMM). The DMM contains provision 508.1.1.2 that says, “Refusal at Delivery: The addressee may refuse to accept a mailpiece when it is offered for delivery.” I interpret this rule to mean that if a homeowner wants to refuse an unwanted mailpiece (i.e. junk mail), the homeowner can do so when the mailpiece is offered for delivery. More to the point – refuse it before it is put into the mailbox!
In practical application, since the postal carrier comes to homes at different times each day, the homeowner cannot be waiting at the mailbox to dialogue with the mail carrier about each mailpiece. The only realistic way to interpret 508.1.1.2 therefore is that the homeowner should post a notice on the mailbox telling the postal carrier about the homeowner’s preference. The notice to the postal service must be specific and unambiguous. For instance, a homeowner should certainly be able to write, “No mail that is not addressed to the Jones” because that does not require the postal carrier to make a subjective judgment. On the other hand, it would not be acceptable to write “no junk mail” because the definition of “junk mail” is subjective and the mail carrier cannot decide.
Unfortunately, the US Postal Service has written to me that they will NOT honor a notice refusing mail, not matter how specifically it is worded, because the postal carrier does not have time to sort through the mail at my mailbox to pick out the pieces that are not addressed to me. Therefore, the US Postal Service is passing their sorting and disposing task onto me by putting all the mail they want into my mailbox, even though this seemingly violates 508.1.1.2.
Since the U.S. Postal Service will not abide by 508.1.1.2, homeowners need to stop unwanted mail at the source (i.e. by blocking the sender from sending it). We need a nationwide “Do Not Mail” law to create a one-stop, convenient place for homeowners to give senders notice that we do not want certain kinds of mail sent to our homes.
Ramsey A Fahel