How NOT to ship an important package

I may have mentioned this story before, so forgive me if this seems familiar.

Yesterday, I boxed up my four entries for the Iowa State Fair Photography Competition, and brought them to the post office for shipping.  I used a Flat Rate Priority Mail cardboard box (cost $13.60 for postage), plus another $13.60 for the return postage.  The counterperson at the post office dutifully gathered four $5 stamps, six $1 stamps, a couple of 49¢ stamps, a pair of 10¢ stamps, and two penny stamps.  I separated the stamps, put $13.60 worth of postage INTO the shipping container, closed the container (just to show the counterperson that I did not have any contents that were fragile, lethal, or potentially hazardous, no perfume or lithium ion batteries, so as to avoid the upsell), then, I placed the remaining $13.60 of stamps – eight stamps total – on the container.  And off to Des Moines we go.

Here’s my thing when it comes to postage.  I’m okay with metered mail.  I’m okay with the forever postage stamps.  And I’m okay with a few stamps on the box to add up to a final, reasonable total.

What I’m not okay with is using all the “leftover” stamps available to pay for postage.  I’ve dealt with this in the past and it’s an embarrassing feeling to hand the counterperson a package that’s covered in so many stamps, you can’t find the address.

Also … make sure that if you’re sending something to an important client, that you don’t use silly commemorative novelty stamps as your postage.  A flag stamp for postage makes a great impression.  Cartoon character stamps … not the best choice for that moment.

But then again, that’s me.  I just want to ship my package and make it as simple to deliver as it is to return.

Oh, and be careful – the post office has two different Priority Mail shipping containers, both of the same size and dimensions – but only one says, in big red letters, “Flat Rate Medium Box.”  You use the wrong box, you may be paying more (or less) for Priority Mail service.  At least with the Flat Rate box, you know going in how much you will spend.

Sorry for all the postage and shipping minutiae this morning.  I guess I just want to stay motivated as to my first “Competition Season” entry of 2017.

And hopefully in a short time, I’ll receive a yellow postcard in the mail, alerting me as to whether my four entries made the cut or not.

And I won’t care what the composition of that postcard’s postage stamp is … I’ll be too busy looking at the back of the card, hoping for good news.  😀

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3 thoughts on “How NOT to ship an important package”

  1. After my father’s father died in 1974, we found pages (and I mean pages) of $.01, $.02, etc. stamps and my mother used them all (she sends out birthday and holiday cards, plus there was summer camp and then when I was at Emma). It took until about 1979/80 for her to need to buy stamps. The mailman sorting mail at Emma didn’t even need to look at the name on the letter to know who it was for. Like Roger says, it was kinda cool and jazzy, seeing all those stamps.

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