SHIPPING MISCONCEPTIONS--Most people are HONEST, just UNIFORMED.
Don't be lead astray by people telling you that you can put 70 pounds in a flat rate priority envelope. You'll be sadly disappointed, as will your customer, when the package arrives to them postage due for the actual weight postage. The customer pays the shipping on the item, charge them the proper postage. Yes the DMM (Domestic Mail Manual) states that the envelope must be self closing and you can augment it with tape. The DMM-C010.5.1t also states "CELLOPHANE AND MASKING TAPE MAY NOT BE USED FOR CLOSURE OR REINFORCEMENT OF PACKAGES, but a small amount may be used to augment adhesive closures on the envelope, not to reinforce it, and certainly not 3 feet of tape. Basically, if an item is not properly packaged, the postal service can refuse it or forward it postage due for the addition postage, which is usually the case. If your customer refuses to pay, it is returned to you for that same postage due. Hope you didn't insure that package, if it arrives damaged, there is no claim, the item wasn't properly packaged. The same holds true for flat rate priority boxes.You cannot reconfigure the box to hold your item. Anything that can fit into the box, using the adhesive sides, without changing the shape of the box, can go at the flat rate of $8.10. You change the shape, you pay by weight or worse yet your customer pays the difference. Your friendly neighborhood postal clerk or carrier may accept that package, no questions asked, but anywhere along it's path a postal worker can tag it postage due. And many more postal workers are becoming very aware of this growing problem. Most people are honest, just uniformed.
Another myth is that a priority box or tyvek envelope can be turned inside out or inverted to use a different shipping method ex; media mail, parcel post, etc...Thousands of ebayers order their priority boxes on line. These free priority packaging supplies are provided free of charge when mailing items at the appropriate priority rate. If found that a priority box or tyvek envelope was reconfigured (turned inside out), your item will be forwarded postage due for the proper priority postage. This may not happen every time. But one time is enough to get negative feedback because a customer had to pay additional postage for something they had already paid you for. When you order your free priority packaging online, you agree to the "TERMS OF AGREEMENT" which states that you understand that priority mail packaging is the property of The United States Postal Service, and is provided solely for sending priority mail. Misuse may be a violation of federal law. The DMM states that any matter mailed in a USPS-provided Express mail or Priority Mail packaging is charged the appropriate rate. Remember, intentional failure to adhere sufficient postage to your mailings may be a violation of federal law (18 USC 1725). If habitual, the postal inspecters are notified of this activity. Is it worth it to save a few pennies.
The USPS raised it's rates this year, due to the fact that the president required them to have a 3.5 billion dollar escrow account. Next spring another increase will take effect to recover revenue losses.
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