When Did Postage for Bubble Mailers Get so Expensive??

Northeast, AR(Zone 7a)

I mailed a small bubble mailer with 3 packs of tiny seeds in it today and it cost $1.95!! I was told that it's considered a parcel, which I already knew. But the starting rate for a parcel now is $1.95 and it goes up from there. Holy cow!!! I remember not so long ago people were complaining that 60 cents to mail a bubble mailer was too much and now it's over 3 times that cost. WOW! I haven't traded seeds in a long time. I guess postage has gone up to match the cost of gas!

I suppose I won't be trading seeds anymore. I refuse to send them out in a regular envelope where they can get ground into dust in the sorting machines at the different post offices they go thru on the their journey. I'm just shocked at this increase. The last package of seeds I sent out cost me about $1.25, but $2 for a little packet of seeds seems excessive to me.

How are y'all managing the costs these days? Are you doing much trading? And how much is your PO charging?

NancyAnn

Hamburg, PA(Zone 6b)

Well I wouldn't stop trading seeds...because you can loose out on that special seed you may be looking for :-) Yesterday I spent $10.00 on a pack of 5 seeds (this included the sellers shipping) now that seems like highway robbery!!...But if someone had them here... I would have been happy to spend $1.00 postage for them. I still can send a bubble envelope for 90 cents (flat, no thickness). But I don't because I like to use delivery confirmation so I print my postage online and can send up to 4 ounces in a bubble for $1.81 or up to 3 ounces for $1.64. This is when it becomes a package. You can get a lot of seeds in the bubble up to 4 ounces. Otherwise you can send a bubble in a plain envelope for $1.05 cent.

Printing postage online is less expensive then using the Post Office. I just found out when I tried to buy postage for a Flat Rate box with delivery confirmation. It came up to $6.30 and I questioned the clerk...I told her it's $5.15 to mail a Small Flat Rate Box. She explained the extra cost and that it's cheaper to print your postage online. Delivery confirmation is .$95 when purchased at the Post office and Free online. Also that the Flat rate box fees are more if you buy the postage in the Post office :-/...Ain't that a blip??

Northeast, AR(Zone 7a)

I knew priority mail was cheaper online. That's the only way I send stuff.

My mail clerk told me that any bubble mailer starts at a rate of $1.95 and goes up from there, depending on weight and distance.

What are you using to print out postage that isn't Priority or Express, Kim? When go to print, I don't get rates for regular mail, so I just stopped shipping that way. Of course, when I trade, I trade plants. I really don't like waiting for seeds to germinate. I like the instant gratification of seeing a live plant when I open a box. So usually I'm just giving away seeds. Usually I want rarer seeds which I have to buy.

I think postage is cheaper online because we're doing the clerk's job--keying in all the info. Then the clerk only has to scan the Scan form and she's done. I love doing it online--not just to save money, but to save time too. If I don't have time to stand in line to get the Scan form scanned, I can just leave the boxes and scan form on the counter and I can be on my way. The clerk will scan it when she gets to it. Technology is awesome, isn't it?

Hamburg, PA(Zone 6b)

Ohhhh I use Stamps.com because I sell online and I ship Internationally often. First class postage isn't an option when you uses USPS.com. I couldn't live without my Stamps.com and been using it for almost 10 years. But it's not worth it for someone who doesn't need to ship daily (monthly fee). I like instant gratification too but I guess I'm the opposite. Because I love the success, challenge, and watching them grow from seeds. Some plants are easy to trade for and there are many that are impossible to buy. I have grown many plants from seeds that can't be purchased :-)

Greensboro, NC(Zone 7a)

Some of the things I do for enjoyment (seed & plant trading or book swapping) I just factor the cost in. I collect many seeds which is free or have had tons of generous trades given to me. If a dger has seeds I really want and it was a one way (them sending to me) I wouldn't have any issue paying postage ever and up front. I know everyones financial situations are different but for me, I don't have or need the most current electronics, car, have a 7+ yr old pc (dial up thank you:lol:), don't drink or smoke or take expensive vacations. My garden and acquiring stuff for it and sharing with others is for enjoyment so as long as I am able to share I will.

The post office saves on payroll and overhead if the client is doing the clerks job from their home and while I want people employed I can't stand going to the PO and I have a terrific little branch that I use with very nice even tempered organized clerks:lol:

Hamburg, PA(Zone 6b)

Dial up?? Now that would just about be painful for me....LOL. But I totally feel the same as you do with the same outlook. My gardens are everything to me and I will spend on a plant what I might not spend on a pair of shoes...ha ha! I'm purchasing a greenhouse soon and it's gonna cost me thousands when it's all over with (adding my wants..heating system...etc). And some would think it's too much...but it will be my happiness and like my sports car (if I had one) ha ha!

As far as last nights storm (Sandy). Only damage was this tree next to my house...Thank God it's over!

Thumbnail by Kim_M
Holly Springs, NC(Zone 7b)

Be careful with those Flat-Rate boxes! I did the calculations once and unless you are cramming some pretty darned heavy stuff in those boxes, you are spending too much. The break even for the medium boxes is 5 lbs and 9 lbs for the large. I'm generally sending bareroots or certainly not-that-heavy of plants, so it is worth it to look into the non-flat-rate prices. And, yes, postage is cheaper if you print it from the usps website.

Hamburg, PA(Zone 6b)

Yesssss I only use Flat rate boxes if my contents are heavy or if they are going West. To send over a pound to CA for me is automatically over $8.00 if it's even 1 ounce over a pound. Sometimes it's needed because I send 4 to 5 pounds of plants.

Northeast, AR(Zone 7a)

I often send across the country too, and I ship a lot of plants in one box, so then Flat Rate is usually the most cost effective for me too, Kim. To ship to a neighboring state, it's cheaper to use the regular priority rate.

I don't ship out a lot anymore since I've discovered some awesome nurseries in TN and MS that carry the more unusual plants. They get a lot of the Terra Nova plants that I crave, so I let them grow them a bit and then I go get their well established plants. I'm already looking forward to next spring so I can go on another "plant safari". LOL

(Ang) Bremerton, WA(Zone 8b)

O_o Nothing to see here. o_O

This message was edited Oct 30, 2012 1:09 PM

Bushland, TX(Zone 6a)

Whats a buck 95 among making me happy!!!!!LOL Its only money! Money Money!!!!Some people go to Starbucks and pay 5 bucks for a cup of JOE!
Sorry for buttin in!!!!!

sun city, CA(Zone 9a)

the clerk at the PO here told me it is the thickness of the envelope that helps determine the cost. if it is more that 1/4 inch thick you get charged the highest price. they even have this mold with slots of different thicknesses to slide the envelopes through to determine what to charge. so an 1/8 inch thick bubble envelope could cost way less than one that is more than 1/4 inch thick. makes no sense to me.

Northeast, AR(Zone 7a)

Any bubble mailer these days is considered a "parcel". Your clerk was probably referring to a regular white envelope with bubble wrap in it. If it's less than 1/4 inch thick, they will send it thru the sorters and big seeds can be crushed to dust or the envelope gets stuck and is ripped open when they try to pull it out of the sorter and the seeds get scattered all over the post office. The commercial bubble mailers are hand-sorted and are not sent thru the sorting machines. That's supposedly why they cost more. It seems silly to consider them parcels now when they used to be considered envelopes and priced as envelopes.

It's been a year or so since I mailed seeds, so I was just shocked to see that a one ounce bubble mailer had gone up 70 cents in a year. Not really a biggie for me since I don't trade seeds these days. I was just sending some seeds to another DGer as a gift. I had affixed what I thought was the correct postage and then had to add more at the P.O. Not a big deal; I was just caught off guard.

Austin, TX(Zone 8b)

if your post office branch will not let you mail the bubbies as First Class Package - - you are getting screwed

i spend 65 unless i want to put dc on it . . . . anything up to an ounce.

This message was edited Nov 2, 2012 1:05 PM

Northeast, AR(Zone 7a)

That's what I was thinking, Lazlo. I used to mail out a lot of SASEs for less than a buck for 4 or 5 packs of seeds and less than $2 for 15 or more packs of seeds. This bubble mailer only weight an ounce!

Everett, WA(Zone 8a)

LazLo,

I recall when the first ounce of a FC Package was only 65-75 cents, but that was a while ago.
Then the first three ounce all cost $1.71, and then the first 3 ounces all cost $1.95.

Last I checked, FC Packages were::

Weight Not Over Price
1 oz $1.95
2 oz $1.95
3 oz $1.95
4 oz $2.12
5 oz $2.29
6 oz $2.46
7 oz $2.63
8 oz $2.80
9 oz $2.97
10 oz $3.14
11 oz $3.31
12 oz $3.48
13 oz $3.65

That is over-the-counter, NO delivery confirmation and NO 'non-machinable surcharge (the surcharge would not apply to a FC Package anyway, justb FC Letter or maybe Large Envelope)..

Everett, WA(Zone 8a)

For an yone would a double degree in Law and Packaging Engineering, here are some of the USPS rules about First-Class letters. Enjoy!

1.2 Nonmachinable Criteria

A letter-size piece is nonmachinable (see 6.4) if it has one or more of the following
characteristics (see 601.1.4 to determine the length, height, top, and bottom of a
mailpiece):

a. Has an aspect ratio (length divided by height) of less than 1.3 or more than 2.5.

b. Is polybagged, polywrapped, enclosed in any plastic material, or has an exterior
surface made of a material that is not paper. Windows in envelopes made of
paper do not make mailpieces nonmachinable. Attachments allowable under
applicable eligibility standards do not make mailpieces nonmachinable.

c. Has clasps, strings, buttons, or similar closure devices.

d. Contains items such as pens, pencils, keys, or coins
that cause the thickness of the mailpiece to be uneven;
or loose keys or coins or similar objects not
affixed to the contents within the mailpiece.

Loose items may cause a letter to be nonmailable when mailed in paper envelopes; (see 601.2.3, Odd-Shaped
Items in Paper Envelopes).

e. Is too rigid (does not bend easily when subjected to a transport belt tension of
40 pounds around an 11-inch diameter turn).

f. For pieces more than 4-1/4 inches high or 6 inches long, the thickness is less
than 0.009 inch.

g. Has a delivery address parallel to the shorter dimension of the mailpiece.

h. Is a self-mailer that is not prepared according to 201.3.14.

i. Is a booklet that is not prepared according to 201.3.15.


... And the "201.3 rules" are even MORE fun than these.
When the PO clerk says "you can't", there probably IS some rule that bac ks her up.
But not always.
And it is hard to tell without an advanced degree in bull manure!

Everett, WA(Zone 8a)

The first three ounces of First Class Package are now all the same price ($1.95), so you might as well pack a lot of bonus packets into any mailer you send someone.

65 cents PER ounce doesn't sound bad, but you have to pay for the whole 3 ounces no matter how light yours is.

Anything has to be thinner than 1/4" to go as a "First Class Letter".
It also has be uniformly flat and maybe even stiff.

Anyway, I haven't found any commercial bubble mailers that thin. But I bought a case of 250 from ULINE to make the bubble mailers themselves cheaper.

I made one attempt at a fancy semi-rigid First Class Letter seed mailer that I miked under 0.250", but the post office has a template with a slit that catches on almost anything. I think, to pass that test reliably, I would need to be less than 0.2" "for real".

I was trying to make a "First Class envelope" that would resist the Crusher.
My idea was to start with a Christmas card bought for 80% off, in January.
Build a firm little chipboard "frame" around the rim that's 0.15" thick.
Leave a big square hole in the middle (like hiding something in a hollowed-out book.
Tape the Zip-locs inside the hole.

In theory, the Crusher's rollers should be held apart by the chipboard (which is non-corrugated cardboard so it won't crush, like cereal boxes or six-packs).

The Christmas cards plus regular envelope are intended to meet the Post Office rule about "irregular thickness". It can't be a First Class Letter if it has "irregular thickness".

They also have some rule about "intended for flat sheets of paper". I've learned to avoid one Post Office where they delight in saying "you c an't, becuase...".

Next time I'm going to the one where the nice lady said "sure".

What hinks me opff is that they claim to offer "hand cancel only" or "non-machinable surcharge" for only 20 cents extra. That would be great. But my annoying office still won't take a floppy shape for the FC Letter rate + 20 cent surcharge. I was told that "THEY" would still try to push it into the rollers anyway "because they're lazy". GRRR!

I know a guy whom worked on the original USPS sortyation system. It is a high-speed mega-machi9ne and I underatnd not wanting to jam 50 envelopes at a time into a big wad, then pulling bits of paper out of a $100,000 machine for 20 minutes while it sits idle. But then DON'T CALL IT a 20 cent non-machineable surcharge.


I print Fisrt Class Package Postage from PayPal and get free confirmation without standing in line. Plus a few % off on the base postage. But the label is bigger than a business envelope!


I've learned that you can measure the amount of crushing with a few Brassica seeds in a soft plastic Zip-loc. The seeds dent the plastic visibly if they squeezed not-quite-enough to crush them. It would probably be smart to make a seed mix that would really tell you rthe exact width the rollers en forced: some big, medium, small and tiny seeds. The biggest WHOLE seed left tells you how far the rollers clamped down.

Deep East Texas, TX(Zone 8a)

For a little different twist, I've sent seeds in this manner and as yet have had no complaints on the seeds being damaged.

In a plain envelope... I cut a envelope sized piece of bubble wrap (small bubbles) and attach the package of seeds to the bubble wrap with tape.

One layer of bubbles only and the envelope, allows the seeds to be cushioned and the envelope to travel for the price of one stamp.

Has anyone else tried that with success or failure? Kristi

Northeast, AR(Zone 7a)

Kristi, I received an envelope mailed your way, but it arrived shredded with NO seeds inside. It had gotten stuck in a sorter machine and the post office put it in one of their envelopes and sent it on to me with a note saying that it was empty. It wasn't empty when it was sent, but the thickness of it caused it to get stuck and shredded. The trader had sent the last of her seeds, so she couldn't send me more--5 special packs that I had wanted at that time. So I got nothing from our trade.

I've received other packages shipped the same way, but the seeds were crushed, as well as most of the bubbles in the bubble wrap. I quit shipping in this manner and asked that any traders I dealt with not send this way either. I hear people say frequently that they've never had a problem with this technique, but I won't chance it again.

Deep East Texas, TX(Zone 8a)

Fair enough ~ that is good to know.

Perhaps our small rural P.O. and those enroute haven't use those sorting machines as I've been in contact with the seed recipients with no complaints.

Should I ever send you some, please do remind me. 8 )

Everett, WA(Zone 8a)

I've also gotten envelopes-with-small-bubble-wrap. Always some or most of the bubbles were popped, and the seed survival varied a lot. And I've noticed that very few people sending from an urban-sounding address try to use flat envelopes.

Sending from my Seattle area, anything near or over 1/4" thick has to pay the FC Package rate. Anything under (or near) 1/4" paying FC Letter rate will be more or less crushed.

>> Perhaps our small rural P.O. and those enroute haven't use those sorting machines

That's my theory, also. I think it depends most on where you ship FROM, because any urban center with sortation-crushers would use them to bag outgoing mail more cheaply.

I think there is some variation when mailbags arrive at an urban destination. Maybe it depends on whether the arriving bag is already sorted all the down to specific ZIP codes.

By the way, due to the very high-speed nature of the machinery, if one envelope jams, dozens of them get jammed at the same time. So we not only lose our seeds, but dozens of other letters are damaged or destroyed.

That gives me some sympathy for the USPS enforcing "thin, flat" rules on the cheap Letter rate. But it makes me pull my hair out when a PO clerk tells me that "THEY will try to put it through the rollers if it is even close to 1/4 inch". Arrgh!

Vancleave, MS(Zone 8b)

rate increases for Jan 2013
http://about.usps.com/news/national-releases/2012/pr12_114.htm

Virginia Beach, VA(Zone 8a)

If I'm just trading a few varieties of seeds that are not bulky, I send them
in a card with some bubble wrap. The cards are stiff, and I think help
protect them from getting torn up in the post office rollers. I find thank you
cards, christmas cards, at the second hand store really cheap. A whole
bag of them for $1.95..Sometimes if it's a little thick I will put 2 stamps.

Baltimore, MD(Zone 7a)

Butterfly--

You can mail quite a few seeds in a regular envelope--as long as they are not too bulky.
I do this often--I put them between two index cards and tape the edges shut with scotch tape,
just so they don't shift.
Then I just put one stamp on it and they always go. As long as it is under 1oz.
Even if it is 2oz.--it will still go for a lot cheaper. I suppose that some PO's are not as strict, or do
not have these sorters--or do not have time....

I have found that, if you take anything to the PO for postage, they will sock it to you.
Like large X-mas cards--you will pay more--not if your mailman just picks them up at your house....
I have curb side mail p/u. They do not pay much attention and all my seeds and cards always get to where they need to go.

I am a miser--through and through--and try to be as frugal as i can get away with..

Gita

Durhamville, NY(Zone 5b)

I just mailed a small bubble envelope out for 90 cents after questioning the $1.95. It helps that I go to a small post office and I'm friendly with the staff. It makes a difference if they are trying to find to find a rule that says you can't or one that says you can.

Northeast, AR(Zone 7a)

Gitagal, the problem with using regular envelopes is that they go thru the sorters. Seeds can get crushed and then you have to resend IF you have more of those seeds. Sometimes you don't so your trader gets disappointed. Also, in the sorters, envelopes can get stuck in the sorters and mangled, in which case the seeds can get scattered all over the postal floor and postal workers aren't going to pick them back up and stuff them inside. I received an envelope with NOTHING in it because it had gotten stuck in a sorter and ripped open. The trader had sent 5 packages of rare seeds and had no more to send, so I got nothing altho she got everything I sent, after spending the extra postage to mail in a bubble mailer. I won't send seeds in a regular envelope and now, when trading, I specify that the sender must also use a commercial bubble mailer. I've been disappointed too many times; I just won't risk it.

Durhamville, NY(Zone 5b)

I have a feeling that it depends on the particular sorting machine and it's operators. I just sent tomato seed out. With the single packet I sent I put a cardboard ring around it so that the rollers couldn't hit it. The multipack one I sent I put in a bubble envelope because I couldn't figure out how to protect the seed so it wouldn't be hit with a roller.

Griffin, GA(Zone 8a)

I agree...I think it depends on the post office worker, as well as the post office. I always tell them to mark it fragile and send it the cheapest way. Sometimes it's as cheap as $1.11, and other times it's $1.95. There are three post offices in my town...all seem to have different prices for a light packet of seeds.

I have mailed small amount of lettuce before using a paper towel and a regular envelope...it costs more than mailing a letter (I think its either 90 or 95 cents), and they mark it "Hand Sort", so it doesn't go through the machine. I wouldn't risk it with bulkier seeds, though I once had corn seeds mailed to me in one.

Northeast, AR(Zone 7a)

You also have to realize that the envelope may be sorted at several POs on its journey. Your PO may hand sort but at other POs, if it's flat enough to go thru the sorter, it's probably going thru the sorter. They have so much mail they have to get sorted each day and the sorting machines are faster. So to save time, they'll throw anything in them that they can. They figure if the item is fragile, it will be in a bubble mailer or box, so if you're not concerned about anything getting crushed, they aren't either.

Also, remember that if you don't put enough postage on the envelope, your trading partner may have to pay "postage due". That's happened to me a few times too.

There doesn't seem to be much consistency in all the different POs. I guess even the postal workers are confused. With the last rate change, where they started counting bubble mailers as "parcels", I had to inform the postal clerk. I didn't want my package to arrive and my trading partner having to pay the extra postage.

I guess it's still cheaper than a gallon of gas though. LOL

Griffin, GA(Zone 8a)

I once had to pay 40 cents on a seed package I received one time...it was rare stuff, so I didn't really mind ;)

Everett, WA(Zone 8a)

>> It helps that I go to a small post office and I'm friendly with the staff. It makes a difference if they are trying to find to find a rule that says you can't or one that says you can.

You hit it on the head!

One clerk told me that it didn't matter if I paid the 20 cent "non-machinable surcharge" that is the new name for "hand sort only". She said that if it was close to fitting through the rollers, "they" would push it in because that's easier. I guess the poeple that push the envelopes in aren't the ones who have too dig the jam out of the machine.

Once I got some Brassica seeds that were not obviously crushed, but I could see where the soft Zip-loc plastic had been dented by a seed being forced into it. I've often found that a plain envelope plus bubble wrap arrives with some of the bubbles popped.

I need to find some largish inexpensive seed that is also fragile. Then I'll experiment with a cardboard ring like Doug, using the fragile seeds as canaries to tell the recipient whether or not I had protected it enough.

Baltimore, MD(Zone 7a)

I have to admit that i have never been on the receiving end of mailed seeds. I am always the "giver'--
not the "taker". I have so many seeds--I gladly share them--only for postage.
No one has EVER contacted me and said any seeds arrived crushed or damaged.
I have a load of very positive feedback.
It is scary reading all the things you all have written above.

I have an old postal scale--and I used to just weigh my bubble Envelopes and put 2 stamps on them.
Put them in my curb mailbox for pick up--and off they went. Never got one back.

I wonder if there is a big difference whether you mail the envelopes as at-home pick up--
OR--you take them to the PO and let them tell you how much it costs???????
I know they sock it to you.

I once had the man at my PO tell me that, if i stopped writing on my BE --"Live plant material--
please keep from freezing"...or some such. they take it more as a package, not just and envelope with regular stuff in it.
He was being helpful--because he knows how many times I mail plants and cuttings.
Lesson learned.

Same goes for the larger greeting cards. They have a square drawn on their scale. If the envelope is bigger than the square--
it will cost you more.
Half of all the X-mas cards we mail are bigger than this square. Yet--they would NEVER get anything done if they sorted out
all the cards we mail and then returned them for more postage. BUT--you take it to the PO--and you will pay extra.

Every business is out to make as much money as they can--including the PO.

Gita

Houston Heights, TX(Zone 9a)

I often mail in the regular size envelope which meets the size requirement and use a card to tape the little baggies to, distributing them evenly so the thickness does not vary. instead of bubble wrap, I use this stuff that is thinner but still soft and springy. It comes in sheets and is used in packing lots of things. I dont know where to buy it. i just save any that comes thru my hands. I cut a piece that when folded double, fits inside a regular business size envy. I place the seeds taped to the card between the fold, in the envy and mail with one stamp. I would not try this with large seeds but things no bigger than tomato seeds are not harmed. Ive even received tomato seeds in the tiny ziplock in a naked business envelop and they were OK. The only time Ive ever received pulverized seed was when I attempted to send some small seeds overseas in a commercial bubble mailer and the address was undeliverable and they were sent back to me...pulverized.

Baltimore, MD(Zone 7a)

steadycam3--

I do exactly what you do--but use regular-sized envelopes.

I tape the little zip-baggies of seeds to an index card, put a small piece of that flat packing foam over
the seed packages, tape another index card over it and off it goes for one stamp.
This way, the contents are fairly flat and equally distributed. Maybe this is the secret?
As I said--if i am not sure, I weigh the envelope on my postal scale to make sure it is under 1oz.

I have sent bigger seeds the same way--like Wintersweet seeds, which are the size of some beans--
just a bit flatter, 4 O'clock seeds and MG seeds--which are the size of peppercorns.
All for one stamp.

I would never want to take one of these envelopes to the PO. They would be too nosy what is inside.

Gita

Casper, WY(Zone 4a)

I ship with Paypal shipping labels, which is cheaper. I also need the tracking number for customers. I buy the package of 6" x 9.25" bubble mailers from Walmart and cut them as needed in half for seeds. I can't see sending a full size envelope if shipping a few seeds.

In Paypal, I click First Class thick envelope 2 oz, according to my digital scale. I also recycle padded envelopes when I get them.

Every penny count and I pass savings on to customers.

The mailperson will pick up packages free if you schedule a pickup. Nice service when it snows.

Carlisle, PA(Zone 6b)

I sent out several seed trades, 3 of which went to E. Europe @ $ 3.00 each, all put in small bubblewrap mailers. Don't know if they are still available but here's the info: Mailers and More. 1-800-981-9064. www.MailersAndMore.com. Mailers are white and 5" X 5". Hope this helps. Buttoneer.

Everett, WA(Zone 8a)

Blomma,

>> 6" x 9.25" bubble mailers from Walmart and cut them as needed in half for seeds.

>> In Paypal, I click First Class thick envelope 2 oz, according to my digital scale.

I like the idea of cutting bubble mailers in half! I finally bought a case of 250 from ULINE to get the $39 price (15.6 c ents each, but add the ULINE S&H). Kraft bubble mailer S-9985 #0 6x10" outside. It is over 1/4" empty so it can't ever go as a First Class Letter.

I seem to recall the PayPal label being huge. Does it really fit sidewise on 1/2 of a 6" x 9.25" without wrapping around? Maybe their FC Parcel label is bigger than their FC Thick Envelope / Flat.

Everett, WA(Zone 8a)

Gita,

Maybe your BE are thinner than 1/4", so they can go as First Class Letters? I thought anything thicker than 1/4" was "supposed" to be a Package (or "First Class Parcel") which now costs $1.95 for the first 3 ounces.

Maybe they were giving you the 88-cent price for "Large Envelope" or "Flat". They have to be "uniformly thick" and 1/4" to 3/4" thick. I thought that was only for a stack of paper (hence "envelope" and "flat".) I see that price has gone up to $0.90 to $1.30 for the first three ounces. But 90 cents is still two first-class stamps.

https://www.usps.com/ship/first-class.htm

Baltimore, MD(Zone 7a)

Rick--

IF I use BE--they are more than 1/4" as they have the padding inside and pay the $1.95
IF I send something in a BE--I do go to the Po and pay the price...

A few years ago--I used to just slap on 2 stamps and send them off--but now the price is higher
and i do not want to have them come back to me.

It is the regular envelopes that I just put in my mail box for pick up.
Quite a bit of seed packets can be put in one of these...described as above.

Also--when people reimburse me for the postage--i always ask that they send me stamps
instead of cash or a check. We all can use more stamps.

Gita


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