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Postage Irony
Okay, I've not updated my journal in a while, and I'm starting to think that if I'm not going to keep it up to date on SOME kind of regular basis, then I should just not bother... especially since this is a paid account :) However, here's an interesting, ironic (and I believe in the correct use of the term) story that I must share:

First some background: I send buttons out through the mail to folk that want them. (If you want one, too, see the VCL Buttons page). If people are after VCL Sponsor buttons, then I cover the postage. The US postage system works like this:

  • Up to 1oz: 37c
  • Up to 2oz: 60c
  • Up to 3oz: 83c
  • An extra 23c for each additional ounce, up to 1 pound.

Simple enough? Well, there's a catch. If you have a 1oz letter of a non-standard size, such as more than 1/4 inch thick or 'uneven' like you might get if you put buttons in an envelope, then it'll cost you an additional 12c. If you're paying the 2oz rate, or higher, then you needn't worry.

So, if I'm sending buttons, it's really 49c for one ounce, 60c for two, and so on. Okay, that's still simple.

The problem is that the post-office sells 37c stamps, and 23c stamps, but... not 49c stamps nor 12c stamps. Their recommendation for covering 49c stamps is to use a 37c stamp, and then 4 of the 3c stamps that one gets to convert the old postage (34c) into the new one (37c). Okay, this is getting messy, but I'll be damned if I'm going to give the USPS 1c more than they deserve. (Okay, that's rather childish, but... I'm trying to be efficient here).

So, today, I'm sending out an envelope with a sponsor button and two freebie buttons. I use the postage scale here at work and it says 1.0oz. Ooookay.... this is exactly one ounce without the stamps put on them yet. Hmmm... okay, I stick on the 37c stamp and weigh it... 1.0oz... the first of the 3c stamps... 1.0oz... the second of the 3c stamps... 1.1oz. Oh dammit!

The very weight of the stamps is pushing it into the next bracket: 60c instead of 49c. And if I have to cover 60c I'd just use a 37c and a 23c stamp, which would keep the weight to 1.0oz making the extra postage unnecessary!

How ironic!

I grumble a lot, and then just stick two more 3c stamps on. The USPS can cover its OWN postage for moving its stamps around!

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Gotta love the government...

What post office are you going to, where they don't just print the amount of postage that you need on a little sticker-label and apply it to the envelope for you? :-/

I'm pre-buying a ton of postage so I can mail directly from work, rather than going to the post office all the time :)

Or go in and pester them. Make them work. ;) I found it highly ironic that they'd charge a dollar by creditcard for changing your address online, when you can walk in, pick up a postcard from their office, mail it back to them postage free, have their postman carry it, have their employees sort it, then have someone enter it, all for free.

Speaking of which, I just love the buttons that came in the package that gave you so much trouble. They are luvverlies and full of fun.

Oh my... I have you the fun-filled ones? :)

Nothing's ever easy, huh? ;)

Have you checked out stamps.com? I don't know if that would be cost-effective for you, but this entry reminded me.

stamps.com is Windows-only, and "I don't do windows".

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