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Old 28th January 2013, 08:22 PM   #41
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At the risk of being on-topic ... looks like you can send quite a bit of tobacco through the USPS. Of course they make you stand in line (for your showing of ID and your "oral confirmation" recipient is 18/19+) and limit you to 10 mailings every 30 days.

However I do suspect the latter are probably in place in such a way that they can slowly but relentlessly change them to be more restrictive while not having to go back for another law enactment.

" ...
* Individuals sending shipments under the "certain individuals" exception must furnish proof of age at the time of mailing and must orally confirm that the addressee is of age to purchase tobacco at the place of destination. In the case of all mailings by individuals, the operative legal age to purchase tobacco is age 18 in all states and U.S. territories and possessions, with the exception that the minimum age is 19 in the states of Alaska, Alabama, New Jersey, and Utah, and in Nassau, Onondaga, and Suffolk counties in New York.
* Shipments sent under the "certain individuals" exception must be infrequent (no more than 10 shipments in any 30 day period) and weigh 10 ounces or less; however, no special weight limits apply to shipments entirely within Alaska and Hawaii.
..."

Now you guys can go back to your ranting, which is probably inevitable so have at her.

I do know one thing about international shipments via the USPS ... if you use the USPS Priority Mail envelopes and boxes, it's typically at least half the price compared to showing up with your own envelope or box, plus the weight limits are more generous (4 lb small or 20 lb med/large; if you use your own envelope the prices go in 1 lb increments).

I'll quote from the rate card:

Flat Rate Envelopes, Padded Flat Rate Envelope,
Legal Flat Rate Envelope, and Small Flat Rate Priced Boxes (Max. Wt. 4 lbs.)
Canada and Mexico: $12.95—All other countries: $16.95

Medium Flat Rate Boxes (Max. Wt. 20 lbs.)
Canada and Mexico: $32.95—All other countries: $47.95

Large Flat Rate Boxes (Max. Wt. 20 lbs.)
Canada and Mexico: $39.95—All other countries: $60.95

From the same rate card (using your own box or envelope):
1 lb Canada $22.09 /Mexico $27.13
4lb Canada $29.36 / Mexico $36.96
20 lb Canada $68.12 / Mexico $70.02

-page 38, USPS Price List, Notice 123, June 24 2012
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Last edited by Johnny2Bad; 28th January 2013 at 08:29 PM.
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Old 29th January 2013, 12:08 AM   #42
tomchr is offline tomchr  United States
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Johnny,

Actually, it looks like there was a more recent rate update. USPS.com's shipping calculator is now showing rates of $25 for small flat rate boxes, padded envelopes to anywhere but Mexico, Canada. The rate to Canada is $20.

I'll have to look closer at stamps.com. They charge a monthly service fee, but if they allow me to print 1st class postage so I can drop off international mailings in the mailbox, then I'd consider them.

I'm with George/tubelab on this one. It's a bit hard to sell a $35 board when shipping is $25.

~Tom
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Old 29th January 2013, 12:47 AM   #43
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Yes, but the competition isn't staffed by federal employees.
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Originally Posted by Steve Eddy View Post
And the competition isn't tasked with delivering first class mail to every address in the United States six days a week. The FedEx and UPS drivers just stop at addresses that have FedEx and UPS deliveries. Our carrier walks his entire route every day, six days a week.

Nor are they forced by congress to fully fund their pension plans for 75 years. That's over $3 billion a year out of their revenues each year.
My point was that if the postal service is "losing money", that makes it at least a partially tax subsidized Federal service. What difference does it make if it requires more tax subsidies to stay operating. Not exactly the worst thing the government spends our tax dollers on.

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Originally Posted by tomchr View Post
Last I checked, First Class International was not available to all countries and where it was available took forever to arrive at the destination. In addition, first class international is (at least to my knowledge) not available on-line, thus, requiring you to stand in line at the post office. Further, the shipping charge needs to cover the cost of shipping materials as well.
That's not entirely true. I've been mailing small packages around the globe for a couple years now and have not had a single situation where I couldn't use first class international. Packages usually only take around a week to get to their destination. Yes, sometimes they take longer, but it's never been a big problem.

Looks like some people don't realize there were some major changes at the USPS yesterday.
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Old 29th January 2013, 01:11 PM   #44
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Canada and Mexico have provisions for postal services incorporated into NAFTA.

I had packages sent via Priority to Germany arriving in both Frankfurt and Hamburg -- it was pointed out to me that these Priority packages arriving Hamburg were being forwarded via ocean freight instead of air -- they were taking over 6 weeks to arrive. I did complain to the USPO and they are investigating.
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Old 29th January 2013, 03:26 PM   #45
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if they allow me to print 1st class postage so I can drop off international mailings in the mailbox, then I'd consider them.
The USPS IMM (international mailing manual) is a large book full of useless information. It does contain a phrase that states that all international mail must be tendered in person to a representative of the USPS. I may have the wording incorrect but that was added back in about 2005. It may be up to each individual post office to interpret or enforce these rules, but our local (and grossly mismanaged) office requires you to stand in line to hand over any international mail, even if you print the postage and forms yourself on your computer. The old customs forms would go through the printer, the new ones will not.

Our mailman will not accept my international mail. He won't take domestic mail if it is too big or heavy either, not even a 20 pound transformer in a flat rate box. His reply is to take it to the post office because the post office is closed by the time he gets back from his delivery route. I have a friend who is a letter carrier working out of the same local branch. He will take my international mail if I can find him. It is usually easier to wait in line.

I will say that the USPS rates are still cheaper than UPS or Fedex, but they have now priced single PC board sales out of reach for most customers. I have never had delivery issues with Flat rate Priority mail envelopes to anywhere except Italy and Russia. It has never taken longer than 3 weeks, usually much less. I don't send to those countries due to the low probability of delivery.
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Old 29th January 2013, 03:38 PM   #46
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Originally Posted by tubelab.com View Post
I have never had delivery issues with Flat rate Priority mail envelopes to anywhere except Italy and Russia.
I've started using First Class to Italy with no ill effect.

Back in the 1990's there was an article in the Wall St. Journal discussing Italians using the Vatican Post Office as parcels never went errant.

Fastest service seems to be to Canada, Australia, NZ, France, Czech Republic, Serbia, and Croatia!
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Old 30th January 2013, 07:58 PM   #47
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I print international postage all the time and either leave the packages (small envelopes) in my mailbox for the postman to pick up or drop them in a mailbox around the corner from me.

The labels are printed through Pitney Bowes, so I guess they are acting as the "agent" that files the forms with the USPS. It's worth the $10 monthly fee to not have to stand in line at the post office every other day.
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Old 30th January 2013, 08:16 PM   #48
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Oh, forgot to mention -- we usually give the post man a bottle of bourbon at Christmas.

We also give the DPW guys a tip, or a bottle at Christmas -- and the neighbors wonder why they plowed our driveway with the city plow one year.
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Old 15th February 2013, 04:19 PM   #49
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Originally Posted by hags View Post
Exactly the point(s) I was going to make. It seems the US government will stop at nothing to confiscate all of your labor/private property.
That's state governments, not the feds.
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Old 15th February 2013, 04:25 PM   #50
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I use Stamps.com for all my shipping, and only ship via USPS.

Not trying to be an ad here, but can print First Class International labels (includes the customs stuff). That one feature alone makes it totally worth while.

They also have better insurance and I get a small discount on all packages types.

Highly recommended.

FedEx and UPS, especially international, are just too much work and too much money.
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