Question: Do You Add Extra Postage For All Non- Standard Envelop

lynninnewmexicoFebruary 13, 2012

This is both a warning . . . and a question, actually.

I've just received DD's graduation announcements in the mail the other day, 50 custom-designed 5 1/4" x 5 1/4" square cards from a card company . . . and they arrived with a note saying, "These require extra postage". I just got back from our village post office to ask about it and the postmistress told me that each card will cost $.65 ($.20 more per envelope) to mail, just because they are not the standard rectangular, letter shape! And, she told me that this extra charge has been in effect for over ten years now! Good grief, I was thinking that it was something just implemented with this latest postage increase last week! I wonder if the USPS higher-ups are pushing all postal employees to start implementing this in order to increase even more revenue?

The reason she gave me for the extra charge is that the machines in the post offices that automatically cancel and sort all the mail, can mangle a non-rectangular, standard envelope and so they must be pulled out and hand-cancelled and sorted. Really???

Have you been adding an extra twenty-cent stamp to any birthday card, wedding invitation, etc these last 10 years? Lately?

Have you ever gotten a piece of mail back for extra postage because it was a square or a greeting card (I'm not talking those big over-size cards, just a regular birthday card size)?

I had no idea there was an extra charge and have never added extra postage to a simple birthday card . . . and have never gotten one back requiring extra postage either. Heck, I just sent out 75 Christmas cards in early-December and had no problems using only a $.44-stamp!

I don't know what to think at the moment, but am considering sending them out with just a forever stamp on each. If any come back, I'll add the extra postage.

What do you think?

Do you know anybody who works for the USPS that can tell us if they're now starting to (seriously)force people to pay more for mailing cards (versus standard letter envelopes)? The greeting card companies will take a big hit with that one, I think!



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Most greeting cards don't need the extra postage. If you go to the page below at the USPS and click on the question mark after Letter, you will see that there is a range of sizes that qualify for the now 45 cent stamp.

Here is a link that might be useful: USPS

    Bookmark   February 13, 2012 at 4:54PM
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I know this was being implemented 8 years ago when a daughter was getting married. We were advised of this by the stationery company and often times you will see this printed on an odd sized envelope of a greeting card.

    Bookmark   February 13, 2012 at 5:01PM
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For years the large square envelopes that come with Hallmark greeting cards have had a notation on the envelope (in the stamp area) that extra postage is required. I keep a supply of the Monarch .65 stamps.

    Bookmark   February 13, 2012 at 5:02PM
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Yes, I have paid extra postage for non-standard sizes for years. It is not a new charge. I mostly avoid those sizes but occasionally I do send something that fits into the non-standard size. As graywings linked, there are many things that are considered standard, not just rectangular envelopes. Hallmark sells some square cards and right where you put the stamp it has "extra postage required".

I wouldn't use the forever stamp unless you specifically discuss that with your post person. It would be a shame to get them all returned for insufficient postage.

    Bookmark   February 13, 2012 at 5:08PM
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There are some square greeting cards that now come with a rectangular envelope; one end is glued together so the card fits but the "square envelope" charge doesn't apply. I refuse to buy the square cards/envelopes unless I'm not mailing them.

    Bookmark   February 13, 2012 at 6:07PM
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OMG, Javachick, how ingenious of them! I agree and will avoid all square cards in the future for just that reason.

It's my own fault, really. DD disliked the gradation announcements that the school was offering. She's very artistic and said they looked "generic and totally boring" (LOL). She asked if I'd allow her to design her own and I was ok with that as long as they were reasonably priced. Her announcements turned out wonderfully and she's very proud of them (and rightfully so). But, I never thought to look and see if there was an extra charge to send them! I was totally shocked but (sigh!), in the whole grand scheme of things it'll be ok. I'll just pay the extra $10 for the $.65 Monarch stamps that Natal suggested (thanks!). Hhireno is right, it would be a shame to have them all sent back to us for more postage and then arrive late.

Graywings, thank you for that link. Although I've been on the USPS site many times, I've never been to that page. I'll remember it now, though!

Lizbeth: I'm so glad that you were warned ahead of time. I wish someone had warned me. . . but I know now (LOL!).

I just hope that my mistake alerts others here before they order any custom cards.

Oh BTW, I do know how to spell "envelope", I just accidentally made the header too long and it got cut off (LOL)!

    Bookmark   February 13, 2012 at 6:36PM
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My Hallmark sells many square greeting cards and you can pick either the matching square envelopes and pay the extra postage or you can pick rectangular envelopes and pay regular postage. The first year my son sent Christmas cards they were all rejected by the Post Office because he had used regular postage on square cards.

    Bookmark   February 13, 2012 at 7:53PM
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