Stamps by Mail

dilly_dallyFebruary 1, 2009

I know that one can do most of their bill paying and commuication with friends through the internet, but there are times when one needs to actually mail something like legal ducuments or wedding invitations or maybe a birthday card to a grandson.

Don't waste gas and parking meter fees going to the post office for stamps. The US Post Office will deliver stamps right to your door whenever you need them. No service or handling fee. No waiting in line either. Time is money.

Where I live the Post Office delivers a stamp order form, four times a year to households. Don't toss it. Use it! If you don't get the order forms delivered to your household call your local Post Office and ask for one. They are pre-addressed and you just drop them in the mail with your check and in two days stamps are delivered to your mailbox.

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goodwitch_il

That's a good thing to know. Especially this time of year when I try to stay in and avoid the snow and ice. Thanks!

    Bookmark   February 1, 2009 at 4:54PM
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Cynic

Another good option is an alternative spot. For instance the big grocery store chain here has stamps available in a vending machine. Other grocery stores sell them at the service desk and even convenience stores sell them occasionally. I hate going to the post office. Been meaning to try the stamps through the mail but for me it's more convenient to pick them up when I'm at the store.

    Bookmark   February 1, 2009 at 6:46PM
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dilly_dally

Another good idea Cynic!

Make sure though that the stamp vending machines say *US Post Office* on them. Those machines are very user friendly and you can buy even a single stamp from them (and I think up to a thousand).

Service desks and convenience stores something tack on a fee and so do those vending machines not owned by the post office. You only get four stamps for $2 or ten for $5.

Don't get burned at one of those "mailing centers" that are ususally located near grocery stores, either. They are privately owned businesses and yes they do sell books of stamps, but they charge more for "handling". I tried buying a book of stamps at one once, and thought I got shorted change. They told me there was a whopping handling fee and I noticed that they had taken black marker and inked out the price on the outside of the stamp booklet. Never again did I go to one of those places.

    Bookmark   February 1, 2009 at 10:49PM
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chris8796

I use to get mine at a bank ATM at no extra cost. I rarely get them now. I am glad they finally went to a first class stamp, rather than having to buy penny stamps every time they raised rates. I've also seen them discussing dropping service on day a week to cut costs. It wouldn't bother me if they delivered every other day.

    Bookmark   February 2, 2009 at 1:27PM
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Cynic

That's a good point about the Post Office owned vs. private. I don't begrudge a place making a profit, but there's a point where it's a ripoff. I was surprised at the variety of sizes you could get out of the machine. As I recall they even sold postcards.

    Bookmark   February 12, 2009 at 10:54PM
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mary_c_gw

I used to use the stamps by mail service, but now that I pay most things on line, I don't.

My local grocery store carries stamps at the check-out stand. They don't charge a premium; they sell them at cost.

I always know that if I go to an indepedant mailing service, I will be paying for it. I still go. I can go to our local one, right next to my grocery store. They will ship USPS, UPS or FEDEX. They pack. They guarantee. They give me a tracking number. OF COURSE they charge for this service. But it isn't an outrageous charge, and I don't have storage space for boxes and packing materials. They always show me which service is cheapest for what I'm mailing.

When someone leaves a package there for shipping USPS, they box it up, and then go stand in line at the Post Office to get it out, because the USPS refuses to do a pick-up at these businesses.

These businesses provide a service. Yes, you pay for it.

The last time I went to out local USPS office, there were 2 people in line, and two people behind the counter. One of those left and closed her window. It took me 45 minutes to mail a package. I could see this woman taking her coffee break, and when I left there were 8 people behind me, and still just one window open.

    Bookmark   February 13, 2009 at 4:30PM
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dilly_dally

"These businesses provide a service. Yes, you pay for it."

Sure that is understandable, and if they are doing a lot for the money it might be worth it, but just walking in and buying a book of stamps and paying two bucks extra is a waste of money IMHO. This "service" might be worth it to some people, but to anyone reading the Money Saving Tips Forum it would not be worth it to toss $2.00 extra out just for the purchase of a book of stamps.

Anyway, I just wanted to give a heads up to the new postal rate increase which will take place in May in case there is anyone who has not heard about it yet. Now is the time to stock up on First Class stamps before the rate goes up.

    Bookmark   February 14, 2009 at 7:30AM
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