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Category Archives: Shipping–Mailing

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Clarification of New International Mail Rules

Go To Great Panes, Kathryn Maloney ©2012
This post is copyrighted–you do not have permission to repost this content elsewhere but you are welcome to link to it if you’d like to share the information.

There’s been a lot of concern about the new international mail rules and shipping international packages from home so I double checked with USPS on the phone and they confirmed that:

If your package is under 13 oz and has a computer-generated label where the customs data was electronically submitted, you can place your package in your mail box for pick up or drop it off in a blue mail box even if you are only using postage stamps to cover the cost of mailing.

To help with where the May 17th bulletin that announced that it is acceptable describes that aspect:

Under “Overview of Work Changes” there’s a statement that excludes packages with electronically submitted info from being required to be presented to a postal clerk if they are less than 13 oz:


…international mailpieces bearing a PS Form 2976-A, Customs Declaration and Dispatch Note CP 72, or PS Form 2976, Customs Declaration CN 22 — Sender’s Declaration, that was not completed and submitted online (e.g., using Click-N-Ship service, Click-N-Ship® for Business service, an authorized PC Postage® vendor, or the USPS Web Tools® system) will only be accepted at a retail service counter at a Post Office™ location…

I don’t know why they used a ‘negative statement’ to make that point, but I think it’s what has really got folks confuted.

The Click-N-Ship® for Business service (formerly the Shipping Assistant) and the USPS Web Tools® system (the online version of Click-N-Ship® for Business which can be used by Mac owners) both submit the customs form online, so packages using these labels can still be dropped in any mail box to be mailed with postage stamps, so long as they are under 13 oz.

I asked a half dozen different ways to be sure the person I spoke with fully understood I was using either “Click-N-Ship for Business service” and/or the “USPS Web Tools system” to create the label & customs form and using peel & stick and postage stamps with those labels (not paying for the postage online or with a meter). She found two different locations in her supporting paperwork that described that it is still ok, but said unfortunately it was not something she could show me on the USPS website.


Q: If I use Click-N-Ship® for Business to create the label, and it submits the customs form, do I have to bring an under 13 oz package to the PO to mail or can I add postage stamps and leave in any mailbox?


A: If the package is under 13 oz (and the customs information has been submitted electronically as this program does), you can ship from home or drop your package in any mail box.

Go To Great Panes, Kathryn Maloney ©2012
This post is copyrighted–you do not have permission to repost this content elsewhere but you are welcome to link to it if you’d like to share the information.

International Mail–new regs & Shipping Assistant Update

Go To Great Panes, Kathryn Maloney ©2012
This post is copyrighted–you do not have permission to repost this content elsewhere but you are welcome to link to it if you’d like to share the information.

New USPS rules for international mail today:

International Mail Acceptance Policy Change
(http://about.usps.com/postal-bulletin/2012/pb22337/html/info_006.htm)

If you’re looking to see what the new info is in the International Mail Manual, use the links on the side of this page to see sections mentioned in the above postal bulletin:

International Mail Manual
(http://pe.usps.gov/text/imm/welcome.htm)

Did you notice the USPS Shipping Assistant got a new name recently?

During the last update it became… Click-N-Ship for Business

We use it to print our First Class International labels & just updated the above link with more info.

There’s also new help for Mac users & folks who had trouble getting the program to install in the updated post. :)


Go To Great Panes, Kathryn Maloney ©2012
This post is copyrighted–you do not have permission to repost this content elsewhere but you are welcome to link to it if you’d like to share the information.

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Shipping to Germany?

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Go To Great Panes, Kathryn Maloney ©2012
This post is copyrighted–you do not have permission to repost this content elsewhere but you are welcome to link to it if you’d like to share the information.

Just a heads up:

I have been hearing lots of folks mention issues with shipping to Germany in the past week or so. Packages headed to Germany should have a customs form and 2 copies of an invoice that is accessible on the outside of the package or it risks getting held up in customs (for a longer time).

In the past buyers have also said that Paypal labels are a red flag for Germany’s customs dept, so if you use a Paypal label that might be part of why a package gets stopped.

You can get free Customs Form Envelopes for the outside of your packages from the post office here–or if you are shipping a smaller package/in a pinch to get a package out, just tape a zip lock on so it can be opened at the border:

USPS Store: Mailing & Shipping Supplies : International Shipping

Go To Great Panes, Kathryn Maloney ©2012
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January 2012 USPS Rate Increases
at a Glance

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Go To Great Panes, Kathryn Maloney ©2012
This post is copyrighted–you do not have permission to repost this content elsewhere but you are welcome to link to it if you’d like to share the information.


USPS Shipping Discounts vs Retail rates
as of
January 2012


If you are printing your labels with postage through an online service or using the USPS Shipping Assistant with postage stamps to cover the cost (see here for help with labels: Shipping Basics), you get a discount.

Labels with postage through online services like Paypal get “Commercial Base Prices” for USPS shipments which are better than the retail chart rates you’ll see if you click this USPS Shipping Rate Charts link (the page the general public sees for rates on the website), and they get free Delivery Confirmation.

Labels printed using the downloadable USPS Shipping Assistant using stamps for postage get the regular retail rates for postage but you still get Delivery Confirmation free.


Quick Charts for First Class Package Service
(Updated for 01/12 rates)


~~~ Click images for a larger view–opens in a new tab or window ~~~


domestic First Class package rates


*DC = Delivery Confirmation, 85 cents when purchased at the retail level.


Please be sure to confirm all info you get online with official sources to be sure they are up-to-date & accurate. See here for First Class Retail Prices on the USPS website to easily compare them to the First Class Commercial Base Prices. See here for Priority Commercial Base Prices.

For International First Class, all 1 oz packages are the same rate and they’ve increased the rates quite a bit:


~~~ Click images for a larger view–opens in a new tab or window ~~~

International First Class Packages



You can also confirm those rates–as you should all info you get from unofficial sources–in this PDF download from USPS:
http://pe.usps.com/cpim/ftp/manuals/dmm300/Notice123.pdf



Need more help? Check out the Shipping Basics page, also linked to from the right sidebar of every page in gold letters.


Go To Great Panes, Kathryn Maloney ©2012
This post is copyrighted–you do not have permission to repost this content elsewhere but you are welcome to link to it if you’d like to share the information.


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USPS 2011 Holiday Shipping Deadlines

Looking for the USPS recommended cut off dates for shipping for the 2011 Holidays? Here you go:


USPS Announces 2011 Holiday Mail-by Dates
http://about.usps.com/news/national-releases/2011/pr11_121.htm


May you have many sales & early shoppers!


USPS Shipping Rate Charts

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Go To Great Panes, Kathryn Maloney ©2012
This post is copyrighted–you do not have permission to repost this content elsewhere but you are welcome to link to it if you’d like to share the information.


For a long time I used the USPS Shipping Calculator to check shipping prices, but there is a more efficient way to see what your shipping will cost–the USPS Shipping Rate Charts–even more so now that USPS redesigned the calculator to hide all but the highest priced services unless you know how to make it show the rest of the options.

You can see the USPS Shipping Rate Charts on these pages:


USPS Shipping Rate Charts

The basic text pages–these are easier for me to read:
http://pe.usps.com/text/dmm300/Notice123.htm

The fancy pages–you need to click the name of the service on the left side of the Shipping Charts page to check prices in a chart layout–both domestic & international, plus extra services (otherwise it sends you to the shipping calculator):
http://www.usps.com/prices/welcome.htm


You’ll need to know if your packages meet the size requirements for the service & the weight limits, each of the shipping option pages has that info right on it.

USPS Shipping Discount


If you are printing your labels with postage through an online service or using the USPS Shipping Assistant with postage stamps to cover the cost (see here for help with labels: Shipping Basics), you get a discount.

Labels with postage through online services like Paypal get “Commercial Base Prices” for USPS shipments which are better than the retail chart rates you’ll see if you click the “USPS Shipping Rate Charts” link above, plus they get free Delivery Confirmation.

Labels printed using the downloadable USPS Shipping Assistant using stamps for postage get the regular retail rates for postage but you still get Delivery Confirmation free.


Quick Charts for First Class Package Service
(Updated for 01/12 rates)


~~~ Click images for a larger view–opens in a new tab or window ~~~


domestic First Class package rates


*DC = Delivery Confirmation, 85 cents when purchased at the retail level.


Please be sure to confirm all info you get online with official sources to be sure they are up-to-date & accurate. See here for First Class Retail Prices on the USPS website to easily compare them to the First Class Commercial Base Prices. See here for Priority Commercial Base Prices.



For International First Class, curiously they changed it so that all 1 oz packages are the same rate–even ones going to N. American destinations which used to be less expensive:


International First Class Packages


You can also confirm those rates–as you should all info you get from unofficial sources–in this PDF download from USPS:
http://pe.usps.com/cpim/ftp/manuals/dmm300/Notice123.pdf



Need more help? Check out the Shipping Basics page, also linked to from the right sidebar of every page in gold letters.


Go To Great Panes, Kathryn Maloney ©2012
This post is copyrighted–you do not have permission to repost this content elsewhere but you are welcome to link to it if you’d like to share the information.


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April 2011 USPS Rate Changes

Go To Great Panes, Kathryn Maloney ©2011
This post is copyrighted–you do not have permission to repost this content elsewhere but you are welcome to link to it if you’d like to share the information.

USPS First Class rates changed this week–if you are feeling overwhelmed by the change, perhaps this will help.

If you are shipping domestic via First Class, there’s good news, there’s bad news, and then there’s more good news.

The good news: Shipping packages that weigh 3 oz or less is easier now.
The bad news: Packages that are 1 or 2 oz pay the same shipping rate as 3 oz packages.

So all First Class parcels up to 3 oz to US destinations will cost you the same amount.

More good news …for folks using Paypal for shipping:

We are now getting commercial rates instead of retail rates!
(More on what that means below–see charts.)

So if the mandatory 19-cent Delivery Confirmation (DC) on Domestic First Class packages has put you off, there’s no longer a reason to avoid using Paypal labels. (I hear the same is true for Endicia shipping, I don’t know about Stamps.com.)

The cost of commercial First Class Mail is 15 cents less than retail First Class Mail (for domestic packages), so it neutralizes of nearly the entire 19 cents that Paypal charges for DC on First Class Mail. (DC is free on Priority & faster services when you pay online.)

Charts for the new First Class Parcel rates
(April 2011) to help simplify things:

~~~ Click images for a larger view–opens in a new tab or window ~~~

Here you can see the domestic First Class Parcel retail rates (what you pay when you just use stamps or pay at the post office), the commercial rates and what the commercial rate plus the 19¢ DC comes to:

Domestic Shipping Rates

For International First Class, curiously they have changed it so that all 1 oz packages are the same rate–even ones going to N. American destinations which used to be less expensive.

Heavier than 1 oz packages are back to normal though–with parcels to N. American destinations being less expensive, and packages traveling anywhere outside N. America all being within $1 of each other, so at least setting up your International First Class rates is still easy.


See all the rates in charts right on the USPS website yourself here:
First Class Domestic: usps.com/ship/first-class.htm
First Class International: usps.com/ship/first-class-international.htm

or download them as a PDF file here:
http://pe.usps.com/cpim/ftp/manuals/dmm300/Notice123.pdf


For more shipping tips see our main “Shipping” page–see the gold links on the right or click here:
Shipping Basics

Go To Great Panes, Kathryn Maloney ©2011
This post is copyrighted–you do not have permission to repost this content elsewhere but you are welcome to link to it if you’d like to share the information.


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USPS Shipping Assistant–Problems with Upgrade, Temporary Fix

Go To Great Panes, Kathryn Maloney ©2011
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If you are having trouble using the USPS Shipping Assistant to print your labels after this week’s upgrade, you are not alone.

While many have contacted USPS about the issue, as far as I can tell it hasn’t been fixed yet but there is a work-around for international packages using the program itself while we wait:

1. Include everything in the label as you normally would except don’t include the destination zip code.
2. Click the button to calculate the shipping cost.
3. Add the destination zip code and print as usual.

Thanks so much to jbavarian who apparently signed up for Etsy just to help us out. :)


For more shipping tips see our main “Shipping” page–see the gold links on the right or click here:
Shipping Basics

Go To Great Panes, Kathryn Maloney ©2011
This post is copyrighted–you do not have permission to repost this content elsewhere but you are welcome to link to it if you’d like to share the information.


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Can I ship jewelry through International First Class Mail?


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Go To Great Panes, Kathryn Maloney ©2010
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One of the most common shipping questions is whether or not jewelry can be shipped via International First Class Mail.

So long as the destination country allows jewelry to be imported, you can send it International First Class Mail if it is of “nominal value”. The US Postal Service website doesn’t define nominal value exactly–here’s what they do say…

The dollar-limit you can send via
International First Class Mail is $400.00:
International Mail Manual (IMM)
2 Conditions for Mailing
240 First-Class Mail International
242 Eligibility

d. The maximum value for dutiable merchandise is $400. Items exceeding $400 must be mailed using Global Express Guaranteed service, Express Mail International service, or Priority Mail International service (but not with the Priority Mail International Flat Rate Envelope or Small Flat Rate Box).

Source: http://pe.usps.gov/text/imm/immc2_017.htm

and “valuable articles” must be sent International Priority Mail or faster services–this doesn’t include inexpensive jewelry or costume jewelry:
International Mail Manual
1 International Mail Services
130 Mailability
134 Valuable Articles

134.2 List of Articles

d. Manufactured and unmanufactured platinum, gold, and silver.

e. Precious stones, jewels, jewelry, watches, and other valuable articles.
Note: The term ‘jewelry’ is generally understood to denote articles of more than nominal value. Inexpensive jewelry, watches, such as tie clasps and costume jewelry, containing little or no precious metal, is not considered to be jewelry within the meaning of this section and is accepted under the same conditions as other mailable merchandise to any country. Inexpensive jewelry is accepted to countries that prohibit jewelry, but only at the sender’s risk.

Source: http://pe.usps.gov/text/imm/immc1_012.htm



For more shipping tips see our main “Shipping” page–see the gold links on the right or click here:
Shipping Basics



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International Shipping:
Prohibited & Restricted Items


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Go To Great Panes, Kathryn Maloney ©2009
(This post is copyrighted–you do not have permission to repost this content elsewhere but you are welcome to link to it if you’d like to share the information.)

For some sellers shipping internationally means careful checking of import restrictions. Plant & animal products, food products, precious jewelry, leather and more are restricted or prohibited from being imported into in certain countries. Often when customs finds a prohibited item, it is confiscated without notice.

To help minimize your risk, use the USPS website’s list of countries on the following page, each has a link to their prohibited and restricted items:

http://pe.usps.com/text/imm/immctry.htm


For more shipping tips see our main “Shipping” page–see the gold links on the right or click here:
Shipping Basics

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Visit our 2nd Etsy shop: GoToSupplies

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