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Every Friday, I post a small insight into running Curio City and/or Blue Hills Editorial Services. My most recent posts are directly below. You can also start with the first post, or use the subject labels to the right to home in on particular topics. Feel free to comment on anything that interests you.
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Friday, March 25, 2011

When Is a Package Not a Package?

Last week I promised (threatened?) not to post again unless I had either good news or something interesting to say. So which one brought me back again the very next week?


Maybe my aggressive advertising for the new 4-LED Panther caps is finally bearing fruit. Or maybe other companies’ publicity is driving consumers to look for them. Or maybe it’s just cap season again and people are stumbling upon them.
Whatever the reason, three fat juicy cap orders and a smattering of small ones made this a very good week. March is already ahead of plan with nine days left to chip away at February’s huge deficit. I’m going into Monday’s Boston Gift Show with some fragile optimism. I’m surprised that people aren’t snapping up the discounted 3-LED caps, but I guess I’ve convinced them that the new ones are really better.

I’ve used the USPS for at least 90% of my shipping for five and a half years now. This week they sent me a “Dear Customer” letter (on paper – how quaint!).

“It has come to our attention many of the pieces of mail we received from you are NOT classified properly.

“Large envelopes are being classified as 1st class parcel, when they do not meet the criteria for this class, these pieces are not eligible for delivery confirmation, but are eligible for certification.

“This is a courtesy notice; your pieces have been dispatched. But future pieces that are incorrectly classified will either be returned or forwarded Postage due at our discretion.

“To ensure no delay in your mailings please classify your mail correctly.”

They included a photocopy of one of my packages with this scrawl: “3/4” or less is a Lg flat env.”

It always irritates me when people who earn five times my pittance can’t write a proper sentence…but that’s just me. This quasi-government agency needs to capture all the income that they’re due; Large Flat Envelope rates are higher than First Class Parcel rates, and Certified Mail is much more expensive than Delivery Confirmation (which is free when postage is purchased electronically), so cha-ching! right? Well, no. Rather than pay for Large Flat Envelopes, I’m now enclosing a scrap of bubble wrap in all of my formerly-flat packages. I have two trash bags full of it because I never throw packing material away. If mailing trash to my customers reduces my cost, who am I to question the post office?
Maybe their machinery requires a minimum thickness to properly sort packages from envelopes.

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