This article is only about how you can skip the line at the Post Office. It doesn’t tell you all there is to know about “shipping.” == A reader of the Lyons Recorder noted that the wait in line was unusually long this month of May. After checking with Postmaster Daphne Goodwin, it was determined that there is a rush on getting passports this month, and one of the two clerks at the front desk is being used to only process Passports.
The one draw back to mailing things on your own is that you need to buy a postage weighing scale, but you have to realize that even the post office staff say that this delay will probably be going on for a long time. And, you can use the scale “forever.” I’ve had mine for 20 years!
You can avoid the long line by doing one of the following options:
SMALL EVERY DAY MAILINGS
1. Buying Stamps:
Buy (1) a booklet of first class stamps at the grocery store, or ACE hardware, or drug store like Walgreens. There are 20 “forever” stamps in each book for $11.00.— (No need to wait in line just to buy a First Class stamp)
== The second ounce costs 15 cents, so you may want to buy a sheet at the post office, or just throw on an extra 55 forever stamp instead of waiting 30 minutes in line at the post office.
== You can also buy stamps online, but there is a minimum purchase required. It is delivered to your mail box!
2. Buy a (postage) weighing scale. This is about $20+ at office supply stores. No need to have the clerk weigh your envelope.
3. Go to the web site: https://postcalc.usps.com/ to enter the information about the envelope and attach the appropriate amount of stamps.
== Know the weight and size of your envelope, and the zip code you are sending it to so you can enter it on the page.
== Read the “hazardous materials” list of prohibitive mailings.
4. Drop it off at the (1) post office office door, inside, next to the weighing machine (that is “out of order”) and ring the bell, and leave.
or (2) in one of the blue post office mail boxes or (3) in your rural mail box.
NOTE!!! it must be 13 ounces or less, and not contain any hazardous materials.
=== If your item weighs more than 13 ounces, and/or you have affixed postage stamps, you must take it to an employee at the post office. You can skip the clerk if you use a pre-paid postage label you printed at home.
PRIORITY MAIL == save time and pay for postage and print your label online.
You can either order your “packing” supplies online, or stop by any post office and grab the red-white-and-blue envelope you need, without waiting in line.
NOTE: No waiting in line! when you drop off your pre-paid envelope or package == You can drop it off in the “cart” next to the inside door that is next to the weighing scale in the Lyons post office. (see photo) Just ring the bell and walk away.
To calculate your postage, go to this page: https://postcalc.usps.com/
Know the weight and size of your envelope, and the zip code you are sending it to so you can enter it on the page. Fill in the simple questions on the first page, and then chose the dark-blue-box at the bottom of the page: “Calculate price based on Shape and Size” and in about 2 or 3 clicks you’ve got your price and ability to pay for and print a label.
1. Square envelopes– and, those over 1/4 inch in thickness — and, rigid envelopes — will each need extra postage. The “postage calculator” will ask you these questions, and figure out the price for you.
2. Read the “hazardous materials” list (it’s the law).
3. You can buy a mailing scale at Office Depot etc. for $20 and up.
4. Learn the prices! == If something is in a 5×7 envelope vs. a 8×10 env. – the price goes up about $1 just because of the size. If you fold your document it in half and put it in the smaller envelope, you can pay 55 cents instead of $1.00.== If it weights 13 ounces or more, the price again goes up a lot (you are charged as if it were a “large envelope” even if you use a small one) — can you remove something and bring it back down below 13 oz.?
5. You can pay for postage labels with a credit card or Click-to-Pay or PayPal.
6. Note this “skipping the line” does not work if you put your own stamps on it and it is over 13 ounces; you will need to take it to a clerk.
7. IMPORTANT! If you print a label, it will insert on the label the date that you have entered, and you must drop it off at the post office on that date.