To save money on shipping for the holidays, ship from the Post Office. Almost all other places that accept packages, though very convenient, also have a handling charge. I recently mailed a very small package to California and was literally shocked at the cost. I asked the clerk why it was so much and would it be cheaper for me to take it to the Post Office. She side stepped the issue and called over the store manager who basically tip toed around my question. I actually asked what the handling charge was for shipping something from their store, and once again I wasn't given an answer. I was told several times that there was no handling charge.
I was in a rush and paid what they asked. After going over their receipt when I got home, I noticed one little sentence that stated that the business did apply a handling fee.
Their handling fee was an extra $8.00 on top of the regular postage.
When you start thinking about an extra $8.00 for every Christmas present shipped it really can add up.
By caroleerose from Madison, AL
Also remember that postal charges are by the pound for Priority Mail. Even if the parcel is only 1 ounce over 1 pound you will have to pay for 2 pounds. Try to weigh your packages at home even if it is on a bathroom scale and you could either add more to get your money's worth or take something out.
Flat rate boxes are okay but some post offices will not take them if they are "stuffed" out of shape. Try to mail only very heavy items in those boxes. It is best not to use string, duck tape, masking tape or Christmas wrapping paper as packages are moved around a lot and these types of things do not hold up well.
I'd rather ship straight from the post office - those folks who charged $8 over and above the actual postage prob did just that. I recently had to ship my watch for repair. The package was no bigger than 4x4, and weighed only a few ounces. Without certification, return receipt or insurance, shipping was about $2.50. I haven't tried the advertised "if it fits, it ships for one flat rate" deal yet.
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