Post Office Shops

Hi All,

Am new and am getting my feet wet by doing a lot of post office shops...they have to weigh a certain amount and the MSC suggests sending a pound of pasta. Well, that's losing money so my friends within the allowed zones are getting a baggie of Jersey Shore Beach Sand!! Win-Win!

Shopping Central Jersey Shoreline. WHAT? I'm an adult?! When did this happen?! How do I make it stop?!

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I collect candy, gum, chips, socks, toys, etc. from my shops and mail it to my little relatives.

Mary Davis Nowell. Based close to Fort Worth. Shopping Interstate 20 east and west, Interstate 35 north and south.
I've seen postings for these shops, and have a few questions.

1, can you mail things to yourself, or your home address? I have a PO box, so there would be slightly different addresses

2, can whatever is being mailed be put into the small flat rate box?

3, do you need to put together the package before coming into the PO, or do you need to act dumb so the clerk can assist you?
watching the wheels:
here are some answers for you:
1: usually no. it has to be at least one zone. depending on the distance from the PO you are mailing the package from it may work, but usually mailing to your own house will be zone 0. ymmv.

2: no, you cannot use a flat rate box. depending on the scenario, there will be specifics on the min. weight and dimensions for the package, but none of the current scenarios allow you to use the free priority shipping boxes.

3: yes, you usually need to assemble your package before you enter the PO. there is a scenario where you must purchase packaging at the post office. the scenario instructions will describe how you are to proceed. you will let the clerk make their offer on suggested services.
HMMMMM, ... curses!

Ok, could I send out packages and instruct the "other end" to send them back to me unopened/return to sender?

I sell online and have a scale, so creating a package is no problem. I'm also a tad on the OCD side, so already know quite a bit of what the PO is supposed to be doing. I figured they could be easy peasy shops.

I don't really know anyone just 1 zone over. I might be able to get some of the other sellers that I know to "help".

How is the paperwork on them?

I think, my last question, could I use a bubble mailer or boxes that I have on hand? I just can't ever try for my post office. I tend to help people package their stuff while I'm waiting online, and explain the insurance, options etc, to keep things safe and economical
You will have already paid the correct postage. I suppose you could have the other person deny the package. You would be best to send beach sand or something you need to send anyway. You say that you sell a bunch of stuff online, that would work perfectly. Just add weight to the package if needed to meet the requirements.

It doesn't have to be only one zone, just at least one zone.

The report has some narrative, reporting on all no answers. They want timings to the second. Lots of observations.

Depending on the scenario, you can use your own packaging materials. Some scenarios have very specific requirements. There are a ton of other threads on the post office shops. Do a search and you will find a wealth of information.

If you want the crash course, my advice is to take a scenario A shop and try it - especially if you already have something you need to ship.
Thanks for the answers!

Could I switch over to one of the flat rate boxes IF the postal clerk suggests it?
Nope. For Scenario A you need to come into the P.O. with your package already prepared for shipping. For Scenario B you are required to purchase a Ready Post envelope or box from the P.O. so that won't work either.

The reason is that the Flat Rate boxes are already going to go Priority Mail and they want to see if, when presented with a box already taped up and addressed, they offer you Priority Express or Priority.
I asked about the "Is it OK to switch over to the priority?" because the clerks in my post office, do tell me, when there are less expensive ways to ship out a package, so, ...

... for me, this is a reality. I have also had clerks suggest the flat rate boxes, if they are close in size, to the ready post boxes.

This is my OCD kicking in, in an attempt to be prepared for every single contingency. smiling smiley

Would we be expected to get a tracking number?

I also know that dependent on distances and weights that there isn't always a choice between first class or the priority, and "standard" isn't offered isn't offered, at all. Your package will get sent as priority or first class, and the 2 of them are kind of the same.
The weight requirement will not allow you to ship it first class, so the other cheaper option is parcel/standard mail. It would not be unusual to say no thanks, I want the priority with free tracking and faster service.
You will not go in with any 'knowledge'. You will be 'educated' by the postal clerk. :-)
If they suggest something different you say no thanks, priority please. There are many valid reasons that I am sure your shopper brain can figure out for choosing this over the other services.
You will then report on your interaction. If you choose to ship anything other than priority your shop will be rejected.
other than all of the minutiae of the observations and all the other stuff the shop wants you to report on, scenario a goes like this:
1. bring a box (not an envelope) filled with anything that weighs at least 1 lb 4oz to the post office. the box will be addressed to someone at least one zone away. the box will not be a free priority mail box or anything that specifies a mail class.
2. stand in line at the post office.
3. get called to the clerk. tell them you want to mail it (do not specify how). listen to what they offer. choose priority mail.
4. pay for your shipping, get receipt and leave.

This has been discussed over and over on the forum. Utilize the search function!
Here: []
I normally use these to send my nieces a package of stuff they like that I pick up on shops (candy, nail polish, etc). This last one though, I took a can of soup out of my pantry and mailed it to myself (the post office was on a route and far enough away). I might do that more because I'm saving little stuff now to donate at church (they are sending our college kids care packages). Just putting it out there that you can send stuff to yourself if the zip codes are different.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 11/04/2014 01:26PM by Bellusion.
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