Post Office Shops

This has probably been discussed before, but I tried to search and didn't find any threads that were helpful. Now that my daughter is no longer dancing and in college, I have a reason to do these shops. I did my first one today and I think I missed a lot of the things I was supposed to look for. Do they really look at the video to see if your answers are correct? Also, can you mail bottles of water, or that forbidden? I didn't mail water today, but it seems like it would be a good way to get the box to weigh the correct amount. I'm only sending things 60 miles away, so the package won't be on an airplane.

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DanceMom,

I have been doing Post Office jobs for several years now. I take this opportunity to send items that are wanted to the recipient. For my niece and nephew, I send cookies that they cannot find where they live. Recently, I have sent school supplies (pens, pencils, paper, erasers, markers that I found at the major office supplies chain stores for 1-cent to 5-cents). To my sister-in-law, I'll send some salty snacks that she cannot find. To my mother-in-law, who is on a limited income, I will send food items to suppliment her groceries. Things that may be expensive for her but I have found cheaply here.

My first thought for you would be to think a little more about your recipient and what they may like or use and you will always have a steady supply of items to send.
I do lots of postal shops and send a variety of items to family members. I also send dog treats to my daughter's dog that I can pick up real cheap here. These are by far my favorite shop to do. But I don't see any right now. They have dried up around me and I am hoping a new round comes out soon. Has anyone heard anything on a new round of shops?
Dancemom,

You are asked, "Is there anything liquid, fragile, perishable, or potentially hazardous..."

Years ago, I had sold a 6-pack of Sundrop soda [bottles, not cans]. They were a special NASCAR edition and they were unopened. I had to send them to the winner via USP Ground service as the carbonated bottles could not be carried in the unpressurized cargo hold of an airplane.

.
Have PV-500 & willing to travel.
"Answers are easy. It's asking the right questions which is hard." (The Fourth Doctor, The Face of Evil, 1977)

"Somedays you're the pigeon, somedays you're the statue.” J. Andrew Taylor

"I have never met a man so ignorant that I couldn't learn something from him." Galileo Galilei
I do a lot of these in neighboring towns so I just ship the same book to my husband.

I also send coffee to a friend who likes my local roaster, gifts to family and things I've sold on ebay.
James Bond 007.5 Wrote:
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> Dancemom,
>
> You are asked, "Is there anything liquid, fragile,
> perishable, or potentially hazardous..."

Yes, they ask the four (well, six) hazmat questions, but you can ship liquid, fragile and perishable. I hope no one ships anything potentially hazardous. I don't know why they cannot ship perfume...

The clerk told me they need to handle them differently, but can be shipped. My in-law ships me mangoes and avocados all the time and they are perishable.

Not my circus - Not my monkeys @(*.*)@

~Polish Proverb~
How many bottles of water can you ship at 18 ounces? one or two? I would wrap them in bubble wrap. A case would be different.smiling smileysmiling smiley
Thanks for the replies. When I went to the post office, I couldn't find the address or zip code on the building. And thinking about the post office I usually go to, I'm not sure I have ever seen the address on the building either. Is this usual?

As far as the bottles of water: I have some of those smaller ones that I thought would fit into a small college refrigerator easily and I could add to the box to make it weigh 18 ounces. When I did the shop the other day, I put a box of granola bars in it, but I really don't want to spend extra money making the box weigh the correct amount. She needed her new charger for her computer, and that's what I sent the other day--with granola bars and some highlighters.
Throw in some copy paper. Paper weights a lot and I'm sure she could use it.

*****************************************************************************
The more I learn about people...the more I like my dog..

Mark Twain
I think they only use the video if there is a major problem they need to verify. I missed the details on several PO shops when I started, too. It will get easier. If you don't want to purchase something to ship, find something you would otherwise donate to Goodwill (an old toaster, a couple of chipped mugs or a copy of War and Peace) and ship it to someone outside your area. Let them know they can donate it or throw it away if they don't want it. Shipping water is a flag. I once heard someone say they were shipping water and the clerk said, "Why are you shipping water?"

Mystery Shopper since 1998; Author of Make Money Mystery Shopping available on Amazon in the Kindle Store.
I often just send the junk flyers and magazines received. If your student has a microwave, you can always ship Ramen noodles or a can of soup, which doesn't cost much.

DanceMom Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Thanks for the replies. When I went to the post
> office, I couldn't find the address or zip code on
> the building. And thinking about the post office
> I usually go to, I'm not sure I have ever seen the
> address on the building either. Is this usual?
>
> As far as the bottles of water: I have some of
> those smaller ones that I thought would fit into a
> small college refrigerator easily and I could add
> to the box to make it weigh 18 ounces. When I did
> the shop the other day, I put a box of granola
> bars in it, but I really don't want to spend extra
> money making the box weigh the correct amount.
> She needed her new charger for her computer, and
> that's what I sent the other day--with granola
> bars and some highlighters.
DanceMom Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Thanks for the replies. When I went to the post
> office, I couldn't find the address or zip code on
> the building. And thinking about the post office
> I usually go to, I'm not sure I have ever seen the
> address on the building either. Is this usual?

Yes, some locations do not have the zip on the front of the building.
Really? I thought that was a requirement. All of the ones near me do, but one of them is directly above the canopy over the front door, so you have to stand a good 30 or 40 yards away to read it, lol.

I always ship magazines to my parents.

There are reasons that a body stays in motion
At the moment only demons come to mind
I looked for the zip code and address for quite some time. There are two entrances to this post office, so I looked at both doors. I even asked a woman who was standing outside (not a post office employee) if she saw an address. She didn't either and commented that it was strange that a post office wouldn't have an address on the building. smiling smiley

I think I'll start putting books in the packages. Since my daughter doesn't read, she'll probably appreciate that. LOL Of course, if she keeps coming home every weekend, I won't have to mail anything. I thought she was staying at school this weekend, or I probably wouldn't have mailed her the charger. But, since it didn't cost anything, it's OK. (She couldn't wait to get out of the house and be on her own, and now she has been home two of the three weekends since school started. I should start charging her for food).
I love them. They may be my favorite shops.

There are reasons that a body stays in motion
At the moment only demons come to mind
I did one recently, that I have done this location many times. There is no zip or address anywhere on the premise(this is my PO). I state the address doesn't match and explain there are no numbers anywhere. I get a remark from them that we didnt ask you if the number was there, only if the address matched and we're changing the answer to yes. I reply how can I match the address you gave if there are no numbers. The gave some example of me giving directions to my house and my guess where able to find the right street. ??????
Details, details.

Yes, these shops have many details. It took me a few shops to get to the point when I feel I have mastered them. Have you considered doing multiple shops in one day? That can make great training. As for the address on the building, I have found that many have it posted, but quite a few don't, or are missing the zip code (which is really what they are looking for).

As for mailing water or any of the contents the six haz-mat questions ask about, I would avoid them to avoid drawing attention to myself. Consider using pre-weighed items like boxes of pasta or beans or other food items that have their weight posted. If you have a suitable scale, then piles of newspaper or magazines can work, if your recipient doesn't mind throwing them out - or better yet, have them give the box/package back to you unopened for a future shop.

Post office buddies are a great thing because their address is always there and they understand it's mystery shopping. Also, they will return the boxes when they do a shop. Then you get pre-weighed stuff to send out the next time. smiling smiley To find some, find the thread titled something like 'Post Office Buddies".

To recap, there are lots of details for these shops, but I now find them quick and not quite easy because they do require lots of focused observations in a short time period. Perhaps 'painless' is a good adjective to describe these shops for me. I do try to work some into my schedule each month.

Good luck smiling smiley

Happily shopping Rhode Island and nearby Massachusetts and Connecticut
I have decided not to send the water. I just thought I could use it to get the box to the proper weight and not have to spend any extra money, but if I'm sending her a care package, I guess I'll be spending money anyway. smiling smiley

I was mostly worried about not finding the address or zip code on the outside. I haven't heard anything from the MSC about my report yet. I was also wondering if they do check the video to compare it to your report. I couldn't remember if the person in front of me was a man or woman!
You cannot ship perfume because it is flammable
It must go standard post
. I don't know why they
> cannot ship perfume...
>
>

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 09/09/2013 03:59AM by avondarcye.
You can ship water or liquids, and it does not draw attention to you (at least not to me over 20 shops in two months all different locations). I called the PO ahead of time and asked this very question. She said that it would be fine to ship liquid, and they ask that you place it in a ziplock bag and preferably surrounded with paper towels. She further explained that if liquid items break during shipping it can clog up and ruin the machinery.

Even the times I indicated I was shipping a liquid while doing the shop (flavored water, "designer" water, and iced tea bottles to my kid at camp) they did not ask to look in or give me any problem. Usually they just wrote 'liquid' on the package. One time they did not even do that. Never was a problem.

Many of the post offices near me do not have their addresses or zip codes on the building themselves.
Does anyone one at what time of month these come out? I have been lucky and gotten some in my area, but usually by the time the emails come through (again and again!) they are only for remote locations.
I did two this month toward the beginning of the month. Right now there are just remote places available and here several of them are in towns that have been flooded.
I fell in love with that series of shops that sent food to the local food bank. Now I do that on every post office shop I do. What a brilliant thing !
Does anyone know if the same MSC still has these shops? I haven't seen one come up on the board all month, whereas there was bazillions of them in my area over the summer.

I learn something new every day, but not everyday!
I've learned to never trust spell-check or my phone's auto-fill feature.


Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 09/24/2013 07:21PM by BirdyC.
BirdyC Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Does anyone know if the same MSC still has these
> shops? I haven't seen one come up on the board all
> month, whereas there will bazillions of them in my
> area over the summer.


As of this week, they don’t have any jobs within 25 miles of me. There is usually something available at all seven of the Pos that I shop and a few other types of assignments as well.

"All we want are the facts." Sgt. Joe Friday
They seem to finishing up remote locations in my area.

I was wondering if the contract was up--they started in Sept/Oct 2010.

And I'm to lazy to dig out my records to see if Sept was a slow month last year too...
Thanks for your responses!

In July and August, there were still P.O. shops left all around me at this same time of the month. I couldn't take any then, but I'd do a couple now if any were open!

So, it seems that I'm not the only one who has noticed the lack of shops this month.

I learn something new every day, but not everyday!
I've learned to never trust spell-check or my phone's auto-fill feature.
I finally got one!!!! I tried so many times that I actually quit applying for these several weeks ago. Now Bingo!!!!

What gets me overall on the reports is that they are so wordy. They are not in typical audit forms and they do seem a bit intimidating at first. It's hard to do 2-3/day if they don't assign them to you. Alas, my first chance!!!!

I would avoid liquid. Can't go wrong with a bag of nuts, coffee, or cookies!
There are not many details to remember. Basically write in the narrative the conversation you had with the clerk and specify if there were NO answers. Nothing different from usual MS assignments. Check the interior and look if the menus and posters are displayed. Look at the uniform and check the available forms. If you do a B scenario, check also if there are the 4 required ready post material. I always mail the same box full of rocks to myself, using my sister in law address as sender (of course with her approval).
The shop itself lasts between 5 and 10 minutes. I go out of the PO and I complete the report with my smartphone. And now off I go since I got 2 scenario B to do LOL.
I used to do many of these assignments per each month. After having had some problems with the MSC I kinda slowed down and I do them if bonused.

P.S. If they check the video I do not know, but it makes no difference. I do not create false information. If I missed a detail or forgot it, that is what I write in the report.

Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 09/25/2013 01:06PM by italiano.
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