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Wednesday, December 17th, 2008

My Holiday Heroes

Carrier Pickup & ClickNShip


I started using the first 2 years ago when I went to the PO after hours to use the 24-hour Automated Shipping--only to find the deposit bin full. I was so frustrated. I decided I could at least get postage on all my packages and just hand them to the postal employee and hopefully avoid the long lines. On my way home I remembered an ad I'd seen on TV about carrier pickup. I checked it out on the web and learned how to use it and put all my boxes out on my porch the next day for pickup. No lines. No waiting.

There is a disadvantage. You have to be able to weigh the boxes to determine the postage but I let my kitchen scale do double-duty. Worse case (my scale only goes to 11#), I could carry the boxes to the PO and use the automated system during an off-time like 6 AM to weigh and determine the postage then take the boxes back home to put on the porch for pickup.

This year I went one step further and used the whole ClickNShip system.


It's great. You load all of your addresses, select the one you want, weigh the box, give measurements if needed, select the type of shipment (priority, priority flat rate, express, etc). You keep creating the labels until you are done. You can leave the printing until later if you want. The cart will stay ready for up to seven days. How sweet is that?? Ship as you get a batch, ship them all at the end. It's easy to use and SO convenient. Last night I mixed and baked a pan of lemon bars and a couple of dozen oatmeal/pecan/chocolate chip cookies while I weighed and posted and readied my packages for pickup today.

So convenient. You can set up the delivery as late as midnight the night before. You can ship one box or 20 at once. You say when and where the boxes are located. When the mail carrier picks up the boxes, you get a confirmation from the PO that the boxes were picked up for delivery. It is SO sweet!

To thank my mail carrier for the extra effort (particularly with the nasty weather and congested streets!) I left him (or her) sugar cookies on day one, oatmeal/pecan/chocolate chip on day two and tomorrow for the final 6 packages I'm leaving him/her some homemade PB truffles.

It's all free to set up and use--you just pay for the postage. No lines, no lugging boxes to the PO (barring the need to determine weight), no dealing with inclement weather and nasty travel. And you can do it all while baking cookies--you have to love that kind of multi-tasking. :)

Say what you will bad about the PO (especially some of the workers at Ashley's PO!) you have to love this kind of convenience at this kind of price for 2 day shipping (3 max). Can't beat that with FedEx or the others for 2 day shipping. Even if I only use it once a year at Christmas, it's a good deal.


11 Comments
RAGrise
I didn't know you could actually let the carrier pick it up at the house! Too bad our HOA's have mass boxes at the end of the street; we don't each have our own boxes at our houses. Someone at our old post office mentioned flat rate shipping for baked goods. Do you know anything about that?
Richie & Ashley   Wednesday, December 17, 2008
lgrant
Never heard of flat rate specifically for baked goods. There is flat rate in 3 sizes. The more flat box fits a 9x13 pan perfectly. The smaller one is good for layers of cookies in zip-lock bags or a small (dollar store!) storage container or gift containers. The larger one is sufficient for a full cake -- so would work for several more flat containers or several taller ones (I think it is 5 or 6 in. tall). I don't think you have to have a physical mailbox at the house to get the pickup. Check the FAQs. Since I can put it anywhere at my house as long as it is a viable address it shouldn't matter where my mail is left. The mail carrier usually picks up the boxes then puts my confirmation in my mailbox so he could do likewise there. I'd check their policies on that kind of mail drop.
LGrant   Thursday, December 18, 2008
reera
Good information-thanks!
dannie   Thursday, December 18, 2008
George
I do the same thing except with Paypal Multiorder Shipping. I enter all the info and print the labels then leave the packages out for the mailman. Easy Peasy Japanesy.

I must say I am impressed that you have a kitchen scale going up to 11 lbs. That's pretty insane. Ours only goes up to 5....however it goes further, there is just no scale that high. I cheat by weighing something of 4 or 5 lbs first then recalibrating to zero before weighing the heavy thing. Just have to remember to add the aforementioned 4 or 5 lbs.
LimeyGeorge   Thursday, December 18, 2008
justmeg
While I think this is a great idea - I just don't trust my mail carrier to actually pick up the boxes. We have way too many problems with no getting mail, getting other people's mail, etc.
justmeg   Thursday, December 18, 2008
lgrant
Meg, he has to leave the form and verify pickup. If you have problems with mail in your area--it might not work for you. You could always be more clever with a box on the porch with the packages inside. Of course if you have a bad area for mail theft you might lose the box too. LOL

George, if you have a Tuesday Morning in your area, check it out. The Salter (hope that is right) kitchen scale is being sold there at $19.99 for an 11# scale. That is an awesome deal. When I bought mine it was over $50. I gave one to Niki and Denny years ago. I don't know if they like theirs as much as I do but it comes in handy for all things. I would have a problem with a box higher than 11# but I went with a lot of flat rate boxes this year for the $$ since you can put all the pounds in it you want for one rate. You could ship a bowling ball for $11. :) Well, maybe not if it didn't fit in a 6" box. LOL I'm sure people getting my boxes will think I went nuts when they get 3 of them but it saved on $$, packing material and that inevitably long wait at the PO. You can buy a scale for postage on the US PO website but my kitchen scale works fine. My PO isn't that far to drive to but it's great NOT to have to deal with 15 boxes and getting in lines over and over since it is pretty tough to carry 15 boxes in easily unless you have a hand cart. :)
LGrant   Thursday, December 18, 2008
_DELETED_BubbasTrailerSales
I seem to be a bit older than many of you on Humzoo, but get a load of this. We had a family member move to Alaska. Eventually they purchased land and planned to build a new home. Building supplies back in the 60's look cheap when looking at them today. But the cost was relative, as wages were also low. When they went to the Lumber Yard/Hardware Store, they were taken aback with the price and time delay with building supplies as everything came in by ship. Soooo...being very inventive they sent out a Christmas gift list that year which included building supplies. I sent over 100 cement blocks to them that year, and deliver was a quick one week by the US Postal Service. Just used wire to attach a shipping label at the concret plant and then had them deliver the blocks to the River Grove, IL Post Office. The family in Alaska said it was years before the postal carrier would even look at them, let alone talk to them.
Bubbas Trailer Sales & Repair, H   Thursday, December 18, 2008
lgrant
HAHA...that's a great story, Bubbas. How much did 100 cement blocks cost to mail?? :)
LGrant   Thursday, December 18, 2008
igna83
WOW! And WillnBek had problems getting a framed photo to Idaho earlier this year...imagine if it had been 100 concrete blocks!!!

PS. I don't trust the post office in B-N either - thank goodness for direct deposit of paychecks because they've failed to deliver the stubs too many times to list here.
Angi   Thursday, December 18, 2008
_DELETED_BubbasTrailerSales
I was just married and a going to Chicago Teachers College, so being poor, I partnered with my Mom and Dad to send them. "Can't remember" (which I say alot these days), but it was around .20/.25 cents each per block delivered in Alaska, but it was way under the retail cost of blocks in Alaska.
Bubbas Trailer Sales & Repair, H   Thursday, December 18, 2008
lgrant
I was checking on a price for a flat rate priority envelope and discovered another great deal. You get a discount on flat rate when you do ClickNShip!

I did one last night but didn't set up carrier pickup. I felt I abused the guy enough. I was going to go to the PO and drop it off in the drop box but the snow waylaid me. When I went after work...OMG...the place was packed with people standing in line at the counter AND the automated machine. Luckily I just had to deal with lack of parking and the time it took to drop it in the box. Sure made me love ClickNShip and Carrier Pickup even more!
LGrant   Friday, December 19, 2008
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