Hi folks. It seems that we get a monthly complaint thread about how the USPS First Class Parcel service isn't fast enough, or how an employee at the Post Office is giving a member a hard time about the sample being hazardous materials.
First Class doesn't come with a guaranteed time frame, so expect it to take a week or two if you go that route, but be pleased if it arrives at its destination quickly. It's not intended as a reliable service for packages that need to get somewhere quickly. You're getting your $3 worth if it arrives at all. So, here's a thread that shows you how to ship from home with USPS Priority Mail.
This will cost $3 - $4 more than First Class postage at the Post Office. For me, the half-hour that it takes to drive there, wait in line, and drive home makes it worth spending a few extra bucks. Maybe some of you have lots of spare time or just enjoy a visit to the Post Office. That's fine. This thread is for people who have better things to do.
- Packaging; I reuse small boxes with bubble wrap and padded envelopes from Amazon deliveries. Walmart also sells them for cheap.
- A credit card or PayPal
- The UOA kit
- Clear packaging tape
- The ability to print from your computer
Package the sample. If it's in a box, add some peanuts, bubble wrap, or scrap paper to keep it from rattling around. I just put the whole Blackstone sample kit into a small padded envelope, black plastic shipping container and all. Step 2
Go to the USPS website
and create an account. Step 3
Start a Click-N-Ship transaction, being sure to add whichever lab you're using to your address book for future use. Everything up to 16oz is the same cost, so just enter that as the weight if you're unsure. A Blackstone sample weighs significantly less. I have a digital kitchen scale that holds up to 22 lbs. which has been invaluable over the years. Amazon sells several models for under $20. Step 4
Once you've completed the transaction, follow the instructions to print out the label. Cut it out and affix it to the package, covering it with clear tape. Be sure that there's just one layer over the barcode, and that it isn't bunched up.Step 5
Place it into your mailbox with the flag up, or any of the blue mailboxes you see around. You can also arrange for your mail carrier to pick it up if you'd rather leave it on your porch or the front desk at your place of business. Tracking information can be found in your order history, or just by entering the number from the label.
There. You just saved yourself a visit to the Post Office and the aggravation of explaining that it's not hazardous or worrying about why First Class is taking so long. You'll just have to find something else to rant about. As an added bonus, you can also have your mail forwarded/held and order stamps and packaging supplies from the same website.