Between my consulting work and my video courses, I mail out a few packages every week. I am regularly hitting the United States Post Office web site to check the postage costs for this package or that envelope. They have a very easy postage calculator feature on the site. As long as you have a small postage-type scale that can decipher the exact ounces of a small envelope, you're set
But for some silly reason, I just didn't think about ordering my stamps from their web site. I have a post office a few blocks away, so I usually head over there to purchase my stamps. But even though it's only a few blocks away, the trip can be an adventure in itself.
Of course, the minute I grab my keys I have two dogs barking their fool heads off and racing to the garage, assuming they're going to get to go for a ride with me (which is usually the case). Thankfully, they're very good companions in the car so once we fight our way to see who gets in the garage door first, it's a breeze to get them in the car and get the car out of the garage. But then we need to wrestle our way through city streets where an eight block trip can take 20 mins! And once we arrive at the post office, it could mean we need to drive two or three times around the block until we find a parking spot. And although the clerks at the P.O. are amazingly friendly and helpful, there's usually a line that we need to wait in just to purchase a few stamps; because, of course, I never have the appropriate cash on hand for the machines. Break out the bank card. Then there's the trip home, which also means a stop at the gas station to grab a couple of beef sticks, since The Barker Gang assumes the whole point of this
excursion was to get them goodies. Sure, I could ignore that fact and just go home and get back to work, but then I'd have to feel the guilt as I get this look (see image) all afternoon! So off to the gas station we go! A lot of time spent just to get some stamps!
But the other day I was watching Good Morning America when Charlie mentioned how he always purchases his stamps online at USPS.com. "Hey! I go there all the time! I never checked out the stamps!" What a
Off I went, online, in search of postage.
I naturally assumed that it would cost me a lot more to get my stamps online. Why? Well, it would be so convenient to just pick the stamps I want, order and pay for them and wait a couple days to have someone bring them to me. After all, doesn't most everything you order online cost a small fortune in shipping? But no! It was only an extra $1.00 to have a pile of cool stamps delivered to me in just two days! WOW! This is pretty cool! Heck, I spend more than that in gas circling for a landing.
Plus, online they have all the really cool stamps.
When it's my turn to go up to the counter in person, I feel the pressure of the people still waiting in line falling on me to hurry and get out of the way. When they ask me what stamps I want, I always say..."whatever, maybe animals or something." And I end up walking out with flowers. Not a big flower fan, lately I've just been saying "something with a flag on it, please."
Here at home, I don't feel those eyes weighing on my back so I can take my time to check out all the latest offerings, as well as consider ones I haven't bought yet. Of course, I had to grab Greg a pile of the First Flight stamps. But for myself, I found some really cool new stamps. The post office now has these panels of pictures with stamps sliced out within the photo. Way cool! Unfortunately, I didn't notice the Arctic Tundra photo with the wolves...gotta get those next time.
But having several fish tanks, we're big fans of the fishies. And being able to fly away in our own plane, we also love the clouds. I was thrilled to find these two very cool photo panels that are actually stamps! If you look closely at the reef photo, you can see the cuts where the stamps are. You just peal them out of the photo pane. Very slick, fun and unusual.
And, of course, all the holiday stamps are in stock for the season.
The ordering process is quick and easy. Like any good online store, you just click to add the items you want to your shopping cart, pay with your credit card through secure web access on the site's checkout and then sit back and wait for your stamps to be dropped off in your mailbox...all for just a dollar over cost (at least that's all it cost me to have my pile of stamps delivered...your results may vary).
I didn't check out the printable postage because I wasn't in that much of a hurry and I like stamps versus the boring metered postage, but I believe you can also get immediate postage printed from the site. At least, that's what they say on the TV commercials.
So why spend all your time standing in line this holiday season? Go check out www.usps.com where you can check costs and purchase postage, as well as many other features, right online.
(Just don't tell the D-O-G-S, cos' they're going to be ticked off that they're missing a sausage run!)