AMA: Sending package with two-cent non-domestic rate

Question from reader:

I have had success mailing a letter using the 2¢ per 1/2 oz rate, however, I mailed a padded envelop via the drop-box and it was returned to me the next day, marked as “unacceptable” and stamped “POSTAGE DUE”.

The envelop was labeled as follows:
Name
c/o Anywhere Street
City, State
Non-domestic

This was written beneath the stamps:
Vol 12. Stat. at L.
Ch. 71 Sec. 23

My Answer:

  • I always add extra postage. I send postcards and letters with four cents, even if the non-domestic, letter rate is two cents for this weight/size.
  • I always add Without United States. The word domestic and non-domestic is relative. Domestic when referring to my home is within my home. Domestic when referring to my friend’s home is in his home. Therefore, to be clear, I add “Without United States”. But some may say this is superfluous.
  • I have not yet tried to send packages but someone wrote to me and said he does it all the time. Maybe try it again.
  • Also, someone else wrote to me stating he tried to send a batch of greeting or holiday cards, and the postmaster handed them back to him when he next visited. He told me he instead sent batches of them from various nearby post offices. Point is that some postmasters may balk without a lawsuit. Maybe try another post office or speak to the postmaster.
  • This is all perfectly honest so thou can discuss it with the postmaster. Is it worth the postmaster’s time to fight thou on this?
  • One could also add “Not mail” since I think ‘mail’ means the ‘routes‘ of United States and to use those routes one must pay the higher rate for those routes.
  • When thou says ‘drop-box’, I assume thou means the slot at the post office. That’s the only way I do it since the blue boxes are part of the USPS network that has a higher rate, in my opinion.
  • I don’t think the c/o is needed since thou is not using a zip or the two-letter federal-state abbreviations (IL vs Illinois). Not that that is causing the problem.

Those are my thoughts. Thanks for writing in.

To all readers, a donation of a coffee is thanked with a two-cent postcard. I have these handy to assert my standing on state land.

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