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Has anyone else experienced a dramatic price increase in mailing your cards yet, or is it just me?  I took my mom's birthday card to the post office yesterday to mail.  It was a standard A7 size card and the post office salesman told me because it was over 1/4 inch thick he judged by feeling it, and was rigid (which any normal card is) that it had to go as a parcel and cost $2.67 to mail.  Yes it had several layers in one area, but it was not to heavy, or too big, it was "over a 1/4" thick".  I understand an extra fee for hand cancelling on a card, but now it is considered a package.  This will seriously curtail the kind of cards I send in the mail, which is very sad, since this is totally ridiculous.  I know the post office just changed their rates as of January 22nd, but I saw no mention of changing the status of standard size mail over 1/4" thick to "parcels".  I am just curious if this is something anyone else is experiencing, or just my friendly post office clerk taking the opportunity to rip off his customers.

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If I am not mistaken if it is over the 1/4" AND larger than an A2 sized card it does bump it up to a small package price.  ALL of my cards are A2 size and have to be hand canceled and that is 68 cents, then my next typical rate is 98 cents, when my 'fatties don't make it through that 1/4" slot.....it's always such a sigh of relief when it slides through that 1/4" slot freely!   I am okay with paying a bit more for (hopefully) ensuring my cards get to where they belong.  I have been paying these prices for a couple of years I believe. 

Thanks Donna, maybe the difference was the A7 size.  That is a typical store bought size so I didn't think there would be a difference between the A2 & A7 size, but maybe it is.  I don't mine paying more for hand cancelling, but paying $2.67 to send a birthday card (which I still, say is not a parcel) is ridiculous.  So I will definitely keep that in mind from now on when I am creating.  Live and learn ;)  Thanks for helping clear this up for me.  I appreciate the time, and I feel better now.  I was thinking that every future card would cost $2.67 and that takes a lot of fun out of card making!

When send my A2 cards, and I have them Non Machined so nothing gets squished...  it cost 74 cents. The most has been 85 cents. Maybe it is the A7 size. :) <3 

Here is the handy template, just print then cut out the slot and you know if you are under the 1/4": http://www.printcopyfactory.com/uploads/images/USPS%20Notice3A.pdf

Thanks Karen and Bonnie.  I think that the rules do not conform to reality.  It shouldn't be this complicated and I don't believe that a simple greeting card that happens to be a little over 1/4" thick (and it wasn't excessively thick - I had no problem at all sealing it normally) should cost $2.67.  But, it is a federal government entity, and they are good at unrealistic and complicated after all.  So, I think I will make sure that my A7 cards are single layer, and cross my fingers with my A2s. LOL.  Thanks for sharing with me your experience.  I send out mostly A2s, so I was quite shocked to be told it was a parcel and asked if it contained hazardous materials or perfume - pretty silly I think, but like I said ...

Bonnie, thanks for the link, I will print that out and use it before I go to the post office next time.  The clerk didn't even use the slot, he just announce that by feeling it "it was obviously over a 1/4" thick".  So much for accuracy and proving it, so I have learned a lot through this experience.  

Thanks again for your input, I appreciate it very much.

Maybe you should try not going to the post office. I drop mine off and so far have never had a problem. Even with the A7size.

I have had that template that Bonnie posted, for years.  Mine is plastic and the post office gave it to my husband.   I have used it many times to make sure my piece of mail was thin enough to not need extra postage.

That is the 'gizmo' my favorite gal at the PO uses.  It's all grey and blue, so you can really see what envelope fits where.  She has explained it to me umpteen times, I think my eyes just gloss over at some point.  She is very strict on what I mail and I love her for it, I don't think I am getting a deal.  I think I am within all rules and regulations.  I have had some 'envelopes' go as a 'small package' but I would say 99% of them go at the 98 cents rate, I just looked at one of my recent receipts. 
 
Bonnie said:

I have found this calculator very helpful: https://postcalc.usps.com/Default.aspx?m=0&dpb=0

If I  understand the rules, when a letter exceeds 1/4" it moves up to the large envelopes ($2.63). PERIOD.  The only thing that a letter can have and get mailed for $.70 is a rigid object, square or odd shaped. I have yet to get the same answer from different clerks when asking if one letter has all three. Technically there is no such thing as hand cancelled any more either, letters just don't go through the automated system. It is the Post Office after all. 

Donna, the only thing I can think of is that your clerk is moving your fatties to large envelopes, but what is funny is that the $2.63 is for large that exceed 1/4". You have been getting a good deal.

the 1/4 inch rule has been in effect for a very long time, as far as I know.    that is why some of us have used our paper trimmer slots to measure and be sure it fits through the slide slot easily.   If it doesn;t that means it is considered a package.  

Per google:   Dimensions: Minimum: 5 inches long, 3-1/2 inches high, and 0.007 inch thick.Maximum for First-Class Mail card prices: 6 inches long, 4-1/4 inches high, and 0.016 inch thick. Maximum for letters and other cards: 11-1/2 inches long, 6-1/8 inches high, and 1/4 inch thick.

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The Quick Reference on Notice 123 says that for large envelopes: "Pieces that are rigid, nonrectangular, or not uniformly thick pay parcel prices." So I guess your gal doesn't see rigid or bumps like most. It is a judgment call. For me, when ever a letter is over 1/4" has embellishments and/or is stiff it is $2.63

Donna Phelan said:

That is the 'gizmo' my favorite gal at the  PO uses.  It's all grey and blue, so you can really see what envelope fits where.  She has explained it to me umpteen times, I think my eyes just gloss over at some point.  She is very strict on what I mail and I love her for it, I don't think I am getting a deal.  I think I am within all rules and regulations.  I have had some 'envelopes' go as a 'small package' but I would say 99% of them go at the 98 cents rate, I just looked at one of my recent receipts. 
 
Bonnie said:

I have found this calculator very helpful: https://postcalc.usps.com/Default.aspx?m=0&dpb=0

If I  understand the rules, when a letter exceeds 1/4" it moves up to the large envelopes ($2.63). PERIOD.  The only thing that a letter can have and get mailed for $.70 is a rigid object, square or odd shaped. I have yet to get the same answer from different clerks when asking if one letter has all three. Technically there is no such thing as hand cancelled any more either, letters just don't go through the automated system. It is the Post Office after all. 

Donna, the only thing I can think of is that your clerk is moving your fatties to large envelopes, but what is funny is that the $2.63 is for large that exceed 1/4". You have been getting a good deal.

I don't know....I always point out the bumps and lumps.....and she always takes ALOT of my money!  lol

EVERYTHING I mail is hand stamped, no matter what!  I can not get away from that!
 
Bonnie said:

The Quick Reference on Notice 123 says that for large envelopes: "Pieces that are rigid, nonrectangular, or not uniformly thick pay parcel prices." So I guess your gal doesn't see rigid or bumps like most. It is a judgment call. For me, when ever a letter is over 1/4" has embellishments and/or is stiff it is $2.63

Donna Phelan said:

That is the 'gizmo' my favorite gal at the  PO uses.  It's all grey and blue, so you can really see what envelope fits where.  She has explained it to me umpteen times, I think my eyes just gloss over at some point.  She is very strict on what I mail and I love her for it, I don't think I am getting a deal.  I think I am within all rules and regulations.  I have had some 'envelopes' go as a 'small package' but I would say 99% of them go at the 98 cents rate, I just looked at one of my recent receipts. 
 
Bonnie said:

I have found this calculator very helpful: https://postcalc.usps.com/Default.aspx?m=0&dpb=0

If I  understand the rules, when a letter exceeds 1/4" it moves up to the large envelopes ($2.63). PERIOD.  The only thing that a letter can have and get mailed for $.70 is a rigid object, square or odd shaped. I have yet to get the same answer from different clerks when asking if one letter has all three. Technically there is no such thing as hand cancelled any more either, letters just don't go through the automated system. It is the Post Office after all. 

Donna, the only thing I can think of is that your clerk is moving your fatties to large envelopes, but what is funny is that the $2.63 is for large that exceed 1/4". You have been getting a good deal.

The 1/4 inch rule is not very new, however, I have simply found that your mileage may vary depending on who is at the window at the Post Office. Most of the time, if I have a slightly bulky card (a regular card with a couple small embellishments) is add one regular stamp + one post card stamp and put it out in the mailbox. I have never had one not get delivered.

Only if they are really thick do I have it weighed.

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