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I wanted to make everyone aware that the USPS provision of insurance on items of $50 or under has some "fine print" you may realize. 

Please refer to https://www.usps.com/making-priority-mail-better.htm

specifically, Priority Mail FAQ#8 the last paragraph of which states: "Insurance will not be included with the following: Merchandise Return Service (MRS), Priority Mail Open and Distribute®, Premium Forwarding Service®, Priority Mail Reship, and Priority Mail packages paid for using meters and stamps (when an Intelligent Mail® package barcode (IMpb) or Retail Tracking Barcode is not applied)."  (emphasis is mine)

I take this to mean that packages without bar codes will not receive this perk.  If you hand address, use a meter system or other label printing application that does not create bar codes, your package will not qualify for the included insurance.

I can understand why the USPS is encouraging people to change to using bar codes on their packages to cut down on the hand work required in sorting, and there certainly are advantages to barcoded labels, but I would have thought there might have been some publicity about what packages will not qualify. As it stands I can see people mailing packages, incurring loss or damage and being very unpleasantly surprised that the package was never insured. 

Just wanted to put this observation out to other Ruby Lane shop owner/shippers.

Jane

Views: 465

Replies to This Discussion

When you print your labels online do you get the bar code.  I take my packages to the post office and mail that way.  From what I am reading, mine aren't covered?  I know they used to add the tracking label but no longer do that.

I'm a Postmaster Relief at my small town PO so let me help clarify what all that means. 

It doesn't matter if someone walks in with a hand addressed package or one that is labeled at home.  If you ship Priority Mail, you receive the $50 of insurance included if the package has a delivery confirmation tracking barcode.  Every PO has barcode labels (Retail Tracking Barcode) that attaches to your package and enables the tracking. If you just put a priority stamp on a flat rate box ($5.60) and put it in your mail box rather than taking it to the PO for a tracking number; this will NOT include the $50 insurance. WHY? Because there is no way for the PO to track it; no record of it being mailed.

The MRS is for packages that the PO handles as returning merchandise from the original shipper.  Say you purchased something on-line at Penny's and they include a return label so you can drop it at the PO.  That is an MRS.  These will have to have insurance purchased for them if you want the merchandise covered for its value.

Priority Mail Reship - items shipped to an address that has to be forwarded to another address (someone moved and used their old address).

Priority Mail Premium Forwarded - Mail that is sent for the customer from their mailing address to a temporary address using a Priority Mail envelope. Snow birds usually use these.

Priority Mail Open and Distribute - Used by businesses sending documents for numerous individuals

I hope this helps clarify what is being said above in the USPS Mail Manual.

It indeed sounds like you are covered -- it sounds like what you are doing is using the "Retail Tracking Barcode" but honestly it would be best to check with your postmaster to be sure -- it's a one time yes or no answer and will be the same for all your packages.

I know when my equipment was down recently, I purchased a D/C at the post office for a package that the clerk generated out of one of their machines and stuck on. This must be what they are doing for you. No more bright green stick-on labels that you fill in at home. This page may offer more information -

https://www.usps.com/business/priority-mail-for-business.htm

so far I can't find any real definition of "retail tracking barcode." (Common sense would seem to have it meaning the D/C that you purchase at retail when you go to a post office.)  I also have been trying to search for the definition of "Intelligent Mail" and not having much of any luck. USPS website is difficult to keyword search. They don't seem to be able to write their pages from the standpoint of someone who needs the most basic of information. 

Yes, my labels print out with a bar code. I use their Click-N-Ship program -- no download required, but you must register a CC with them, or pay by PayPal. I've never had any trouble and it's been extremely useful. It's great for record keeping because the label prints out on the top half of a sheet of paper and a receipt prints on the bottom, showing exactly what is on the label including what service(s) were purchased, no photocopying and no guesswork if there is a problem.I save the receipts for tax records. The only drawback is it works only with Priority and Express mail services:  https://cns.usps.com/go

Another helpful program is Click-N-Ship for Business https://www.usps.com/business/click-n-ship-for-business.htm You do not have to register a CC, and it works with all mail services. There is a download but it's quick and easy and works really well. CNSFB will hook up with a postage meter, or you can print a label out without postage and pay at the post office.  Importantly these labels come out complete with the barcodes already done, and you get a receipt for them too with all the details of the shipment. 

Both the above programs give you the free delivery confirmation/tracking that if obtained at the post office must be paid for and there are discounts on postage rates as well. They will also let you keep an address book if you want (separate, one for each program).

I wish I could give better advice on the actual situation but it would be best to ask the postmaster.

Jane



Galaxy Dolls and Toys said:

When you print your labels online do you get the bar code.  I take my packages to the post office and mail that way.  From what I am reading, mine aren't covered?  I know they used to add the tracking label but no longer do that.

"Both the above programs give you the free delivery confirmation/tracking that if obtained at the post office must be paid for.."

Delivery confirmation is charged for First Class Mail Parcels and Standard Post parcels only. 

I mail all my packages at the post office.  What I have wondered is that when you insure for above 50.00, they will not give e a tracking number.  The personnel at my post office say that the insurance number is now the tracking number.  This is only in a situation where the insurance is above 50.00.

My question is will Paypal accept the insurance tracking number?  I can't seem to get a straight answer.

DC is free on 1st class if you print online ...at least it is using PayPal's shipping labels ... 

https://www.paypal.com/shipnow

"My question is will Paypal accept the insurance tracking number?  I can't seem to get a straight answer."

You must be able to show online viewable proof of delivery in order to qualify for PP seller protection. If you have an item that was insured for $50 or more that's been delivered, plug the insurance number into the PO's track and confirm page and see what it shows.

https://tools.usps.com/go/TrackConfirmAction

So it no longer reads that is has to be "tracking"?  The insurance number does show delivery.  Just wasn't sure if they still insisted on it being a tracking number.  If it's "online viewable proof of delivery" then i should be okay.

It looks like you should be OK. Here's the info from PP's legal agreement ...seller protection is under section 11.4.

https://www.paypal.com/webapps/mpp/ua/useragreement-full

The packages that I've shipped lately valued at $50.00 and over and printing through PP have the regular DC #. Also, if you print your labels through PayPal, you get a nice discount on shipping. After printing I just take the packages to my PO.

The PO (& PP) charge the full price for insurance on anything over $50.00. I was hoping they'd pro-rate it, but they don't.

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