Tips & Tricks

This year, graduate to being a smart mailer

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Graduation season nears and for many of us that means food, fun and gifts to celebrate new graduates. Follow these tips to avoid a last-minute mailing and shipping rush and become a great gift-giver.

 

1. Print addresses clearly and in all CAPS, and be sure to include all address elements, including apartment numbers, suite numbers and directional information for streets. For example: 123 S Main St. or 12456 Elm St. N.

2. Include both “to” and “from” information on packages — and only on one side. Mark packages “Fragile” in large print on the outside of the box when shipping breakable materials.

3. Never guess a ZIP Code™. Visit usps.com to find all ZIP Codes.

4. Select a box that is strong enough to protect the contents. Leave space for cushioning inside. Do not reuse mailing boxes — they weaken in the shipping process. Customers can purchase ReadyPost®  boxes at a local Post Office™. Priority Mail®  boxes, envelopes and tubes are free. With Priority Mail Flat Rate®  Boxes, get day-specified delivery at no extra cost.

5. Cushion contents with shredded or rolled newspaper, bubble wrap or biodegradable foam peanuts. Plain air-popped popcorn also is good for cushioning; it’s inexpensive and environmentally friendly. Pack contents tightly to avoid shifting during transit.

6. Always use tape that is designed for shipping, such as pressure-sensitive tape, nylon-reinforced craft paper tape or glass-reinforced pressure-sensitive tape. Do not use wrapping paper, string, masking tape or cellophane tape.

7. Place an extra label or notice with the delivery and return address inside the package. This ensures the safe return of an item that could not be delivered should the outside label become damaged or fall off.

8. Stuff glass and fragile, hollow items, like vases, with newspaper or packing material to avoid damage. When mailing framed photographs, take the glass out of the frame and wrap it separately.

9. Save time and get discounts at retail shipping prices by printing your own shipping label online at usps.com/clicknship.

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