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Postal Pointers: U.S. Postal Service offers holiday shipping tips

December 5, 2012
By DEBRA MITCHELL , Lehigh Acres Citizen

The holiday mailing season is here and your local postmasters have some great tips for you:

- Insure your packages against loss or damage. You can add $50 of insurance coverage to your package for only $1.85. Insurance is not automatically included in USPS pricing. You can insure your package for up to $5,000.

- When preparing your package use a sturdy box with cushioning. Seal your package with reinforced nylon tape. Please do not wrap your package with paper as it can be torn away in processing. Include a name and address inside the package in case the address becomes illegible. No string on your package please.

- Mail your holiday greeting cards and packages early. Dec. 14 is the deadline for Christmas arrival of parcel post service, Dec. 20 for holiday greeting cards, Dec. 21 for priority mail and Dec. 22 for express mail.

- Take advantage of convenient contracted post offices in your area that offer USPS pricing. For the location nearest you visit: or call (800) ASK-USPS. Remember that there is a post office open 24/7 at: When you mail your packages there you get discounted postage, free delivery confirmation - proof of delivery - and free carrier pickup of your package at your home or office. You can even order free priority mail packaging to be delivered to your home or office.

- No computer? Call (800) 782-6724 to purchase prepaid Forever priority mail flat rate boxes. These boxes include free delivery confirmation and carrier pick up. These prepaid boxes will be good for priority mail shipping forever at today's pricing. If you don't use them this holiday season you will be able to use them next holiday season.

- Mailing gift cards this holiday season? Do not send them in regular letter size envelopes. Use a padded mailer or a document mailer. The rigid gift card will not bend inside a letter size envelope and can be dislodged during mail processing. A specially designed priority mail gift card envelope is available at your local post office.

- Call for redelivery of packages that have been attempted for delivery at your home or office. Your letter carrier will be happy to bring your package to you on a day that you will be available to receive it.

Mr. Zip's tip

Two hundred forty-two million customers visit a post office during the holidays.

Debra Mitchell is a spokeswoman for U.S. Postal Service.



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