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LB Weekly - A Letter Blog by KaRi  *****   Scroll below for 52 TiPS from TPS                                                     

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52 entries about your UNITED STATES POSTAL SERVICE.  TiPS from TPS,  Think of it as TPS101 or LBweekly:  Letter Blog Weekly
WEEK 52:  USPS's FOREVER STAMP increased back to 49 cents effective January 22, 2017.  Click this link for more price increases with the UNITED STATES POSTAL SERVICE:
WEEK 51:  You can create an account on and use the (free) DELIVERY INSTRUCTIONS to have delivered to a neighbor on the same route where the package is addressed, or to leave at a specific place on your property; you can also HOLD FOR CUSTOMER PICKUP at the Local Post Office or RETURN TO SENDER before the Letter Carrier takes it out for Delivery.
WEEK 50.  If you ever see someone walking away from a porch with packages but you didn't see them come out of the house, get a good look at them.  Many people have cameras and contact the news or upload their Porch Pirate videos to to youtube.
WEEK 49.  If you're package winds up UNDELIVERABLE AS ADDRESSED, don't panic.  That may mean that your package was mistakenly loaded onto another Carrier's route.  (This can also happen when carriers swing by someone route to assist and the package doesn't get transferred to the other carrier who just finished a route and is helping out on a segment (ie. your specific "swing").
WEEK 48.  If you are going to PICK UP PACKAGE from the PO you will need a picture ID that matches the name and package to pick it up. 
WEEK 47: If you are visiting someone and sending something to yourself there or at work, use the phrase CARE OF that person, company, hotel, school. etc. 
WEEK 46.  Always put your return address on your mailpiece. including your preaddressed and prepaid labels for your return items and letters.   
45.  Never write in marker unless it is a permanent marker.  The weather can be perfect but something can always leak on it from another package during transit.
WEEK 44.  Never send perishables until you ask the producer (fruit, fish, whatever your wish that falls under USPS guidelines, check the site) about transit with the PO.  Figure in there COULD be a delay:  Mechanical, staffing, construction, etc.
WEEK 43.  INSUFFICIENT ADDRESS:  Create an Account on and fill out DELIVERY INSRUCTIONS if the apartment was left off IF Delivery Instructions appear as a hyperlink in blue print.   This option may appear for only a short time, especially if the Post Office is only carrying your package for the LAST MILE.  Remember you can't a destination using a Redelivery Form.
WEEK 42.  A PO Box limits the amount of Postal Workers handling your mail.  You can rent these in person but can reserve a PO Box onlline.  If your package doesn't fit into the box, you either visit a CLERK AT THE WINDOW or ue the keys placed in your PO Box to open up a bigger box called a PARCEL LOCKER. 
WEEK 41.  If you receive keys inside your MAILBOX or PO BOX, they keys open a biiger box below or nearby called a PARCEL LOCKER.  (Note:  Amazon also has their own Parcel Lockers that are located in various stores, malls or public places.  They send you a CODE you need to open those up as there are no keys).
WEEK 40.  Always mail your items before the Official Recommended date by the USPS.  Why?  Because you'll be one step ahead of everyone else!  Also, the recommended dates don't figure in MISSENTS, and  (you will multiple attempts it may take to delivery the package.  (NOTICE LEFT appears anytime the Carrier scans an Attempt but that's what they are supposed t do if they haven run out of notices!)
WEEK 39.  If you can't read the handwriting on your notice which is the TRACKING NUMBER, use the number near the bar code on the back beginning with 5296 on the Notice.... The carrier is supposed to scan the notice AND package barcodes to the Tracking Number and Notice Numbers "marry up" or reference each other. 
WEEK 38.  The automated kiosks inside the PO's do NOT have a return address application.  You MUST PUT THE RETURN ADDRESS on your package(s)
WEEK 37:  If your PACKAGE STATUS shows IN TRANSIT or USPS AWAITING ITEM or (only) SHIPPING LABEL CREATED and/or Arrived or Departed SHIPPING PARTNER Facility, note the phrase Shipping PARTNER.  This means the United States Postal Service does NOT have the package.  But as long as you're on the phone with an Agent or Representative, at least confirm the Whole Address is correct - you'd be surprised how many packages are sent out with old or insufficient or "combo" addresses, with old and new address info combined.
WEEK 36:  The reason other couriers like FedEx, UPS, DHL, etc. give direct door to door service?  They don't use a MAIL RECEPTACLE like the USPS does, to place maller packages or letters that don't need to be signed for.  (Many apartments and neighborhoods are installing PARCEL LOCKERS to retrieve the bigger items).

This is DAVID LEWIS, a real life
WEEK 35:  Feel free to like and comment on TiPS from TPS on's postal fan page here:  www.facebook.comStateoftheUSPS
WEEK 34:  Many online sellers, from individuals selling on eBay or Etsy to huge stores and warehouses use PARCEL SELECT to send packages.  This class which gets SORTED after Priority Express, Priority (regular) and First Class,  does not have built in INSURANCE should the item get lost in transit or damaged.   You can purchase insurance on First Class and other classes if eligible.  Check out current Pricing on the USPS website, open 24 hours per day.
WEEK 34;  Unless you are sending a package PRIORITY EXPRESS in the US, you do NOT have a Guaranteed Money Back Delivery Date; the "Scheduled Delivery Date" on your receipt is the goal or target date ie. the earlest a package has reached that city before.  That goes for regular PRIORITY Class, FIRST CLASS, and PARCEL SELECT.  Again, the only thing truly "scheduled" for a Guaranteed Delivery Date is PRIORITY EXPRESS  which starts at over $20 for a simple letter. 
WEEK 33:  If a PARCEL SELECT gets sent to your old address and you have a vaild COA (Change of Address) on file from the past year (365 days), it most likely will get FORWARDED.  If you receive a POSTAGE DUE at your new address, some people refuse the package and just have the shipper send another.  An better and faster and easier option would be to ask the shipper (company ie Amazon) to reimburse you for the Postage Due.  That way you'll get the package quicker, wouldn't it?!   Think of PARCEL SELECT as One Way Postage.  (Notr: This class of mail has not tracking or scans during the Return to Sender.
WEEK 32:  You cannot change the direction of your package using a REDELIVERY Request.  You can, however, pay to INTERCEPT A PACKAGE if eleigible.  Put the tracking number into the INTERCEPT A PACKAGE area of in time while it's in USPS's possesion but before it reaches your delivery office.  
WEEK 31:  The USPS advertises that sometimes your package can have up to 11 scans.... The scan Arrival At Unit or Post Office is your delivery unit where your Letter Carriers work from - all of the other Facilities are the larger ie Sort Facilities.  (Meaning you cannot just walk into them and ask a Clerk to hunt through a container of hundreds of packages.  They have to be scanned Available For Pickup if you indicated you want to pick up the packages via DELIVERY INSTRUCTIONS on the USPS website. 
WEEK 30:  Your mail isn't late if it's after 5pm.  Keep in mind some carriers carry a whole route before they help out on others.  This accounts for the fluctuation in times.
WEEK 29:  If you get your mail around the same time everyday, chances are  you have a Regular Letter Carrier.  Remember them well around the Holidays.  Put yourself in their position, especially in the rain, sleet and snow.  Carriers come across all sorts of challenges and obstacles throughout the day.  (CARRIERS, if you come across agressive dogs, use a high pitched cutesy voice like their commanders do as well as placing your satchel between you and you may not have to use dog spray.
WEEK 28:  You can create a CASE or INQUIRY (some Care Agents call it an INVESTIGATION) about a package by calling into the Call Center at 1-800-ask-USPS or .... filing one yourself 24/7 via !  It's that simple!   Just click "Help" or "Contact Us" then send an EMAIL.  This is the same form a Customer Care Agent fills out, only your case will start with the two letters HQ (Head Quarters") instead of CA which is assigned to Call Center CARE AGENTS.
WEEK 27:  Customer Care Agents have to wait 5 days to pass before filing an inquiry on your package or trackable mailpiece, however they can't prevent you from sending an email via (read above). 
WEEK 26:  The price of a Forever Stamp was reduced in 2016 from 49 cents to 47 cents.  Don't forget to check your meters in your mail rooms.  Price arose back to 49 cents Jan 22, 2017.
WEEK 25: If your package status reads UNDELIVERABLE AS ADDRESSED, it could be that your package wound up on another route across town.  Of course it wouldn't make sense for a Carrier to leave a whole route just to deliver a package across town.   It should be at the Post Office later that night when the carrier returns to the unit, after the windows and lobbies are closed so you can either schedule a REDELIVERY  or pick it up the next day at the Post Office.
WEEK 24:  Some scams come in the form of certified mail.  To see the earliest scan on any piece of trackable mail, input the tracking number into and scroll down.  Perhaps you can figure out the origin from there.  Ask the Postal Clerk or Carrier to show or tell you the Sender before you give your signature away.
WEEK 23:  Scams come in the form of phone calls (posers pretending to be the IRS or Collection Agencies) and email.  Be careful of emails posing as AMAZON, PAYPAL, eBAY, KOHLS, WALMART, etc.  If an email is offering you something "free", don't click on the link until you verify with the company named as the sender.  There is a email circulating stating you have a package to retrieve from a sender named "Transport Systems" that has nothing to do with USPS and it is a Scam.
WEEK 22:  Once you obtain a receipt from mailing an item, hold onto it.  It contains your TRACKING NUMBER which you will need to check the status of your mailpiece.
WEEK 21:  If you lose your receipt, there is no way to replace it.  If you walk right back into the PO 10 mminutes after a transaction, there is no way for a clerk to find your tracking number.  If you want to create a case without a tracking number or on a Letter without a tracking number, try sending an EMAIL through the USPS website under CONTACT US if it hasn't reached the recipient within 5 days.
WEEK 20:  You will need an original mailing receipt in order to get a refund on a late PRIORITY EXPRESS.  If the sender used a service such as Endicia or eBay, call them and they will walk you through printing a postage report and tracking.  You will need to obtain a Form 3533 for the PRIORITY EXPRESS Refund.
WEEK 19:  Sending something PRIORITY EXPRESS in the US comes with $100 built-in insurance if the package is lost in transit or damaged. You must have the receipts for the contents as well as postage.
WEEK 18:  Sending something PRIORITY (not a guaranteed delivery date) comes with $50 built-in insurance if the package is damaged or lost during transit. 
WEEK 17:  There is no insurance if your package is delivered, then stolen.  (Utilize DELIVERY INSTRUCTIONS on your tracking page to avoid this happening, ie. "Leave with Neighbor."
WEEK 16:   Customer Care Agents are trained that customers can only put in one VACATION HOLD for 3-30 days per year.  However the system has been allowing multiple mail holds.  You can request your mail hold at the Post Office, Online, or through the Call Center.  If one stint is more than 30 days, contact your LOCAL POSTMASTER for approval.
WEEK 15:  To pick up a package or piece of ACCOUNTABLE MAIL (insured, certified, registered), you must show a picture ID that matches the name and address on the piece of mail to the WINDOW CLERK.
WEEK 14:  Your LETTER CARRIER have limted time on the street and must keep moving or their Supervisor is notified electronically they are at a standstill.  Call in your inquiry or file it on
WEEK 13:  When you walk into many local POST OFFICES with questions or problems, you most likely will be referred to call 1-800-ASK-USPS.  Have your Tracking Number ready when you do so.  Digits containing X,Y,Z are the brown couriers, UPS.  But again, sometimes we carry their last mile.  Same for FedEx which uses tracking number often beginning with 61 or 74.  Two digits (ie 92 or 93) are added on to make the Tracking Number a USPS number.
WEEK 12:  If you request a REDELIVERY for something that needs a signature, ensure you are home to sign for it.  This is because there is a cap to delivery attempts; some offices will try twice, others 3 times.
WEEK 11:  If you receive a prior tenants mail with FIRST CLASS Postage on it, it's illegal to throw out.  Put it back in the outgoing mail.  BULK mail (one way postage) can get tossed into the trash.  USPS puts this class directly into recycling if it is addressed to a vacant house, apt. office...
WEEK 10:  When you complete a COA (CHANGE OF ADDRESS), a letter will be sent to you "or Current Resident" at your old address showing change was initiated.  The letter sent to your NEW ADDRESS will contain a CONFIRMATION NUMBER and both the old and new address info you should check and correct by calling into 1-800-ask-USPS .  Allow 7-10 business days to start seeing your forwarded mail.
WEEK 9:  A MISSING MAIL application was added to USPS in 2016.  First try and find your package or trackable mailpiece by filing a CASE first unless it is suggested by a Representative to file the Missing Mail application which your do yourself online.  You also do this if your status reads DEAD MAIL ie. your label fell off and your package was sent to Mail Recovery in Atlanta, Georgia.  Be as detailed as possible, including brand names, etc. so the computer can scan for matches ie. descriptions uploaded by Atlanta, GA Postal Workers who receive the items at their MISSING MAIL Department.
WEEK 8:  If you suspect someone put in a bogus MAIL FORWARDING (COA) in for your address, call into 1-800-ask-USPS so an agent can verify that for you.
WEEK 7:  The USPS often carries the Last Mile for UPS, Fed Ex, etc.  Again, our tracking numbers are different.  USPS tracking numbers are USUALLY 22 digits long, all numbers, beggining with "9"...  Many PRIORITY EXPRESS Mails have two letters in front and end with US. 
WEEK 6:  Once you place an order, most likely the company you're ordering from won't be able to correct your address.  Do this by paying for a Package Intercept OR after you see a failed attempt scan, pick up your mailpiece at the POST OFFICE the following day.  Again, you cannot use a REDLIVERY REQUEST to change the destination of a package or letter.
WEEK 5:  When a LETTER CARRIER scans a mailpiece as ATTEMPTED, NOTICE LEFT automatically populates on the status because that's what they're supposed to do.  Of course they may run out at times.
WEEK 4:  You can have your package or trackable piece status sent to your smart phone.  Just initiate a text to "28777".  That is the number 2, followed by last 4 digits of the 800 number, which is "8777."  AGAIN:  Text the TRACKING NUMBERto "28777"
WEEK 3:   When you order from Amazon or another company and they give you a guaranteed delivery date, call Amazon about it.  Again USPS only guarntees PRIORITY EXPRESS.  Many companies ship using PARCEL SELECT which gets sorted after PRIORITY and FIRST CLASS, in that order beccause it is very discounted One Way postage.
WEEK 2:  If you have a dog, ALWAYS ensure it is locked up until you receive the mail for that day.  The ones that don't bite sometimes do...Dogs will be dogs!
WEEK 1:  If you are visiting from overseas, don't just send something to the US as GENERAL DELIVERY.  Get approval from the applicable Postmaster first. 
NOTE: This website is NOT an Official USPS website. It is a FAN site.

As a Letter Carrier Getting Paid to
Exercize! pic by Gerald Carroll, Mailhandler

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United States Postal Service PO Box 562  Long Beach, CA 90801 (562)804-5625

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Mailing Address: CALL FIRST if sending packages (562)804-5625 PO Box 562 Long Beach, CA 90801