When a flat rate envelope is not a flat rate envelope

When a flat rate envelope is not a flat rate envelope - Bent Corner

I sold a Mitchel & Ness NFL jersey on eBay the other day and decided the cheapest way to get it to the buyer was to ship it in a Priority Mail flat rate envelope. I ordered some of these envelopes on the USPS website a while back. This is what they look like:

When a flat rate envelope is not a flat rate envelope - Bent Corner

They say FLAT RATE ENVELOPE on the front and they’re made of a soft, bubble poly plastic.

When it came time to print a shipping label for the jersey, I selected the following:

When a flat rate envelope is not a flat rate envelope - Bent Corner

When I took the package to my local Post Office, problems ensued. The reason? Because I selected Priority Mail Flat Rate Envelope when I printed the shipping label. You know, the very thing is said on the front of the envelope.

Not all flat rate envelopes are the same

Unbeknownst to me, I was supposed to keep scrolling down after seeing Priority Mail Flat Rate Envelope from the options of services I was choosing and select Priority Mail Flat Rate Padded Envelope instead of Priority Mail Flat Rate Envelope.

My bad. Silly me.

If I had kept scrolling down and selected Priority Mail Flat Rate Padded Envelope, I would have paid $6.50 instead of the $5.95 I paid through eBay. Because of this error, I had to pay an extra $1.25 at my local Post Office.

The last time I checked, the difference between $5.95 and $6.50 is only 55 cents. Why then did I have to pony up another $1.25? Believe me, I didn’t ask, but I was told it was because I wasn’t getting my eBay discount. The difference between $7.20, the non-eBay cost of sending a Priority Mail Flat Rate Padded Envelope, and the $5.95 I already paid through eBay is $1.25.

When printing labels, always display the postage amount

Good thing I selected Display postage value on label when I printed the damn thing or I would’ve probably have been told to go home and try again.

When a flat rate envelope is not a flat rate envelope - Bent CornerThe problem was that I didn’t have any cash on me. I don’t carry cash or change. It’s 2017 and I try to live a cashless lifestyle. I use my Capital One Venture card for everything.

Cash is dirty. I have it on good authority people use cash to wipe their noses and snort cocaine. We get travel points with the Venture card. Not only do I not have to handle paper money laden with stranger’s spent mucus and cocaine residue, we get to go on vacations for free. We’ve already booked a free week in a condo at Myrtle Beach. The condo is right on the beach and our room overlooks the ocean.

Back to the Post Office. I had to pay $1.25 with my credit card. As much as I love using my credit card and racking up those sweet travel points, I don’t like using it for really small amounts. Because I didn’t want to feel like a jerk and pay $1.25 with my credit card, I also bought a pack of Forever stamps.

I walked out of the Post Office a better person. I left knowing there’s two types of Priority Mail Flat Rate Envelopes when printing an eBay label and I was the proud owner of some patriotic looking stamps that will never expire. Now, if I only had a reason to own stamps that never expire.

Author: Rick Rottman

I’m from California. I live in Maryland. I enjoy Batman, rooting against your favorite sports team, and the musical stylings of Enya. If you'd like to know more about me, check out my About page.

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