Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Mail This

This is a two part series on my relationship with the US Postal Service
Part I begins and ends on a rainy Wednesday

“I never use bubble mailers” my friend Kim of KimV Glass said to me at a recent visit to my home. “Nope, priority mail in boxes” she said was the “only way to go when mailing something as precious and fragile as glass beads.” “Really?” I asked. “How do you justify the cost of shipping priority to your customers when the beads weigh only a few ounces?” I admit I was intrigued because I would love to use boxes for my beads but I’m not sure my customers want to pay $4.60 to have one key or pendant mailed to them. “Easy, I just tell them my husband worked for the postal service and he said that at any given time a 60 pound box could land on a bubble mailer holding their pendant” “Yikes that’s scary” I said, “I guess I have been lucky, oh and I have been using tins. Have I shown you my tins?” Kim was impressed with the tins and we both agreed the little tins I bought to put my keys and pendants in might protect the beads better than cardboard but it left me wondering about the priority shipping. It’s something I have been thinking about. Or at the very least using boxes and buying insurance. Anyone who does any business online knows how you come to depend on your shipping carrier. In my case it has been the US postal system. They haven’t done me wrong yet. Or so I thought….
Flash forward 3 months and Kim shoots me an email wondering if the electroformed key with the beautiful boro cab she made has arrived for me to add charms and a chain. She wanted to wear our collaborative creation to the BEAD Fiesta which was fast approaching. She had sent it almost a week before. She lives in the southern most part of the state. I live smack in the middle. It’s a small state. I shoot an e-mail back saying no but I’d keep an eye out for it. Not more than 10 minutes goes by and the doorbell rings. It’s pouring buckets out and my postman is standing in the doorway in his finest USPS rain gear looking gloomy. He hands me Kim’s package and apologizes on behalf of the US postal service. OMG I almost burst into tears when I see the crushed envelope in that WE CARE bag. I tear it open with him standing there in the door. We both hold our breath....the key was hiding on the side of the box that wasn't crushed and it was OK!!!!! I mean I kept looking at it and I didn't see any cracks! I can't believe it made it. Kim you are so right about those mailers. I think I need to look at using boxes!!!! KIM WHY DID YOU USE A BUBBLE MAILER WHEN YOU HATE THOSE THINGS???!!!!! I am so telling your husband on you! I was traumatized here!!!!!! Was this a lesson? Maybe it was an omen.... (to be continued)


suzybones said...

Hi Paula!
I read your entry re: Postal Service and bubble mailers. I sell designer cabochons on eBay (a bad word, I know)and use poly bubble mailers with small cardboard jewelry boxes inside. In over 6000 transactions, I have never had one damaged. The paper bubble mailers are a little scary due to the 'tear open' factor, but the polys seem to be indestructible.
On another note, have you tried PayPal Shipping to create your shipping labels? It saves a lot of trips inside the Post Office, includes delivery confirmation on First Class parcels, and virtually eliminates addressing errors.
In closing, your keys are some of the coolest items I have ever come across, and I wear them proudly! (Great Gifts too!)

All my Best, Suzy

Venbead said...

thanks suzy you are the best. yes I know I am insane because I am still going to the PO. I like the poly envelopes and I think I will be getting some.