If you’re looking for a way to send a few more things to friends or family, and your shopping budget didn’t leave much left in your postage budget, the Post Office has a bargain for last minute mailers. Omaha postmaster EvaJon Sperling says they’re called “flat-rate boxes” and they go for a standard rate. She says you can use either of the two sizes, with “as much stuff as you can cram into it” and still close the box, all for 7-dollars 70-cents anywhere in the country. One box is 13 by 11 by three inches in size, the second about 11 by eight by five inches. Sperling says they’re “nice sturdy boxes,” and will hold a lot. The Domestic Rate Box can be sent anywhere in the continental US plus APO and FPO, “anywhere we send a letter for 37-cents.” An Army Post Office or Fleet Post Office address may indicate a soldier who’s stationed overseas, but APO and FPO addresses are also considered a domestic mailing place under the post office regulations, so they’re included in the places you can send the single-price container. This post office this year has aggressively been promoting “Click and Ship” service you begin over your own home computer, and Sperling says there’s a lot more than ordering stamps that you can do online. She says if you haven’t yet gone online to see what’s possible, “it is so much fun.” For instance you can design cards and have them sent directly by the Post Office, or sent to you so you can personalize them before sending. The Post Office even suggests using its website to arrange for your mail carrier to pick up packages you want to mail, though they still must be weighed to determine the right postage. Sperling has a solution — take your packages into the bathroom. She says then you get on the scale, figure out how much you weigh, then “grab up all your items and weigh yourself again.” The difference is the weight of your package, which she says you can estimate pretty closely. And today you still will be told you can get gifts to their destination in time, with one of several mailing options. Sperling says in this part of the country we have extremely good delivery, and that service is tested and verified from time to time by outside firms. Check the official post office website at USPS-dot-com. Sperling has served as Omaha postmaster since 1995, and oversees 11-hundred employees and the delivery of mail to some 425-thousand people.
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