postal service http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/1742/all en-US Eliminate Junk Mail With the Click of a Button http://www.wisebread.com/eliminate-junk-mail-with-the-click-of-a-button <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/eliminate-junk-mail-with-the-click-of-a-button" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/junk_mail.jpg" alt="Mailbox with junk mail" title="Mailbox with junk mail" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="188" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>On a good day, I&rsquo;ll see a postcard from my dentist, two magazines, and a freelance check in my mailbox. On a bad one, I&rsquo;ll be inundated with phone books, flyers, credit card offers, and even a fake certificate for 20% off a custom-made hearing aid. Generally, I&rsquo;ll dump the unwanted mailings &mdash; or &ldquo;junk&rdquo; mail &mdash; into my recycling bin before I even get into the house. But what if there was a way to easily access the mailing order for these items online and stop them before they get to me? (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/magazines-for-free-or-cheap">Magazines for Free or Cheap</a>)</p> <p>You might already know about some of the more basic tips for killing mailbox clutter, but did you know about all of them?</p> <h2>1. Sign Up to Get Less</h2> <p>Go to the <a href="https://www.dmachoice.org/">Direct Marketing Association&rsquo;s website</a> and sign up for their services. You could potentially reduce up to 80% of your junk mail by notifying them of each piece of mail you receive that you would rather not.</p> <h2>2. Opt Out</h2> <p>Be careful when you fill out forms for <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/sweeping-101-what-the-real-winners-know">sweepstakes</a>, <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-find-really-free-freebies">freebies</a>, or more information on products you know and love. Look for language on the form (usually at the bottom) that lets you know if you will be signing up for mailers, including emails. There should be a box to check or uncheck to remove yourself from further communications. Make sure you indicate your preferences.</p> <h2>3. Cut Credit Offers</h2> <p>Address issues with unsolicited &ldquo;preapproved&rdquo; credit offers by going directly to the company that could remove your name and credit info from the lists sent out to companies. <a href="https://www.optoutprescreen.com/">OptOutPrescreen.com</a> is the place to go to sign up for a five-year or even a lifetime halt to having your info circulated. While it will take time to see a reduction in offers, it can eventually put a dent in the junk mail.</p> <h2>4. Challenge Charities</h2> <p>Yes, they can do good things.They can also place a combined total of 2-10 phone calls a day to the average household! If charity request phone calls are driving you batty (and the accompanying solicitation mail pieces feel wasteful and intrusive), use this <a href="http://www.charitywatch.org/articles/fundraising.html">&ldquo;fundraising reduction notice&rdquo;</a> to alert charities that you will be glad to continue sending gifts (if you already do), but don&rsquo;t need the extra communication.</p> <h2>5. Cull Catalogs</h2> <p>Big, thick catalogs and those unnecessary phone book mailings are the worst offenders to your cramped mailbox (and the environment). Get proactive with the next batch of unwanted mailings by signing up with <a href="http://www.catalogchoice.org/">Catalog Choice</a>. They can do a search by ZIP code or company name to find out what mass mailings are being delivered to all the mailboxes in your area, then help you to say &ldquo;no.&rdquo; They can also give you the tools to reject future mailings from virtually any company as well. (Their efforts to reduce waste <a href="https://www.catalogchoice.org/communities">by community</a> are impressive.)</p> <p>While you&rsquo;re waiting around for your efforts to pay off &mdash; with a reduction in <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/capital-one-whats-in-your-envelope">unnecessary packaging</a> and a big break for the mail carrier &mdash; why not check out these additional resources? You can find more info on the process of cutting clutter in the mailbox at <a href="http://www.ecocycle.org/junkmail/index.cfm">Ecocycle.org</a> and revisit some ways to unsubscribe by the good, old-fashioned telephone and postal mail in Nora's take on <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-remove-yourself-from-mailing-lists-and-eliminate-junk-mail">reducing mailings</a>.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/linsey-knerl">Linsey Knerl</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/eliminate-junk-mail-with-the-click-of-a-button">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/3-ways-to-ban-spam-and-stop-junk">3 Ways to Ban Spam and Stop Junk</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/these-5-apps-will-help-you-finally-organize-your-money">These 5 Apps Will Help You Finally Organize Your Money</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/your-ssn-can-now-be-accurately-guessed-using-date-and-place-of-birth">Your SSN Can Now Be Accurately Guessed Using Date and Place of Birth</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-refill-an-ink-cartridge-with-a-small-piece-of-tape">How to refill an ink cartridge with a small piece of tape</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/what-is-sopa-and-how-will-it-affect-you-0">What Is SOPA, and How Will It Affect You?</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Consumer Affairs Organization Technology get rid of clutter junk mail postal service Mon, 27 Jun 2011 09:48:47 +0000 Linsey Knerl 592319 at http://www.wisebread.com Postal Dis-Service? http://www.wisebread.com/postal-dis-service <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/postal-dis-service" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/356528_us_postal_mailbox.jpg" alt="mail box" title="mail box" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="202" height="300" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>A recent article in the <a href="http://www.nydailynews.com/money/2009/05/04/2009-05-04_priority_mail_isnt_faster_than_regular_mail.html">NY Daily News</a> confirmed something I&rsquo;ve experienced firsthand - some of the Postal Service claims regarding Priority Mail (2 to 3 day delivery) are not always accurate. In fact, based on what was in the article as well as my own personal experience, the delivery time of Priority Mail was at times no different than first class mail, their cheapest service, which in the case of a letter is forty two cents. The cost of a Priority Mail envelope is $4.95.</p> <p>The postal service willingly acknowledges that the speed of Priority Mail may not be any quicker than regular postage, and will cover themselves by refusing to guarantee that the letter or parcel will in fact get there in two days, thus leaving it to us, the customer, to make the appropriate choice. </p> <p>In the article, the Daily News found that 8 of the 10 items arrived at their location on the same day. Now granted, it was not a very scientific experiment, and some of the deliveries were between boroughs, so it was going to take a day, at most. Even still, it makes you wonder, what exactly are they trying to sell us?</p> <p>Now I&rsquo;m not here to knock the Postal Service. For the most part, I&rsquo;m more than satisfied with the job they do, especially in lieu of the horrendous amounts of mail the have to handle. But I have had issues in the past with Priority Mail, even though every time I&rsquo;ve used it, they always hedge their claims by saying, &ldquo;Give or take a day or two.&rdquo; Even then, I&rsquo;m still willing to pay for it. Sometimes it&rsquo;s come through for me, and sometimes it&rsquo;s let me down.</p> <p>After giving it a bit of thought, I&rsquo;ve concluded that there are five categories that I might fall into:</p> <p><strong>1. The sender who chooses Priority Mail</strong> and could have used regular mail. This usually happens with in-state or cross-town mailings. It&rsquo;s very frustrating because I spend more than I had to. Besides the monetary inefficiency, there is the loss of face in feeling duped and suckered.</p> <p><strong>2. The sender who chooses Priority Mail</strong> and it didn&rsquo;t get there in 2 to 3 days. Even more aggravating because I didn&rsquo;t get what I paid for, but even worse, there is nobody to whine to. In fact, all the complaining in the world will more than likely have little effect on changing the status quo, making me feel powerless and impotent.</p> <p><strong>3. The sender who does not choose Priority Mail</strong> and wished they had. Honestly, I don&rsquo;t think I&rsquo;ve ever fallen into this category because even if there&rsquo;s a chance that it might get there late (with dire consequences), I'm going to choose Priority Mail.</p> <p><strong>4. The receiver who was waiting for something sent by Priority Mail</strong> and did not receive it in 2 to 3 days. More disappointing than frustrating, though we&rsquo;ve experienced it with our children&rsquo;s holiday presents and consequently really felt cheated. Again, there is nobody to voice your feelings to.</p> <p><strong>5. The receiver who was waiting for something sent by Priority Mail</strong>, received it on time, but wished the sender had saved their money and sent it instead by First Class. Again, I don&rsquo;t think I&rsquo;ve ever experienced this one, either, mainly because we&rsquo;re usually so excited about receiving the package that we&rsquo;re more than willing to forgive the extravagance of the sender.</p> <p>Maybe you&rsquo;ve found yourself in one of these situations. If so, please share it with us.</p> <p>Perhaps the biggest frustration that arises is when the package doesn&rsquo;t arrive on time is lack of accountability. Sure, we can air out our grievances to the person behind the counter, but there is a good chance that they are not hearing a word we&rsquo;re saying and even if they did, would be powerless to do anything about it. </p> <p>Now I&rsquo;ve never attempted this, but I&rsquo;m guessing the post office isn&rsquo;t going to give you your money back, but I could be wrong. Besides, what&rsquo;s done is done, and all your moaning and groaning is not going to change that.</p> <p>Furthermore, the Post Office is not technically hiding anything. In the absence of any concrete guarantees, the impetus lies with us to be informed and make the proper choice, and when you really get down to it, the choice of Priority Mail is not without a few perks. The spiffy cardboard envelope and delivery confirmation (which for entertainment value alone is worth something) come to mind.</p> <p>Best of all, I get the peace of mind of knowing that I did my part and tried my best. If anyone questions my claim of diligence, I fear not.</p> <p>After all, the Post Office will give me a receipt.<br /> &nbsp;</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/fred-lee">Fred Lee</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/postal-dis-service">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/eliminate-junk-mail-with-the-click-of-a-button">Eliminate Junk Mail With the Click of a Button</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-best-4-step-plan-to-manage-your-medical-correspondence">The Best 4-Step Plan to Manage Your Medical Correspondence</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-spot-a-charity-scam-from-a-mile-away">How to Spot a Charity Scam From a Mile Away</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/netspend-the-story-of-the-visa-debit-card-we-did-not-apply-for">netSpend: The Story of the Visa Debit Card We Did Not Apply For</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/banks-manipulate-your-transactions-may-charge-you-1750-overdraft-fee">Banks Can Manipulate Your Transactions, Then Charge You 1750% Overdraft Fee</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Consumer Affairs mail postal service priority mail Wed, 06 May 2009 13:44:51 +0000 Fred Lee 3128 at http://www.wisebread.com Does the Forever Stamp Make Cents? http://www.wisebread.com/does-the-forever-stamp-make-cents <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/wisebread_imce/stamp_small.jpg" alt=" " width="255" height="169" /></p> <p>The United States Postal Service <a href="http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/05/03/AR2006050301039.html">announced</a> that they may issue a &quot;forever stamp&quot; - that is, a stamp that you can buy now, at a given price, that will be good into eternity. Like all hedging, this sounded like a good idea at the time, but fortunately, there are people <a href="http://www.marginalrevolution.com/marginalrevolution/2006/05/the_forever_sta.html">much smarter than me</a> out there to <a href="http://www.thesimpledollar.com/2007/02/27/usps-announces-the-forever-stamp-is-it-worth-your-039/">crunch the numbers</a>.</p> <p>I tend buy stamps in bulk and then get seriously irritated when the rates go up a couple of years later and I&#39;m forced to buy all those one and two-cent stamps to supplement my original purchases. So, on the surface, the forever stamp sounds like a good deal - spend $0.41 per stamp today for hundreds of stamps, and those stamps will be good for as long as they can still stick to an envelope!</p> <p>However, according to <a href="http://www.thesimpledollar.com/2007/02/27/usps-announces-the-forever-stamp-is-it-worth-your-039/">The Simple Dollar</a>:</p> <blockquote><p class="blockquote">In other words, when the “forever” stamp goes into effect, <strong>buying a bunch of stamps just before a rate increase is a very effective way to save money.</strong> You can easily outpace inflation with this “investment” and even outpace a lot of other investments, including money market accounts. Of course, over a longer period of time (a period of two stamp rate increases or more), the price increases begin to match inflation, and that’s <em>not</em> a good investment. </p> </blockquote> <p>You can use and inflation calculator to determine the buying power of a any money from past to present <a href="http://www.westegg.com/inflation/">here</a>. </p> <p>Does anyone even buy stamps anymore? I try to do all of my bill paying online, since the last time I paid my mortgage with an actual paper check, the bank had no idea what to do with it, and called me, asking why I hadn&#39;t paid my mortgage like I always did.</p> <p>Random, slightly pointless, and obscenity-filled rant about cent-stealing stamp machine at the post office, anyone?</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/andrea-karim">Andrea Karim</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/does-the-forever-stamp-make-cents">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/roll-your-own-cost-of-living-index">Roll your own cost-of-living index</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-financial-moves-now-that-youll-regret-when-you-retire">5 Financial Moves Now That You&#039;ll Regret When You Retire</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/could-trump-bring-higher-interest-rates-and-inflation-consider-these-money-moves">Could Trump Bring Higher Interest Rates and Inflation? Consider These Money Moves</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-investments-that-may-soar-during-trumps-term">8 Investments That May Soar During Trump&#039;s Term</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-frugal-destinations-for-a-dreamy-winter-getaway">8 Frugal Destinations for a Dreamy Winter Getaway</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Frugal Living email futures contracts hedging bets inflation postal service snail mail stamps USPS Tue, 06 Mar 2007 07:12:37 +0000 Andrea Karim 324 at http://www.wisebread.com