mail http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/722/all en-US What Does Your Junk Mail Say About You? http://www.wisebread.com/what-does-your-junk-mail-say-about-you <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/what-does-your-junk-mail-say-about-you" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/businesswoman_reading_a_letter_at_office.jpg" alt="Businesswoman reading a letter at office" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Since it costs money to produce and mail marketing materials, most of the junk mail you receive does not end up in your mailbox by accident. Marketing companies target customers with junk mail based on information that leads them to believe you would be a good candidate for their offers. The companies that send junk mail use information such as credit history, credit card balances, mortgage information, and public records to find targets for their marketing materials. They also buy lists of potential customers that have recently purchased a certain type of item or signed up for a catalog in a product category.</p> <p>What does the type of junk mail you receive say about you?</p> <h2>You have high net worth</h2> <p>If the information available to marketers such as home value in your neighborhood or length of your credit history indicates that you have significant net worth or may be nearing retirement, you may get offers related to investment and retirement planning offers, invitations to free dinner events to learn about investment services, and offers to subscribe to investment newsletters.</p> <h2>You have good credit</h2> <p>People with good credit scores tend to get the best credit offers. If you have a high credit score, you might receive offers for rewards and travel credit cards, preapproved credit card offers with favorable terms, and balance transfer offers with low fees. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-questions-to-ask-before-accepting-a-credit-card-offer?ref=seealso" target="_blank">10 Questions to Ask Before Accepting a Credit Card Offer</a>)</p> <h2>You have poor credit or high debt</h2> <p>Credit offers with the least favorable terms are targeted to those with lower credit scores, since these people are more likely to take an offer with worse terms. Those with poor credit will typically get applications for credit cards with low &quot;teaser&quot; interest rates that go up, debt consolidation offers, and applications for credit cards with high interest rates, and high annual fees, as well.</p> <h2>You shop a lot</h2> <p>Many types of mail order purchases, online purchases, and orders from TV infomercials will get your name on catalog mailing lists that will be used to try to sell you related things, or even unrelated things.</p> <h2>You live in a good neighborhood</h2> <p>Some types of junk mail are sent to all residences in particular neighborhoods that are seen to be a good fit for what they are selling. You'll see lawn care and pest control services, high-end security alarm installation, and house cleaning deals addressed to you.</p> <h2>You're fixing up your house</h2> <p>Once you request information about one home improvement item, you'll likely start to get other offers as well, such as big ticket home improvement installations for doors, windows, siding, roofing, remodeling, and coupons from home improvement stores.</p> <h2>You bought a new car</h2> <p>If you buy a car from a dealer, your name can end up on a variety of mailing lists. Based on the date you purchased your car, you can get junk mail anticipating your next car purchase three or four years later. You'll get extended warranty offers, invitations for test drives, and contests you can enter if you stop by the car dealership.</p> <h2>You're an athlete or sports fan</h2> <p>If you buy sporting equipment by mail order or at a sporting goods store with delivery, your name and address can start to circulate on marketing lists for sporting goods, or fishing, hunting, and camping products.</p> <p>Or if you order tickets to watch your favorite sports team in action or sign up for a fan club, marketing companies will try to sell you other items related to your team, such as fan merchandise or event ticket offers.</p> <h2>You're a globe-trotter</h2> <p>Frequent travelers are a classic target for marketing via junk mail. If you're often seeing the world, once you get home you'll find vacation package offers, hotel club invitations, and frequent flyer program info in your mailbox. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-best-credit-card-perks-beyond-points-and-miles?ref=seealso" target="_blank">The Best Travel Credit Card Perks Beyond Points and Miles</a>)</p> <h2>What are the best junk mail offers?</h2> <p>While most junk mail really is junk &mdash; either promotions for stuff you don't need, or offers that aren't a good deal anyway &mdash; sometimes the market research behind the junk mail works out, and you get an offer for a product you need at a price that makes sense, such as:</p> <ul> <li> <p>Credit card offers</p> </li> <li> <p>Balance transfer offers</p> </li> <li> <p>Loyalty programs</p> </li> <li> <p>Bank bonus offers</p> </li> <li> <p>Coupons for products that you buy regularly</p> </li> </ul> <h2>Can you sell your junk mail?</h2> <p>There is a lot of information that can be gleaned by studying junk mail, so much so that you can actually get paid to send in your junk mail for analysis. A company called Small Business Knowledge Center (<a href="http://www.sbkcenter.com/consumer.html" target="_blank">SBKC</a>) processes junk mail to identify marketing strategies and provide competitive intelligence to their corporate clients. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/heres-how-to-earn-170-a-year-with-your-junk-mail?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Here's How to Earn $170 a Year With Your Junk Mail</a>)</p> <h2>How to get less junk mail</h2> <p>Many people don't find value in getting junk mail and would prefer not to waste the paper used to print it, or the time dealing with it. There are some actions you can take to cut down the amount of junk mail you receive.</p> <h3>OptOutPrescreen</h3> <p><a href="https://www.optoutprescreen.com/?rf=t" target="_blank">OptOutPrescreen</a> allows you to opt out of preapproved credit card offers. You will be asked to provide your social security number, but after you opt out, your name will not be reported in lists provided by the credit reporting companies to credit card marketers.</p> <h3>DMAchoice</h3> <p><a href="https://dmachoice.thedma.org/index.php" target="_blank">DMAchoice</a> is a service run by the Data &amp; Marketing Association (DMA) that allows you to cut down on the amount of direct mailings and catalogs you get. You can use their online tools to select which types of marketing materials you would like to receive &mdash; and which you don't want.</p> <h3>Catalog Choice</h3> <p>If you are plagued by too many catalogs filling your mailbox, <a href="https://www.catalogchoice.org/" target="_blank">Catalog Choice</a> is another resource to opt out of unwanted mailings. They will send opt out requests to merchants on your behalf for specific catalogs that you no longer want to get.</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Fwhat-does-your-junk-mail-say-about-you&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2FWhat%2520Does%2520Your%2520Junk%2520Mail%2520Say%2520About%2520You-.jpg&amp;description=What%20Does%20Your%20Junk%20Mail%20Say%20About%20You%3F"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/What%20Does%20Your%20Junk%20Mail%20Say%20About%20You-.jpg" alt="What Does Your Junk Mail Say About You?" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/dr-penny-pincher">Dr Penny Pincher</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/what-does-your-junk-mail-say-about-you">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/5-after-the-holidays-moves-your-credit-score-will-thank-you-for">5 After the Holidays Moves Your Credit Score Will Thank You For</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/how-to-erase-your-medical-debt">How to Erase Your Medical Debt</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/6-monthly-bills-that-wont-affect-your-credit-score">6 Monthly Bills That Won&#039;t Affect Your Credit Score</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/5-steps-to-successful-budgeting">5 Steps to Successful Budgeting</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/debit-or-credit-which-one-should-you-choose-at-the-checkout">Debit Or Credit? Which One Should You Choose At The Checkout?</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Budgeting Consumer Affairs bills credit score junk mail mail paperwork shopping habits spending habits Wed, 04 Oct 2017 08:30:11 +0000 Dr Penny Pincher 2030769 at http://www.wisebread.com How to Save Money at the Post Office http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-save-money-at-the-post-office <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/how-to-save-money-at-the-post-office" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock_15385326_MEDIUM.jpg" alt="saving money at the post offie" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Visiting the post office can get very expensive, very quickly. Fortunately, there are several ways to save money at the post office, without sacrificing any of the quality or services you've come to expect.</p> <h2>Buy Forever Stamps</h2> <p>The benefit of forever stamps is that the value never &quot;expires.&quot; This means that if the cost of stamps increases again, your forever stamps will still be just as valuable as they were when the price was lower. On the other hand, if you have a bunch of $0.47 stamps lying around and the price of stamps increases again, you will need to purchase supplemental stamps to make up the difference in cost. Forever stamps aren't any more expensive than normal stamps, so there's no reason not to purchase them.</p> <h2>Buy Stamps Elsewhere</h2> <p>Making a trip to the post office just for stamps can be a waste of time, money, and effort. Instead, consider purchasing stamps at your local grocery store, ATM, or even ordering them online and <a href="https://store.usps.com/store/browse/category.jsp?categoryId=buy-stamps">printing them out at home</a>.</p> <h2>Go With Postcards</h2> <p>If you're sending a lot of holiday cards or making an announcement, consider sending postcards instead of traditional cards. When it comes to sending cards, saving money with the postcard stamp of $0.34 on all those cards can really add up. That's because for every postcard you send (rather than a traditional card), you will save $0.13.</p> <h2>Weigh Your Items First</h2> <p>You can often choose your shipping options and print out the shipping label at home using services like PayPal. However, if you need to go into the post office to arrange shipment, then make sure to weigh your items beforehand and do some research on the USPS site to find which option will be the most affordable, so that you're prepared when you get there.</p> <h2>Use Media Mail</h2> <p>Use Media Mail whenever possible to save on shipping costs. Media mail service is for shipping things like books, CDs, DVDs, magazines, educational media, and computer-related media at a low cost. Visit the USPS.com for more information on what you can send using <a href="http://about.usps.com/notices/not121/not121.htm">Media Mail services</a>.</p> <p>Keep in mind that the post office has the right to examine what's inside your Media Mail package to ensure it fits within their guidelines, so make sure you're only shipping the approved items. If you attempt to ship items that are not approved via Media Mail, it can be considered a postal crime, which is a federal offense, and definitely not worth the savings.</p> <h2>Use First-Class Mail for Small Packages</h2> <p>If you have a package that weighs less than 13 oz, you likely won't find a cheaper, faster option than <a href="https://www.usps.com/ship/first-class-mail.htm">First-Class mail</a>. Your item will arrive in 1-3 business days and won't cost much.</p> <h2>Use Priority Mail</h2> <p><a href="https://www.usps.com/ship/priority-mail.htm?gclid=Cj0KEQjwte27BRCM6vjIidHvnKQBEiQAC4MzrYN9UliUVadm95HsBtVAVegmUsWfgGpJZnjPo0voPp4aApGT8P8HAQ">Priority Mail flat rate shipping</a> offers a flat rate to any state, for shipments up to 70 lbs. It includes free package pickup, online tracking, and up to $50 of insurance with most shipments. For small, heavy items, this is usually the way to go. Best of all, if you print your label from home and have the package picked up for free, you won't have to visit the post office at all.</p> <p>You can pick up the appropriate Priority Mail envelopes or boxes from your local post office. You can also order free <a href="https://store.usps.com/store/browse/subcategory.jsp?categoryId=free-shipping-supplies">Priority Mail and Priority Mail Express supplies</a> online with <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-surprising-things-you-can-have-delivered">free home delivery</a>.</p> <h2>Go Minimal</h2> <p>Shipping an item is expensive enough as it is. Adding services like insurance, tracking, receipt confirmation, and other add-ons can really rack up the cost. When possible, choose the slowest shipping option with minimal add-ons to save the most.</p> <h2>Recycle Shipping Supplies</h2> <p>Whenever possible, save your packaging materials from previous shipments so that you don't have to buy new ones later. When you receive a package, consider saving the bubble wrap, packing peanuts, and even the box. If you have old newspapers, you may want to save those for your next shipment, as well.</p> <h2>Choose the Right Shipping Service</h2> <p>USPS is typically the most affordable shipping service provider, but that's not always the case, particularly when you have larger items to ship. If you aren't set on using USPS, sites like <a href="https://shipgooder.com/#/">ShipGooder</a> can help you choose the best shipping service for your items.</p> <h2>Go With UPS Instead</h2> <p>Sometimes, the best way to save money with USPS is to choose a different service provider altogether. For instance, if you need insurance on your package, it may be a better idea to go with UPS. UPS offers $100 in insurance for free, so it may be a better option if you're shipping a large or valuable package.</p> <p><em>Do you have other tips for saving money at the post office? Please share your thoughts in the comments!</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/andrea-cannon">Andrea Cannon</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-save-money-at-the-post-office">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-2"> <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/flashback-friday-44-sneaky-shopping-traps-to-avoid">Flashback Friday: 44 Sneaky Shopping Traps to Avoid</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/9-money-lessons-to-take-from-the-great-depression">9 Money Lessons to Take From the Great Depression</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/this-email-trick-will-save-you-big-on-shopping">This Email Trick Will Save You Big on Shopping</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/6-ways-to-use-google-alerts-to-save-money">6 Ways to Use Google Alerts to Save Money</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/4-brilliant-tips-from-smart-mom-rich-mom">4 Brilliant Tips From &quot;Smart Mom, Rich Mom&quot;</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Frugal Living Shopping budgeting frugal living mail Post Office saving money shipping shipping costs Tue, 12 Jul 2016 09:00:14 +0000 Andrea Cannon 1749748 at http://www.wisebread.com Pay Your Bills and 5 Other Things You Must Do Before You Leave on Vacation http://www.wisebread.com/pay-your-bills-and-5-other-things-you-must-do-before-you-leave-on-vacation <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/pay-your-bills-and-5-other-things-you-must-do-before-you-leave-on-vacation" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/mother_daughter_luggage_000039949614.jpg" alt="Mother and daughter doing things before going on vacation" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>You packed for the flight to a <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-dramatic-vacation-spots-for-tv-and-film-fanatics">really cool location</a>, re-installed the smoke detector, and made sure the oven was off, but there's a lot more you can do to make your return home less stressful. Here are the six things to do before you leave on vacation.</p> <h2>1. Tell Your Bank</h2> <p>It happens to everyone at least once: You're enjoying a nice meal in a new city, you pay the bill, the server tells you the card doesn't work, and you panic. Prevent this by calling your bank several days before your trip to alert them that you're planning to use your card(s) on vacation. It's especially important if you're traveling to a faraway destination you've never been before.</p> <h2>2. Resolve Your Email Inbox</h2> <p>Any lingering emails still marked as &quot;unread&quot; at the top of the inbox? Now's a good time to respond with simple answers. Make coworkers and friends feel at ease and have a lot less to deal with when you return. Going away for longer than a long weekend? Definitely worth turning on the vacation auto-responder so your contacts don't feel neglected. When it comes to snail mail, it's worth setting up a vacation hold if no one's checking it for you.</p> <h2>3. Clean House</h2> <p>Who wants to come home to a dirty house? Get the sink clear of dishes, vacuum, and do a number on the shower you've been putting off cleaning. Also, take an afternoon to wash laundry, especially sheets &mdash; never underestimate the power of coming home to a fresh scented, freshly made bed. This will ensure coming home will be a stressless transition.</p> <h2>4. Secure a Pet Plan</h2> <p>Have pets and need to arrange for their care? Get your kennel or sitter lined up at least two weeks before a long trip. Plan for all the variables. Don't forget to stock up on extra pet food so someone else doesn't have to hit the store. Get extra keys made for your sitter if necessary. Get extra scat bags, toys, catnip, anything that may help your pets stay comfortable and alive while you're away.</p> <h2>5. Schedule Bill Payments</h2> <p>Going to be away for more than a week and don't want to stop the fun to pay your bills? Set up a bill pay system with your financial institution one billing cycle in advance so that you can be sure it works and the payments post. If timing is an issue, you can also try calling your credit card companies to let them know you are going to be away and payments might be a day or two late.</p> <h2>6. Turn Off Meters</h2> <p>Own a home? Those electric outlets still suck power. Leaks can happen anytime. Turning off your water, gas, and electric meters are a good way to save money while on longer trips and can prevent any kind of disasters that could happen from being worse. It's worth the extra few minutes.</p> <p><em>How do you prepare for a long trip?</em></p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this post? Pin it!</h2> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><a href="//www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Fpay-your-bills-and-5-other-things-you-must-do-before-you-leave-on-vacation&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2FPay%20Your%20Bills%20and%205%20Other%20Things%20You%20Must%20Do%20Before%20You%20Leave%20on%20Vacation.jpg&amp;description=Pay%20Your%20Bills%20and%205%20Other%20Things%20You%20Must%20Do%20Before%20You%20Leave%20on%20Vacation" data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-config="above" data-pin-color="red" data-pin-height="28"><img src="//assets.pinterest.com/images/pidgets/pinit_fg_en_rect_red_28.png" alt="" /></a> </p> <!-- Please call pinit.js only once per page --><!-- Please call pinit.js only once per page --><script type="text/javascript" async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/Pay%20Your%20Bills%20and%205%20Other%20Things%20You%20Must%20Do%20Before%20You%20Leave%20on%20Vacation.jpg" width="250" height="374" alt="" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/amanda-meadows">Amanda Meadows</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/pay-your-bills-and-5-other-things-you-must-do-before-you-leave-on-vacation">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-2"> <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/6-unexpected-benefits-of-solo-travel">6 Unexpected Benefits of Solo Travel</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/how-to-avoid-theft-while-traveling">How to Avoid Theft While Traveling</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/5-ways-to-avoid-expensive-phone-charges-when-traveling">5 Ways to Avoid Expensive Phone Charges When Traveling</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/10-things-to-leave-behind-during-your-midsummer-trip">10 Things to Leave Behind During Your Midsummer Trip</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/car-yoga-and-9-other-ways-to-beat-long-drives">Car Yoga and 9 Other Ways to Beat Long Drives</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Life Hacks Travel bills mail out of town pets planning vacation Wed, 19 Aug 2015 15:00:30 +0000 Amanda Meadows 1524655 at http://www.wisebread.com Where to Find the Cheapest Shipping Rates http://www.wisebread.com/where-to-find-the-cheapest-shipping-rates <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/where-to-find-the-cheapest-shipping-rates" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/fed_ex.jpg" alt="Woman with a FedEx plane" title="Woman with a FedEx plane" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="144" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Whether you are shipping items for a small business, sending out your manuscript to multiple publishers, or simply mailing a gift, you don't want to get burned on the shipping costs. Doing a little extra research to find the cheapest shipping rates could save you a lot of money. Even those little fees can add up quickly!</p> <p>If you are on the lookout for the cheapest shipping rate possible, comparing the major shipping carriers is an easy place to start. You can go to websites that help you calculate and compare shipping costs. <a title="FreightCenter.com" href="http://www.freightcenter.com/">FreightCenter.com</a> is a good resource for large shipments, or you can try <a title="ShipGooder" href="http://shipgooder.com/">ShipGooder</a> to compare the major shipping carriers.</p> <p>To get you started, here are some of the special rates and programs offered by the three major carriers. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-get-free-shipping-and-online-discounts-across-the-web">How to Get Free Shipping and Online Discounts Across the Web</a>)</p> <h3>United States Postal Service (USPS)</h3> <p>After playing around at ShipGooder and putting in a few sample locations and weights, it appears that the USPS is the cheapest way to ship anything. One of the cheapest ways to ship with the USPS is to use their new <a href="http://faq.usps.com/eCustomer/iq/usps/request.do?session={55aeea80-ccd2-11e0-6d9d-000000000000}&amp;event=1&amp;view%28%29=c{6854c760-7b0e-11e0-4b1a-000000000000}&amp;objectId=&amp;eksObjectId=&amp;objectType=Case&amp;isJumpEnabled=false&amp;isContentJumpEnabled=false&amp;vendorKey=&amp;objTitle=&amp;versionId=7022&amp;searchProperties=type:natural&amp;naturalAdvance=false&amp;allStr=&amp;phraseStr=&amp;anyStr=&amp;noneStr=&amp;keywordStr=&amp;tTitle=&amp;topicFromSub=&amp;topicsORSubUrl=&amp;report%280000%29=p{2adbb220-28a9-11e0-5c1d-000000000000}&amp;bcobjectId={2adbb220-28a9-11e0-5c1d-000000000000}&amp;search=Cheapest%20rates&amp;topicAndSubtopic=Customer%20Service$ALL">Forever Flat Rate Packaging</a>. You can lock in future increases in prices by purchasing one of their flat-rate packages, which range in size and price. There's no additional shipping fee for packages up to 70 pounds, and there's also free delivery confirmation.</p> <p>The USPS also offers a much cheaper shipping rate for media items, but be aware that there are <a href="http://about.usps.com/notices/not121/not121.htm">media mail restrictions</a> and postal workers have the right to inspect any media mail package to ensure that the contents fit their requirements. It can also take up to six business days for delivery, but it is definitely the cheapest way to ship media.</p> <h3>FedEx</h3> <p>If you aren't using media mail, FedEx is the only carrier that offers a slightly lower ground rate than the USPS Parcel Post. For Next Day, Two Day, and Three Day shipping, FedEx's rates are more expensive than USPS and a little cheaper than UPS's rates. But the rates range according to the shipping location and the weight of the package (go to <a title="ShipGooder" href="http://shipgooder.com/">ShipGooder</a> to compare the costs for a specific shipment). FedEx also recently announced that they will be <a href="http://news.van.fedex.com/node/17599">raising their shipping rates</a> beginning in September 2011, so they might be more expensive than UPS. If you want to make sure you will not have to worry about rate increases, the USPS is the only carrier that allows you to lock in a price through their prepaid packaging. Even if FedEx is more expensive, it tends to have better customer reviews in terms of speed and reliability.</p> <h3>United Parcel Service (UPS)</h3> <p>To earn extra money over the holidays last year, I was a temporary driver helper for UPS. During one of the busiest weeks of the year, the driver and I delivered close to 200 packages a day, which I was told was almost twice as many deliveries as their competitors. I must say that I was baffled by the fact that so many people chose UPS after I learned that the company has the most expensive rates of all the major carriers. But then I remembered that we made deliveries and pick-ups for a lot of small businesses. To some business owners, the convenience of using a personal shipping account through the UPS website is worth the extra cost. If you are a business owner, check out <a href="http://www.ups.com/bussol/?loc=en_US&amp;viewID=browseView&amp;WT.svl=PriNav&amp;WT.svl=PNRO_L1">UPS Business Solutions</a> on their site to see what they have to offer for businesses. But if you do not <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/start-a-business-for-next-to-nothing">own a business</a>, or ship items often, UPS will cost you a lot more than the USPS or FedEx.</p> <p>You can always check the websites of the carriers to search for special promotions. But I have found that the best way to find out if you are getting the cheapest rate is to call your local Post Office or shipping store and talk to a human being. From my experience, people who work in the shipping business are extremely friendly and willing to help you save costs on shipping, even if it means going with one of their competitors.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ashley-watson">Ashley Watson</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/where-to-find-the-cheapest-shipping-rates">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-3"> <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/22-reasons-to-write-a-letter">22 Reasons to Write a Letter</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/how-to-save-money-at-the-post-office">How to Save Money at the Post Office</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/welcome-to-container-city-how-shipping-containers-are-recycled-into-green-dwellings">Welcome to Container City - How Shipping Containers Are Recycled into Green Dwellings</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/whats-your-frugal-obsession">What&#039;s your frugal obsession?</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-are-your-tipping-rules">What Are Your Tipping Rules?</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Frugal Living cheapest shipping options mail shipping container Tue, 23 Aug 2011 10:00:14 +0000 Ashley Watson 648805 at http://www.wisebread.com 22 Reasons to Write a Letter http://www.wisebread.com/22-reasons-to-write-a-letter <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/22-reasons-to-write-a-letter" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/writing_a_letter1.jpg" alt="Woman holding envelopes" title="Woman holding envelopes" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="143" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>My daughter loves getting mail. Since she&rsquo;s only 18 months old, that doesn&rsquo;t happen very often. But the journey to the mailbox is still something we do religiously every day, because it brings her so much joy.</p> <p>Truth be told, I still love receiving packages and letters. Not the junk kind, but the real kind, from friends or relatives, just telling me about their days. But it takes effort to correspond this way, especially in today&rsquo;s world of easy electronic communication. Here are some times when it&rsquo;s definitely worthwhile to make that effort. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-importance-of-friendly-letters">The Importance of Friendly Letters</a>)</p> <h3>1. Get a Deal</h3> <p>Some companies don&rsquo;t publish their coupons, but will send them to you if you request them in writing. It&rsquo;s always good to include a Self-Addressed Stamped Envelope (SASE) when you make your request, too, so it&rsquo;s easier for them.</p> <h3>2. Express Yourself</h3> <p>Read a newspaper article that you didn&rsquo;t like? Find an editorial that you could have written better fast asleep? Send the newspaper a letter to let them know what you&rsquo;re thinking. Maybe they&rsquo;ll publish it under &ldquo;Letters to the Editor!&rdquo;</p> <h3>3. Make Some Change</h3> <p>Tell your Congressman, Assemblywoman, or another politician what you think. While emails and phone calls can work, too, a handwritten letter expressing strong sentiments just might be heard where those aren&rsquo;t. And you might even get a response, too &mdash; after all, even Barak Obama hand writes 10 letters to citizens every day!</p> <h3>4. Cause a Ripple</h3> <p>Interested in changing something in your community but not sure how to go about it? Crafting a letter that you then deliver to every home and business in your area can be a great way to be heard and to find others who agree with you.</p> <h3>5. Have Some Class</h3> <p>Have you ever wanted to feel posh in your communication? Send a letter instead of an email. Bonus points if it&rsquo;s handwritten.</p> <h3>6. Add That Personal Touch</h3> <p>Sure, most of what you need to tell people doesn&rsquo;t require a personal letter. But when you want to make sure the recipient of your words knows who you are and that you leave a positive impression, writing a letter instead of sending an email or leaving a voicemail will help you do just that.</p> <h3>7. Get Offline</h3> <p>Give your computer the boot for the day (or the week) and send all your communications by mail. Not only is it a blast from the past, but it lets you unplug, too.</p> <h3>8. Send Your Voice Farther</h3> <p>Though the Internet and email are used widely around the world, there are still places where they aren&rsquo;t common. If you want to get a message to people in these parts, send a letter. Better yet, get a pen pal and build a relationship.</p> <h3>9. Preserve Memories</h3> <p>Even if your kids don&rsquo;t remember what&rsquo;s going on now, they might want to someday. Jotting down little notes for them about events you go to together, special days, and even the things they do that make you smile will help both of you remember what happened and what&rsquo;s important.</p> <h3>10. Remind Yourself of Now</h3> <p>Sending a letter to your future self might sound pretty cliche, but it&rsquo;s actually a great way to preserve who you are now, so you can remember later. You may not agree with any of your advice for the future, but you&rsquo;ll be able to hear your own voice, which might be even better.</p> <h3>11. Speak to the Future</h3> <p>Time capsules are so 1992, but the truth is that they do preserve aspects of an era that are often forgotten. Make your own time capsule for your children or grandchildren by writing letters to them now that they can read in 15 or 20 years.</p> <h3>12. Say &ldquo;Thanks&rdquo;</h3> <p>Thank you notes aren&rsquo;t overrated. In fact, they&rsquo;re a great way to reach out and touch people. Let them know that you noticed and appreciated their efforts with a special note saying &ldquo;<a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-ways-to-say-thanks">thanks!</a>&rdquo;</p> <h3>13. Encourage a Soldier</h3> <p>Whether you agree with the current deployment of troops or not, these folks are risking their lives for the rest of us. Let them know they&rsquo;re remembered by sending them a letter that says so. <a href="http://www.letterstosoldiers.org/">Letters to Soldiers</a> is a great place to get started.</p> <h3>14. Communicate With the Elderly</h3> <p>Email is more and more common among older people, but many of them lose the ability to type and read small print eventually. Writing letters allows them to keep in touch with people who love them, and it means so much when you send them something in return.</p> <h3>15. Ask for Help</h3> <p>Customer service being what it is these days, sometimes the best way to get a favorable response is to write a letter. Sure, you have to organize your thoughts and wait for a response, but that&rsquo;s worth it if your situation is dealt with in a way that makes sense to you.</p> <h3>16. Document Your Concerns</h3> <p>If you have a longstanding beef with a company or a corporation, one of the best ways to show this is to have an extended correspondence on the issues involved. So write your letters and send them off. Even if you don&rsquo;t get a response, you have ammunition for later.</p> <h3>17. Express Admiration</h3> <p>Is there an author you love, a director whose films never fail to move your heart, or someone else you look up to? Let them know the influence they&rsquo;ve had on your life with letters. While these may never reach big-name celebrities, they&rsquo;re the best kind of encouragement to most creative people.</p> <h3>18. Offer Encouragement That Lasts</h3> <p>Encouraging words can be easily said and just as easily forgotten. Make sure the recipient of yours can&rsquo;t forget them by documenting them in a letter. Who knows? Maybe they&rsquo;ll find it again, years from now, and tackle something they wouldn&rsquo;t have had the courage to do before.</p> <h3>19. Give Sympathy</h3> <p>When someone dies, it can be hard to process everything that&rsquo;s going on. Send your sympathy in a letter, so the bereaved can go back and read it anytime. Include memories of the deceased to make the read a special experience.</p> <h3>20. Get That Job</h3> <p>With the job market being what it is, anything that will give you an edge is worth doing. After you <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-answer-23-of-the-most-common-interview-questions">interview</a>, follow up with a thank you note. Be specific, telling the interviewer what you appreciated about meeting them.</p> <h3>21. Leave a Legacy</h3> <p>Write letters to those close to you to be read after your death. This gives you the chance to say all the things that you need to say and gives them a special way to remember you. Even if you&rsquo;re young, having these prepared can give peace of mind.</p> <h3>22. Make a Child&rsquo;s Day</h3> <p>Like I said at the start, my daughter loves getting mail. Friends tell me she isn&rsquo;t alone in that. Make a child happy by sending something, even something small, with their name on the envelope.</p> <p><em>Why do you send letters? Let us know in the comments.</em></p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" data-pin-save="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2F22-reasons-to-write-a-letter&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2F22%2520Reasons%2520to%2520Write%2520a%2520Letter.jpg&amp;description=22%20Reasons%20to%20Write%20a%20Letter"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/22%20Reasons%20to%20Write%20a%20Letter.jpg" alt="22 Reasons to Write a Letter" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/sarah-winfrey">Sarah Winfrey</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/22-reasons-to-write-a-letter">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-4"> <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/21-disposable-products-you-can-reuse">21 Disposable Products You Can Reuse</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/3-cheap-and-easy-formulas-for-homemade-windshield-de-icer-plus-bonus-tips">3 Cheap and Easy Formulas for Homemade Windshield De-Icer (Plus Bonus Tips)</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/8-non-finance-skills-that-will-make-you-a-money-master">8 Non-Finance Skills That Will Make You a Money Master</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/almost-2000-uses-for-a-can-of-wd-40-1">Almost 2000 uses for a can of WD-40</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/how-baking-soda-took-my-bathroom-from-yuck-to-yes">How Baking Soda Took My Bathroom from “Yuck” to Yes!</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Frugal Living Life Hacks communication coupon mail writing a letter Wed, 06 Jul 2011 10:24:30 +0000 Sarah Winfrey 603956 at http://www.wisebread.com The Best 4-Step Plan to Manage Your Medical Correspondence http://www.wisebread.com/the-best-4-step-plan-to-manage-your-medical-correspondence <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/the-best-4-step-plan-to-manage-your-medical-correspondence" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/411869140_7ca0364227.jpg" alt="file folders" title="file folders" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="188" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>If you've ever seen a doctor or been covered by health insurance, you'll relate to this. You sift through a pile of mail, and in it are two letters from your health insurer, a couple more from your doctor, one from your dentist, a packet from your employer's HR department, and something else from your Flexible Spending Administrator. If you have any kind of chronic illness or have recently switched insurance, the volume of this correspondence could be significant. How do you process the deluge of statements, notices, and bills for your healthcare? As with any good personal finance problem, there is a 4-step plan.</p> <p>While many insurers are allowing members to opt out of hardcopy mail in favor of emailed statements and e-alerts, the same concepts still apply as they would with hardcopy mail. Each piece of information you receive needs to be processed. Processing them with these four steps could make the difference between overlooking important pieces of information due to disorganization or staying a step ahead of your medical providers and payers and getting your bills resolved correctly.</p> <h3>1. Is it relevant or is it junk?</h3> <p>As with other types of correspondence you receive, the first thing to determine is if what you received from your insurer, provider, or employer is junk or relevant. Many pieces of correspondence that are relevant to you and should not immediately be discarded. A good rule of thumb is that anything pertaining to a specific medical service (bill, statement, Explanation of Benefits (EOB)) is probably something you'll want to either review carefully or save for future reference. Other pieces &mdash; standard privacy disclosures, announcements about services, and other form mailers &mdash; can probably be quickly discarded after a quick once-over.</p> <p>One word of caution: During your employer's open-enrollment season, be a little extra cautious about what you toss out. This is a time of year when it is worth doing an extra review of that seemingly low-value mail, as it could inform you of an important benefit or enrollment deadline. More than one person has had to spend hours correcting a benefits problem because the piece of paper they tossed out needed to be filled out and returned by a deadline.</p> <p>Doing this first triage step alone should get rid of a third or more of the medical documentation you receive.</p> <h3>2. Does it pertain to an <i>unresolved</i> medical bill or recent service?</h3> <p>They key word here is &quot;unresolved&quot;. Any documentation you receive related to a medical service that has yet to be settled, either by you or your insurance, should be saved in some sort of &quot;active&quot; file. It is likely that you will want to cross-reference an EOB from an insurer with the bill from the provider. In many cases, such as a Labor and Delivery, there might be multiple medical bills that you will need to compare with your EOBs to make sure everything ties together. If digging into an EOB is at all intimidating or confusing, you may find this guide on <a href="http://www.healthharbor.com/health-insurance-101/reading-an-eob">how to read an EOB</a> helpful.</p> <p>On the other hand, if the correspondence you receive simply refers to some past medical bill or service that you believe has been paid accurately, such as an EOB showing that your insurer paid in full, you can skip to step 4.</p> <h3>3. Do you need to call someone?</h3> <p>Occasionally, you will open a piece of correspondence that sets off a red flag: Your insurance has denied an entire claim. Your doctor billed you $350 for a flu shot. Your provider says the entire bill is your responsibility because they have no insurance on file, even though you are fully covered. In these cases, pick up the phone and talk to whoever the information is from. HealthHarbor's guide to <a href="http://www.healthharbor.com/health-insurance-101/denial-analyzer">dealing with health insurance denials</a> can help point you in the right direction on who to call and what to say if it is more than a simple issue.</p> <p>In most cases, your healthcare provider's office and your insurer will both have customer service representatives who can help with the more basic issues. If it becomes complex, get ready for multiple calls or written correspondence, complete with whatever documentation you've filed away for that visit or service. Don't forget about the patient's secret weapon when it comes to insurance issues &mdash; your employer's benefits department. They carry much clout as the ultimate buyer of insurance policies.</p> <h3>4. File, shred, or submit to your FSA?</h3> <p>Once you've gone through the above three steps &mdash; you've determined if correspondence is even relevant, you know if it refers to an open or closed medical bill, and you are satisfied that you don't need to straighten out any problems, you can file or shred the documentation.</p> <p>For any service that has yet to be fully resolved financially, keep the documentation in a folder exclusive to either open medical bills or that particular service, depending on your level of organization. If the service has been paid, you can either place the document in a longer-term file (if you are the filing type) or simply shred the document. We recommend shredding due to the sensitive nature of many medical documents. Before you do, however, make sure nothing on the bill &mdash; such as a copay &mdash; can be submitted to your Flexible Spending. If so, process it and wait for the reimbursement check to come or funds to show up in your bank account before shredding the documentation.</p> <p>Keep in mind that most larger insurers now give you access to EOBs and other documents online, so filing paper isn't as important as it used to be.</p> <p>In short, each step of this process should reduce the amount of paper you have floating around your desk. More importantly, it will separate the wheat from the chafe when it comes to healthcare documents. Knowing which one or two of those ten documents are really important, and which require action, will help you use your time well and get the most from your health insurance and medical providers.</p> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-guestpost-blurb"> <div class="field-label">Guest Post Blurb:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>This is a guest post by Heather Johnson, Director with <a target="_blank" mce_href="http://www.healthharbor.com/" href="http://www.healthharbor.com/" title="HealthHarbor.com">HealthHarbor.com</a>.</p> <p>Find more tips on HealthHarbor:</p> <ul type="disc"> <li><a target="_blank" mce_href="http://www.healthharbor.com/saving-at-the-doctors-office" href="http://www.healthharbor.com/saving-at-the-doctors-office" title="Saving Money at the Doctor's Office">Saving Money at the Doctor's Office</a></li> <li><a target="_blank" mce_href="http://www.healthharbor.com/health-insurance-101/bad-health-plans" href="http://www.healthharbor.com/health-insurance-101/bad-health-plans" title="Dealing With a Bad Health&amp;nbsp;Insurance Company">Dealing With a Bad Health&nbsp;Insurance Company</a></li> <li><a target="_blank" mce_href="http://www.healthharbor.com/tools" href="http://www.healthharbor.com/tools" title="Interactive Tool for Finding&amp;nbsp;Discounted Generic&amp;nbsp;Drugs&amp;nbsp;">Interactive Tool for Finding&nbsp;Discounted Generic&nbsp;Drugs </a></li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/heather-johnson">Heather Johnson</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-best-4-step-plan-to-manage-your-medical-correspondence">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-9"> <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/5-workouts-besides-crossfit-that-may-actually-be-hurting-you">5 Workouts (Besides CrossFit) That May Actually Be Hurting You</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/ive-lived-both-sides-of-the-healthcare-system-this-is-what-ive-learned">I’ve Lived Both Sides of the Healthcare System. This Is What I&#039;ve Learned.</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/why-is-gasoline-so-cheap-a-cost-comparison-of-40-common-household-liquids">Why is Gasoline So Cheap? A Cost Comparison of 40 Common Household Liquids</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/debit-or-credit-which-one-should-you-choose-at-the-checkout">Debit Or Credit? Which One Should You Choose At The Checkout?</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/15-wonderful-uses-for-witch-hazel">15 Wonderful Uses for Witch Hazel</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Consumer Affairs General Tips Health and Beauty filing mail medical insurance Fri, 30 Oct 2009 13:00:03 +0000 Heather Johnson 3770 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-5"> <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/what-does-your-junk-mail-say-about-you">What Does Your Junk Mail Say About You?</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/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-3 views-row-odd"> <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-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/8-vile-craigslist-scams-to-watch-out-for">8 Vile Craigslist Scams to Watch Out For</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 Junk Mail revenge part 1 - Make fast cash reselling junk mail. http://www.wisebread.com/junk-mail-revenge-part-1-make-fast-cash-reselling-junk-mail <p>If you're anything like me, you hate opening your mailbox to see a whole pile of junk mail waiting for you. Credit Card offers (<a href="/junk-mail-revenge-part-2-its-war">more on those in part 2 of this series</a> ), fake checks from mortgage firms, endless reams of useless coupons and, of course, the trusty 1lb envelope of garbage from ValPak. But a friend recently told me of a hidden gem inside the ValPak envelope. A gem that's worth at least $20.</p> <p><strong>The voucher that's like Wonka's golden ticket. </strong><br /> Inside ValPak envelopes (depending on your zip code) is a voucher from Northwest Airlines. It looks something like the picture below (I apologize for the poor quality, it's the best pic I could find anywhere on the web).</p> <p><img width="343" height="127" title="NWA voucher" alt="NWA voucher" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/wisebread_imce/nwavoucher.jpg" /></p> <p>Now, what this voucher does is give the redeemer anywhere from $25 to $100 off of a Northwest Airlines flight. Great, if you happen to be in the market for a flight. If you're not, which is probably the case, you'll trash it. But using the mighty reach of eBay you can find hundreds of people who desperately want to save cash on a flight. And that means quick money for the smart eBayer.</p> <p><strong>M</strong><strong>aking the quick buck(s).</strong><br /> All you have to do is list your Northwest Airlines voucher on eBay. As you can see, completed listings (for eBay novices, those green prices are the final SOLD price for the item) are averaging $20-$25.</p> <p><img width="440" height="336" title="Compare listings" alt="Compare listings" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/wisebread_imce/Picture_5_1.png" /></p> <p>That's cold, hard cash for a voucher that was sent to you free in the mail. List the item for a starting price of around $18.99 and give FREE shipping (it's just the cost of a stamp anyway). You may also want to do a Buy It Now option for $19.99. It's all up to you.</p> <p><strong>Get vouchers from friends, make even more money.</strong><br /> Most people will be more than happy to give you their ValPak envelopes, if they haven't already dumped them in the garbage. You could get 5 or 6 NWA vouchers and sell them in seperate auctions, or list them as &quot;5 available&quot; in one auction. Either way, that's at least $100 lovely dollars from something that used to be a pain in your butt.</p> <p>Now, prepare for something you've never experienced before in your life. Get ready to be happy to see junk mail in your mail box. Next time, starting the Junk Mail war.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/paul-michael">Paul Michael</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/junk-mail-revenge-part-1-make-fast-cash-reselling-junk-mail">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-6"> <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/22-reasons-to-write-a-letter">22 Reasons to Write a Letter</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/modifiers-5-things-that-change-an-items-final-price">Modifiers: 5 things that change an item&#039;s final price</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/6-weird-things-to-sell-on-ebay-for-extra-cash">6 Weird Things to Sell on eBay for Extra Cash</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/what-does-your-junk-mail-say-about-you">What Does Your Junk Mail Say About You?</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/how-to-get-rid-of-your-junk">How to Get Rid of Your Junk</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Deals airlines codes coupon eBay junk junk mail mail NWA offers ValPak voucher Mon, 09 Jul 2007 20:13:14 +0000 Paul Michael 820 at http://www.wisebread.com