Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Postcards and the Post Office

I am super, super, super irritated right now. I hate driving in Nashville in the rain, for starts, and getting out on my lunch break to run errands was a terrible idea. I'm so irritated now that I fear for my co-workers this afternoon.

Anyway, I had to run over to the library to pick up some clipart books and wedding books (take advantage of the library! It's awesome!) and go to the ATM (because work is always hitting me up for money for some event, shower, etc). My last stop was the main branch of the post office.

I'm so mad that I'm still shaking. All of these "budget wedding" websites that push sending postcards to cut the postage cost are on my shit list. Why? Because no one bothers to tell you that if you don't have your postcards "specially" handled, they will go through the sorter every-which-way and you take a BIG chance of having a big white barcode sticker over your lovely design.

I'm sorry, I didn't spend two months designing these little effers to have them marred by a barcode because of an automated machine, ya dig? Our only option at this point is to have them specially handled, which costs an extra $0.20 per card. WTF! Are you serious? The postage is only $0.28!!!

I wish I were joking.

Now, to be fair, the postal workers were more than nice and talked to me as long as I wanted to stand there and whine. Two of them helped me and made a few suggestions, which I'm more than happy to share with the blog world in hopes I save someone else the headache.

• The postal system will scan the first line of text on your postcard. Make damn sure it is contains the destination zipcode. I have to Bestine off all of my labels and move them down.

• They only require a 1/4" for the barcode. I am going to put the address labels that far down on the postcard.

• You have no control over how they go through the machine. If they are turned upside down, too bad. They'll slap a white sticker where they need it and off it goes.

• Why would anyone consciously decide to send postcards knowing that they will cost $0.48 to send if processed by hand? I certainly wouldn't have. I would have found cheap white envelopes, designed something less restrictive and mailed it like a regular note card.

• Don't assume that because 10 different wedding vendors, your best friend and your sister all send you postcards in the mail and they are pristine that yours will be too. It is luck of the draw with USPS.

I really really wish I had walked my happy ass to the post office and found all of this out before having them printed. That's my fault for trusting the damn internet. It would have saved me the frustration and the disappointment. Big Spoon and I will need to discuss whether or not it is worth the extra $12 to have 60 postcards manually processed through the post. I know $12 doesn't seem like a lot of money, but when you factor in the principle of this and the fact that we are currently an estimated $150 or so over budget ... yeah, it sucks.


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