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Old April 1st, 2008, 06:47 AM   #1
wakebabe
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Default USPS question/small business

I am starting to do some research on options for sending out regular mail/letters. We're going to be doing a lot of mailing and I'm wondering if there's a better/more economical way than buying individual stamps?

I've started to look into stamp.com.

Your thoughts/experience are appreciated.
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Old April 1st, 2008, 06:58 AM   #2
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You can buy bulk pre-paid envelopes from USPS.com.... Would that work?
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Old April 1st, 2008, 07:01 AM   #3
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You can also set up an account online at USPS and get alot of free shipping supplies delivered to your door.

There are also postal services that will pick up your mail and charge you a nominal fee for sealing, stamping, and mailing it out.
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Old April 1st, 2008, 07:02 AM   #4
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You can buy bulk pre-paid envelopes from USPS.com.... Would that work?
Possibly. We have to use envelopes with address windows, and I just pre labeled a ton of envelopes and bought 500 :tonka:
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Old April 1st, 2008, 07:11 AM   #5
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http://www.pitneyworks.com/
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Old April 1st, 2008, 07:17 AM   #6
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I work for Oakland County. I don't know what system they use in our central mail facility.
I did use Pitney Bowes for mass mailings when I volunteered for the VFW Post.
We mailed about 1,000 pieces every month with very little effort.
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Old April 1st, 2008, 07:19 AM   #7
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check out a print company in your area, or (shameless plug) check out www.progress-printers.com. I am the mailing specialist for Progress Printers, and we can mail at bulk rates for you, sometimes getting you postage at about .10-.20 each, plus our services rates. There are certain criteria, i.e. must be at least 200 pieces, must be the same size/weight per mailing, must use a permit imprint (you can use our permit), etc. If it is a bill or the like, you must mail at first-class, but we can still mail at bulk rates (.14-.28 each, must be at least 500 pieces, etc.) We can also address with a barcode (which is why we can get lower rates doing some of the workk for the post office). Let me know if you have specific questions or want more info.

later
Mat
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Old April 1st, 2008, 07:23 AM   #8
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hm, thanks rick - right now we're just sending standard pieces out.

Mat, I'll check out your service, I was really looking for a way to save us on shipping, however, we're not at a 200 minimum rate yet.
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Old April 1st, 2008, 07:36 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RICK View Post
I work for Oakland County. I don't know what system they use in our central mail facility.
I did use Pitney Bowes for mass mailings when I volunteered for the VFW Post.
We mailed about 1,000 pieces every month with very little effort.
the county has a literally 1/2 million dollar printer/stuffer/pre-sorter that gets certified/inspected for USPS postal compliance - I don't recall the brand/make but they are in effect their own postal processing center.

they deliver in bulk to the main/regional postal offices via Truck. We contract with the County for some of our mass mailings, most recently 27,000 legal sized notices with a legal sized informational flyer - printed, folded and stuffed/stamped for postage. I didn't get to see the total invoice, so I can't really state how much our savings were.

for smaller mailings we have our own pitney bowes machine as well.

Kristen: depending on the volume, quite a few "media companies" in the area - think newspaper printing/publishing/advertising firms - also handle direct mail marketing efforts. many act as information clearinghouses and have all sorts of demographic information that they have purchased, and/or assimilated from the Census Tracts in order to help you target your mailings.

as an example (no I haven't done business with them, I just see their ads.) the tri-county times parent/affiliate corporation does this in fenton. http://www.tctimes.com
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Old April 1st, 2008, 07:45 AM   #10
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k, yeah we're anywhere between 4-50 pieces at a time so far, i would imagine that over time we'll be at higher volumes...I guess this is part of the "grunt" work of a start up :tonka: how much fun!!
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Old April 1st, 2008, 07:50 AM   #11
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k, yeah we're anywhere between 4-50 pieces at a time so far, i would imagine that over time we'll be at higher volumes...I guess this is part of the "grunt" work of a start up :tonka: how much fun!!
4?

what is your target demographic if I can ask?
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Old April 1st, 2008, 09:31 AM   #12
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4?

what is your target demographic if I can ask?
To answer your question our target demographic includes 1) all college students 2) Landlords of college rentals, including dorms and apartment complexes 3) Universities/colleges

But to answer what I think you are really wanting to know...

http://blog.ratemystudentrental.com/...come-landlords

When a student rates their rental at www.ratemystudentrental.com we confirm the landlord by sending them a confirmation code via USPS (for verification reasons). Though top secret ways this is our best way to locate the owner of the property so that the right person registers as the landlord of the student rentals.


So my mailings now are the actual confirmation codes for the landlords and we only can send out as many as landlords we have identified.

-Lead Marketing Chick :tonka:
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Old April 1st, 2008, 09:46 AM   #13
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bulk rate permit. talk with your local post office. you can get the art and let me print it on whatever you need. you can go with a mail-house as mentioned above and they will send your stuff out with their bulk rate on it. when you get to the point of mass advertising of 20,000 or more pieces let me know I will hook you up
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Old April 1st, 2008, 09:55 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wakebabe View Post
To answer your question our target demographic includes 1) all college students 2) Landlords of college rentals, including dorms and apartment complexes 3) Universities/colleges

But to answer what I think you are really wanting to know...

http://blog.ratemystudentrental.com/...come-landlords

When a student rates their rental at www.ratemystudentrental.com we confirm the landlord by sending them a confirmation code via USPS (for verification reasons). Though top secret ways this is our best way to locate the owner of the property so that the right person registers as the landlord of the student rentals.


So my mailings now are the actual confirmation codes for the landlords and we only can send out as many as landlords we have identified.

-Lead Marketing Chick :tonka:
ah, thx. frustratingly enough, much of the property owner information you might want to verify is available in public record, but there really isn't a good/centralized current clearinghouse for such data.

with many areas of the nation (Michigan included) being "home rule" you'd be attempting to contact every little burg, village, township and city for that information...
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Old April 1st, 2008, 10:00 AM   #15
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bulk rate permit. talk with your local post office. you can get the art and let me print it on whatever you need. you can go with a mail-house as mentioned above and they will send your stuff out with their bulk rate on it. when you get to the point of mass advertising of 20,000 or more pieces let me know I will hook you up
as I mentioned, you would need 200 or more standard mail to use the permit, 500 for first-class permit.

it sounds like what you need at this point is a meter machine that will put a metered postage on your pieces as you send them. It won't get you a discount, but you can keep a certain amount of prepaid postage on them and use it as needed, reducing the hassle of hand applying stamps and getting them when you need them. professional-looking, too. Pitney Bowes has good meter machines, check them out.
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Old April 1st, 2008, 11:38 AM   #16
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as I mentioned, you would need 200 or more standard mail to use the permit, 500 for first-class permit.

it sounds like what you need at this point is a meter machine that will put a metered postage on your pieces as you send them. It won't get you a discount, but you can keep a certain amount of prepaid postage on them and use it as needed, reducing the hassle of hand applying stamps and getting them when you need them. professional-looking, too. Pitney Bowes has good meter machines, check them out.
if you are going to use this method, maximize your postage money. you can send out a maximum size of 6 1/8" x 11 1/2" x 1/4" thick and still only pay standard letter size postage.
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Old April 1st, 2008, 12:04 PM   #17
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if you are going to use this method, maximize your postage money. you can send out a maximum size of 6 1/8" x 11 1/2" x 1/4" thick and still only pay standard letter size postage.
...just keep it under 1 ounce...
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Old April 1st, 2008, 10:32 PM   #18
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ah, thx. frustratingly enough, much of the property owner information you might want to verify is available in public record, but there really isn't a good/centralized current clearinghouse for such data.

with many areas of the nation (Michigan included) being "home rule" you'd be attempting to contact every little burg, village, township and city for that information...
we're actually finding that out, I got stopped by the PO box and saw a few came back to us.

And, actually tonight we came up with an additional/alternative solution!
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Old April 2nd, 2008, 08:15 AM   #19
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check out melissadata.com. They have a free look-up tool that may be helpful. alot of helpful lookups, and they may also be able to order a list for you that may be more up-to-date. They are one of several companies we order lists from, too. They can get very specific in your search criteria, so they may be able to help you out. You should also be able to have them run the list thru NCOA (change of address look-up), which may cut down on your "return to senders".
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