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Old 10-14-2010, 07:03 AM   #1
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Mail Fowarding

Looking at using the U.S. Postal Service to forward my mail to Fl. Last year my brother-in-law took care of the task, using Priority Mail Envelopes. At $4.90 a pop for each mailing the cost adds up quick
Any pros/cons on the USPS doing the chore? Any issues with start/stop dates?
Any and all input would be appreciated
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Old 10-14-2010, 07:30 AM   #2
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I did just that for the past 5 months when we left Florida to take care of my Mother-In-Law in Michigan. It worked well. They only forward 1st Class Mail for free, they charge to forward the junk, magazines, etc (if you want it forwarded, if not they circular file it).

You can set it up on line for $1.00 and the maximum length of time is 6 months. Depending on where you live and where you forward, it can take a week or longer than normal to get your mail. It is done per piece of mail, not batched and is handled by the computers at your regional mail sorting location.

I would do it again.
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Old 10-14-2010, 07:40 AM   #3
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I tried the post office and it worked pretty well. I found however that FMCA did a really great job. They batch and are very punctual.
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Old 10-14-2010, 10:17 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by Izzyblueye View Post
I tried the post office and it worked pretty well. I found however that FMCA did a really great job. They batch and are very punctual.
Either way, you're going to have to put in a forwarding request with the USPS. Having the USPS forward your mail to a forwarding service and then having the forwarding service forward the mail to you just delays things. Be aware that the USPS will forward magazines for only two months...after that, they get returned to the publisher which can really screw up a subscription! If you're going to be gone for more than two months, put in an individual change of address with each magazine (and then don't forget to do it again when you leave). Another thing to remember: before you leave your winter abode, put in a permanent change of address so that any mail that's been forwarded to you, but arrives after you leave, finds its way back to you.

The USPS does have a Premium Forwarding Service where they send out mail once a week in a Priority Mail envelope. However, it's pretty expensive...something around $14 per week!
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Old 10-14-2010, 11:54 AM   #5
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Bob, If you have a willing&trustworthy neighbor/friend/relative you might try a modified version of having the USPS forward your mail. I purchased a few of the "if it fits it ships" boxes from the USPS. I then pre-addressed them & pre-postaged them with the address of where I wanted them shipped. My neighbor then retrieved my mail, sorted through the junk and put the things I cared about in the box. This way you can receive magazines. Then have them send the box every week or 2 wks as you prefer. The boxes range from $4.90 to 14.95 with 2 sizes at $10.95. As long as you don't exceed 70lbs you can include anything you want in the box. It worked for me.
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Old 10-15-2010, 06:35 AM   #6
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Either way, you're going to have to put in a forwarding request with the USPS. Having the USPS forward your mail to a forwarding service and then having the forwarding service forward the mail to you just delays things. Be aware that the USPS will forward magazines for only two months...after that, they get returned to the publisher which can really screw up a subscription! If you're going to be gone for more than two months, put in an individual change of address with each magazine (and then don't forget to do it again when you leave). Another thing to remember: before you leave your winter abode, put in a permanent change of address so that any mail that's been forwarded to you, but arrives after you leave, finds its way back to you.

The USPS does have a Premium Forwarding Service where they send out mail once a week in a Priority Mail envelope. However, it's pretty expensive...something around $14 per week!
This is true, but if you are moving around a lot. FMCA with a simple phone call will follow you where ever you go. Just try that with the post office. Been there done that. The post office will continue to forward to FMCA and let them do the changing of addresses for final forwarding. I have tried them both.
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Old 10-15-2010, 07:01 AM   #7
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Try Alternative Resorces in Sioux Falls South Dakota. Heres the website Alternative Resources
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Old 10-15-2010, 07:46 AM   #8
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We use the USPS premium mail forwarding service. We have it delivered every second week. Keeps cost down and we get all magazines. A friend permanently changed their address and really had problems when it came time to leave for home. Glad we went with the USPS premium mail forwarding service.
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Old 10-15-2010, 08:47 AM   #9
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We tried just having the PO forward our mail when we first went Full time. As we were going to be sitting still for a time while selling our house, we thought there was no point in spending money we didn't need to.

It didn't go well for us at all. For whatever reason, we just had too many things that for some reason didn't get ID'd the way they should have at the post office to get forwarded properly. Some letters would get sent back to the sender, some would end up at our old address, even though we weren't there, and some just seemed to circulate somewhere for weeks and then arrive at the forwarding address. Some were forwarded to us with no problems.

We talked with the National PO customer service, who said those kind of problems originated at our Local PO office. The local PO said actually stuff was forwarded from the large, regional, central PO (in our case St. Paul)

In the end, we ended up with a forwarding service. We're partial to the ones that post or send an email each day you recieve something, with the return address listed so we know where its from. Then we just decide if and when we want it. We have great service from "My Dakota Address"-and Terri always sends the cheapest way possible. So if its a single letter we want, she can put it in another envelope and forward for a little more than the cost of a stamp. If we wait for a few weeks and have a batch, she will forward it with the $4.90 priority envelope. And if its junk, I just tell her to trash it.

Anyway, that was our experience. Probably the exception, but what a fiasco that was.
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Old 10-15-2010, 08:59 AM   #10
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We usually have USPS forward our mail to somebody else and they in turn send it to wherever we are. Same thiong works with a forwarding service, e.g. FMCA or Escapees. We've found the USPS service to be reliable and easy, subject to the caveat about 1st class only after two months. We only have one magazine subscription, so that's easily handled but catalogs, directories and stuff like that go into the trash. If there is anything like that you don't want to lose, e.g. a annual Passport America or RPI directory, you need to make other arrangements for them.
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Old 10-15-2010, 09:23 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bob109 View Post
Looking at using the U.S. Postal Service to forward my mail to Fl. Last year my brother-in-law took care of the task, using Priority Mail Envelopes. At $4.90 a pop for each mailing the cost adds up quick
Any pros/cons on the USPS doing the chore? Any issues with start/stop dates?
Any and all input would be appreciated
We stay at one CG for the time we are in FL. They also are equipped to receive mail for the campers. These are the most important considerations when having the Post Office forward the mail to you. The PO only forwards first class mail. So for any magazines or other types of mail you will have to change the address with the company to get it. The mail usually arrives just as it would at home, but several days later.

I go online at the post office website and set up the forwarding to the CG there. It costs $1 to do it online or free if I fill out the yellow card and take it to the local post office. I set the dates for a couple of days before we plan to leave home until about 15 days before we plan to leave the CG to return home. A couple of weeks before the mail forwarding stop date, I go online to the post office website and set up for mail holding at the home post office starting on the day the mail forwarding stops. After we get back home, I go to the home post office and pick up the mail that was held. There is a maximum of 30 days they will hold the mail.

This system has worked very well for us for the past 8 years of snowbirding in FL.
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Old 10-15-2010, 10:24 AM   #12
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This is true, but if you are moving around a lot. FMCA with a simple phone call will follow you where ever you go.
Well, of course, that is true. Trying to use USPS forwarding (whether piece-meal or their Premium Forwarding service) won't work if you move from place to place...it only works if you stay in one place all the time you're away from home (which is what I understood the OP does).
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Old 10-15-2010, 10:32 AM   #13
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We use the USPS premium mail forwarding service. We have it delivered every second week.
How did you arrange to have it sent every second week? The USPS website says they send it out every week.
Quote:
A friend permanently changed their address and really had problems when it came time to leave for home.
If you're having mail forwarded to you while gone for the winter (or whenever), on the change-of-address order, in the box that says "Is This Move Temporary?" the "YES" box should be checked!!!
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