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  1. #31
    silentrich's Avatar
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    Default Re: Issue with USPS.

    I had some stuff to ship out and had a talk with a very nice employee that explained the insurance policy to me. She explained to me that they would honor the insurance you take out on the package if it was a broken fragrance. Reason being is that they cannot open your mail without proper authority.

  2. #32
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    Default Re: Issue with USPS.

    Long story short: I talked to head of PR for the DOT in Washington. Told him I was a fragrance blogger, and that he was on the record (actually, I told that to multiple Post Office employees until I got sent to him). If we couldn't send fragrance by mail, it was a BIG story, and I was ready to take it all the way to Fox News.

    Bottom line - no story. We *CAN* ship fragrance without a license. BUT you have to follow some rules. Here is the full story, from another place where I posted it. Please forgive the grandstanding. But I was royally p.o.'ed when this happened, and I got p.o.'ed just thinking about it.

    **********

    I was refused service at my post office when I gave the honest answer that my package contained fragrance samples in atomizers. In a fit of anger, I left, and called Washington. I raised hell with USPS and DOT (Department of Transportation), and got some action by playing my "journalist" card every step of the way. (I have learned a LOT from a dear lady friend about how to make sure people know I mean business!) I also spent the time reading the nearly incomprehensible regulations.

    I got a nice email back - in just a few hours - from the head of PR for DOT. I will translate. The answer was sufficiently placating that I decided there was no real need to post an article. Also, the rules will be changing in 2014, to bring them in line with the rest of the world. ORM-D will disappear. The following applies to NOW.

    And - BTW - I went back to the Post Office that same day. They made me de-box my fragrances from the Priority Mail boxes they were in (see below) - they would not let me just cross out Priority Mail. So I did my repackaging right there in front of everybody, like a complete asshole. Fortunately, I had brought my complete set of packing supplies with me, because I expected a lot of passive-aggressiveness on the part of the Gestapo Post Office, and I got it. I will note, however, that we've gotten along fine since then.

    Resistance breeds respect.

    YES - you can mail reasonable quantities of alcohol-based fragrance in the lower 48, such as samples and normal bottles (I forgot the amount - something like 1 or 2 liters - I'll have to check - but more than I've ever sent). The fragrances have to travel by ground, and they have to be packaged in such a way that they are not fragile, and can soak up the juice if the container breaks. The following packaging is acceptable:

    - Reasonably hard and leak-proof bottle. Includes plastic atomizers, glass sample vials, glass/plastic/metal bottles.

    - Padded sufficiently to not be fragile (bubble wrap, cardboard, etc.). I, personally, make sure it can be thrown across a room.

    - Surrounded with enough porous material (wrapping paper, etc.) that any spill will be completely absorbed.

    - Surrounded with plastic that will contain the wet paper - can be a plastic bag, or the plastic bubble-liner of a USPS envelope.

    - Packed so that contents will not shift or suffer damage when dropped, crushed, or battered.

    - Front of package needs ORM-D in block letters. This may be HAND-DRAWN, but must be neat and legible.

    - Front of package needs SURFACE MAIL ONLY on it. Post office has stickers, but not always. Hand lettering fine.

    - They CANNOT go by Priority Mail, which always travels by air. First Class Parcel is best. Parcel Post (3rd class) is slower.

    You will notice that most big stores ship fragrances using bottle / maker's box / absorbent padding / plastic bag / shipping box (although the plastic bag is sometimes inside the padding). They also have ORM-D labels. You can use those as models of the proper size and appearance of your hand-drawn ORM-D. I use a black permanent marker to make my ORM-D marking.

    There are actually minor wordings in the regulations, which tend to indicate where the ORM-D and SURFACE MAIL ONLY should go on the label, but it is not 100% clear. I tend to put the ORM-D to the left of the recipient name, and SURFACE MAIL ONLY below it.

    Hope this is helpful!
    * * * *

  3. #33
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    Default Re: Issue with USPS.

    I'm really starting to wonder if the UPS lady that turned me away the other day knew what she was talking about. She was extremely serious that she could NOT ship my BBW body spray. But I've been told by um...everyone else...that UPS CAN ship these things by GROUND.

    I'm starting to suspect that she didn't. And I'm even more beginning to realize that, it's luck of the draw- if you get a P.O. or UPS person who knows the rules for real or doesn't...and if you're honest on the package declaration and you get one that doesn't know the rules (as I SUSPECT though can't be certain happened in my case) you'll get the run around like I did the other day.

  4. #34
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    Default Re: Issue with USPS.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kaelee View Post
    I'm really starting to wonder if the UPS lady that turned me away the other day knew what she was talking about. She was extremely serious that she could NOT ship my BBW body spray. But I've been told by um...everyone else...that UPS CAN ship these things by GROUND.

    I'm starting to suspect that she didn't. And I'm even more beginning to realize that, it's luck of the draw- if you get a P.O. or UPS person who knows the rules for real or doesn't...and if you're honest on the package declaration and you get one that doesn't know the rules (as I SUSPECT though can't be certain happened in my case) you'll get the run around like I did the other day.
    Kaelee - I ran into exactly the same thing. So many USPS staff who didn't know the answer, and each of them had glommed onto some *different*, half-baked set of rules that they had accumulated from hearsay and misinformed reading, just to try to get the job done. I can *totally* sympathize with their plight.

    I'll be honest - I have an advanced degree, and for years I worked as both an editor and as a person who deciphered patents. And I have trouble straightening out those regulations. In some cases, I just throw up my hands and say "I think they mean this, but I'm not sure."

    Does anybody in the government REALLY think even half of the USPS employees will understand those regulations?

    So far, only two of my postal clerks seem to know the regs as well as I do. One is a fairly geeky guy who digs into things, seemingly in conflict with getting his job done, and the other is a young immigrant, who is probably very sharp and underemployed, as many new immigrants are.

    You know what - I may just go ahead and do a big post about this. I can actually include full quotes from the person at DOT, and that way people could just call up the URL on their smartphone and show the people behind the counter.

    Sad it comes to that, but if we don't organize against this, then individually, we're actually at the mercy of misinterpreted over-regulation.
    * * * *

  5. #35
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    Default Re: Issue with USPS.

    Quote Originally Posted by Redneck Perfumisto View Post
    Kaelee - I ran into exactly the same thing. So many USPS staff who didn't know the answer, and each of them had glommed onto some *different*, half-baked set of rules that they had accumulated from hearsay and misinformed reading, just to try to get the job done. I can *totally* sympathize with their plight.

    I'll be honest - I have an advanced degree, and for years I worked as both an editor and as a person who deciphered patents. And I have trouble straightening out those regulations. In some cases, I just throw up my hands and say "I think they mean this, but I'm not sure."

    Does anybody in the government REALLY think even half of the USPS employees will understand those regulations?

    So far, only two of my postal clerks seem to know the regs as well as I do. One is a fairly geeky guy who digs into things, seemingly in conflict with getting his job done, and the other is a young immigrant, who is probably very sharp and underemployed, as many new immigrants are.

    You know what - I may just go ahead and do a big post about this. I can actually include full quotes from the person at DOT, and that way people could just call up the URL on their smartphone and show the people behind the counter.

    Sad it comes to that, but if we don't organize against this, then individually, we're actually at the mercy of misinterpreted over-regulation.
    That would be an interesting read for sure! And yea, I had to wonder. Yes, body spray IS technically flammable. It contains alcohol (and also a fair amount of water.) If you want to get technical about it, there are a LOT of things that are flammable.

    The lady even told me that they have trouble with some Mary Kay cosmetics, because you wouldn't think that they'd be flammable but they are. (What the heck cosmetic has a low enough flash point to be classified as flammable? I am racking my brain trying to figure THAT one out.) I'm beginning to think she overdoes the rules....she was all "well if you hadn't put this on the sheet..." Then told me that SHE couldn't ship it regardless, because "I know it's in there..." (see, very serious).

    But then in the same sentence told me to go to another UPS store and LIE ABOUT WHAT'S IN THE PACKAGE. Hmm.....

    (In reality, I think she didn't understand the regulations and wanted to help me send BF's Christmas present.)

  6. #36
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    Default Re: Issue with USPS.

    So to sum it up: The US Government can't run a business.

  7. #37
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    Default Re: Issue with USPS.

    Quote Originally Posted by silentrich View Post
    So to sum it up: The US Government can't run a business.

  8. #38
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    Default Re: Issue with USPS.

    Here's what I do not get with this whole air thing.

    If you fly commercial airlines, you can legally pack, up to a certain amount (not sure what it is) your perfumes into your suitcase that goes in the belly of the plane, so why can't the USPS move it on an airplane?

  9. #39
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    Default Re: Issue with USPS.

    Quote Originally Posted by PalmBeach View Post
    Here's what I do not get with this whole air thing.

    If you fly commercial airlines, you can legally pack, up to a certain amount (not sure what it is) your perfumes into your suitcase that goes in the belly of the plane, so why can't the USPS move it on an airplane?
    I would think it would have something to do with the screening process. They don't have time to screen every package, whereas a passenger jet will have all it's carry-on's scanned and checked luggage (cargo).
    Another thing you have to watch out for is if you send decant's the air pressure can suck the juice right out of the bottle. It's happened to me a couple of times.

  10. #40
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    Default Re: Issue with USPS.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kaelee View Post
    I'm really starting to wonder if the UPS lady that turned me away the other day knew what she was talking about. She was extremely serious that she could NOT ship my BBW body spray. But I've been told by um...everyone else...that UPS CAN ship these things by GROUND.

    I'm starting to suspect that she didn't. And I'm even more beginning to realize that, it's luck of the draw- if you get a P.O. or UPS person who knows the rules for real or doesn't...and if you're honest on the package declaration and you get one that doesn't know the rules (as I SUSPECT though can't be certain happened in my case) you'll get the run around like I did the other day.
    She definitely didn't, as you definitely can and I have seen a major fulfillment house shipping hundreds of fragrance packages for a popular mainstream fragrance company direct to consumers via UPS Ground every day of the week first hand. They do need ORM-D labels, however.
    Current Top Favorites:
    1) Portrait of a Lady original formula (EdP Frédéric Malle)
    2) Giorgio for Men vintage/V.I.P. for Men (Giorgio Beverly Hills)
    3) Dia Man vintage edt (Amouage)
    4)
    Anat Fritz Original Formula and Classical (Anat Fritz) - tie
    4) Lalfeorosa (O'driù) - tie

    6)
    Les Nombres d'Or Vetyver (Mona di Orio)
    7) Captain vintage (Molyneux)
    8) Tzora (Anat Fritz)
    9) Javanese Patchouli (Zegna) - tie
    9) Monsieur de Givenchy vintage (Givenchy) - tie
    9) Coeur de Vetiver Sacré (L'Artisan) - tie
    9) X for Men (Clive Christian) - tie
    9) Patou pour Homme Privé (Jean Patou) - tie
    9) Oud Shamash (The Different Company) - tie

  11. #41
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    Default Re: Issue with USPS.

    I just read an article about how the USPS is changing the way they advertise and market themselves to attract more customers. The article also mentioned that this would probably not be enough to save the USPS from eventually having to go out of business because of the huge amount of red ink they incur every year.

    What nobody inside the USPS ever seems to get is that the USPS could actually be much closer to breaking even and draw much more business if they would just do what almost every other business does these days and focus on actual customer service. Quit telling us that looking for a package is against policy, actually run a tacking system that tracks packages(more than once I've checked a tracking number on a package that said it was still somewhere in Ohio or wherever when it happened to be in my living room already delivered because my local post office is horrible at scanning incoming packages), and put a little fear into the slow as a sun dial people that work at the counters in the post offices. I know they're still technically government employees but c'mon you want to still have a job in three years move your ass a little.
    I don't have a signature fragrance. My signature changes a little bit every day, why shouldn't my fragrance?
    Currently wearing: H.M. by Hanae Mori

  12. #42
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    Default Re: Issue with USPS.

    Quote Originally Posted by drseid View Post
    She definitely didn't, as you definitely can and I have seen a major fulfillment house shipping hundreds of fragrance packages for a popular mainstream fragrance company direct to consumers via UPS Ground every day of the week first hand. They do need ORM-D labels, however.
    See, she told me that the reason that companies can ship them is because they have a special license.

  13. #43
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    Default Re: Issue with USPS.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kaelee View Post
    See, she told me that the reason that companies can ship them is because they have a special license.
    I don't know about a special license... I *do* know that if you are a company you have to have any employees that could handle the ORM-D goods go through ORM-D training. It is really ridiculous, IMO. That said, as just a normal consumer shipping a good I don't believe the training is necessary.
    Current Top Favorites:
    1) Portrait of a Lady original formula (EdP Frédéric Malle)
    2) Giorgio for Men vintage/V.I.P. for Men (Giorgio Beverly Hills)
    3) Dia Man vintage edt (Amouage)
    4)
    Anat Fritz Original Formula and Classical (Anat Fritz) - tie
    4) Lalfeorosa (O'driù) - tie

    6)
    Les Nombres d'Or Vetyver (Mona di Orio)
    7) Captain vintage (Molyneux)
    8) Tzora (Anat Fritz)
    9) Javanese Patchouli (Zegna) - tie
    9) Monsieur de Givenchy vintage (Givenchy) - tie
    9) Coeur de Vetiver Sacré (L'Artisan) - tie
    9) X for Men (Clive Christian) - tie
    9) Patou pour Homme Privé (Jean Patou) - tie
    9) Oud Shamash (The Different Company) - tie

  14. #44
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    Default Re: Issue with USPS.

    Quote Originally Posted by drseid View Post
    I don't know about a special license... I *do* know that if you are a company you have to have any employees that could handle the ORM-D goods go through ORM-D training. It is really ridiculous, IMO. That said, as just a normal consumer shipping a good I don't believe the training is necessary.
    I don't know drseid. I had a Basenote's member in a swap, put a bottle of Tea for Two in a non bubbled mailer without any additional packing. Needless to say the bottle was crushed when I received it. Told him to send me back my bottle I swapped for his and to make sure it was bubble wrapped and put in a box. Well..I received my bottle in a non bubbled mailer with no bubble wrap again and it crushed the box, but the bottle survived (LIDGE). Some people's kids......

  15. #45
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    Default Re: Issue with USPS.

    Quote Originally Posted by silentrich View Post
    I don't know drseid. I had a Basenote's member in a swap, put a bottle of Tea for Two in a non bubbled mailer without any additional packing. Needless to say the bottle was crushed when I received it. Told him to send me back my bottle I swapped for his and to make sure it was bubble wrapped and put in a box. Well..I received my bottle in a non bubbled mailer with no bubble wrap again and it crushed the box, but the bottle survived (LIDGE). Some people's kids......
    Yikes! That said, while it has been nearly 10 years since I had to have the warehouse do the training for the product we needed it for, I somehow think the training was mainly revolving handling the goods while they were in the warehouse of all things. It was very expensive training and every single person who could potentially come into contact with the goods from handling the receipt of the goods through handing the outbound shipment to the carrier needed to be trained. I remember being quite annoyed with the whole thing at the time...
    Current Top Favorites:
    1) Portrait of a Lady original formula (EdP Frédéric Malle)
    2) Giorgio for Men vintage/V.I.P. for Men (Giorgio Beverly Hills)
    3) Dia Man vintage edt (Amouage)
    4)
    Anat Fritz Original Formula and Classical (Anat Fritz) - tie
    4) Lalfeorosa (O'driù) - tie

    6)
    Les Nombres d'Or Vetyver (Mona di Orio)
    7) Captain vintage (Molyneux)
    8) Tzora (Anat Fritz)
    9) Javanese Patchouli (Zegna) - tie
    9) Monsieur de Givenchy vintage (Givenchy) - tie
    9) Coeur de Vetiver Sacré (L'Artisan) - tie
    9) X for Men (Clive Christian) - tie
    9) Patou pour Homme Privé (Jean Patou) - tie
    9) Oud Shamash (The Different Company) - tie

  16. #46
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    Default Re: Issue with USPS.

    Quote Originally Posted by drseid View Post
    Yikes! That said, while it has been nearly 10 years since I had to have the warehouse do the training for the product we needed it for, I somehow think the training was mainly revolving handling the goods while they were in the warehouse of all things. It was very expensive training and every single person who could potentially come into contact with the goods from handling the receipt of the goods through handing the outbound shipment to the carrier needed to be trained. I remember being quite annoyed with the whole thing at the time...
    Really makes you wonder if this "very expensive training" is just a cleverly disguised "tax".

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