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  1. #1

    Default USPS and mailing fragrances

    Just got back from the post office. I tried to send some cologne bottles via priority mail to someone who purchased them in my sales thread. The clerk asked if I was sending batteries or perfume. I've never been asked that before. When I said perfume, she said that as of January 1, 2013, perfumes cannot be sent by anything other than USPS ground, and refused to take the package.

    Very annoying.

    I'm not advising anyone to lie, but wanted to warn fragrances shippers that you'll be asked the question, and if you say it's cologne, they won't accept a priority or express package.
    Current Top Five:

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    2. Tom Ford Neroli Portofino
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  2. #2
    hednic's Avatar
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    Default Re: USPS and mailing fragrances

    There's a lot of documentation on their website against shipping perfume but it was there before January 1st 2013.

  3. #3
    Dependent starshipvelcro's Avatar
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    Default Re: USPS and mailing fragrances

    It kind of bothers me...because the way I would package something there would be no scenario where this would be a danger unless it's handled improperly.

    I too have noticed them asking this, but I use a self help kiosk most of the time and it doesn't ask.

    The one time they did ask I felt pretty confident in saying "no" since they asked if it contained any "perfume"...technicalities...

  4. #4
    Dependent southerngardens's Avatar
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    Default Re: USPS and mailing fragrances


    Because of its alcohol content, perfume is considered a hazardous material for shipping purposes. That’s why USPS has modified the Retail Customer Experience HAZMAT question to help employees understand whether a customer’s package contains perfume.

    Retail associates must not accept packages containing perfume to be mailed internationally or to an APO/FPO or DPO location, regardless of its quantity or mail class.

    When sent domestically, perfume also cannot be mailed using Express Mail, Priority Mail or First-Class Mail. But a package may be sent if it meets the following conditions:

    · The package is sent using Parcel Post (to be renamed Standard Post effective Jan. 27, 2013).

    · The perfume container doesn’t exceed 16 fluid ounces.

    · The customer confirms the perfume is sufficiently cushioned to prevent damage.

    · The container is strong enough to prevent damage during normal handling.

    · The package is marked “Surface Only” or “Surface Mail Only.”

    Customers can ship only one bottle of perfume in a single mailpiece. Gift sets containing more than one bottle of perfume, regardless of ounces per bottle, are non-mailable. The perfume bottles must be separated and mailed as individual mailpieces.

    For more information, please refer to the DMM, Pub.52 or a BMEU manager
    I'm not OLD...I'm VINTAGE!
    Currently wearing: No. 5 by Chanel

  5. #5

    Default Re: USPS and mailing fragrances

    [QUOTE=barclaydetolly;2815358]Just got back from the post office. I tried to send some cologne bottles via priority mail to someone who purchased them in my sales thread. The clerk asked if I was sending batteries or perfume. I've never been asked that before. When I said perfume, she said that as of January 1, 2013, perfumes cannot be sent by anything other than USPS ground, and refused to take the package.


    And people wonder why the USPS is awash in red ink.

  6. #6

    Default Re: USPS and mailing fragrances

    Quote Originally Posted by hednic View Post
    There's a lot of documentation on their website against shipping perfume but it was there before January 1st 2013.
    I just noticed that, but I've never had a problem before (I am not a huge seller, but have shipped perhaps ten bottles in the past two years). I've always been asked if I was shipping anything "liquid," and they haven't batted any eye when I said I was shipping cologne.

    The clerk was adamant the priority mail restriction started on January 1st. She said she found out about it when she came back from her holiday, and acted frustrated because she said "they're always changing things."

    And again, she said if I shipped via USPS ground in the future, there would be no problem.
    Current Top Five:

    1. Creed Green Irish Tweed
    2. Tom Ford Neroli Portofino
    3. Hermes Concentre d'Orange Verte
    4. Bond No. 9 New Haarlem
    5. Creed Original Vetiver

  7. #7
    Super Member andregooren's Avatar
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    Default Re: USPS and mailing fragrances

    Similar regulations just went into effect in Europe. Perfumes can no longer be sent via airmail. If you think ground shipping is bad imagine the implications for overseas shipments.

  8. #8
    Dependent Birdboy48's Avatar
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    Default Re: USPS and mailing fragrances

    Quote Originally Posted by southerngardens View Post
    · The package is sent using Parcel Post (to be renamed Standard Post effective Jan. 27, 2013).
    On a totally geeky off-topic note, the very first US "Parcel Post" stamps were issued in Jan 1913.

    I guess 100 years is pretty good.

  9. #9

    Default Re: USPS and mailing fragrances

    Going forward, lie & deny, that's your motto. Opening ones mail is a federal offense, the postal worker would need to obtain a search warrant to do so.
    Last edited by JiveHippo; 17th January 2013 at 03:49 AM.
    Currently wearing: Erolfa by Creed

  10. #10
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    Default Re: USPS and mailing fragrances

    This regulation has been in effect for a little while. They have since issued a new regulation that requires the counter people to question the package.

  11. #11
    NewHaarlem's Avatar
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    Default

    All I tell my Post Office whenever I ship fragrances via priority mail is that it's fragile, nothing else. They'd never know what's inside your package unless you tell them.

  12. #12

    Default Re: USPS and mailing fragrances

    Quote Originally Posted by NewHaarlem View Post
    All I tell my Post Office whenever I ship fragrances via priority mail is that it's fragile, nothing else. They'd never know what's inside your package unless you tell them.
    That was my policy as well, but now apparently (as of the new year) they specifically ask you if it's perfume. So, the choice is either lie to them or ship by the slowest means possible.
    Current Top Five:

    1. Creed Green Irish Tweed
    2. Tom Ford Neroli Portofino
    3. Hermes Concentre d'Orange Verte
    4. Bond No. 9 New Haarlem
    5. Creed Original Vetiver

  13. #13
    Dependent heperd's Avatar
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    Default Re: USPS and mailing fragrances

    Just lie like the hundreds of fragrance companies do that ship bottles everyday.
    Want to trade - Chanel Platinum Egoiste for Dior Eau Sauvage...
    http://www.basenotes.net/threads/394...82#post3308582

  14. #14
    CologneFan85
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    Default Re: USPS and mailing fragrances

    Quote Originally Posted by heperd View Post
    Just lie like the hundreds of fragrance companies do that ship bottles everyday.
    Yep!

  15. #15

    Default

    I ran into the same issue, so I took my fragrances to a UPS store, intending to ship via UPS. The store employees assured me that I could ship USPS priority --- and the even packed the perfume in boxes for shipment.

  16. #16
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    Default Re: USPS and mailing fragrances

    I've never had them ask me if it was specifically perfume I was mailing. If you answer yes to it containing glass, they'll ask you if it's wrapped up properly and then put the fragile stamp on it. They have been required to ask the flammable question for quite a while now. Some on this website swear that they tell them it's fragrance and they get away with it, but I find that hard to believe.
    Last edited by silentrich; 17th January 2013 at 04:01 AM.

  17. #17
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    Default Re: USPS and mailing fragrances

    Up until the new year, they never asked if I was mailing perfume. Since the first of the year they do. They only have asked me on International packages, not domestic.

  18. #18
    Dependent heperd's Avatar
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    Default Re: USPS and mailing fragrances

    So far I haven't been asked anything different this year.
    Still the same "anything liquid, fragile or potentially hazardous?"
    Same answer- "No."
    Want to trade - Chanel Platinum Egoiste for Dior Eau Sauvage...
    http://www.basenotes.net/threads/394...82#post3308582

  19. #19

    Default Re: USPS and mailing fragrances

    Quote Originally Posted by heperd View Post
    So far I haven't been asked anything different this year.
    Still the same "anything liquid, fragile or potentially hazardous?"
    Same answer- "No."
    According to a few sources, the policy may have been in place for a while, but the employees have been re-trained to specifically ask about certain types of batteries and about perfume. They're supposed to do so, but I suppose, like anything else, it depends on how well they are trained, whether they are tired or busy, etc.

    All I can say is that at the postal office I use, before Jan 1, the question was always "liquid, fragile, or potentially hazardous." Now it's that question, followed up by "are you shipping batteries or perfume."

    No matter; I'm just going to pack for ground shipping from now on. Kind of annoying all the same.
    Current Top Five:

    1. Creed Green Irish Tweed
    2. Tom Ford Neroli Portofino
    3. Hermes Concentre d'Orange Verte
    4. Bond No. 9 New Haarlem
    5. Creed Original Vetiver

  20. #20

    Default Re: USPS and mailing fragrances

    Quote Originally Posted by barclaydetolly View Post
    According to a few sources, the policy may have been in place for a while, but the employees have been re-trained to specifically ask about certain types of batteries and about perfume. They're supposed to do so, but I suppose, like anything else, it depends on how well they are trained, whether they are tired or busy, etc.

    All I can say is that at the postal office I use, before Jan 1, the question was always "liquid, fragile, or potentially hazardous." Now it's that question, followed up by "are you shipping batteries or perfume."

    No matter; I'm just going to pack for ground shipping from now on. Kind of annoying all the same.
    With ground shipping bottles are subject be jostled and vibrate more in transit than they would with priority mail shipping. Hence, there is a greater possibility of the contents leaking. I noticed one international shipper labelled EdT and EdP as "body lotion." As long as the bottle isn't particularly noisy, I'm good to go. Martin

  21. #21
    Dependent RedRaider430's Avatar
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    Default Re: USPS and mailing fragrances

    I ran into this at a small mail substation, but it was several months ago. He didn't ask if it was liquid or perfume, he actually asked me what was in the box. After I told him the truth, he told me he couldn't take it. So I just went to a regular post office and mailed it (where they didn't ask what was in the box).

    I just had two bottles delivered to me yesterday by USPS, from two separate companies. How is it that the companies who do it for a living can mail out hundreds of thousands of bottles, but we can't? Makes no sense to me.

  22. #22
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    Default Re: USPS and mailing fragrances

    Quote Originally Posted by barclaydetolly View Post
    I just noticed that, but I've never had a problem before (I am not a huge seller, but have shipped perhaps ten bottles in the past two years). I've always been asked if I was shipping anything "liquid," and they haven't batted any eye when I said I was shipping cologne.

    The clerk was adamant the priority mail restriction started on January 1st. She said she found out about it when she came back from her holiday, and acted frustrated because she said "they're always changing things."

    And again, she said if I shipped via USPS ground in the future, there would be no problem.
    Oh, that restriction has definitely been in place for years. I do agree it is *very* annoying though.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by RedRaider430 View Post
    I ran into this at a small mail substation, but it was several months ago. He didn't ask if it was liquid or perfume, he actually asked me what was in the box. After I told him the truth, he told me he couldn't take it. So I just went to a regular post office and mailed it (where they didn't ask what was in the box).

    I just had two bottles delivered to me yesterday by USPS, from two separate companies. How is it that the companies who do it for a living can mail out hundreds of thousands of bottles, but we can't? Makes no sense to me.
    Well technically they can't either. My guess is either the packages were sent surface mail (Parcel Post or Parcel Select) or they just ignored the regulations and slipped it under the USPS's radar.
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  23. #23
    Paul Kiler
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    Default Re: USPS and mailing fragrances

    Helpful Information...

  24. #24

    Default Re: USPS and mailing fragrances

    Quote Originally Posted by heperd View Post
    So far I haven't been asked anything different this year.
    Still the same "anything liquid, fragile or potentially hazardous?"
    Same answer- "No."
    Same here. This Nanny State is so out of control, I don't mind fibbing.

  25. #25
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    Default Re: USPS and mailing fragrances

    Quote Originally Posted by PerfumePorMoi View Post
    Same here. This Nanny State is so out of control, I don't mind fibbing.
    I totally sympathize with you on that.

    I, personally, went through the same decision, and decided that the damn nanny state may make a "criminal" out of me, but not a liar. Being truthful or a liar is important to me. Being free or imprisoned, I don't care. If a corrupt system imprisons you, they're still corrupt.

    I just read the regulations, as described by SouthernGardens above, and package things appropriately. As long as you know the rules well enough to backtalk to the clerk, you're OK.

    I just checked my last receipt. They're shipping my packages by "First-Class Parcel".
    * * * *

  26. #26

    Default Re: USPS and mailing fragrances

    On the front page of Les Senteurs they have a notice suspending all international shipping. They are trying to find a courier who will do it for them. New EU rules came in it seems on the 14th Jan, which will effect worldwide perfume shipping through the postal services.
    DONNA
    Currently wearing: Alaïa by Azzedine Alaïa

  27. #27

    Default Re: USPS and mailing fragrances

    I still haven't decided what to do....internationally you will just have to lie. Domestically you can either pay a couple dollars more for surface or lie. I feel bad about lying, either way...but I also don't want to pay more for slower shipping...especially if I'm just shipping 5 or 10 mls, or a bottle that is well-packed, in a box with plenty of bubble wrap and packing peanuts and everything....

  28. #28
    Super Member galwaygirl001's Avatar
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    Default Re: USPS and mailing fragrances

    I used to go with 'cosmetics' or 'fragile collectible'

    I think it is a completely stupid rule, I mean they sell perfumes on planes and you can carry them on in your luggage so what is the problem?

    My only worry is if customs discover fragrances destined for airmail / arrived at the destination country via airmail, will they destroy it?
    My current favourites Chanel Bois des Iles & Frederic Malle Iris Poudre

  29. #29

    Default Re: USPS and mailing fragrances

    Grrrrrr....I went to the post office yesterday and was asked if the package contained any liquid and I volunteered that it perfume and was told it can only be mailed parcel post. To add insult to injury, instead of costing $1.95, I had to pay a whopping $5.45 for the package to take twice the time to arrive. I thought the air mail restriction was only for international shipping but I guess we're funding the clunky money-losing USPS.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Thanks for the info. I looked through the info and saw a section on "ORM-D" materials which seem to have a "limited quantity" exemption. I tried looking for what qualifies as ORM-D and could not quite figure out whether or not perfume qualifies. Thoughts?

    "ORM-D material is a limited quantity of a hazardous material that presents a low risk of hazard during transportation due to its form, quantity, and packaging. The proper shipping name for all mailable ORM-D material is “Consumer Commodity.” Not every hazardous material permitted to be shipped as a limited quantity can qualify as an ORM-D material. The ORM-D category is recognized for use within the United States only. ORM-D materials cannot be sent in international mail."

  30. #30
    Lifelong Sniffaholic
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    Default Re: USPS and mailing fragrances

    Quote Originally Posted by hajusuuri View Post
    Grrrrrr....I went to the post office yesterday and was asked if the package contained any liquid and I volunteered that it perfume and was told it can only be mailed parcel post. To add insult to injury, instead of costing $1.95, I had to pay a whopping $5.45 for the package to take twice the time to arrive. I thought the air mail restriction was only for international shipping but I guess we're funding the clunky money-losing USPS.
    I believe it could still have gone for $1.95 as First Class as long as it was clearly marked to go by ground. I have received small packets from Redneck that way.



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