Mailing PWE Non-Machinable vs Machinable

Mike121

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I'd never mailed a card non-machinable before, but after reading some of the posts on here I figured it was probably best to spend the extra $.20 to do so. So, this morning was my first PWE trip to the post office since deciding that.

The guy at the post office said something about how he thought the cards would somehow get ripped out of the envelope and never make it to their destination if I mailed them non-machinable. Something about it having to make it around a 90 degree turn and, since they were so hard (because of the toploader), they may not make it. He said, and I quote, "I wouldn't do it". Now, I don't know if that meant he wouldn't mail them in a PWE at all, or just that he wouldn't mail non-machinable. Either way, though, it made me a little nervous thinking that the cards may get damaged anyways, even though I paid an extra $.20 to try to prevent that from happening.

Anyways, I went ahead and sent them that way anyways, but it made me wonder, if that's the case, why not just take my chances mailing it PWE with a plain stamp on it? I've mailed quite a few PWE packages for trades from this site and they all seemed to make it just fine. In fact, I have 1 stamp left in the booklet of stamps I bought when I first joined this site. So I don't remember how many stamps were in that book, but all those cards were mailed just regular mail and made it fine.

All that said I'd never mail a card, or cards, in a PWE that I wouldn't mind replacing if they did end up getting damaged. Because of that, and because of the low price of the cards that I'm mailing in a PWE, doesn't it make sense to just save that $.20?

If I would have spent an extra $.20 on all the PWEs I've mailed out, it would have cost me an extra $5-10 by now. None of those cards were damaged, so I've saved that money. Had a few of the packages gotten damaged, and I had to replace them, I'd still be ahead because a few PWE cards wouldn't cost me $5-10.

I'd like to hear all of your thoughts on this.
 

criollos

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Mike:

I have mailed cards in PWE and have paid the extra $0.20 to send them non-machinable. I have never had any problem with it. It may take a day or two longer to arrive at its destination, but never a problem with it. I think you have a lousy postman at your post office if he/she advice you not to use the non-machinable service. Other than that, I follow and agree with your logic about mailing in PWE. If I mail via PWE I am willingly taking a risk and I’m willing to replace the card if it doesn’t make it safely to its destination.

Luis
 

KCLJ520

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@Mike121

Honestly, I have only ever had a very few ttm requests (which I never send non-machinable) get damaged. I feel like more bubble mailers have gone missing and have required me to file search requests with USPS (all of them have fortunately been found) than I have had problems with PWE. I have been collecting TTM on and off since 1994!

I think your statement about not mailing a card that you wouldnt mind replacing in a PWE is wise....99.9% of what I send are customs, which I can easily re-print and re-send if need be.

Blessings,

Kevin
 

Mike121

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I think you have a lousy postman at your post office if he/she advice you not to use the non-machinable service.
Like I said, I'm not sure if he was talking specifically about non-machinable. He could have just meant he wouldn't send a card in a PWE. I was too caught up in the fact that he was saying the card could still get damaged, even though I was paying the extra money to try to prevent that.

I know nothing is certain when mailing stuff, but if there's still a chance that it gets damaged what is the $.20 for? Add that to the fact that I've mailed more than a dozen PWEs with a forever stamp only, that have all arrived just fine, and I'm thinking today was, more than likely, my first and last time mailing non-machinable.
 

KCLJ520

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Like I said, I'm not sure if he was talking specifically about non-machinable. He could have just meant he wouldn't send a card in a PWE. I was too caught up in the fact that he was saying the card could still get damaged, even though I was paying the extra money to try to prevent that.

I know nothing is certain when mailing stuff, but if there's still a chance that it gets damaged what is the $.20 for? Add that to the fact that I've mailed more than a dozen PWEs with a forever stamp only, that have all arrived just fine, and I'm thinking today was, more than likely, my first and last time mailing non-machinable.

I thought non machinable was handled without getting run through the mail sorters? Maybe not. I use the extra 20 cents as insurance, figuring I have packed with thicker cardboard and toploaders in the envelope. I dont mail like this frequently, but have never had a problem on either end when I have. Odd that your postman would say that.

Blessings,

Kevin
 

Mike121

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I thought non machinable was handled without getting run through the mail sorters?
No, this is supposed to be correct.

This is from the USPS FAQ: https://faq.usps.com/s/article/What-is-the-Non-Machinable-Surcharge-for-First-Class-Mail

A nonmachinable mailpiece is sorted outside of the standard automated mail process.

So, with that said, I wonder if maybe my postal worker was confused about the process. If the envelope is handled outside of the automated sorters, the only thing it can get caught on is someone's hand, right?
 

chief wahoo

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Anyways, I went ahead and sent them that way anyways, but it made me wonder, if that's the case, why not just take my chances mailing it PWE with a plain stamp on it? I've mailed quite a few PWE packages for trades from this site and they all seemed to make it just fine. In fact, I have 1 stamp left in the booklet of stamps I bought when I first joined this site. So I don't remember how many stamps were in that book, but all those cards were mailed just regular mail and made it fine.

In my opinion, this is the correct answer. From my experience and reading posts from others, it seems that the post office generally ignores "non-machinable" and runs PWEs through the machines anyway. I am willing to take my chances and mail with a forever stamp. Of course, I will make any trader whole if a card is received damaged. But I've mailed hundreds of these over the years and have never had an issue.
 

criollos

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Just leaving this pictures here for people that are fortunate enough to never had cards damaged while using PWE. This was a Clemente card I bought on EBay. The seller refunded me the money after seeing the pictures.
 

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criollos

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In my opinion, this is the correct answer. From my experience and reading posts from others, it seems that the post office generally ignores "non-machinable" and runs PWEs through the machines anyway. I am willing to take my chances and mail with a forever stamp. Of course, I will make any trader whole if a card is received damaged. But I've mailed hundreds of these over the years and have never had an issue.
I think your non-machinable PWE get ignored if you just put a stamp or two on it and drop it in a mail box. When I go to the counter and buy the extra postage for non-machinable and hand it to my postman, he/she puts my envelope in the bin with the outgoing 1st Class bubble mailers. My non-machinable doesn’t get scanned like the 1st Class mailers, but it get sorted by hand. Like I mentioned earlier, this hand sorting usually my PWE arrive a day or two later than regular (machinable) mail.
 

Mike121

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Just leaving this pictures here for people that are fortunate enough to never had cards damaged while using PWE. This was a Clemente card I bought on EBay. The seller refunded me the money after seeing the pictures.
That looks like what my postal worker was describing could happen to the cards I mailed this morning, even though I paid the extra $.20.

I'd be interested in knowing if anyone has ever received a damaged card that was mailed non-machinable.
 

89Giants

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I've done hundreds of pwe(single stamp) trades and none arrived damaged. Some traders use the non machinable stamps but most of the time they go through the machine anyways.
 

zlw1

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The non machinable I use for most orders/trades over 1 card, unless it's one over a couple dollar bv.

Best 20c investment you can do. Machines will eat those envelope if they have the slightest indentation to them.
 

cjay101

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I’ve never used non-machinable on PWE. Never had an issue and i’ve sent 100’s. Even with the stamp, I guarantee you 90% of them see a machine at least once on their journey.
 

Chavezforprez

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Whether I mail non-machine or regular, I always cover the whole envelope with packing tape to make the envelope a little more protected from the weather and to glide through the machines easier (at least in my head I think this helps, lol).

Billy
 

David K.

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Whether I mail non-machine or regular, I always cover the whole envelope with packing tape to make the envelope a little more protected from the weather and to glide through the machines easier (at least in my head I think this helps, lol).

Billy
It does help if the USPS decides to run your PWE thru their machines. IN the past I would get torn PWE normally around the edges....so I learned to add scott tape all around the edges. So by reinforcing the edges it prevents the tearing and keeps the toploader with the card inside the envelope. Best regards, David PS 14 years of trading....learn from others!
 

akamikey2001

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I been a fan of the PWE method for years and only have had a few problems. If your shipping a thin card in a normal size top loader 1 stamp should do the trick. One can actually get away with sending a thin game-used say out of 2002 ud diamond connection or a framed ginter relic without it getting damaged. I wouldn't recommend doing it but sellers on ebay have. From what i'm told PO workers look for the additional 1 oz stamp or writing stating Non Machinable so it avoids the rails and machine and is hand sorted.

I'm doing it to save money on postage so i actually add the additional $0.20 oz stamp and write Non Machinable on both sides with a sharpie. Of course this is for low dollar trades and there is always the risk of something happening but then again things happen with bubble envelopes to.
 

mberger718

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There's a specific 70 cent stamp for non-machinable PWE (I think it's a butterfly stamp), and they stamp it non-machinable.
It's supposed to be hand sorted and not go through the sorting machines which can cause damage.
I don't think putting 2 stamps on a PWE necessarily indicates to the USPS that it's non-machinable. To me it's worth the extra 20 cents.
 

Platnum71

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I always mail non machinable. In theory the post office is suppose to put it in a different bin, instead of just running it through the line that bends the envelopes. I have never had a problem with ones that I have been mailed out. I have had some PWE come in damaged, opened or just mangled. Well it is only 20 cents. However sometimes someone is counting on that card and the one time it doesnt work or the card does get mangled, is that really worth 20 cents. I have even mailed game used nonmachinable and not had any problems.

I would end by saying - the main factor is it could depend on your town's postal workers and/or delivery person.
 

dragonslayer913

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I was told by my local post master is you can write no machine non machineable all over the envelope it still is going through the sorting machine only mail that doesn't go through the sorting machine is pre-sorted mail---I still write no machine as a force of habit.
 
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