Shipping refills

Signed-In Members Don't See This Ad

keithbyrd

Member
Joined
Sep 2, 2011
Messages
2,140
Location
Mount Wolf, PA
how do you all ship refills? People who buy a pen often come back a few months later and buy refills - what is the best way to ship them? Thanks for your help!
 
Signed-In Members Don't See This Ad

wrjones224

Member
Joined
Mar 15, 2020
Messages
75
Location
Kentucky
I typically will put them in an envelope, stamp it, and throw it in the mailbox. If they want more than one I will put them in a plastic bag and do the same. It has worked for me and it’s cheap. I also am curious as to what others do.
 

DavidD

Member
Joined
Oct 4, 2017
Messages
278
Location
Boulder, Colorado
how do you all ship refills? People who buy a pen often come back a few months later and buy refills - what is the best way to ship them? Thanks for your help!
I always put them inside a box - typically an unused pen box - as I've had trouble with the bending otherwise. Good luck!
 

magpens

Member
Joined
Feb 2, 2011
Messages
14,570
Location
Coquitlam, BC, Canada
For just a refill or refills, I put them in a pen kit baggie and tape that to a stiff card so they don't rattle ... inside a stamped envelope for mailing.
 

David350

Member
Joined
Sep 10, 2017
Messages
180
Location
Dallas, TX
I don't sell my pens, I just make for friends and family, etc. When I give the pen, I let them know that refills are available on Amazon and everyone has liked that so far...
 

keithbyrd

Member
Joined
Sep 2, 2011
Messages
2,140
Location
Mount Wolf, PA
I put them in a baggie taped between 2 pieces of thin cardboard and put in an envelope. It's cheap and easy.
When you put them between thin card stock - usps say anything non bendable goes as a parcel - I always end up paying $4-5 to ship first class- for $3 refill that’s expensive!
 

KMCloonan

Member
Joined
Jun 13, 2017
Messages
91
Location
Fox Lake, Illinois
I just let my customers know that the refills are usually available wherever office supplies are sold (e.g. Staples, Office Max), and it would be faster and less expensive for them to go pick one up than it would be for me to sell them one and ship it.
 

penicillin

Member
Joined
Feb 27, 2019
Messages
541
All of my pens are gifts, so I have mailed only a few refills. I tape them to a piece of cardboard and keep the envelope under 1/4 inch thick. My goal is to mail it as an ordinary US First Class letter to save on postage. The amount you save on postage would probably cover the few failures (if any!) where you might have to send another refill to someone. I mail enough other stuff (often just thick documents) that I can offer a few suggestions for domestic US mail:

As I said above, my goal is to mail items as a USPS First Class Letter, which saves a lot on postage. There are limitations to dimensions and weight before the USPS treats the mailing as a "Large Envelope" or "Package" instead of from "Letter", which is your goal.

https://pe.usps.com/text/dmm100/mailing-domestic.htm

The limitation I usually run into is the THICKNESS of the Letter, which must be 1/4 inch or thinner. If you mail thick letters often, it helps to make yourself a 1/4 inch letter tester. That's what the postal workers use at the post office. Take a piece of scrapwood and cut a 1/4 inch slot in it. Push the letter through. If it rubs, then you may have issues. I have observed that the clerks at the Post Office counters check letter thickness often and take any rubbing as too thick. If your letter fits through your tester with light rubbing, and then you cross your fingers and put it in the mailbox or the mailing slot instead of taking it to the counter, it almost always gets through. (I have never had one like that returned, but I don't push my luck, either.)

To make a 1/4 inch slot in scrapwood, you could: (a) Use a guided 1/4 inch router bit. (b) You could carefully clamp the board to your table saw and raise a dado stack through it, then file or sand the sharp ends of the slot. (c) If you are good at cutting straight lines with a scroll saw, that could work ... or (d) drill holes, use a marking knife, and cut the "triangles" with a chisel. Whatever works for you.

After the 1/4 inch limitation, the next limitation I run into is WEIGHT, which must be 3-1/2 ounces or less. You will need an accurate postal scale. Kitchen scales are good, and may be less expensive than the same things sold as "postal scales". I have had the same cheap digital kitchen scale for ~15 years, maybe longer, the same one we use for cooking. Our scale measures to the nearest 0.05 ounce (or individual grams). I looked on Amazon and there are lots of cheap scales that measure to 0.1 ounce, which is just fine. Change the batteries when needed, because you can get erroneous results with low batteries.

The USPS also charges an additional fee for letters that have stiff, non-flexible contents, such as letters that contain pen refills.

When your letter is ready, sized, and weighed, go to this USPS official website to compute postage:

https://postcalc.usps.com
  • Enter the sending and receiving ZIP Codes, and the date and time (which I ignore and leave at the defaults).
  • Click Calculate price based Shape and Size (right icon).
  • On the Weight and Shape/Size page, enter the ounces weight of your letter, then click Letter(left icon).
    • NOTE: It must be 3.5 ounces or less, or the USPS will automatically treat it as a Large Envelope, which has a larger minimum dimension requirement than standard letter envelope, and higher postage.
  • On the Letter Properties page, choose the appropriate icon. For pen refills, choose Content is rigid.
  • The Mail Services page will appear. Scroll to the bottom to see the ordinary First Class Mail Stamped Letter postage.
I buy coils of "Forever Stamps" and treat their value as the same as a current first class letter. When postage goes up, I treat them as the new postage value. Today (30 May 2021), I treat them as worth $0.55 (55 cents) each. You can use two Forever stamps to make $1.10, etc. I treat the "extra ounce" forever stamps are $0.20 (20 cents) each. I keep sheets of various other denomination postage stamps (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 10, and a few others) for filling out the difference.

-> No postal clerk has denied this approach of Forever stamp valuation, nor taken issue with mixing Forever and valued stamps. None of my mailbox letters have been returned because of how I value the stamps.

I hope this helps someone.
 
Top Bottom