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Hand stamping/cancelling

Since when does to post office NOT hand cancel mail? I ordered save the dates that have a bow on them, and the etsy seller told me because of the bow they would have to be "hand cancelled". So I went to the PO and the not-so-friendly lady there told me they "don't do that anymore". I mailed a test one to my grandmother to see how it comes out, but now I'm nervous. And I'm also worried about when I send my actual invitations. Ugh.
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Re: Hand stamping/cancelling

  • njlfrednjlfred member
    edited December 2011
    I'm not going to be much help here, but from reading prior posts, I think it might depend on which post office you go to and which postal employee you get.  I thnk the postal employees just don't have the time to do it.  I vaguely recall one knottie saying she offered to hand cancel them herself if it was a time issue and was allowed to do so.
  • edited December 2011
    I agree, I think it depends on the post office. I can tell you, I went to the one in the Pru and they were not terribly helpful. I went to the one on Mass Ave, near the Symphony T stop, and they were much nicer. The lady behind the desk said they had to go to the main office for hand cancelling, and I questioned whether that would actually happen, but it did. I inspected a few that had been delivered :)

  • edited December 2011
    She told me flat out, no they don't do it anymore, that everything goes through a machine now anyway. Not going to lie, I was slightly intimidated by her. I might send my FFIL who is a former postal employee to go handle this, lol.
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  • edited December 2011
    I agree with PP, try calling a few different post offices. I did it at the Kenmore/BU post office this past August and had no problems whatsoever
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  • edited December 2011
    When I went to the post office, I was told that if you want them hand canceled, you have to do it yourself, so that's what I did.  It was pretty easy to do.  However, they did inform me that despite hand canceling them, they do go through some other machine anyway to get the bar code or something?  I did get stressed about it at the time, but in the end, my invitations arrived fine and they did have ribbon on them so I wouldn't drive yourself nuts about it like I did!
  • edited December 2011
    I live in Groton, MA and the lady happily did it for me. I think she is just being lazy honestly!
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  • edited December 2011
    I went to The Milk Street post office in the financial district and asked to have my Save the Date hand cancelled back in January.  The first guy I spoke with gave me so much attitude and was like Yea maybe if I have time later I'll do it... which I knew meant as soon as I turned around and walked out the door they were going through the machine.  I then offered to do it myself and he basically yelled at me and said it was against the law for me to do it myself.  I said I've been told otherwise and he raise his voice so loud that his coworker looked over and she asked what was wrong.  He then started to complain about my request to her and she goes, Oh I usually just share my stamp with them and let them do it right here..... So I just picked up my envelopes and walked over to her and asked her if she would help me. 

    She spent a good 10mins with me hand cancelling all of my envelopes.  She was so sweet about it.  Then when I finally saw one that had been mailed out to a guest they had been run through the machine anyways and the address was smudged a bit.  All that fuse and they still went through the machine. 

    It really can be such a hassle and I feel like every post office handles the situation differently but with that being said, I'm still going to try and get my invites hand cancelled because I think it looks better.... I'm just going to a different post office this time!
  • edited December 2011

    To add to my comment above-- I think usually the envelopes go through 2 machines, hand cancelling skips one of them. So they do come through cleaner, but not 100% untouched.

    As a side note, I think I read on the invitations board that those Zazzle stamps are kind of already cancelled, so they skip that first machine. That could be something to look into.

  • noodle_oonoodle_oo member
    edited December 2011
    We mailed ours last year at a PO in Belmont.  They were very nice and let me hand cancel them myself.  I didn't even ask if they would do it, I just asked if it was okay if I could hand cancel them.  It took like no time at all and was fun!  She showed me how to do it, gave me the stamp, I did them in the corner and them gave them all back to her.  I'd maybe try another PO or ask if YOU can hand cancel them, not if they will do it for you.  They do get busy so I can see why they don't want to do them all for you.
  • edited December 2011
    Thanks for the info, ladies. I agree that the lady I dealt with was just being lazy, and they shouldn't be selective about whether or not they want to do it (and FYI they weren't even busy when I went in there). We'll see how my test one that I sent to my grandmother comes out and based on that I may start calling around to different PO's.
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  • Calypso1977Calypso1977 member
    Knottie Warrior 2500 Comments 25 Love Its First Answer
    edited December 2011
    it was over 2 years ago now, but i had mine hand canceled.  they also cant charge you.
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