Alternatives to waiting in line at the Post Office

Tuesday, December 16th 2003, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

Long lines at your neighborhood Post Office. News on 6 consumer reporter Rick Wells takes a look at alternatives for those who perhaps need a little extra help getting those special gifts to their destination.

This time of year there is a pretty long line at the Post Office. Not everyone has the time or has what they want to mail, ‘mail ready.’ Tina Slagle: "I'm a high maintenance customer, yes that's true."

She needs help getting her home made jelly to Illinois for Christmas safely. So she's turned it over to Steve Waibel at the Mail Depot. Slagle: "Christmas time and very special gifts, I only come here."

Mail Depot is a mom and pop owned alternative to the Post Office. They can pack and mail items for you and they have arrangements with FedEx and UPS.

Another alternative is Mail Boxes Etc. It's a franchise and there are several in the Tulsa area. The service is perhaps a bit more regulated, the staff is larger so potentially quicker. For the fee they charge, in this case about 20%, they can do the work for you.

Terry Thorne with Mail Boxes Etc.: "we're saving time, and they're on to the next project." There were some items still unpacked on the counter waiting to go out.

Before the day is over the staff here will pack it up and get it gone, the customer has already paid and is on to something else. They say they can ship anything, one customer even shipped some small reptiles. "He has his own packaging and boxing and he sends them over night."

Rick says it all depends on how much you value your time. The post office, while cheaper, could have you standing in line for quite a while.