The Sunday rebate postmark

One of my latest deals was a free-after-rebate version of our antivirus software, which expired a week or so ago. It’s actually two rebates and I left it on my desk for awhile. Day 29 of 30 arrived and I sat down to process my rebate. But oh no! It’s Saturday after the post office is closed! I need a postmark by Sunday to qualify. Dang, $45 lost. Or is it?

I checked out Stamps.com to see if I could print postage. They keep advertising their deal (‘free’ if you pay shipping for their postal scale which hooks up to your computer, plus $25 in postage credits over three months, and no monthly charge the first 30 days), but their FAQ made it sound like you HAD to have the scale to use the service. I just needed to mail first class letters, not weigh packages. I decided to give it a shot and what do you know, I printed a lovely couple of Sunday-postmarked envelopes. The first $5 of postage is free with the trial (and I didn’t have to order the scale) so I didn’t even pay to send these.

The software downloaded and installed easily, was intuitive, had helpful pop-up messages to get me started (I skipped the demos and webinars), and it helped me easily configure and test my printer without wasting postage first. It also automatically posted a Monday date on the sample view, but I told it I wanted the current Sunday date. It gave me a warning but still let me do it. (It does not let you backdate before the current date, though I didn’t fiddle with the PC clock or anything to see if that would work.) The software also appears to have a way to deal with printer mishaps so you don’t lose postage if the envelope jams, but I didn’t have to explore that feature.

The downside is that this service costs about $18 per month, so I’ll have to cancel in a couple of weeks during the trial period. I wouldn’t mind reloading my postage account with a credit card and just printing from home on a regular basis, so I wish they offered a fee-free service like that. They apparently discount some postage as part of the service (I guess because the barcodes are already on the mail and that saves the physical post office time), so a free or very cheap service without postage discounts would be nice.

Well, at least I’ll get these rebates out the door. I might get unlucky and the post office will re-postmark my stuff and then the rebate people will reject me, but it was worth a try. Since I barely use a book of stamps in a year (hooray online bill pay), the paid service just won’t do me any good.

3 thoughts on “The Sunday rebate postmark

  1. I’ve used the Postal Service’s web site to print Priority Mail labels from home when I was selling autographed copies of my book. That’s just for packages though, but they give you a 5 cent discount on shipping for using the online service. It starts to add up if you’re shipping a lot of stuff.

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