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Mail in the United States

If you ever have any questions about mailing or shipping, please ask us. We are happy to help make certain that your letters and packages arrive safely.

Formatting a letter or package

The standard address format for mailing items to and within the U.S. is as follows:

Name
Street Address
(Additional information for the street address, if needed)
City, State (2 letter code)  zip code

On an envelope or package, you should include the sender’s name and address in the upper left hand corner in case the item needs to be returned to the sender.

The recipient’s name and address are in the center of the envelope or package.

If you would like to see what an addressed envelope should look like, you can visit: http://www.nhcs.net/parsley/curriculum/postal/envelope.html.

IMPORTANT – Return Address Needed

Whenever you are sending a letter or package, you should ALWAYS include a return name and address on the box or letter. The return name and address should go in the upper left hand corner and the name and address to which you are shipping the package should be placed near the center of the package or letter. 

If a problem occurs during shipping and there is no return address, the letter or package will be lost and you will not be able to get it back. This could cost you a lot of money. If you are shipping a letter or package less than one week before you leave, you may want to use the office address as the return address. Use this format:

Your Name
C/O Mindy Van House
Lippincott Hall, Room 204
1410 Jayhawk Blvd.
Lawrence, KS  66045

Mailing and Shipping Options

There are multiple different options for mailing items within the US or to other countries. The primary choices are the United States Postal Service (USPS), the United Parcel Service (UPS), and FedEx.

United States Postal Service

The United States Postal Service (USPS) is the government-run, public postal service. It is generally the easiest and cheapest option for mailing postcards and letters within the US and overseas - as long as you don't mind waiting a while! For a listing of current postage rates, please see:  https://www.stamps.com/usps/current-postage-rates/.

The standard USPS mailing service is called first-class mail.

Letters mailed first class take about 3 business days to arrive at any destination in the United States. However, it is best to plan for a little more time since some businesses can be slow to process incoming and outgoing mail.

First class packages take longer, often 7-10 business days. The USPS also offers faster shipping options and discounted options for special items. There are two US Post Offices in Lawrence. The easiest to reach is on 7th Street, across from the Lawrence Public Library.

Here are some useful links for the USPS:

Domestic:  https://www.usps.com/ship/mail-shipping-services.htm

International:  https://www.usps.com/international/mail-shipping-services.htm

United Parcel Service

United Parcel Service (UPS) is a private company specializing in packages. If you order a package online, there is a good chance it will come via UPS. Shipping packages using UPS can sometimes be cheaper than the USPS, but sometimes it is more expensive. It is usually faster than using the USPS.

To ship packages that are not pre-paid using UPS, you must go to their store, which is located on 31st Street, near Best Buy. If you have a pre-paid package to ship and you live in Naismith Hall, you can simply take your package to the front desk. UPS regularly picks up pre-paid packages from Naismith and other locations.

Here are some helpful links for UPS:

Domestic:  https://wwwapps.ups.com/ctc/request?loc=en_US

International:  https://www.ups.com/us/en/shipping.page?

FedEx

FedEx is another private shipping company. Their specialty is business mail and packages, but they also ship letters and packages for individuals. Shipping with FedEx is generally more expensive than using the USPS but it is often the fastest method.

To ship letters or packages that are not pre-paid using Fedex, you must go to one of their locations. The closest location is on Mass, near 9th Street. If you have a pre-paid letter or package, you can put it in the FedEx drop-box in the Kansas Union, near the ATMs. 

Here are some helpful links for FedEx:

Domestic:  https://www.fedex.com/ratefinder/home?cc=US&language=en&locId=express

International:  http://www.fedex.com/us/international-resource-center/

Returning Purchases

If you are returning something you purchased online, you MUST find out if the return shipping is pre-paid or if you must pay the return shipping fees. The company you purchased the item from will provide you with a return label but this does NOT mean that the shipping is pre-paid. You must specifically ask about this. 

If the return shipping is pre-paid, you can find a drop location and simply leave the package there. If the shipping costs are not pre-paid, you must go to the shipping company's (the place you ordered the item from will usually tell you which company you need to use) location make sure to take the return label or address with you. If you already have a box and packing tape, that is helpful and will save you money. If not, you can buy boxes or tape (if needed) at the location. You will need to pay the shipping costs associated with the return.

IMPORTANT – Return Address Needed

Whenever you are sending a letter or package, you should ALWAYS include a return name and address on the box or letter. The return name and address should go in the upper left hand corner and the name and address to which you are shipping the package should be placed near the center of the package or letter. 

If a problem occurs during shipping and there is no return address, the letter or package will be lost and you will not be able to get it back. This could cost you a lot of money. If you are shipping a letter or package less than one week before you leave, you may want to use the office address as the return address. Use this format:

Your Name
C/O Mindy Van House
Lippincott Hall, Room 204
1410 Jayhawk Blvd.
Lawrence, KS  66045

If you ever have any questions about mailing or shipping, please ask us. We are happy to help make certain that your letters and packages arrive safely.


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