Sending small item in Auspost letter being refused

Hello, today I tried to send a small kids apron via express letter at an Australia Post outlet and was told it should only have actual letters/documents.

I purchased the express letter from a sales assistant (SA1) then when I dropped it off to another sales assistant (SA2), he asked what my item was and told me the above.

He then refused to accept it, grabbed an express post satchel and made me take the item out. He then tried to do an exchange but couldn't and had to refer me back to SA1. SA1 then checked my item fit the mail gauge for letters and reluctantly said they will allow my express letter this one time, but next time they won't as it's only reserved for documents.

I checked the Auspost website and it doesn't say only letters/documents can be shipped via their letters. It actually lists the requirements (less than 500g, no thicker than 20mm, flexible etc) which my small apron met..

Am I wrong?


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Australia Post


  • +9

    Most countries in the world have street mailing boxes. Buy in-store and mail it on the street. Done.

    • +1

      Yup that's the plan moving forward. Only wanted to post over the counter so the tracking was registered straight away

    • Yes can be done this way, however it can still be "taxed" and the sender or receiver will receive a bill for the difference in postage in the mail. However i believe it to be more of a good will payment and then never follow through with chasing it up

      Send hundreds of them and they will definitely be chasing the sender for the difference.

      It can be taxed while in the mail stream, but more than likely at the closest delivery centre to the receiver.

    • +1

      Doesn't always work though, sometimes they don't send it and sometimes they make the receiver pay to take it from the post office, I got a game off eBay and they withheld it at the Post Office and left me a slip at home saying outstanding charges, was an inconvenience to go and pick it up and then have to organise for the seller to refund the fee they were charging me.

  • +5

    All my condom samples get mailed in an envelope.

    • +6

      not mines
      i order the HUGE ones, they come in a box :)

  • +5

    Thousands of sellers on eBay every single day post, using that method plus also using stamps for non express letter postage everyday including me and it doesn't have to be flexible either just as long as it's complies with the thickness requirement.
    Sounds like you just got a crappy local Australia post.

  • +3

    I checked the Auspost website and it doesn't say only letters/documents can be shipped via their letters

    But it’s called “letters”…

    Regardless, I found the information you need:

    include enveloped mail, lettersheets and unenclosed postcards

    Anyway, agree with the above. Buy mailer and put it in the street box. Just make sure it fits through.

  • +5

    then checked my item fit the mail gauge for letters

    If it fits through the sizing template that is all that matters.

  • +6

    I went through a complaints process with AusPost over this exact issue. First 3 points as agreed by the AusPost rep, and the 4th agreed by thousands of eBay sellers that put DVDs or video games in them, within the weight and dimensions guidelines.

    1. It is NOT just for documents, no matter what the person at the counter thinks. It's Letter SIZE, not actually only for letters.
    2. The item IS meant to be flexible because the sorting machine hardware bends it on the way through. If it's not flexible they have to pull it out and process it manually which they don't like.
    3. Despite #2 they're not meant to refuse the item, and I have anecdotally seen an improvement here as the rep said they would send out communications about it.
    4. If they give you any crap just throw it in a letterbox, or go to a different post office.
    • Interesting points. Sending rigid things is normally fine but I have received stuff that has been threaded in their sorting systems. Once the letter was ripped and I literally got delivered an empty envelope. Another time my Xbox video game case was cracked. When I got mailed a USB Flash drive I got it repackaged in a plastic bag and the flash drive was all scratched up.

      • +1

        Exactly the same here - I ordered a wheel bearing (like you'd find in a skateboard) and all I received was an empty envelope, with the end torn off - I imagine the same thing happened when you got your empty envelope too

    • +1

      I'd call #2 BS too.
      If, for a moment, imagine everything posted as "letters" must be flexible/ bendable, then all the banks and big businesses etc are in the wrong by sending out bank cards/ membership cards/ etc as letters. Let alone the array of small merchandise that get sent as letters by eBay sellers and alike.

  • +5
  • +1
  • If it fits, then it goes.

  • +2

    I've had to educate my LPO employees on what is allowed several times.

    Whenever they try and use their made up rules on you ask them to show you where on the AusPost website or rule book this is stated. They rarely can.

    I send the following as letters all the time.
    USB charging cables.
    collectors coins
    reusable drinking straws

    To be considered a letter, your item must:

    weigh less than 500g
    only contain printed material with no commercial value if you're sending overseas
    contain flexible items only (if being sent within Australia)
    have a rectangular shape
    be no larger than a B4 envelope (260mm x 360mm x 20mm)
    be no thicker than 20mm.

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