Mail A Potato
Step By Step, How To Guide
Did you know you can mail a potato without a box or any packaging? I recently learned you can literally ship a potato. I went to my local post office who gave me a 15-minute class on all the rules and tips they have seen other people do to make it easy. I created this "Mail A Potato" article to help you do it right the first time.
Brought to by
Claudia S. Nelson
Woodbridge VA Realtor
My Dad was in the Marine Corps. I grew up moving and PCS'ing my entire childhood. With my dad's constant deployments and Mediterrian cruises we were limited on on when we could visit family. I learned at an early age the importance of staying in touch with friends and family. Now that I am older, I still look for creative ways to stay in touch with family. As a result of my father's duty stations, my sister has made her permanent home outside of Camp Lejeune, NC and I am here outside of where our dad retired in Quantico. My most recent idea for staying in touch with my sister, Shelley, is to send her Virginia State Lottery Scratchers. My theory is if she wins a lot of money she has no choice but to come visit me to cash them. Unfortunately, she has not won big yet.
A couple of weeks ago, I was on Groupon and saw an ad for Anonymous Potato. It was a service where you could mail a potato. I was intrigued. I immediately sent my brother a potato through their service. It cost a total of $15 and took almost 2 weeks to get there. I wanted to see if I could mail a potato myself and what it would cost and the shipping time compared to Anonymous Potato. I went to my local Post Office and they educated me on how to mail a potato.
Step 1: Clean Your Potato
- Make sure you pick out a potato that is large enough
- Nothing too lumpy
- You must clean it so it doesn't have any dirt on it
- Don't scrub too hard to bruise or tear the skin
- Allow your potato to dry overnight
Step 2: Get All Your Supplies Together
- You will need to make mailing labels, writing the address takes too much room
Gather these supplies and take with you to the Post Office
- Mailing Labels (To and From)
- Pencil (the eraser helps push down edges when gluing)
- LOTS of paper towels (it gets messy)
- Permanent Marker
- Super Glue
- Take all your supplies to the Post Office and set-up a station, You will be there a while!
Step 3: Super Glue Labels
As soon as you get to the post office, have them weigh your potato and get your postage label
- Mine Cost $4.14
Super glue postage label first since this will take up the most space
- My Post Office said they prefer on the top of the potato but be careful not too high that it is on the bend. Where the potato starts to curve it is hard to make the label stick
- Be sure that all corners of the labels have super glue, this is the most important part to make stick
- After I put the super glue on, I would hold down the corners with the eraser of a pencil so I could hold the very corner edge without getting glue on me. Once I felt like it was starting to set, I would hold it with a paper towel until I felt like it was dry enough. This probably took me 15-20 minutes for all 3 labels.
- Make sure you place labels like you would on an envelope with return address in the upper hand corner
- After they were all dry, I used my permanent marker to write: To and From:
Step 4: Personalize and Decorate
- – Use your permanent marker to write a message
- – Use your markers to decorate
Step 5: Make friends at Your Local Post Office
Mailing weird stuff to surprise your friends & family can be fun. It also can be a pain if you don't know what you are doing. The key is to make friends with your local post office. It's surprising the things they have seen and experience they have on mailing anything! I always go in and ask first on how to do it. I find this to be the easiest way, but it definitely helps they know me. Here's a quick list of fun things to mail on their own with no packaging:
- Brick (Remember you are paying for weight, but it would be funny!)
- Inflated Beach Ball
- Pillow (My best friend recently moved to Wisconsin, I think she is getting a pillow!)
- Plastic Toys
- And the list goes on and on
With so many military bases nearby like Quantico and Fort Belvoir, I thought there would be a lot of people who may have recently moved and wanted to find a silly way to stay in touch with friends and family. I hope this helps!
Potato Cost 62 cents at Super Wal-Mart & $4.14 to ship = $4.76
I mailed on November 5 and My Sister Received November 10, Arrived in 5 Days
Other than picking up a potato and the grocery story, washing it, I spent a little over an hour preparing and decorating my potato at the post office.
Mail A Potato Yourself
- Only Cost $4.76
- Arrives in 5 days (based on my experience)
- I got to decorate and personalize it myself
- Took approximately 1 1/2 hour of my time
- Took approximately 5 minutes of my time, (maybe less if I didn't have to confirm his address with his best friend, Mike)
- Cost $15 to ship
- Takes 12 days to arrive
- Message arrive very plan, written in black sharpie, nothing more