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Classes of Mail

The Postal Service divides mail into different services, called "classes." Each class of mail has different features, service levels, postage prices, and presort requirements.

For most of your mailings, the content of the material and postage will determine the class of mail you select. To learn more about each class of mail—including what can be mailed, the minimum and maximum weights and sizes, and the number of pieces needed for commercial prices—just click on the name of the class of mail. Not sure which class of mail is right for your mailing? Look at the matrix below to determine what class of mail best matches your priorities.

If you are unsure about what class your mailpiece will—or should—be, contact your business mail entry unit[1] for advice.

Priority Mail Express[2]: Anything mailable, letters, merchandise.

Priority Mail[3]: Anything mailable, bills, invoices, personal correspondence, merchandise.

First-Class Mail[4] Anything mailable, bills, invoices, personal correspondence, merchandise.

Periodicals[5]: Newsletters, magazines; (formal authorization needed).

Standard Mail[6]: Advertisements, circulars, newsletters, small parcels, merchandise.

Package Services and Standard Post[7]: Merchandise, catalogs, printed material, computer media.

 Class of Mail  Speed  Low Cost  Free Forwarding and Return Extra Services   Incentives
 Priority Mail Express  Yes  No  Yes  Yes  Yes
 Priority Mail  Yes  Some options, yes  Yes  Yes  Yes
 First-Class Mail  Yes  Yes  Yes  Yes  Yes
 Standard Mail  No  Yes  No  Only for parcels  Yes
 Periodicals Yes Yes, for In-Country Free Forwarding for 60 days No Yes
 Package Services/Standard Post  No  Yes  No  Yes  Yes


Price List - Notice 123[8]

 

Business Calculator[9] – Compute prices for all commercial mail.


Table of Links
  1. https://ribbs.usps.gov/locators/find-bme.cfm
  2. http://pe.usps.com/businessmail101/classes/express.htm
  3. http://pe.usps.com/businessmail101/classes/priority.htm
  4. http://pe.usps.com/businessmail101/classes/firstClass.htm
  5. http://pe.usps.com/businessmail101/classes/periodicals.htm
  6. http://pe.usps.com/businessmail101/classes/standard.htm
  7. http://pe.usps.com/businessmail101/classes/packageServices.htm
  8. http://pe.usps.com/cpim/ftp/manuals/dmm300/Notice123.pdf
  9. http://dbcalc.usps.gov/