The term "bulk mail" refers to larger quantities of mail prepared for mailing at reduced postage. In Business Mail 101, the term "bulk mail" means commercial First-Class Mail and advertising mail (called "Standard Mail" by the Postal Service). Commercial prices are available for other classes of mail, too. The Postal Service uses the terms "bulk" and "presorted" interchangeably.
Bulk prices are lower than "single-piece" prices. "Single-piece" means that you pay the full postage price; when you put a stamp on a letter, you're paying the single-piece postage. Many mailers pay single-piece postage even though they are doing large mailings. Why? Because they don’t want to do any extra preparation work—they don’t have the time, or it’s just not cost effective for their business. Business Mail 101 will help you make smart choices about your own mail to determine if commercial prices are right for you.
What Are Commercial Prices?
The Postal Service offers lower prices for bulk mailings because you do some of the work that otherwise would have to be done by the Postal Service (for example, sorting the mail by ZIP Code or transporting the mail to a destination postal facility). Everyone benefits from this "work-sharing." Mailers make an investment in time and technology, the Postal Service’s costs are reduced and you pay less postage.
In order to mail at commercial prices, you need to: