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What is Bulk Mail? Is it Right for You?

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:

Get a mailing permit (permission to mail[1]) and pay an annual mailing fee[2] for each class of mail (First-Class Mail and Standard Mail).
Pay postage using one of several convenient methods: precanceled stamps[3], postage meter[4], or permit imprint.[5]
Make smart choices about the size, shape, and weight[6] of your mailpiece.
Ensure that your addresses are accurate.[7]
Presort the mailpieces (separate or sort your mail by ZIP Code).
Take your mail to the Post Office where you hold your mailing permit.

The choices you make can result in significant postage savings. Click here for information about the postage prices[8] you'll pay.

Minimum Quantities for a Bulk Business Mailing

To qualify for certain postage discounts, you must mail a minimum number of pieces:

500 pieces for First-Class Mail.[9]
200 pieces (or 50 pounds of mail) for Standard Mail.[10]
50 pieces for Parcel Select.
300 pieces for Presorted or Carrier Route Bound Printed Matter.[11]
300 pieces for Library Mail.[12]
300 pieces for Media Mail.[13]

Table of Links
  1. http://pe.usps.com/businessmail101/postage/mailingPermit.htm
  2. http://pe.usps.com/businessmail101/postage/annualMailingFee.htm
  3. http://pe.usps.com/businessmail101/postage/precanceled.htm
  4. http://pe.usps.com/businessmail101/postage/postageMeter.htm
  5. http://pe.usps.com/businessmail101/postage/permitImprint.htm
  6. http://pe.usps.com/businessmail101/mailcharacteristics/welcome.htm
  7. http://pe.usps.com/businessmail101/addressing/welcome.htm
  8. http://pe.usps.com/businessmail101/rates/welcome.htm
  9. http://pe.usps.com/businessmail101/classes/firstClass.htm
  10. http://pe.usps.com/businessmail101/classes/standard.htm
  11. http://pe.usps.com/businessmail101/classes/packageServices.htm
  12. http://pe.usps.com/businessmail101/classes/packageServices.htm
  13. http://pe.usps.com/businessmail101/classes/packageServices.htm