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  A Customer's Guide to Mailing
   
  Introduction
  What Are You Mailing? Domestic
  What Are You Mailing? International
  Choosing a Service for Mailing
  Adding Extra Services
  Examples of Smart Choices
  Addressing Your Mail
  Preparing Packages
  Tips and Tools for Measuring Letters and Large Envelopes
  Tips and Tools for Measuring Packages
  Flat Rate Quick Reference
  Sending and Receiving Mail
  Other Products and Services
  Tips for Frequent Mailers and Small Businesses
     
  Printer Friendly PDF

 

 

 
Choosing a Service for Mailing
   
 

Shape + Speed + Cost = Service

SHAPE SPEED COST SERVICE
This picture shows a letter, large envelope, package, and mailing tube. These shapes can be mailed as Express Mail.
70 lbs or less
1 or 2 days
money-back guarantee
$$$
based on weight, and distance
Priority Mail Express
This picture shows a large envelope, package, and mailing tube. These shapes can be mailed as Priority Mail
70 lbs or less
1, 2, 3 days
on average
$$
based on weight, shape, and distance
Priority Mail

This picture shows a postcard, letter, large envelope, and small package. These shapes can be mailed as First-Class Mail
13 oz or less

This picture shows a letter.
3.5 oz or less

 
 
 
1-3 days
 
 
 
$

based on weight
and shape
 
 
 
First-Class Mail
This picture shows a two packages and a mailing tube. These shapes can be mailed as Parcel Mail
70 lbs or less
2-8 days* $
based on weight, 
shape, and distance
Standard Post**
This picture shows a two packages and a mailing tube. These shapes can be mailed as Parcel Mail
70 lbs or less
2-8 days* $
based on weight
Media  Mail**
  * Except off-shore locations
**Not available for international shipping

Several mailing services are available to fit your needs.

Priority Mail Express®
Letters, large or thick envelopes, tubes, and packages containing mailable items can be sent using Priority Mail Express. This money-back guaranteed service includes tracking and insurance up to $100. Additional merchandise insurance up to $5,000 may be purchased. Sunday, holiday, as well as early in the day delivery is available to many destinations for an additional fee. Select Priority Mail Express envelopes and boxes are available at the Post Office. All packaging can be ordered free of charge online at www.usps.com/store.

Priority Mail®
Letters, large or thick envelopes, tubes, and packages containing mailable items can be sent using Priority Mail. This service is typically used to send documents, gifts, and merchandise. Select Priority Mail envelopes and boxes are available at the Post Offices. All packaging can be ordered online at www.usps.com/store.

First-Class Mail®
Postcards, letters, large envelopes, and small packages can be sent using First-Class Mail. This service is typically used for personal and business correspondence and bills.

Standard Post®
Small and large packages, thick envelopes, and tubes containing gifts and merchandise can be sent domestically using Standard Post.

Media Mail™
Small and large packages and thick envelopes can be sent domestically using Media Mail. Contents are limited to books, manuscripts, sound recordings, and certain other educational materials. Formerly called “Book Rate”, Media Mail cannot contain advertising, except eligible books may contain incidental announcements of books.

Speed depends on distance. Mail takes longer to travel across the country than to travel across town.

Flat Rate packaging is available in many convenient sizes for Priority Mail Express and Priority Mail, and can be used for domestic and international mailings. Flat Rate shipping lets you send your items for a low Flat Rate. 

See the Flat Rate Quick Reference section for additional details including international weight restrictions and options.

Calculate Postage for the shape, weight, and destination of your mail at pe.usps.com.