Where to Purchase and Order Stamps

What Are The Four Mail Classes? Which Do You Need?

If you’re working on sending out a package or are even thinking of starting up an eBay, etsy, or other online store, ti’s important to know what options you have from the post office. There are several different ways to send out your boxes, envelopes, and parcels, and it’s important to be fully aware of which services will suit you best depending on what you’re shipping out. While there are actually more overall, you’ll likely be working with four main mail classes when it comes to USPS. Here’s a basic breakdown:

1 – Priority Mail

Priority Mail is always your best bet when it comes to sending packages that are over 16 ounces. (Please note that anything particularly heavy might best be sent via services like UPS or FedEx however.) The shipment will usually only take two business days if you’re sending it within the lower 48 states, and maybe between three to five if sent to Alaska, Hawaii, or APO destinations.

There are two sub tiers of Priority Mail available: Express and International. Express can be used to send packages overnight, and International is the default option for sending items overseas. You have to be very careful to fill out your customs forms correctly with the latter! Also, make sure you discuss the possibilities of extra fees on the recipient’s end if their own local postal services typically charge for foreign deliveries.

2 – First Class

If you want the same speed and security of Priority Mail but you have an item that’s under 16 ounces when packaged, First Class is the mail option for you! You’ll seldom have to pay more than $3 or $4 depending on the weight and destination. First Class mail is often treated with the same degree of care as Priority Packages, making it one of the most reliable and commonly used services.

3 – Flat Rate

Despite the tip to consider other delivery services for heavy items, you can always use one of the USPS Flat Rate mail classes if the item is small enough. There are several box sizes available, and in the words of the company: if it fits, it’s going to ship! You’ll likely get the most use from the medium and large size boxes, both of which cost around $12 and $15 respectively. A heavy shipment that may have cost several times more will be accepted for those lower rates as long as it fits within the correct boxes. Best of all, you can pick up the boxes for free!

4 – Media Mail

Finally, media mail is a cheap service that can be used to send the likes of books, sound recordings, and visual media such as DVDs or Blu-rays. Heavy book shipments are best dealt with through this service since the price will be far more forgiving. USPS treats this service very strictly however, so be sure you know what you’re sending qualifies beforehand; they very well may check the package to be certain you haven’t attempted to cheat the system otherwise! If you want to know where to purchase stamps please feel free to contact us.

Posted on