USPS rates effecting EVERYTHING! How to understand them.

22 05 2007

The first couple of days I read the USPS site for information on the postage.  Some of my items that I sell I do use USPS, and I was really gritting my teeth to find out HOW much more it was going to cost!  The USPS site was confusing more than helpful to me personally.

Once again I did my search on the Internet to see if I could find some information that was a bit clearer as to all these changes.  I knew they were going to base some of the items off size, weight and zone.  I HOPE this means more effective service!  I know for our area delivery can be terrible at times!  We have gone months having our mail lost, delivered wrong, etc.  Never received bills, bank statements and the rest!  Okay. Okay.  We won’t go there!

We will start with the first class strategy to see if this makes any sense to everyone!
First off GONE are the days of the flat 2 oz mailing with the price being the same, and size didn’t matter.   There are size considerations now.  You have three categories to choose from:  Letter, Flat and Parcel.

 We will use the above as our example!

The weight limit for a letter is now 3.5 oz, and if you above that you need to check the two other options to see WHICH is better to suit your needs!  Size is also a consideration for price also!

You have three price structures based on size more than weight.  You take that 2 oz package, and depending on HOW you mail it could affect the postage paid to get there!
If you place anything bulky inside your standard envelope now chances are good it will get damaged!  The standard envelope is basically for letter type correspondence ONLY!  If you need to send something within the envelope you are better off sending it as a FLAT!  They are placing them in a machine, and if you have anything in there it would rip open the envelope – could lose your item – or your recipient could get their correspondence in a little plastic bag called “Damaged during processing”.  This could be even something small like a luggage tag or pen!
Non-machine able isn’t what I thought it was!  At first I felt they mean if it had the zip plus 4 and the fancy bar codes, etc that a printer can do when you print your postage online for example.  I guess it means anything you can’t place in that processing machine is what is concerned non-machine able.  In other words, the example above with the luggage tag or pen inside your envelope?  You need to send that flat at the non-machince able price.  They can’t place that in their machines!  That includes envelopes that have clasps, strings, buttons, etc.  Anything that can get stuck in the machine is what I have understood.
The maximum weight for a letter is now 3.5 ounces, and anything above that is considered a flat!   Also anything bigger than a standard size envelope (like the #10 envelope) is considered a flat!  Thickness is also a factor!  If the envelope is over ¼” in height it will be considered a flat as well!

See the below picture for a visual and additional notes!

As you have read the flexiability of a flat is ALSO a factor!    See the picture below for a visual as to what that means.  If you ship something rigid, and it refuses to bend you will be charged MORE to ship your item! 

Priority mail of course still has their boxes available at the flat rate and regular rate!  I guess you could say there is a up side to this part!

The flat rate envelopes are $4.60 with a  maximum weight of 70 lbs, and you can get free delivery confirmation IF you print your postage online!  This price covers within the domestic United states.

They can also be used for international shipping now as well!  You are limited to 4 lbs at this point!

Domestic Priority Mail Flat Rate Envelope can be used for international shipping:
  — One rate to Canada and Mexico
      • $9.00
  — One rate to all other countries
      • $11.00
— 4 pound maximum
• The dimensions of the envelope are 12 1/2″ X 9 1/2″.
• The contents of the flat rate envelope must be confined within the envelope, using the flap adhesive as the primary means of closure.
• The flap must close easily, adhere to the envelope and be secured with tape if desired.
• The design and shape of the envelope may not be altered or enlarged in any way to fit the contents.

What about the flat boxes?  They have two sizes, and up to 70 lbs within the domestic United States.  The price from what I have read is $8.95.  I would check with the post office for the weight restrictions for outside the United States, because I couldn’t find it online!

• Domestic Priority Mail Flat Rate Boxes can be used for international shipping:
  — One rate to Canada and Mexico
       • $23.00
  — One rate to all other countries
       • $37.00
  — 20 pound maximum
• The inside dimensions for the two boxes available are 11″ x 8.5″ x 5.5″ and 13.625″ x 11.875″ x 3.375″.
• The contents of the flat rate box must be neatly contained inside of the box with adhesive packaging tape.
• The box must close securely and retain its shape when taped with adhesive.
• The shape of the box may not be changed or enlarged to fit its contents.

Extra services such as Delivery Confirmation™, Signature Confirmation®, and Insurance are available to use with Priority Mail Flat-Rate Envelopes and Boxes.

Well that is as far as I have got in understanding the new postal system!  I hope this helps others!  I’m sure I will visit this again as I learn more!  This is just the basics from what I understand!

Link to USPS Rate chart online!

 Paul Harris Womens Design PHD Classic Design Vest Dress – Sz L or Large

Paul Harris Womens Design PHD Classic Design Vest Dress - Sz L

Paul Harris Womens Design Vest Dress – Size L

I included a scan of the fabric so you can see it up close.

Details and Condition:
65% Polyester, 35% Rayon, 100% Nylon (black) Lining – Dry Clean Only

This Paul Harris Vest Dress is very pretty classic design, and would be an awesome addition for your wardrobe!

Garment laying down flat – Measurements are approx.
Armpit seam to hem 25″
Bust 40
Waist 40
Hips 42




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