When you think of sending sensitive information such as official paperwork, document, jewelry, or any other sensitive products through the mail, you want it to reach the destination on a timely basis. It can get really frustrating when you have to run back and forth to the post office inquiring about your mail. Although you can always switch to next-day delivery through priority mail, it can be a bit heavy on the pocket. If you are someone who often sends important mails at cheaper rates, then USPS First Class Package mails are a good idea. This service gives you timely delivery at the least expense.
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USPS First Class Package
USPS First class mail is an economic option that gets your mail delivered on time, without having to wait for long. With these packages, you can send lightweight material such as documents, files, paperwork, lightweight jewelry, or clothing, or any printed art materials. This mailing service comes right after Priority Mail in terms of speed and consistency. You can always count on its speed, even during the peak seasons. Due to these reasons, this is the most used USPS mailing service which is not just used by residential consumers but also businesses.
One of the major benefits of using this mailing service is that if the mail cannot be delivered to the rightful destination, it will be sent back to the sender to avoid losing/damaging the package during transit. Unlike other mailing services, first-class mail packages either deliver the mail to the correct addresses even if the address mentioned on the package is wrong. If the package remains undeliverable due to certain reasons, it is returned to the sender.
Features of First Class Mail
A prominent reason why first-class mail is used is because of the time it takes to deliver the package. It only takes about 1-5 days to get the package delivered to the destination. The local mail will take 2-3 business days and the national mail will be delivered within 4-5 days. For smaller packages, the delivery time is 1-3 days only. The maximum weight for using the first class mail is only 13 ounces. During transit, if any mail happens to be lost or damaged, you get insurance of $5000 for merchandise only. Every package has a specific price that depends on the weight and size.
First Class Postage and USPS First Class Package Size
- The minimum size of the postcard is 5″ in length and 3-1/2″ in width at the cost of $0.40
- Maximum size is 6″ in length and 4-1/2″ in width
- Standard shape letters of size 5″ x 3-1/2″ have a postage stamp starting form $0.58
- Oversized large envelopes have a shape of 11-1/2″ x 6-1/8″ at a rate of $0.88
- The minimum size of large envelopes is 11-1/2″ x 6-1/8″
- Maximum size of the large envelope is 15″ x 12″
USPS First Class Package
The maximum size of the packages should not cross 108 inches which includes both length and breadth. The price of the packages is $4.30.
Maximum Weight and Shape for USPS First Class Mail Packages
The maximum weight of all first class mail letters should be 3.5 ounces and the large first class mail which includes both envelopes and packages should be no more than 13 ounces. Sizes of all postcards, letters, and envelopes must be rectangular. Those mailpieces which do not satisfy the size criteria will have an additional charge imposed on them.
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A nonmachinable mail refers to those mails that are processed outside the regular standard mails. An extra fee, i.e., a surcharge, is applied to these mails as they take extra time to be processed. If a mailpiece possesses any of the following characteristics, a surcharge is applied to it:
- Mails that have an unusual shape
- Mails that are wrapped in polybags, wrappers, covered with any plastic material or the outer covering of the mail is not made of paper
- The mail has buttons, clasps, strings, etc on the outer covering
- Thickness of the mail is not uniform or the mail is too rigid to touch
If the size, length, breadth, and thickness of the mailpieces exceed the maximum limits, they will be charged with a price of the next category of mail. All the first class envelopes that do not have the right dimensions will be charged with a rate of smaller packages.
Types of First Class Services
First Class Mails
The first class mails are an inexpensive way to help you ship your packages such as postcards and envelopes. First class shipping service can either be used through the post office or through any online shipping service. This service is not eligible for refunds. You can pay for additional services such as Return Receipt or Collect on delivery. You can also opt for insurance.
First Class Mail International
Through this service, you can send packages and envelopes internationally. You can ship packages to over 190 countries using only a single Forever stamp.
First Class Package Service
The USPS first class package service offers both retail rates and commercial rates. Retail shipping rates are provided for packages that are up to 13 ounces and the commercial rates are for packages that are up to 16 ounces. These services offer USPS tracking without any extra charge, and you can sign up for optional services.
First Class Package Service for Businesses
Businesses that need to send more than 500 mails per day look for discounts along with the speed, reliability, and security of their mails. To help businesses reach out to their customers on a timely basis, USPS has provided major deals and discounts to help them ship packages quickly.
USPS helps businesses track their packages and also provides additional services along with giving them the ability to measure their packages at discounted rates. By using commercial pricing, you can presort your mails which will save you almost 20% of the postal stamp rates. The commercial pricing rates can be checked on the official USPS website for businesses that presort their mails, letters, and envelopes with a minimum quantity of 500 mailpieces per day. If the mails are automated(completely barcoded and encoded to the right delivery location), then you can get additional discounts on bulk mails.
How Does USPS First Class Package Service Compare to Other Mailing Categories?
The first class mail service is a trusted service among other major shipping services offered by USPS. First class package service lets you ship small packages which are no more than 108 inches and weigh only 13 ounces. This category of shipping is considered top-tier when compared to:
- Second class mail: magazines, periodicals, newspapers
- Third class mail: all kinds of marketing mail
- Fourth class mail: this involves all kinds of media mail which is books, CDs, DVDs, thin films, etc
When first class package service is compared to priority mail, the latter is better than first class mail in terms of speed and the weight of the package. With priority mail, you can ship packages that weigh 70 lbs and the delivery time is 1-2 days. You can also opt for next-day delivery with priority Mail. Shipping international products with priority mail becomes a lot easier as not much time is wasted in shipping the package to the destination. The only drawback of using this service is that you need to pay more to have your package delivered in less time.
Priority mail is similar to other services like FedEx and UPS. However, there is a significant difference in the price scale as USPS provides more economical options than FedEx and UPS.
USPS Customer Support
There are many ways to contact customer service if you need assistance in helping you track your package, ask for missing mails, or get any technical help. For any queries, you can contact the USPS customer service on their toll-free number 1-800-275-8777 from Monday to Friday 8 AM – 8:30 PM ET and on Saturday’s 8 AM to 6 PM. USPS also has certain phone numbers for those who are listening and speech impaired. You can check out the phone number from the USPS official Customer Support Page. There is also an option to send an email detailing your issues.
USPS First class package service is one of the fastest shipping services after priority mail. You can use this service to send lightweight parcels such as letters, envelopes, postcards, and lightweight packages that are not more than 13 ounces. With this mailing service, you can have your packages delivered to the destination in 1-5 days. Before using any USPS shipping service, you must follow all the packaging guidelines, size, and weight requirements carefully as you do not want to end up paying an extra amount at eh last moment.
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Frequently Asked Questions(FAQ’s)
The price of a USPS first class stamp depends on the kind of mail that you are sending. Take a look at the prices and the types to find out how much do you have to pay for first class postage stamps.
The first class packages are delivered to the destination within 1-5 days.
The standard weight of the USPS first class package is 70 lbs and the size should be a total of 108 inches(length+breadth).