When He Got There The Conductor Told Him “One More Nickel”…

By now, most folks should know that postage rates go up Monday, and that if you mail on Sunday, you should use the new rates because the mail won’t be picked up until Monday.

Also, by now, folks should know the basics of the new rates: First Class Postage will be 41c for the first oz., and 17c/oz up to 13 oz, after which priority mail rates apply. However, there are some nuances of which you might not be aware. So, as a public service, I’m letting you know about them:

  • That 41c rate for the 1st oz is only for standard envelopes. What is a standard envelope, you ask? It’s not easy to find out. Basically, it is an envelope if it is (a) between 5″ and 11.5″ long, between 3.5″ and 6.125″ high, and has a thickness between 0.007″ and .25″; (b) not more than 3.5 oz; and (c) has other physical characteristics, such as being paper, being able to bend, and having even thickness. If it is not paper or uneven, it has a non-machinable surcharge. If it is not flexible, it is a parcel.
  • If you are sending a “flat”, the rate is 80c for the first oz, and 17c thereafter. What is a flat? It is a large envelope, between 11.5″ and 15″ long, betweeen 6.125″ and 12″ high, and between 1/4″ and 3/4″ thick. It needs to be suitably flexible, uniformly thick, and rectangular, among other things. If it isn’t flexible, it is a parcel.
  • If you are sending a “parcel”, it is $1.13 for that first oz, and 17c thereafter. What is a parcel? It is between 6″ and 34″ long, 3″ to 17″ high, 1/4″ to 17″ thick, and between 6oz and 70lbs (books, 25lbs). It isn’t flexible.

Things outside these dimensions, or made of weird materials, get a surcharge (17c), but that may only apply to envelopes up to 3.3oz. Flats and Parcels don’t seem to have that surcharge.

What does this mean? If you’re sending that CD, DVD, or Diskette, it is a parcel, not an envelope or flat. For those doing Ebay or Amazon Marketplace, this might mean things are more expensive under first class. If you’re sending photos that can’t bend… parcel. Lastly, as a reminder, remember that you can use Paypal to send Media Mail. Just use the PayPal MultiOrder Shipping Tool.