ShippingEasy wants to help you learn about the e-commerce industry. This article describes a service provided by the United States Postal Service (USPS).
The USPS is a separate organization from ShippingEasy. For more information about USPS services, visit your local Post Office or go to USPS.com.
Bulk mail is a discounted mailing service offered by the USPS for people who prepare and ship large quantities of mail at a time. If you regularly send out uniform-sized mailings in an amount equal to or greater than the numbers below, a little extra work presorting your mail could save you a lot of money!
Typically, your bulk price mail is going to be cheaper than a regularly priced single piece of mail. Single piece is a term that means you’re paying full price for a standard piece of mail.
How many pieces do I need to send to qualify for bulk mail?
Below is a list of exactly how many verifiable parcels you need to send in order to qualify for bulk mailing discounts. If you’re sending as much or more than these numbers then it's a great idea to apply to the bulk mail program.
You’ll need to send at least:
- 500 pieces for First-Class Mail
- 200 pieces (or 50 pounds of mail) for Standard Mail
- 50 pieces for Parcel Select (also known as Standard Post)
- 300 pieces for Presorted or Carrier Route Bound Printed Matter
- 300 pieces for Library Mail
- 300 pieces for Media Mail
If you aren't sure you'll qualify based on the amount of mail piece you send, you can still save on USPS postage when you sign up for ShippingEasy. ShippingEasy offers Instant Rates, which allow you to compare and save on postage across carriers and services. ShippingEasy also allows you to batch mail, which can save you even more time when printing your discounted postage.
How do I get the bulk mail discount?
First, you’ll need a mailing permit, essentially an allowance to send large amounts of postage from a single facility. You can apply for this at your USPS Business Mail Acceptance Unit, which is also where you will be dropping off your bulk mail. Finally, you’ll need to pay the annual mailing fee.
You then pay for your postage using one of three ways:
- Precanceled Stamps: stamps that are set aside for presorted First Class and Standard Mail. You pay a significantly lower price for them upfront and then pay the difference when/if you use them.
- Postage Meter/PC Postage: home-printed postage. You save time and money if you’re printing your own postage.
- Permit Imprint: this is excellent for high bulk mailings however the items must all be the exact same weight to qualify. You’ll also need an “advanced deposit account” from the specific post office you’ll be using. You prepay for your postage, use their postage indicia for your permit imprint instead of a printed stamp and they deduct it from your account.
Do I need to presort bulk mail?
Lastly, you will need to presort your work. This requires going through and making sure all of your mail is presorted by zip code. This is the main reason you get cheaper prices. You save the post office time which saves you money.
Many businesses find this is outside the scope of what they’re willing to do, but for those that can afford the extra time they can save a significant amount of money on their high volume shipping. Learn how ShippingEasy's tools can save you time.