The US Postal Service’s Priority Mail is a quick yet economical way to mail packages under 70 pounds within the United States. Using Priority Mail Flat Rate packages designed by USPS or your own boxes, you can ship items across the country and have them arrive in one to three days to most locations.
Unlike other services, USPS doesn’t add surcharges for residential delivery, fuel, Saturday delivery or delivery to out-of-the-way places. The US Postal Service even offers two ways to pay for shipping via Priority Mail – flat rate and retail pricing.
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USPS has a line of flat rate envelopes and boxes with pre-priced shipping costs between $5.75 and $17.90. The post office’s only requirement is that all items fit reasonably inside the container. With flat rate pricing, you don’t have to worry about paying more to send your item further. Everything is included in one flat rate.
If you prefer to ship an item in your own box, the post office will weigh your package and determine the Priority Mail rate. If you are a Stamps.com customer, the digital scale will weigh the item and automatically calculate the postage rate into the software. The Priority Mail retail pricing rate depends on how far the packages are being sent. The USPS has split the country into nine “zones”, (a new Zone 9 was introduced on January 26, 2014 for U.S. territories and freely associated states) and charges more as the distance between you and your package’s destination increases. Rates for this type of shipping start at $5.75 through the USPS and $5.05 if you are a Stamps.com customer.
You can get Priority Mail boxes, stickers and forms sent to you free of charge at any USPS Post Office nationwide or through the Stamps.com software. Order free USPS Shipping Supplies now.
To prepare your package, place the address labels flat on the box and affix the postage label on the upper right corner of the box. The post office provides free Priority Mail stickers for plain boxes to further indicate their shipping status. Add any additional services, such as Signature Confirmation or USPS Tracking and insurance before mailing your packages.
If your package weighs less than 20 pounds but is between 84 and 108 square inches, USPS will charge you for a 20-pound package if you’re mailing your package locally or between zones 1 and 4. Packages that are larger than a cubic foot and destined for zones 5 through 8 will cost you either the actual weight or dimensional weight, whichever price is higher. Stamps.com customers will have all of these complex rate calculations automatically performed by the software based on package size and delivery destination.
If you can’t get to the post office right away, USPS will come pick your Priority Mail package at home. Just go online and schedule a pickup. Your postal carrier will come to your home or business to get your packages as long as you’ve paid for and attached online postage through a company such as Stamps.com.
If you require pickup of your Priority Mail item before your carrier’s normal arrival time, USPS offers Pickup On Demand for $20.00 per package load. Your carrier will collect your item in a two-hour time frame. This service also is available for Priority Mail Express, Parcel Select and Global Express Guaranteed.
Stamps.com customers automatically get a discount of up to 49 percent on the retail price of Priority Mail for all packages. These discounts are automatically calculated by the Stamps.com software as long as you use the “Package” section.
Also, USPS Tracking is FREE when you print a Priority Mail shipping label with Stamps.com.