The Correct Use of Priority Mail Flat Rate Envelopes
Priority Mail Flat Rate Envelopes feature one low flat rate, so price is determined by the box or envelope you choose and not by the weight or distance the package is traveling. Flat Rate Envelopes can help save you a lot of money.
Not sure if your package will pass as a Priority Mail Flat Rate® Envelope? Here are a few guidelines to help you decide:
1. If it fits, it ships.If you are able to easily close the prefabricated folds of your Flat Rate Envelope, you should be good. However, if using tape or an insert is the only way to get your Flat Rate Envelope to close, then you will be required to use a different mail class.
2. Use tape to reinforce, not close.You can use tape to reinforce the seams of the Flat Rate Envelope, but the amount of tape being used should not encase the envelope!
3. Flat refers to price, not shape.With Flat Rate Envelopes, bulges and thickness may not matter. Flat Rate Envelopes are best suited for documents, but if you choose to send another type of item (up to 70 pounds), it should not reconstruct or expand the envelope in any way. As long as the envelope closes within the normal folds, bulges will not matter. There is no maximum thickness for Flat Rate Envelopes.
Still not sure what a reconstructed Flat Rate Envelope looks like? Take a look at the image below:
What happens if you use a reconstructed Flat Rate Envelope?
If you use a reconstructed envelope, know that the USPS may charge you according to weight and zone –in other words, Flat Rate pricing won’t apply. You may also have to repackage the item if it runs the risk of damage during transit.
Note: You can order Priority Mail Flat Rate Envelopes from the Stamps.com Store.
What happens if the USPS rep denies your Flat Rate Envelope?
If your package meets all the guidelines above, but a USPS rep still denies it, you may point them to the DMM regulation around Flat Rate Envelopes which can be found here: http://pe.usps.com/text/dmm100/flat-rate-reference.htm.