The Correct Use of Priority Mail Flat Rate Envelopes

July 29th, 2016 Comments off

Stamps.com2Priority 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:

Reconstructed-Latest

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.

USPS Changes Customs Form Acceptance

July 14th, 2016 Comments off

USPS Changes Customs Form AcceptanceUnless you’re dropping a shipment off at the Post Office retail counter, customs declaration forms (AKA customs forms) for packages being sent internationally through USPS must now be completed and submitted online. In other words, no more filling out these forms by hand without making a trip to the Post Office.

According to a recent letter to its customers, USPS has discontinued preprinted, hardcopy customs declaration forms PS Form 2976 (one-page form), PS Form 2976-A (multi-page form) and PS Form 2976-B (Priority Mail Express International form). After June 3, 2016, the Postal Service will return improperly presented items to the sender for proper entry and acceptance.

What does this mean for Stamps.com customers?
Since Stamps.com software auto-completes integrated customs forms and electronically submits customs data to USPS, this means our customers aren’t impacted by this change. Customers can continue to use our software to print their customs forms and include the appropriate forms with international shipments.

Anyone not using a PC Postage provider like Stamps.com or USPS Click-N-Ship has a couple different options during the transition, according to USPS:

– Visit the Post Office—as previously mentioned, customers can visit their local Post Office retail counter to complete the replacement PS Form 2976-R hardcopy form. The customer must give the completed form to a retail associate to complete the transaction.

– Go online—Create an electronic customs form by visiting https://www.usps.com/customsforms and entering the appropriate information. You can then print the form and apply it to your package with your postage. You can then use your current method to induct your packages into the mailstream.

The plastic pouches used to enclose and attach the customs form to the package are still available online – order these envelopes and other USPS supplies for free at the Stamps.com Store!

Free: 2016 USPS Priority Mail Rate Comparison Guide

July 7th, 2016 Comments off

268721_Blog-and-Facebook-2016-USPS-Priority-Mail-Rate-Comparison-GuideStamps.com’s Free USPS Priority Mail Rate Comparison Guide has been updated to include 2016 rates! This guide features an easy-to-use grid that allows shippers to determine rates for Priority Mail packages by zone.

Shippers no longer need to guess which Priority Mail product is the most cost effective for their packages.  Using the grid in this guide, you can view rates from lowest to highest for each package weight and zone combination.

zone-one-and-two

Note:  Regional Rate Box C has been removed since this product is no longer available.

Priority Mail Shipping Tips:

– Priority Mail Flat Rate Padded Envelopes are a great option to lower shipping costs. The Padded Envelope is flexible enough to include a small box inside to protect your items, but you are charged for only the low shipping cost of an envelope!

– For products like shoes and clothing, Priority Mail Regional Rate Box A is the lowest cost option for packages traveling across the U.S. and weighing between 3 lbs. and 15 lbs.

download-PDF

Download the FREE Priority Mail Rate Comparison Guide (PDF file) now!

Plan Now For Possible Canada Post Disruption

June 29th, 2016 Comments off

SDC Blog Canada PostDo you mail or ship to Canada? Canada Post recently sent a notice to customers regarding a possible service disruption on or around July 2, 2016, as a result of a labor dispute between Canada Post and the Canadian Union of Postal Workers.

What does this mean for anyone mailing and shipping to and from Canada?

“In the event of a full labour disruption, Canada Post will not operate,” Canada Post is warning customers. “Mail and parcels will not be delivered, and no new items will be accepted. Any mail and parcels within the postal system during a work disruption will be secured and delivered as quickly as possible once operations resume.”

What can you do?

– If you have recently sent mail or packages to Canada or have any pending shipments, Stamps.com recommends monitoring the situation closely

– If your ecommerce business ships to Canada, update your policy page to notify customers about potential delays and to make clear that you won’t be able to ensure Canada-bound deliveries

– Visit the Canada Post Negotiations Updates page for more information and to sign up for email updates

Media Mail: Summary of April 2016 USPS Rate Decrease

April 21st, 2016 Comments off

What is Media Mail?
Media Mail is a cost-effective way to send media materials through the U.S. Postal Service (USPS). You can send books, videotapes, DVDs, CDs, printed music and other sound recordings through Media Mail as long as they weigh less than 70 pounds.

What is the Estimated Delivery Time for Media Mail?
It can take between 2 to 10 days for your Media Mail package to be delivered to its destination.

Changes to Media Mail in 2016
On Sunday, April 10, 2016, the USPS implemented a postage rate decrease, as a result of which it will now cost less to ship a Media Mail package.  Prior to the change, it would cost $2.72 to ship a 1 lb. Media Mail package which will now only cost $2.61.  The table below lists the decrease in Media Mail rates for packages weighing up to 25 lbs.

266057_Image for Media Mail Blog Post

Save with Media Mail
If delivery on your shipment is not time sensitive, Media Mail can help save you a lot!  If you’re a Stamps.com customer sending a 1-pound package, it will cost $5.75 and up with Priority Mail (using the Stamps.com discount) and only $2.61 with Media Mail.  Using Media Mail in this situation will save you around 53% in postage costs.

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