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How Much Is Postage - How much is postage through the United States Post Office

shipping rate usps item

A common question for those mailing packages is how much is postage on a particular item. When using the United States Post Office, or USPS, this question can be answered in several ways. The cost of postage is affect by package weight and size, specialty shipping rates offered through the USPS, and additional options such as delivery confirmation and tracking numbers.
The first option that affects postage cost is the size of the container used for shipping. The USPS charges for both weight and shape of packages. This means that a light weight but large box could end up costing more than a slightly heavier but smaller box. Always try to put items in the absolutely smallest box possible as even going an inch smaller can sometimes mean significantly less cost. Keep in mind that lumpy envelopes are generally not accepted by the USPS. Mail is sorted through rolling pressers which damage items with significant lumps, so shippers may be required to use a padded envelope or small box. Choosing the smallest possible container that will keep the shipped item safe will make the rest of the delivery process much easier.
The slowest method of shipping is not always the least expensive. One option that is often over looked is the use of the flat rate system. For customers using flat rate postage, item weight does not matter, only size is important. This is true for all items weighing less than seventy pounds. Shippers must use the Flat Rate boxes or envelopes provided by Post Office. Items being mailed must fit into the desired envelope or box which must then seal evenly and completely. Items cannot be shipped in a Flat Rate container if the seal is off by even a half inch. Flat rate shipping containers can be ordered online or obtained in person at any postal office. Packages shipped by flat rate are delivered as priority mail for no extra charge. This means items are generally delivered within two to three business days.
Another potential way to save money on shipping costs is through the use of media mail. Media mail is a special postage rate which can be used for mailing magazines and books, video tapes or DVDS, printed music, or CDs. Item shipping cost is calculated according to weight and the entire package must weigh less than seventy pounds. There are no media mail specialty containers, so those using media mail must provide their own shipping container.
For those wondering how much is postage, shippers should consider if they need services in addition to basic shipping. These services may include insurance if a package is lost, a tracking number to keep tabs on an item’s progress, as well as delivery confirmation to notify the sender when the sent package is delivered. These services are not available on all types of packages mailed and may affect the shipment method chosen.
There are numerous shipping options when using the USPS but this does not mean the process needs to be difficult. When in a person is in doubt about how much is postage going to cost, the package to be mailed should not be sealed until the shipping method is finalized. The USPS website can provide an estimate of what the available shipment methods are and shipping rates. It is perfectly acceptable to bring an item to a local USPS office to ask for assistance in determining the best method of shipping an item. Postal employees can quickly determine what the best method of shipment is before you send an item anywhere on the planet.

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