First-Class Mail or even Standard Mail “letters” that have one or more nonmachinable characteristics will pay a nonmachinable surcharge. Customers can be unpleasantly surprised that they must pay extra postage when, for example, they mail a square greeting card. The post office charges extra postage because mailpieces that are rigid, square, or unusually shaped often jam postal equipment and are difficult to process. This costs the post office time and money — and may also damage your mailpiece.
Many mailers fold sheets of paper to form letter-size pieces or newsletters. Folded pieces, or folded self-mailers, can save time and money because you're not paying for or stuffing envelopes. Folded self-mailers must be sealed or they will be subject to the nonmachinable surcharge. We have a tabbing machine that uses USPS approved wafer seals, also called “tabs”, to close the open sides of folded mailpieces.
The fold is requested to be on the bottom (the side below the address) and secure the opening at the top with a piece of tape, a tab, or a wafer seal.
Postcards are an inexpensive way to get an immediate message to customers. When they arrive in the mail, there's the message — no envelope to open! First Class Mail postcards are a great value, too. With First Class Mail postcards, you pay a low price and get all of the benefits, like forwarding and return that come with First Class Mail. And, if you mail with single-piece First Class Mail postage affixed, there is no extra work involved — simply drop the postcards in a collection box.
You may think that your mailpiece is a "postcard," because it is a single sheet of paper. But to qualify for mailing at the First Class Mail postcard price, it must be:
The post office uses the word "flats" to refer to large envelopes, newsletters, and magazines. The words “large envelopes” and “flats” are used interchangeably.
|Height||6-1/8 inches||12 inches|
|Length||11-1/2 inches||15 inches|
|Thickness||1/4 inch||3/4 inch|
* Large Envelopes exceed one or more of the letter size maximum dimensions.
The maximum size for a flat provides plenty of room to put lots of material in the envelope. But keep in mind that weight usually affects price — the higher the weight, the higher the postage, especially for First Class Mail.