Difference Between Presort Standard & First Class


If you own a small business, you likely want to cut costs. Postage is one area in which you can save by using presorted standard mail. But presorted standard mail is different from first class.

First Class Mail

First class is the way that most people send mail. As of late 2009, first-class postage starts at 44 cents for the first ounce. First class letters can weigh up to 3.5 ounces and may be no larger than 6-1/8 inches high by 11-1/2 inches long by 1/4-inch thick. First class packages can weigh no more than 13 ounces, with no more than 108 inches in combined length and girth.

Presorted Standard Mail

Presorted standard mail costs less than first class mail because you sort it before taking it to the Post Office. Postage begins at about 14 cents per piece, depending on how you sort it. Presorted mail must weigh 16 ounces or less per piece.

Presorted Mail Requirements

You can only send certain types of mail presorted. This includes small packages, advertisements, newsletters, and catalogs. Personal correspondence and bills do not qualify. You must send at least 200 pieces or 50 pounds at once.

Presorted Mail Fees

In addition to postage, you must pay a fee to each Post Office branch where you will drop off your presorted mail. This fee is $185 annually.

How to Presort Mail

There are several ways to presort mail, depending on the price tier you want. Complete directions are on the United States Postal Service website at http://www.usps.com/send/waystosendmail/senditwithintheus/standardmail.htm.

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