Mail Delivery Methods

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The USPS offers a variety of mail delivery methods.
The USPS offers a variety of mail delivery methods. (Image: smallest us post office image by Pix by Marti from <a href='http://www.fotolia.com'>Fotolia.com</a>)

The United States Postal Service offers a variety of mail delivery methods. Depending on the size and weight of the item you need shipped, you can find a cost-effective way for the letter or package to reach its destination. It is important that you are aware of the different services the post office provides in order to get the best deals on shipping.

Express Mail

Express Mail is the fastest way to send mail in the United States. It offers a guaranteed delivery time. Many packages can reach their destination overnight when mailed in this fashion. Express Mail can also be delivered on Sunday and holidays in most areas of the country. Prices for this option are determined by weight. Express Mail options are typically more expensive than other types of delivery.

First-Class Mail

First Class is the most popular mail delivery method. This option includes standard envelopes, cards, postcards and packages. Most letters mailed in this manner require a 44-cent stamp that can be purchased from the post office. Postcards can be sent out for 28 cents, if they meet the standard size. Cards larger than 6 inches long and 4 1/4 inches high are considered regular mail and cost 44 cents to mail. Large envelopes that are smaller than 12 inches high, 15 inches long, and 3/4 inches thick can be sent by First Class mail. Packages weighing less than 13 ounces are also eligible for this mail delivery method.

First-Class Mail includes letters, postcards, and packages.
First-Class Mail includes letters, postcards, and packages. (Image: USA stamp image by timur1970 from <a href='http://www.fotolia.com'>Fotolia.com</a>)

Priority Mail

Priority Mail is recommended for packages that are heavier or larger than can be accommodated in standard mailing envelopes. It offers flat rate boxes available in various sizes and shapes. This allows you to send multiple items at one cost, no matter the weight of the objects. Most Priority Mail packages arrive at their destination within 2-3 days.

Large packages are sent Priority Mail
Large packages are sent Priority Mail (Image: carrying packages image by Alexander Ivanov from <a href='http://www.fotolia.com'>Fotolia.com</a>)

Media Mail

Media Mail is an affordable way to send books, CDs, DVDs and other forms of media through the mail. The maximum weight allowed for a Media Mail package is 70 pounds. Prices for this option are based on the size and weight of the package.

CDs and DVDs can be sent Media Mail.
CDs and DVDs can be sent Media Mail. (Image: blank media image by PD-Images.com from <a href='http://www.fotolia.com'>Fotolia.com</a>)

International Delivery Options

The U.S. Postal Service provides a variety of options for sending letters and packages internationally. Rates vary based on the destination of the package, as well as the size and weight of it.

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