Tuesday, August 18, 2015

How Much Postage to Mail My Handmade Card, Envelope or Postcard?

 ** This post is for mailing costs within the United States. For international mail, please check with your local mailing center for rates. **
I have learned quite a lot from my local post lady (thank you Judy!) and thought I would pass along some information to help you mail those postcards, letters or handmade greeting cards that sometimes get damaged in the mail.  First up, the cost.

The postal service looks at 3 important details:  1.) Size, 2.) Dimension, and 3.) Weight.

1.)  Size
Any item smaller than the minimum dimensions (in the chart below) is not mailable.

Dimension        Minimum      Maximum
Height 3-1/2 inches (8.890 cm) 6-1/8 inches (15.557 cm)
Length 5 inches (12.700 cm) 11-1/2 inches (29.210 cm)
Thickness 0.007 inch (0.018 cm) 1/4 inch (0.635 cm)

2.)  Next, Dimension (or thickness.) 
A card or letter MUST be less than 1/4" thick! (If not, it's a package, even if it's in an envelope.)
Anything 3-D that does not allow the envelope to lay evenly flat will need an extra charge. For example: a paper clip, coins, rhinestones, buttons, a decorative bow or large dimensional sticker/element. This requires a non-machinable surcharge of $0.22. (as long as it's still less than 1/4" thick! Otherwise it becomes a package rate.)

 Example of dimension, or thickness.

** Remember: Your cards and letters are sent through a machine to help aid the hard-working postal staff. Any objects or embellishments inside can get caught in the machine, causing damage not only to the machine, but also to your precious handmade greeting card! Keep these guidelines in mind, so they can treat your cards well in kind! **

3.)  Weight.  
  • If a letter weighs 1 ounce or less = cost is $0.49 cents or 1 forever stamp.  
  • Between 1oz and 2oz = $0.71 cents.  
  • Between 2oz and 3 oz = $0.93 cents. 
  • Above 3 ounces = a small package weight charge.

    Lots of information, so here's an example if you're still confused.  
    Example: You have a 1.5 oz envelope with a decorative bow inside and some half pearl embellishments. Weight cost, $0.71 cents + non-machineable charge, $0.22 cents = a total of $0.93 cents to mail your card/letter.

     Next, here are a few more tips from the post office that may answer any other questions:

    ---> For items larger in length, width, or thickness, see large envelopes or packages calculator.
    ---> For envelopes, length is the dimension parallel to the address.
    ---> For letter-sized items over 3.5 ounces, large envelope prices will be applied.
    ---> Letters that meet one or more of the non machinable characteristics below are subject to the non machinable surcharge.
    • It is a square letter
    • It is too rigid – does not bend easily
    • It has clasps, string, buttons, or similar closure devices
    • It has an address parallel to the shorter dimension of the letter
    • It contains items such as pens that cause the surface to be uneven
    • The length divided by height is less than 1.3 or more than 2.5

    Lastly, those square envelopes and postcards!
      Square Envelope
      The minimum size for a square envelope is 5 inches x 5 inches (12.700 cm x 12.700 cm).  A square envelope also qualifies for a non machinable surcharge.
      Mailing cost for a postcard is $0.35 cents. If you still have older stamps of lesser value, you can make up the difference with 1, 2, 5 or 10 cent stamps! (Lots more values are available at USPS online.


      Where is the fun part of this post?   
      Limited Edition Stamps from USPS!  These are usually available from your local post office or you can order them online for just a couple dollars shipping! I've also included links to some fun items for crafting...the magnetic page markers are so handy!


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