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Topic: Large Envelope Rate

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Subject: Large Envelope Rate
Date Posted: 2/8/2010 4:16 AM ET
Member Since: 8/14/2007
Posts: 131
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What are the restrictions for sending books First Class with the large envelope rate? Are you supposed to actualy use an envelope?

I sometimes use this when I have a small book to send (in a bubblewrap or manila envelope), but I'm always concerned that it will come back with postage due. So far none of them has. I usually write Frist Class - Large Envelope on the outside. However, when I take the same size package to the PO, they always charge me the package rate.

Here is what I got from the USPS Website. Since it specifically says "envelope", I assume that I couldn't just use the PBS wrapper and still get this rate.

 

Dimension Minimum* Maximum
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Height 6-1/8 inches 12 inches
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Length 11-1/2 inches 15 inches
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Thickness 1/4 inch 3/4 inch
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* Large envelopes exceed at least one of these dimensions.

For example, an envelope 10 long x 8 inches high x 1/4 inch thick is considered a large envelope because it exceeds the minimum height dimension.

Large envelopes that are rigid, nonrectangular, or not uniformly thick pay package prices.

For large envelopes, length is the longest dimension.

For larger items, see package prices.

Date Posted: 2/9/2010 1:19 AM ET
Member Since: 12/28/2006
Posts: 14,177
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That's a complex shipping rate Alan, my advice would be to discuss it with your local post office.  My branch has a plastic template that has slots of different sizes, which they use to determine some of these rates....I'm usually confused and just take their advice ;)

Over 7 oz. I use Media Mail because it's cheaper, and IIRC First Class tops out at 13 oz. and heaver mail must go Priority or Parcel.



Last Edited on: 2/9/10 1:21 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 2/9/2010 4:16 AM ET
Member Since: 8/14/2007
Posts: 131
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It's not much savings, but every little bit adds up when sending out 1 to 2 books a week. For example, 7 oz. only costs $1.90 assuming the envelope rate and it arrives much faster. Anything over that is probably too thick to pass the guidelines (3/4 in) anyway.



Last Edited on: 2/9/10 4:17 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Subject: large envelope rate
Date Posted: 2/9/2010 11:21 AM ET
Member Since: 12/9/2006
Posts: 368
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Wow! I didn't know of such a thing! I've been using the small clasp envelopes when the book is TPB and thin enough to fir. Then I've always weighed it and sent it 1st class. Yhere is a better way it seems! Would I use the demensions quoted in Alan's information? Then at the PO , what rate would I ask for? 1.90 for 7oz is GREAT! Thanks for input.  

Date Posted: 2/9/2010 5:25 PM ET
Member Since: 7/18/2005
Posts: 209
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The problem with the large envelope rate is the contents also have to be flexible, something most books aren't unless it's a really thin one. If it doesn't meet the flex test then it gets bumped up to 1st class parcel.

Date Posted: 2/11/2010 3:23 PM ET
Member Since: 1/19/2009
Posts: 61
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When regular first class mail does not meet the standards, it goes up to large envelope rate. If any of its standard are not met, it goes to package rate. Unless a book is very thin and flexible, it will have to go package rate, no matter what you write on the outside. In fact, there is no such thing as "envelope rate". Size, thickness, weight and flexibility determines cost, not what you put the item in. You can put a stapler in an evelope, but no way is it going to go anything but package rate, even if it is the correct size envelope. The envelope has to be machinable. That's why there is an extra charge for sending keys in an envelope through the mail.

Books are generally rigid, so they go first class if they are lightweight, parcel post or media if they are heavier, or, if you want to spend a bundle, they can go priority if over 13 oz. It doesn't matter if they are in an envelope or a box, or just wrapped in the PBS wrapper.

I would suggest always asking for the lowest cost, expecially if the book is light.

Date Posted: 2/11/2010 3:26 PM ET
Member Since: 1/19/2009
Posts: 61
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Another thing, large envelope rate is really just for sending papers in a manila envelope. Papers are flexible, so the rate would apply. You can put anything else you want in a manila envelope, but if it's rigid or too thick, it will have to go one of the parcel rates.