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USPS Flat Rate Priority Mail

69% of consumers say one-day delivery is their #1 incentive to shop more online.

If you’re daunted by that statistic, don’t be. Packages sent by USPS Flat Rate Priority Mail reach your customers within 1-3 days. Flat Rate Priority Mail is what Amazon, eBay, and most other e-commerce platforms rely on to ship goods to customers.

Whether your run a brick-and-mortar kind of business or an online-only affair, you can benefit from Priority Mail too. Read on to find out how.

What’s the Difference Between Priority Mail and Flat Rate Priority Mail?

The difference is that Priority Mail postage costs are based on item weight and zone, whereas Flat Rate Priority Mail prices are based on fixed package dimensions:

Flat Rate Priority Mail Prices

PackageCommercial Price per packagePost Office Price per packageSize
Priority Mail Flat-Rate Envelope$6.95$7.3512-1/2" x 9-1/2"
Priority Mail Small Flat-Rate Box$7.50$7.908-5/8" x 5-3/8" x 1-5/8"
Priority Mail Medium Flat-Rate Box$12.80$14.3511" x 8-1/2" x 5-1/2"
13-5/8" x 11-7/8" x 3-3/8"
Priority Mail Large Flat-Rate Box$17.60$19.9512-1/4" x 12-1/4" x 6"

To qualify for these prices, you have to send your package in a USPS-produced Flat Rate Envelope or Box.

USPS Flat Rate Boxes
USPS Flat Rate boxes and envelopes

Both versions of Priority Mail offer the following great features:

  • Two to three-day delivery
  • Delivery to Alaska, Hawaii, Puerto Rico, Guam, or the U.S. Virgin Islands at domestic prices
  • Free Package Pickup service (USPS saves you a trip to the post office by collecting your package(s) straight from your home or your office)
  • Includes USPS Tracking® when you ship online and at retail
  • Packages insured for up to $50 (more insurance is available for a fee)
  • No surcharges for fuel or residential, rural, and Saturday delivery

Do Postage Rate Rises Apply to Flat Rate Priority Mail?

No. By law, the USPS can’t increase postage rates above the rate of inflation - in other words, costs should remain relatively low. But the USPS can increase Flat Rate Priority Mail costs as much as it likes.

In 2019, flat rate postage costs increased twice as much as weighed postage costs.

How Do I Calculate Priority Rate Postage Costs?

Priority Mail costs vary by weight for items over a certain size. That means you need to individually weigh the items you’re posting. In order to do this, you need to use a postage meter.

Postage meters are designed to save businesses money by calculating accurate postage amounts. When you factor time into the equation, they’re a great way of reducing your administrative costs if you send anything from a few letters a week to a few thousand packages a month. Postage meters can process your mail in half the time it would take you to buy stamps from the post office and manually apply them to all your mail.

Read our guide to the Best Postage Meters for Small Businesses.

Which Priority Mailing Option is Better - Flat Rate or Metered?

Nine times out of ten, businesses should use metered postage.

Why? Because when you’re sending out regular mail, it usually works out cheaper. If you send it by Priority, it’ll be faster too.

Postage meter costs start from less than $20 per month (they’re only available to lease, not to buy), but the savings quickly add up. To find out more, you can request more information about prices directly from postage meter suppliers.