Learn About Bulk Mailing and Tracking → Bound Printed Matter

How to Save Postage with USPS Bound Printed Matter Rates

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USPS Bound Printed Matter is a special postal category that offers low rates for catalogs, books and other bound printed materials. Bound Printed Matter rates can be used for pieces weighing up to 15 pounds, and are usually the cheapest rate available for pieces that qualify. (For pieces under one pound, Marketing Mail is sometimes cheaper, especially for nonprofit mailers.)

Postage Saver software makes postal bulk mailing easy For example, the Bound Printed Matter rate for a two-pound box is just $4.07 per piece for up to 299 pieces, and drops to $1.60 - $2.75 (depending on where it's mailed) for shipments of more than 300 pieces. The same parcel sent using Retail USPS Ground Advantage would cost $8.95 - $15.70, depending on distance.

See our rate calculator below to get the postage for your mail piece.

To qualify as Bound Printed Matter: Bound Printed Matter rates are available for flat-sized mail and for parcels. There is no minimum quantity, but there's an extra price break for mailings of 300 pieces or more.

If your contents don't meet those requirements, you can probably use one of the other bulk mail categories. For flat-sized or letter-sized mail, check out Marketing Mail. For parcels, see our bulk parcel shipments page.

Bound Printed Matter rates can be used only for domestic mail (including military addresses, Puerto Rico and U.S. territories and possessions). If you need to send large quantities of international mail, check out this guide.

Here's what this page covers:

red dotWhat are the rates?

red dotHow many pieces do I need?

red dotWhat are the size and weight limits?

red dotHow much are permits?

red dotWhat else do I need to get started?

What are the Bound Printed Matter postage rates?

The postage rate for Bound Printed Matter depends on how many pieces you are mailing and the size and weight of the each piece. For mailings of 300 pieces or more, there are extra discounts for taking your mailing to a major USPS sorting facility. There are no extra discounts for nonprofits when using Bound Printed Matter rates.

Use our Bound Printed Matter postage rate calculator to find the rates for your mailing.

Bound Printed Matter Bulk Mail Postage Rate Calculator

Rates updated for latest USPS changes effective July 14, 2024.

Make the following selections to find the current rates for your Bound Printed Matter mailing:

How many pieces are in your mailing:
up to 299  300 or more

Select Mail Size:
Flat - up to 12" x 15" x ¾", whether in an envelope or not.
Parcel - larger than flat in any direction, or not flexible.
Letter-sized Bound Printed Matter is charged as flat-sized.

Weight in ounces:  
 Weight must be 240 ounces (15 pounds) or less.
 Any piece under 1 pound will be charged as 1 pound.

Check if the piece is a catalog.

(Rates will appear here when you fill in the information above.)

If you already have the list you want to mail to, we recommend you download a free trial copy of our Postage $aver bulk mail preparation software and run your list through it. It will figure out the exact postage you'd pay for mailing that specific list, and let you try various options.

For flat-sized mailings, download our Postage $aver Pro software. For parcels, download our Postage $aver for Parcels software.
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How many pieces do I need to get Bound Printed Matter rates?

There is no minimum number of pieces for Bound Printer Matter rates. There are also no minimums per zip code, nor any monthly or yearly minimums. Rates are lower for mailings of 300 pieces or more at one time.

What are the size and weight limits for Bound Printed Matter rates?

The weight limit for a piece of mail sent at Bound Printed Matter rates is 240 ounces (15 pounds). Pieces may not measure more than 108 inches in length and girth combined.
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What are the permit fees for using Bound Printed Matter rates?

You must have a mailing permit for Bound Printed Matter before you can use Bound Printed Matter rates. There are two fees that you may (or may not) need to pay to get your permit: a Permit Imprint Authorization Fee and an Annual Mailing Fee. These fees are paid directly to USPS. A vendor cannot issue a mailing permit to you.

Bulk Mail IndiciaThe Permit Imprint Authorization Fee ($350 one time) allows you to use a "postage paid" box (also called "indicia") on your mail instead of stamps or meter postage. For Bound Printed Matter, the postage paid box is required. Stamps or meter postage are not allowed.

The Annual Mailing Fee ($350 yearly) is for authorization to mail at Bound Printed Matter rates.

Here are the rules for which fees are required for Bound Printed Matter mailers: How to apply for a Bound Printer Matter permit: You can apply online for a Bound Printer Matter permit and for a permit imprint authorization. Or, you can apply in person using USPS form 3615.

Either way, you'll need to choose a post office where your permit account will be kept. You should select the post office where you expect to take your mail. That would normally be the post office that is most convenient for you, but not all post offices accept bulk mail, and sometimes you can get a better postage rate by taking your mailings to a regional sorting center.

In suburban and rural areas, many post offices accept bulk mail. But in major cities, bulk mail is generally accepted only at the regional sorting center and sometimes at a few smaller post offices.

To find out whether bulk mail is accepted at a specific post office, find the post office using the post office locator on USPS.com, and see if it shows "Bulk Mail Acceptance Hours" in the chart of that office's hours. To find all of the post offices in your area that accept bulk mail, call the USPS District Business Mail Entry office for your area, which you can find using the USPS locator screen.

If you're not far from the USPS sorting center for your area, and much of your mail is going to addresses processed by that sorting center, you'll get better postage rates by mailing your bulk mail from that sorting center (if you're mailing 300 pieces or more at one time). You can see your possible savings by using the rate calculator above. If you will be mailing from the sorting center, you should get your permit at that center rather than at your neighborhood post office.

USPS "Mailer ID" number: When you get your permit, you will be assigned a "Mailer ID" number, which is NOT the same as your permit number. The Mailer ID number is a 9-digit number that begins with 9 (unless you are a very large volume mailer). Make sure you find out what it is, because you will need your Mailer ID when preparing your mailing.
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What software and other supplies do I need to prepare Bound Printed Matter?

To prepare your mail, you'll need software to do the required sorting and to print the necessary postal paperwork. You'll also need USPS mailing sacks, and, for flat-sized mail and non-rectangular parcels, rubber bands.

Bound Printer Matter presort software: To qualify for Bound Printed Matter rates for mailings of 300 pieces or more, your mail must be sorted and placed in mailing sacks according to very detailed USPS rules.

It's not just sorting by zip code - various zips must be combined with others, depending on quantity, where you're mailing from and to, the size of the mailpiece, etc... It's literally a book full of sorting rules, and the routings change each month.

You'll also need to print paperwork for submitting your mailing and special barcoded tags to label each mailing sack. And, for parcels, you'll need to print USPS tracking labels and to upload a special tracking file to USPS.

For a shipment of less than 300 pieces, sorting, tracking labels and the tracking file are not required. But you get free tracking and hopefully faster delivery by using USPS tracking labels and submitting a tracking file.

The easiest way to do all of this is to use software designed to prepare bulk mail. Our Postage $aver Pro software prepares letter-size and flat-sized mailings, including Bound Printed Matter flats. Postage $aver for Parcels prepares various parcel categories including Bound Printer Matter parcels.

USPS sackMailing containers: You'll need to sort your mail into specific mail sacks before you can mail it at Bound Printed Matter rates. The sacks are provided by the USPS at no charge. You can pick them up at the post office where you are mailing your bulk mail.

Size 64 rubber bands: If you are preparing flat-sized mail, or irregular-shaped parcels less than 10 pounds, you'll need rubber bands to bundle your mail. You can buy a bag at your favorite office supply store.

Congratulations! You're now ready to move on to actually preparing your mailing.

Ready to start saving postage right now?
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Scott started Postage Saver Software in 1994. He's been helping small businesses and nonprofits save postage with postal bulk mail for more than 25 years. Scott's based in Austin, Texas. He's happy to answer your bulk mailing questions!
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