Updated for the January 27, 2019 USPS postage increases.

Presorted First Class mail saves postage without some of the disadvantages of typical "bulk mail" service, which USPS calls Marketing Mail. Presorted First Class postage rates are higher than Marketing Mail, but less than regular First Class retail rates.

Postage Saver software makes postal bulk mailing easy Here's what this page covers:
red dotWhat are the postage rates?
red dotHow many pieces do I need?
red dotWhat are the size and weight limits?
red dotHow do I pay the postage?
red dotHow do I get started?

Here's when you would use Presorted First Class instead of Marketing Mail:

- You are mailing invoices, statements, checks, or similar personalized material. Marketing Mail generally cannot contain personalized information other than the name and address, although there are exceptions; or,

- You want your mail to be delivered more quickly than Marketing Mail. Presorted First Class moves as quickly as regular First Class mail. (It may actually move more quickly, since you sort it before you submit it to USPS.) Marketing Mail is lower priority service, and is processed after other mail classes.

This page is about Presorted First Class postcard, letter and flat sized mailings. For information about First Class parcels, please see our parcels help page.
Postage Saver software makes postal bulk mailing easy

What are the postage rates for Presorted First Class?

How much will I save?

Make sure you know whether your mail piece is a postcard, letter, a flat, or a parcel. That is determined by the size of the piece, not by what it contains.

For example, a 9 x 12 envelope containing a letter is considered a "flat" because of its size, while a 5 x 8 card is considered a "letter", even though most of us would call it a postcard. For full information on the categories, see Letters vs. Flats.

The postage rate for Presorted First Class depends on the size and weight of the mail piece. For barcoded pieces, the rate also depends on how many pieces you have going to a particular zip code or area.

So, for a barcoded mailing, there's a pretty good chance that you'll pay several different postage rates on different pieces in the same mailing, depending on where the pieces are going.

Unlike Marketing Mail, nonprofits do not get lower postage rates for Presorted First Class. Also, Presorted First Class does not offer "entry discounts" for sending your mailing from a major sorting center. But Presorted First Class, unlike any other mail class, does offer special, low postage rates for postcards that are no larger than 4¼" x 6".

You can use our Presorted First Class postage rate calculator to find the rates available for your mailing.

Presorted First Class Postage Rate Calculator

Rates updated for USPS changes effective January 27, 2019.

Make the following selections to find the rates available for your Presorted First Class mailing:

Select Mail Size:
postcard - up to 4¼" x 6"
letter - up to 6⅛" x 11½" x ¼", whether in an envelope or not.
flat - up to 12" x 15" x ¾", whether in an envelope or not.
 Flats must be able to bend. If your piece is not flexible, or is larger than a flat in any dimension, it is a parcel. For parcels postage rates, please see our parcels help page.

Enter Weight in Ounces:  
 Weight must be 3.5 ounces or less for letters, or 13 ounces or less for flats.
 Weight is not used for postcards.

For letters, does something (like an unusual shape) make this mailing
yes  no
 See here for explanation.

If you already have the list you want to mail to, we recommend you download a free trial copy of our Postage Saver bulk mail 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.

How many pieces do I need for Presorted First Class mail?

To get Presorted First Class pricing, you need to send at least 500 pieces of mail at one time.

You don't need to send a certain number of pieces to any particular zip code or part of the country, etc., as long as all of your mail is going to addresses within the United States (which can include military addresses, Puerto Rico and U.S. possessions). There are also no monthly or yearly quantity requirements.

What are the size and weight limits for Presorted First Class?

The weight limit for Presorted First Class depends on the size of the mail piece.
  • Presorted First Class letter-size mail may not weigh more than 3.5 ounces.
  • Presorted First Class flat-size mail may not weigh more than 13 ounces.
The longer side of each piece must be no more than 15 inches long. The shorter side must be no more than 12 inches long. The piece can be no more than 3/4" thick.

Pieces that are larger, or that aren't flexible enough to go through postal sorting equipment, may be able to be sent as First Class parcels, which is a very economical service for parcels under one pound. See our help page on saving money on bulk parcels.

How do I pay the postage?

Bulk Mail Indicia
if you buy a permit imprint authorization, you can print an "indicia" box like this on your mail instead of putting a stamp on each piece. That saves a lot of work.

Here's what goes in an indicia box.
The most common way to pay your postage is to maintain an account at the post office. You just print a "postage paid" box, called an "indicia", on your mail pieces, instead of using stamps or a postage meter. Then, each time you bring in a mailing, USPS will verify your postage calculations and then make sure you have enough in your account to pay for your mailing.

To use an indicia on your mail, you must buy a "permit imprint authorization", which you can do when you apply for your mailing permit. There is a $235 one-time charge for the authorization.

Since the indicia is not really actual postage, you can design it as part of the printing on your mail piece, just like your return address. You don't need any special software to print an indicia.

Some mailers believe it is worth the effort to use stamps or a meter on their presorted mail, instead of an indicia, so it doesn't look like bulk mail. The choice is up to you.

How do I get started with Presorted First Class?

To learn how to get started and to prepare your first mailing with Presorted First Class bulk mail, see our Getting Started with Postal Bulk Mail page.

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