Prices and Discounts

Postage Prices and Discounts

Postal prices are determined by the type of mail you are sending. Pricing is based on the mail piece size, shape, weight, content of the piece, delivery service standard desired and any special services needed.

Postal pricing is divided into two basic categories; retail and commercial. Retail pricing is also referred to as "single-piece". Single-piece mail simply means you pay the full postage price (putting a stamp on a letter is paying single-piece postage). Many mailers pay single-piece postage even though they are doing large mailings. Why? Because they don't want to do any extra preparation work—they don't have the time, or it's just not cost effective for their business.

Commercial pricing is a cost-effective way to send merchandise, ads, flyers, bills, and other messages. Commercial prices are lower for one reason: you do some of the work. By properly sorting and transporting the mail, the USPS offers you a reduced rate since you did some of the work for them. The downside to this approach is that it can be a significant investment because it takes time to learn how to prepare and sort the mail, apply and pay for required permits and fees, as well as invest in proper equipment.

Commercial Prices = Postage Discounts

As previously mentioned, the Postal Service offers lower prices for "bulk mail” because you do some of the work that otherwise would have to be done by the USPS. This type of "worksharing” is actually a win-win for both the mailer and the USPS; mailers make an investment in time and technology, the Postal Service's costs are reduced and you pay less postage.

The term "Bulk Mail" refers to quantities of mail prepared for mailing with reduced postage and generally refers to commercial mail. In addition, "Bulk Mail” means discounted First-Class Mail® and advertising mail (called Standard Mail® by the Postal Service™). Discounts are available for other classes of mail, too, and it's important to know The Postal Service uses the terms "bulk" and "presorted" interchangeably. In order to receive many of the postage discount commercial prices, you need to mail in bulk, and perform some level of mail sortation.

Finally, to be eligible for postage discounts, you must be able to do "bulk mailings.” To qualify as bulk mail, your mailings must meet specific minimum quantities that are prepared as a specific class of mail at reduced postage. For instance, First-Class Mail requires a minimum of 500 pieces for each mailing. Standard Mail requires 200 pieces or 50 pounds for each mailing.

If you need assistance in deciding on an option, in-house vs out-source, might best suit your needs please refer to the sub-menu items in our Mail Decison section. Whichever option you choose – the NAPM is your choice for staying on top of your mailing and postage bottom line.

NAPM for Your Business

The NAPM is a nonprofit trade association of firms concerned with postal workshare programs, especially discounts for presorted automation mail. We offer our members a variety of services that benefit their businesses which subsequently benefit yours. Our services include: Advocacy, Industry Networking, Information and Education, and Solutions & Support. Please take a look at our About Us section to see how we can be one of the best mailing decisions you can make for your business.