Bottom & links
POSTAGE RATES 

An unofficial site by Jerry Nelson.
   First Class letter down to 47 cents 10Apr2016 
  No online discounts for Priority flat rate.
revised 4Jul2016
---=---

Inspired by the friendliest home town post office in the USA, Lafayette, TN    
  (How this page started, below)
PDF of rate charts only:   SimplePostageCharts.pdf  (new - need suggestions; on some browsers, you need a right-click and "download this file").      

FOREVER STAMPS can be used for anything, but what are they currently worth?

47¢  -  classic forever stamp
21
¢  -  additional ounce
68
¢  -  wedding invitation stamp (2 oz)
21
¢  -  bad envelope penalty (non-machinable stamp)
34¢  -  postcard
$1.15  foreign letter

Note: mail that can’t get through a sorting machine costs more.  
A  flat, flexible regular or business-sized envelope is cheaper than a flat, flexible manila envelope  that needs bigger sorting machines and they are cheaper than thick, inflexible envelopes of the same size and weight that are UNMACHINABLE.  

Letters 1st Class 47¢+21¢/oz (10April2016)

Not over:
1 oz          $0.47            +21¢/oz.  Bad envelope penalty is also  21¢ 

2 ounces  $0.68
3 ounces  $0.89
3.5 oz       $1.10           Heavier?  Go to FLATS (next). 

Incrementing 22¢ on 31May2015 with an increased Nonmachinable surcharge ("bad envelope penalty") of 22¢.
Increment back to 21¢ on 10Apr2016; Nonmachinable surcharge ("bad envelope") also back to 21¢
more price history
dates when rates changed  (helps you search for historic data)
USPS tables, not the rate calculator: DMM, the Domestic Mail Manual
Go to "Quick Refs" at end of this long pdf doc; stay in "Retail" chapters, we don't qualify for cheap corporate rates.

Rigid object inside?  Metal clasp?  Button & closure string?Business envelope styles like "commercial" or "wallet flap"
Add  non-machinable surcharge ("bad envelope penalty"). 
Square?  Goes though their machines but they can’t tell which way?  Add   $0.21
Almost square (less than 30% height-width difference)?  Add  $0.21. 
Too skinny? (long length more than 2.5x short)?  Add   $0.21.
Really cute little one for that note, under 3 ½ or 4¼”?
         Hide it! You're illegal.  Go home and start over.
Length over 11 ½ ? Height over 6 1/8”?  Go to “Flats” (next)
        A "Size 14" envelope is OK; Size 10 is normal.
        If you want to send someone a stamped, self-addressed envelope ("SSAE")
        to return-mail you, it's nice to get a few Size 11 envelopes to put the #10 into.     
Thicker than ¼”?  Go to “Flats”.
You're a corporation using metered mail?  Congratulations!  Take off 1¢
Not a corporation, tired?  Sorry.  Too bad.  Congress gave away its power of oversight and let the Postal Service change rates by itself.  

“Flats  (Large 1st Class Envelopes)                  

1 oz            $0.94            Down from 98¢ on 10Apr2016         
2 ounces   $1.15            Incrementing 21 cents each additional ounce                        
                                            
3 ounces   $1.36            (3oz? Fold it & go in a business envelope for 89 cents)
4 ounces   $1.57
5 ounces   $1.78
6 ounces   $1.99
7 ounces   $2.20          
8 ounces   $2.41
9 ounces   $2.62
10 ounces $2.83
11 ounces $3.04
12 ounces $3.25
13 ounces $3.46

FLATS:

Over 13 oz?  Consider Priority Mail flat-rate envelope.
Your envelope is inflexible, lumpy, not rectangular? Go to “Packages”. 

(No rigid, corrugated cardboard in flats for preventing creased photos, sorry.)
If you want to send the photo anyway,
       pad the envelope with stiff paper to protect it, & do the flex test:
       hang half of the short side over the edge of the table and check that it flexes 1" and back if you press down with your finger.
       If the short side is 10 inches long or more, you'd better be able to bend 2".  
Length over 15  ? Height over 12”? Go to “Packages”.
Thicker than 3/4"? Go to “Packages"
Under 3/4" but lumpy?  Klutz!  Go to "Packages", pay more.
 
Still confused?  Make sure your letters are white, your flats are manila envelopes, and read this

After  10Apr16, reduced 4
¢ on 1st oz & incrementing 21¢ again, not 22¢; 13 oz is $3.46
          Note that $3.46 does not roll us back to any price we ever had before.
          The per-ounce increment was rolled back exactly, but the starting cost is arbitrary.
          Older price history.


     
   DOMESTIC
    -
    First Class LETTERS          
  
FLATS (manila envelopes)   
   SMALL PKGs & padded envs  
FOREIGN .  .  .  .
-
INT'L   Letters

INT'L   Flats  
INT'L   Pkgs
Postcards  
BIG
Domestic     PRIORITY boxes                                
International  PRIORITY                          

ExpressMail $$$     
MediaMail    BOOKS                                 
Stnd Post (formerly PARCEL POST)    
Money Orders         


Small Packages / Parcels / Lumpy envelopes 1st class

These are padded envelopes over 3/4" thick, rigid photo mailers, medical samples, small boxes under 1 cubic foot.  If it's not cubic but very rectangular, then girth + length have to be under 108". 

1 oz           $2.45
2 ounces   $
2.45
3 ounces   $
2.45  and add 19 cents each additional ounceParcels symbol used on USPS Webpages.     
4 ounces   $2.64
5 ounces   $2.83
6 ounces   $3.02
7 ounces   $3.21

8 ounces   $3.40                                                           
9 ounces   $3.59
10 ounces $3.78
11 ounces $3.97
12 ounces $4.16
13 ounces $4.35
    14,15, and 16 ounces were announced as acceptable on 7Jan2016,
    but this is only for COMMERCIAL First-Class Package Service, not retail service.

THE CARTON SYMBOL:  To get rates even if you can't purchase the postage on-line, enter the USPS site, click on the cartons symbol, and look for "First Class & Other Options" at the bottom, or perhaps a line labeled "Other Services".  This is the "Parcel" (small pkg) rate.   https://postcalc.usps.com/

"1st Class" and "Pkg" are the most important things to write on your package,  "Small Pkg" if there's room.

2011: No longer available on-line to the American public.  April2016: still no on-line access.  This is stupid.  They need the money. 
Pitney-Bowes can print it for eBay Inc, but you and I have to stand in line at the Post Office. 

UNPUBLICIZED ON-LINE ACCESS

To send  small 1st Class Packages ON LINE, try this unpublicized URL ("Universal Resource Locater" or Web address):   https://www.paypal.com/ShipNow 
  (Thank you, JohnD.)  You will be coming in as a corporate customer with an 8% discount (5oz level) over what American citizens must pay for their own postal service.  Post office: but it's cheaper for us when customers come in online.  Me:  So why did you cancel my online access in 2011? 

You must be a registered PayPal user (allied with eBay, Inc). This page normally comes up only if you sold something on eBay and must ship it, so you would normally already be signed in to eBay. If the site sends you to a bad login page or can't get back to shipping after login, just log into PayPal on another browser tab, then go to the ShipNow address.  Browser cookies will keep you logged in, and all will run smoothly.

<rant> When public access to this URL is shut down, there will be some excuse.  You didn't sell on eBay, we don't know what you are sending.  But all our parcels are subject to opening for postal inspection, so tell me again, What are you afraid of?   Why should it be up to eBay, Inc. to say whether we, the American people, have the right to use our own postal system?  Keep small parcel access available on line -- the USPS needs the money and we want the service.  Our Constitution (Sec 1, Art 8) promised a postal system to us, unlock it.  </rant>

WHAT SERVICE IS THIS? 
Full service name is "1st Class Airmail Small Pkg".  
Avoid "parcel", you'll just confuse everybody.
"Parcel Post" is abolished.  We send parcels by post, but not by Parcel Post.  Doesn't exist. 
Parcel Post was abolished on 27 January 2013 and became "Standard Post". 
Standard Post was abolished on 17 January 2016 and became "Retail Ground". 
"Retail Ground" is not "Ground", it's First Class.  And today 1st class is nearly entirely Air Mail.
((When did I start this Web page?  What ever made me think I could find the logic in all this, let alone explain it to anyone?)) 


On 17Jan2016, it was announced that the maximum 1st Class Parcel weight limit had been  increased from 13 oz to 16 oz.
    Apparently the 16 oz limit applies to
COMMERCIAL First-Class Package Service, not to retail service -- tell me if your PO takes 14,15,16oz.
On 10April2016, we had a "roll-back", but we didn't roll back to prices we ever had before.  Go figure.
More price history

<rant> Mail is scanned, parcels might still be private (congratulations, you have a parcel !!). </rant>


BIGGER THAN A "SMALL PKG"?
If over 13 oz domestic,  try Priority Mail flat rate boxes (any weight if you can fit it in).  Once you're over about 15 lbs, Retail Ground (formerly Parcel Post) will never be cheaper than a Priority Flat Rate box.

If you're not heavy enough (>15lbs)  to make flat rate Priority a no-brainer, then try "Parcel Post Select".

When Parcel Post Select is purchased online, it includes free tracking.
Length plus girth for Parcel Post Select is 84 inches max.
Length plus girth over 108”?      Go to the Retail Ground (Parcel Post)  calculator.  No even Priority will accept your package. 
Length plus girth over  130"        Go to UPS like I told you -- even the Post Office won't take it.
Call the brown trucks from UPS;  ups.com.   You have to register.  

If over 13 oz and going overseas, you want "First-Class Package International Service" good up to 4 lbs.  (Other names: "1st Class International Parcel", "1st Class Mail International Packages".)  After that, try Priority Mail International's flat rate boxes (limited to 20 lbs to most countries; see International section next). 

Posters rolled up (maximum post office length): Global Express Guaranteed is only 46", Express Mail Intl. is 60", domestic Priority Mail is maybe 60", and sometimes there is a formula of length plus how tight you rolled it up, so you don't really get the maximum length.  (Take 2 inches off the max length for every inch looser than a 3 inch diameter roll-up.)  


   DOMESTIC
    -
    First Class LETTERS          
  
FLATS (manila envelopes)   
   SMALL PKGs & padded envs  
FOREIGN .  .  .  .
-
INT'L   Letters

INT'L   Flats  
INT'L   Pkgs
Postcards  
BIG
Domestic     PRIORITY boxes                                
International  PRIORITY                          

ExpressMail $$$     
MediaMail    BOOKS                                 
Stnd Post (formerly PARCEL POST)    
Money Orders         


International Airmail Letters $1.15 

1 ounce any country $1.15 after 10Apr2016

Thank you, dear P.O.,  for making first-ounce foreign letters the same to anywhere.  And for Global Forever stamps in 2013   :-) 
Try this search to buy Global Forever stamps at store.usps.com

One ounce is a business envelope with 5 sheets of typical Xerox paper, or 1 sheet and six  4x6" photos.  Leave out 1 sheet or 1 photo to be safe.    "3.5" oz means you can't weigh more, but you pay for 4 oz.  
Limits, all countries:  value under $400, size under 6 1/8" x 11 1/2" x 1/4" thick (same envelope limit as domestic).

CANADA       1 oz         $1.15                                                           
                        2 oz         $1.15    which is   0¢ more                       
                        3 oz         $1.61    which is 46¢ more 
                        3 1/2       $2.08    which is 47¢ more, because we had nothing to do one day,
                                                                          so we had an extra committee meeting to discuss it,
                                                                          and they had to decide something,
                                                                          so we made each additional ounce different. 
                                                                  
MEXICO        1 oz          $1.15    +57¢/oz 
                        2 oz          $1.72                 
                        3 oz          $2.29                      We have to bribe them to take the letters, so they cost more.        
                        3 1/2        $2.86   


Rest of World    1 oz       $1.15            

                           2           
                           3            Check your country group below.

                           31/2      

COUNTRY GROUPS
Group 1 Countries
is CANADA (see above).
Group 2 Countries 
is MEXICO (see above).

Cheaper  Countries, Groups 6-9
.  Central and South America, Middle East, Africa,
                                                               central
Asia, New Zealand, Philippines, Taiwan
                            1 oz        $1.15         

                            2 oz        $1.98      +83
¢/oz        
                            3 oz        $2.81
                            3  1/2      $3.64

Costly Countries, Groups 3-5.      European Union (France, Italy,
                                                              places with chateaus & good food) ,
                                                              Russia, eastern Europe, Turkey; China, Hong Kong,
                                                              South Korea, Japan, & Australia
                                                              (kangaroos, spy satellite stations).
                            1 oz        $1.15            
                            2 oz        $2.13   that was 98¢ more       
                            3 oz        $3.12   now it's   99
¢ more.  Why?       
                            3  1/2      $4.11
                          
31May2015 first ounce up 5¢ for all countries to $1.20
10April2016
5¢ increase revoked, first ounce back to $1.15
some price history
check other countries:  https://postcalc.usps.com/


BIGGER THAN A LETTER?  MORE THAN 3.5 OZ?

Int'l Flats - "1st Class Mail International" 

Envelopes up to 15" x 12", weights up to 1 lb, not lumpy, not totally inflexible.
Weight increments are 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8 oz then 12 oz, 16 oz, +4oz.    So, if you cross 8 oz (or 12), pull some photos off the camera and print them up -- 5 sheets/ounce of good paper, 6 sheets/ounce of ordinary copy paper (minus a sheet or two for safety).

    TABLE BELOW
    Canada, roughly     $6    first lb, half as much gets you a quarter pound

    Mexico roughly       $10 first  lb,   ditto
    ROW roughly          $12 / lb,  ditto

ONLINE:  select the large plain envelope icon at https://postcalc.usps.com/ and a weight 16oz or less.  On next page, click to unhide  "First-Class Int'l Options".  You still cannot buy the postage online as of 4/2016.  This is stupid.  

FLEXIBLE:   International Flat envelope cannot be rigid (or else it won't go around the curves on their conveyors past high-speed  scanners).  And thickness?  We are going up to 4 pounds here, folks, so the infamous "quarter-inch rule" does not apply.  Instead, the warning is,

don't have more than 1/4" VARIATIONS in thickness.  

If you fail the thickness test, you are a  First Class International Package box -- prices are 40, 50% higher, even double for the low weights. 

OVER ABOUT 2 1/2 POUNDS a Priority Flat Rate Envelope will be cheaper.  Get the legal size   9-1/2" x 15" -- same price as stnd size for international.

USE BIG ENVELOPES FOR "FLATS":  Don't  try to mail a small envelope that's over 3.5 oz. even if you pay for it.  The small envelope will look like a letter, and "LETTER"  service up to 64 oz was dropped on 12May2008, so now there's only big "FLATS".  Fill the airplanes with big envelopes, that's what they want. 

INTERNATIONAL FLATS - 10 April 2016   
MAIL SOMETHING TO CHINA?   If it's flat and under 4 oz, the postage alone needs to be $5.10 to cover the cost (Zone 3 above).  Yet at any moment on eBay, the number of items whose total cost  is $5 or less is between two and three million.  If $5.10 is the true cost to the post office, there's no way eBay's China traffic can cover what it costs our postal system to run their business.  I put the eBay story on a separate page.  eBay's total China traffic is about 100 million items a year.

Some prior history

HEAVIER THAN 4 LBS?
Priority international boxes take up to 20 lbs, cost a fortune, and require the #2976 Customs Form.  Sketched in Priority section below.

          

   DOMESTIC
    -
    First Class LETTERS          
  
FLATS (manila envelopes)   
   SMALL PKGs & padded envs  
FOREIGN .  .  .  .
-
INT'L   Letters

INT'L   Flats  
INT'L   Pkgs
Postcards  
BIG
Domestic     PRIORITY boxes                                
International  PRIORITY                          

ExpressMail $$$     
MediaMail    BOOKS                                 
Stnd Post (formerly PARCEL POST)    
Money Orders         




1st Class Mail International PACKAGES - 4 lbs
Flat rate Priority Int'l is reasonable, but, if you can't fit their flat rate boxes, then you need 1st Class Mail Int'l PACKAGES. 
First-Class Mail Int'l   PACKAGES i
s also called
First-Class Pkg INTERNATIONAL SERVICE, aka
First-Class International PARCEL.
This is the "Letter Post" group which embraces everything that is not "shipping"; namely, LCs (Letters and Cards) joined with AO ("Air Mail -- Other"). 

Available online at discounts up to 10%. To get  the appropriate USPS calculator, pick the small tan carton symbol, enter a weight under 4 lbs, and a country overseas.  Skip all the Priority choices and click on a closed menu item labeled "First-Class Int'l Options" (or "Other Services") to open it.  Hiding the choices most people need is not what a democratic government should do to its own people. 

Size limit is 1 cubic foot maximum, and no one dimension over 24 inches. 
Rolled up poster maximum: width: 36" x 3"diameter.  If you roll it up 1" wider diameter, take 2 inches off your length.
Customs Form 2976 (the green one) must be filled out, max value is $400.

Postage Rates for International Small Packages as of 10April2016  

You need a list of countries' zones to use this international packages chart. 

LIST-OF-COUNTRIES  PAGE
I'm sorry the service beyond Canada & Mexico has been broken up from 2 zones (3-5 grouped together plus 6-9) into 7 zones (10April2016).  The break-up makes it hard for me to help you.  Standing in line at the Post Office costs them money, and us, time.  Here is an alphabetized list of the most common countries with their zones.  The full list follows it; you can use "CONTROL-F for find" to jump-search the list in most browsers.  Finally, I sorted the list by zone for those of us who need to get some idea how the shipping world is divided up (what each zone means).   For the chart above, you want the first-class zones on the right.  I do not know why the same country can move to a different zone for a different postal service. 

Zones 1 and 2 are always Canada and Mexico. 
Zone 3 is Australia, China & Hong Kong, Japan and South Korea -- in Asia, our three big trading partners and closest surveillance ally. 
Zone 4 is Turkey, Russia, and Eastern Europe. 
Zone 5 is Europe, east including Kosovo and Serbia. 
Zone 6 is what most people think of as Asia, including India and Pakistan, but not China, Japan, Korea. 
Zone 7 is Africa and some island nations. 
Zone 8 is the Middle East, Arab sheikdoms, Algeria. 
Zone 9, the most expensive, includes, understandably,  remote island nations and, inexplicably, all our neighbors in this hemisphere, in both nearby Central America and throughout South America. 

MAIL SOMETHING TO CHINA?   For the smallest box (8 oz or less), it takes $13.75 to cover the cost (Zone 3 above).  Yet at any moment on eBay, the number of items listed for sale, whose total cost  is $13.50 or less, is about 4 million.  If $13.75 is the true cost to the post office, there's no way eBay's China traffic can pay its way.  These items' total cost is less than our postage and 85% of the items are "Free Shipping".  I put the eBay story on a separate page.  eBay's total China traffic is about 100 million items a year. Ebay collects the selling fees, we don't collect the postage.

Some price history for First-Class Package International Service.

HEAVIER THAN 4 LBS?
Priority international flat-rate boxes take up to 20 lbs, cost a fortune, and require the #2976 Customs Form . . .as  sketched in Priority section below.

   DOMESTIC
    -
    First Class LETTERS          
  
FLATS (manila envelopes)   
   SMALL PKGs & padded envs  
FOREIGN .  .  .  .
-
INT'L   Letters

INT'L   Flats  
INT'L   Pkgs
Postcards  
BIG
Domestic     PRIORITY boxes                                
International  PRIORITY                          

ExpressMail $$$     
MediaMail    BOOKS                                 
Stnd Post (formerly PARCEL POST)    
Money Orders         

     

Postcard  34¢    International $1.15 world,  10Apr2016

3 ½ min - 4 ¼  max by  5" min - 6" max,   7 - 16 mills thick.  (0.016" is "16 mills".  A typical business card is 12 mills)
Within the USA, the smallest permitted letters and postcards are the same: 3 1/2" x 5". 
Minimum thickness 7 mills; cheap glossy ink jet photo paper is 10 mills, so mail it.  
Max thickness
0.016" -- easier to say "16 mills", sound like someone who knows what they're talking about.
A typical business card is 12 mills. 

Too big?  Too bad.  Use rates for domestic first class letter. 

International postcards same, but must be 5 1/2" - 6" wide vs 5"-6" domestic.
Thickness 7-16 mills (0.007" = 0.016")

Domestic postcards can be square-ish, up to 4 1/4" high by only  5" wide.
For all other mail,  "rectangular" means "Let's have a 30% high-vs-wide difference." 
That's a simple rule, so let's apply it inconsistently for postcards.  There, done!   Feel better?  

DOMESTIC Postcards Increased 1¢  26Jan14 to 34¢ and again on 31May2015 to 35¢
       Rolled back to
34¢ 10Apr2016 as Postal Regulatory Commission ended the 2-year "exigent surcharge" of 2014.
INTERNATIONAL increased 5¢ to $1.15 for all countries 26Jan14 and again on 31May15 to $1.20
       Rolled back to $1.15 10Apr2016 as Postal Regulatory Commission ended the 2-year "exigent surcharge" of 2014.

Postcards offer no privacy and not much space.
Pricing int'l postcards up there with a 1oz int'l letter kills a cultural tradition for tourists the world over when they visit us and want to send home more than a selfie.
We need the money, we need the tourists, we need cheaper postcards -- 27
¢ in 2008. 

more price history



Vint Cerf's card from Google 2012

                                  16 mills

THICKNESS LIST
3 mills (0.003 inch) - El Cheapo copier paper
4 mills - brightest white copier paper
7 mills +   is legal for postcards
9 mills - sheet of ordinary ("110 lb") card stock (good enough for post cards)
11 mills - glossy 4x6 photos (Postcards to anywhere can be 3.5 - 4.25 x 5.5  to 6 inches -- just mail your photo.)
BUSINESS CARDS
feels cheap:  8 mills
feels normal:    12 mills
feels impressive:  16 mills (=max mills for postcards)

Aerograms / Air Letter Sheets  are discontinued by the postal service of the United States. .  Was $0.75 to any country, postage printed on the paper, no stamps. Write whatever you want, mail it to any address you want -- done.  The good old days.  Remember simplicity? 


   DOMESTIC
    -
    First Class LETTERS          
  
FLATS (manila envelopes)   
   SMALL PKGs & padded envs  
FOREIGN .  .  .  .
-
INT'L   Letters

INT'L   Flats  
INT'L   Pkgs
Postcards  
BIG
Domestic     PRIORITY boxes                                
International  PRIORITY                          

ExpressMail $$$     
MediaMail    BOOKS                                 
Stnd Post (formerly PARCEL POST)    
Money Orders         



 Domestic PRIORITY Envelope & BOXES 

For local shipments, use straight Priority and drop the flat rate boxes.
Otherwise, let's concentrate on flat rate. 

$6.45 flat rate envelope   domestic, any zone, any weight   
as
long as you can seal the envelope without extra tape,
Add 35
¢ for padded envelope.
10April2016: no more online discounts for citizens, only corporate customers.

                                                                                                            
AirplaneSkidsThruBrickWall-TeterboroNJ-2005
                                   
$6.80 small flat rate box  domestic, any zone, any weight,  
as long as you can close the flaps on the seams.
10April2016: no more online discounts for cititzens.

            8-5/8" x 5-3/8" x 1-5/8"      
 
$13.45  regular/medium  flat rate box 
any zone, 70 lb max, 
10April2016: no more online discounts for citizens.  

Two medium-size boxes are available:

11" x 8.5" x 5.5" and
            13.625" x 11.875" x 3.375"

$18.75 large-size box  to any zone, 70 lb max,  
$16.75 for APO/FPO/Diplomatic
10April2016: no more online discounts for citizens. 
 
        Two large-size boxes are available:
       12" x 12" x 5.5"  
        23 11/16" x 11 3/4" x 3" 

UNPUBLICIZED ON-LINE ACCESS

To send  Priority Flat-Rate Boxes with the old ON LINE DISCOUNT
,
try this unpublicized Web address):  https://www.paypal.com/ShipNow  (Thank you, JohnD.)  As a corporate customer, you will enjoy lower rates not available to American citicizens.   A medium flat rate box drops to $11.95, a 12% discount.  (Thank you, CH.) 

You must be a registered PayPal user (allied with eBay, Inc). This page normally comes up only if you sold something on eBay and must ship it, so you would normally be signed in already. If the site sends you to a bad login page or can't get back to shipping after login, just log into PayPal on another browser tab, then go to the ShipNow address.  Browser cookies will keep you logged in, and all will run smoothly. 

31May2015: online prices unchanged, but all prices at the counter are higher.
4April2016:  online mailing labels no longer sold at https://postcalc.usps.com
    you will be transferred to Click-N-Ship where you must set up an account. 
    Log in at cns.usps.com
    4April2016: No more online discounts for the public. Try a corporation like stamps.com
   
more price history

If it's not a flat rate shipment, you can use your own box. 
If it's virtually a local shipment, don't use flat-rate.
If it's local, Parcel Post ("Retail Ground") won't take it anyway, so you have to use Priority, and, as we just said, unzoned is cheaper if the distance is local. 
If it's light (a fluffy sweater for Mommy), don't use flat rate -- they push up what those boxes cost because people usually ship heavy tools and supplies, not fluffy sweaters for Mommy.
70 lbs is the limit throughout  the USPS, period: Retail Ground, Media Rate,  Priority, anything. 

Remember, you can't mail everything, there are no-no's

                  For APO/FPO/Diplomatic mail,
                 
go online because a lot of destinations don't have service for bigger sizes.
                  You need to do Form2976A (weight, value, all the addresses).
                  Presents can't be alcoholic drinks or tobacco or fresh fruits or veg, or
                  perfume ("fragrances" in alcohol).  Lithium batteries are forbidden
                  while the airline industry reacts to spontaneous combustion of
                  early-tech batteries that did not use lithium phosphate and other safer
                  formulations.  Be patient, battery issues are not the Post Office's fault. 

The flat-rate-size Priority boxes may be used internationally (20 lb maximum; 4 lbs for the small one).
See Priority Mail International below.   Stop complaining and just get the package out, this is not the Hope Diamond.

TO ORDER PRIORITY BOXES:  
small boxes
medium boxes  Why does this domestic box link say "International shipping"?  Oh well, it works for now . . .
       https://store.usps.com/store/browse/uspsProductDetailMultiSkuDropDown.jsp?productId=P_O_FRB2&categoryId=international-shipping
large boxes    
      ttps://store.usps.com/store/browse/uspsProductDetailMultiSkuDropDown.jsp?productId=P_LARGE_FRB&categoryId=free-shipping-supplies

If these links stop working, search on site:store.usps.com   Priority Mail Flat Rate Boxes
Look for a hit from store.usps.com. 
Most search engines will do a "site search" like that, and they search better than any search facility on the site itself.  Who knows why, just try it.


SIZE LIMITS -- Escape from a flat rate box.

Internationally, NON-FLAT-RATE PRIORITY
costs about as much as the large box, and gives you sizes up to 79" long and length plus girth of 108 inches.  More costly Express Mail is more limited: 42" long and length plus girth of 79 inches (2013).  Sometimes there are country-specific surprises. 

Over 108", Priority stops (airplanes get crowded fast) and Retail Ground (formerly Parcel Post) is all you have left (trucks have more space).  Stay under the 70 lb limit, but other than that, your weight becomes irrelevant when your box becomes large.  After 108" length+girth,  you pay the "Oversize Penalty Price"  until 130" for  length + girth brings your expulsion from the Postal Service altogether.  Remember that  girth is  width + height + width + height.  
Check prices online.  

ABOUT THAT 70 LB WEIGHT LIMIT:  the maximum box weight, any size, domestic shipment,  is 70 lbs.
Pouring the small box full of liquid lead gets you 29 lbs, so I'd say, for small boxes, 70 lbs shows an intelligence limit.  They thought we would ship the small box to Jupiter, whose gravity will bring any small Priority box of lead up to 68 1/2 lbs. 

You can fill any box with a solid block of aluminum and they'll ship it.  (On the large box, leave 1/2" of free space on top.)  The medium-sized boxes can be about half-full of solid iron.  The large box needs to be under 1/3 full of iron to pass -- solid iron all the way up to the top of the box would be  225 lbs, lead would be 325 lbs., and don't even think of gold.  I have a friend who could handle the 552 lb avoirdupois weight if you sent him a large priority box filled with it,  but I don't have the $8 million to buy it.  (552.5 lbs Au, 14.583 Troy oz per lb Av.  With gold at $1000/oz Troy, that's $8M.)   I waste my time with these stupid calculations while everyone else makes money trading on the precious metals market. 


Insurance: 
Pre-May 12, 2008:  insurance up to $500 was available on-line;
up to $5,000 if you presented the package to a Post Office clerk.   $5,000 is still the limit, 2016.
$50 worth of insurance is free.  Declare even a dollar more, and you pay a $3..35 insurance fee. 
For some easy-to-steal-and-sell items, you may be forced to get insurance when you fill out the customs form.  

Priority “Dimensional Pricing” --  beyond flat rate: 
Packages larger than 1 cubic foot traveling far  (Zones 5 through 8) are priced by size because such trips use air transportation.  Or rather, you use the same old  tables that price everything by weight, but you must use an imaginary weight calculated from your package size as  8.9 lbs per cubic foot.  This works out to  LxWxH in inches divided by 194. 


   DOMESTIC
    -
    First Class LETTERS          
  
FLATS (manila envelopes)   
   SMALL PKGs & padded envs  
FOREIGN .  .  .  .
-
INT'L   Letters

INT'L   Flats  
INT'L   Pkgs
Postcards  
BIG
Domestic     PRIORITY boxes                                
International  PRIORITY                          

ExpressMail $$$     
MediaMail    BOOKS                                 
Stnd Post (formerly PARCEL POST)    
Money Orders         





INTERNATIONAL Priority Mail

When it's bigger than a flat (manila envelope), it's either these flat rate boxes (20 lbs max)  or "1st Class Int'l Parcels" aka "1st-Class Package International Service" (4 lbs max).
Flat rate box sizes same as all other Priority boxes. 

1. CANADA - FLAT RATE ENVELOPE (stnd or legal) & SMALL BOX (4lbs max -- could be $48 w/o flat rate)
Canada    
       
10April2016         env $23.25, up from $21.95 since 31May2015; envelope  not same as box anymore.
        10April2016         box $24.95, up from $21.95 since 31May2015; box not same as envelope anymore

2. CANADA - MEDIUM FLAT RATE BOX (20 lbs max -- could be $100 if you didn't have flat rate)
Canada
       
10April2016        $45.95, scarcely changed from $45.25 since 31May2015

3. CANADA - LARGE FLAT RATE BOX (20 lbs max)
Canada
       
10April2016        $59.95, why did they bother to change it from $59.75 since 31May2015? 

 

ROW, REST OF WORLD for FLAT RATE PRIORITY.   BOY, DO I HATE THIS . . . TOO COMPLICATED !! 
8-column table: 2016April10 - Int'l Priority mail flat rate boxes

HOW TO USE THE TABLE ABOVE -- LIST-OF-COUNTRIES  PAGE
We have an  alphabetized list of the most common countries with their zones. 
The full list follows it; you can use "CONTROL-F for find" to search the list in most browsers.  Finally, I sorted the list by first class zone
.

On this country list, the so-called  zone "B"  column  gives you the correct 1,2,3,4,5,6,7, or 8 column to use in the table above. 
The table above uses the regular Int'l Priority table (country column), not the Expre$$ Priority table/column.
Those of you still trying to run a small business may find it easier to get prices for your own set of countries here, vs. cycling through a USPS calculation page on-line. 

some price history
 

METRIC SYSTEM: 66 LBS MAX  IN MANY COUNTRIES
Although 20 lbs is the official limit, some countries will go up to 66 lbs
if you go outside the flat rate system and pay $200,  even $300 to some places.  Starting in 2014, nearly every country in the world  refused to carry the United States' Postal Service maximum of 70 lbs,  because nearly every country in the world went metric -- Australia converted in the 1970s.   30 kg is a nice round number, it's 66 lbs, so get lost with your stupid "70".  

Map of world countries using the metric system. 
 
   DOMESTIC
    -
    First Class LETTERS          
  
FLATS (manila envelopes)   
   SMALL PKGs & padded envs  
FOREIGN .  .  .  .
-
INT'L   Letters

INT'L   Flats  
INT'L   Pkgs
Postcards  
BIG
Domestic     PRIORITY boxes                                
International  PRIORITY                          

ExpressMail $$$     
MediaMail    BOOKS                                 
Stnd Post (formerly PARCEL POST)    
Money Orders         


  
    


Domestic Express Mail -- Does everybody agree I can drop this page
  
                            because the prices are ridiculous?

after 31May2015:
$20 for a flat rate envelope, $45 for a little flat rate box, $460 to impress someone with a 70 lb carton shipped across the country.
some price history
https://postcalc.usps.com

To find the the free stuff page,  search on  site:store.usps.com  $0.00 express mail box  like this:  sample search.   


Media Mail Rates -- BOOKS

Flat rate, no zones so it does not get cheaper locally, but even locally it is still cheapest per pound if you qualify. 
OK for: books, sheet music, movies and music on CDs, DVDs,  educational maps & charts if there's not a lot of text.

Because advertising is forbidden, you must take all magazines out of your box.  The books themselves may add only incidental announcements of other books -- as old-fashioned publishers so often did on the otherwise blank end-pages. 

No video games (they're media, yes; but educational, no).  No hard drives, no tapes if they're blank.

Make it easy to inspect the carton should it be opened -- so, if you want to support book bindings, wrap the books tight in "stretch (plastic) wrap" not brown paper.  Liquor store cartons are stronger than supermarket cartons, but you have to obliterate anything that makes it look like you're shipping alcohol. (Use up your old aerosol spray cans, or buy a new one in Pro Shipper tan.) 


After 10April2016: Domestic Rates
1 pound: $2.61     One CD/DVD in a padded env is $2.64 (4oz) as a small parcel (1st class service, 13 oz max) .
                                Two
CDs in an env is a $3.21 parcel (7oz), so media mail is clearly cheaper. 
Add 48¢/lb.
The increment never drops, so you can multiply it out for yourself

Up to 2 pounds: $3.09    
Up to 3 pounds: $3.57       
Up to 4 pounds: $4.05
Up to 5 pounds: $4.53
Up to 40 lbs      $21.33
70 lbs max        $35.73

UNPUBLICIZED ON-LINE ACCESS
To get Media Mail shipping labels on-line, try this unpublicized Web address):  https://www.paypal.com/ShipNow  (Thank you, JohnD.)   Corporate customers can ship from home while the rest of us have to get out to the Post Office and line up at the counter.  Let me know if corporate customers also get a discount denied to US citizens.   Dear Post Office: Need to inspect the carton to be sure it's books?   Is that why we have pitch up at the counter while they get to mail from home?  Go ahead -- USPS inspection privileges are no different for home-mailed vs. post-office-mailed cartons.  

You must be a registered PayPal user (allied with eBay, Inc). This page normally comes up only if you sold something on eBay and must ship it, so you would normally be signed in already. If the site sends you to a bad login page or can't get back to shipping after login, just log into PayPal on another browser tab, then go to the ShipNow address.  Browser cookies will keep you logged in, and all will run smoothly. 


some price history

Yes, it goes to 70 lbs, see https://postcalc.usps.com   At the Post Office, be prepared to open and reseal the box.  If you don't qualify, regular  "Retail Ground" (formerly Parcel Post)  is double to triple the cost, depending on zone.  

To send  Media Mail packages ON LINE, try this unpublicized URL ("Universal Resource Locater" or Web address):  https://www.paypal.com/ShipNow   (Thank you, JohnD.)

You must be a registered PayPal user. You must enter a PayPal user name and password.  I suggest logging in on the normal paypal.com home page and **then** going to the paypal.com/ShipNow page (which assumes you are completing a sale and are already logged in).  Specify USPS, not UPS.  After entering an address (no address book facility, sorry) you want to get to a page that asks you to specify a SERVICE TYPE.  There you can select MEDIA MAIL.
April2016: still not available online. 

   DOMESTIC
    -
    First Class LETTERS          
  
FLATS (manila envelopes)   
   SMALL PKGs & padded envs  
FOREIGN .  .  .  .
-
INT'L   Letters

INT'L   Flats  
INT'L   Pkgs
Postcards  
BIG
Domestic     PRIORITY boxes                                
International  PRIORITY                          

ExpressMail $$$     
MediaMail    BOOKS                                 
Stnd Post (formerly PARCEL POST)    
Money Orders             



      

BEGIN  PARCEL POST  

UNPUBLICIZED ON-LINE ACCESS

To send  Retail Ground (parcle post) pkgs ON LINE
,
try this unpublicized URL ("Universal Resource Locater" or Web address):  https://www.paypal.com/ShipNow  (Thank you, JohnD.)  As a corporate customer, you will enjoy lower rates ("Parcel Select") not available to American citicizens ("Retail Ground").  The rest of you please line up at the counter.  

Have your carton dimensions, address & weight handy.  You must be a registered PayPal user (allied with eBay, Inc). This page normally comes up only if you sold something on eBay and must ship it, so you would normally be signed in already. If the site sends you to a bad login page or can't get back to shipping after login, just log into PayPal on another browser tab, then go to the ShipNow address.  Browser cookies will keep you logged in, and all will run smoothly. 

To look up Retail Ground costs online, the calculator page is here: https://postcalc.usps.com   . . . but you can't buy anything (use the  paypal.com/ShipNow  link above).       

THE COUNTRY & ITS MAIL STREAM WOULD BE MORE SECURE IF WE COULD PRINT  USPS SHIPPING LABELS online.  We would be more secure because your identity and your shipping data are better known when you are online, longer remembered and easier to search and retrieve, compared to just pushing a box across the counter (as retail customers are supposed to do). 
And the USPS could compete better with corporate UPS and its little brown trucks.  Why are you holding us back? 

Doing this page for many years has shown me a postal service being mis-managed on purpose to make it unprofitable and to justify taking it over.  Blocking online parcel post revenue is premeditated.  I tell the rest of the story on a separate page


PARCEL POST ("Retail Ground") - SHIPPING RESTRICTIONS
ANY 1-PAGE LOOK AT GOVERNMENT REGULATIONS THAT RESTRICT MAIL SERVICE IS GOING TO BE INCOMPLETE
 30USC3001 (contraception) and 18USC1461 (abortion)

If in doubt, go to the Post Office.  I would just  see if they'll take whatever it is and not ask questions because they're not supposed to answer:
"Postmasters are not authorized to give opinions on the legality of any shipment of firearms."
I'm quoting official regulations here:  433 Legal Opinions on Mailing Firearms

Post Office and law enforcement take weapons replicas very seriously.  A fake replica of a hand grenade
has to be registered mail, so it can't be Parcel Post (aka "Retail Ground").  You have to write "Replica Explosive" in letters at least 1/4" high on the box.  Yes, it's legal, but get it boxed and keep it in there.  If someone calls 911 and says there's a man with a grenade walking into the post office,  that's it for counter service in that post office for the rest of the day.

THE FUTURE OF CARTONS FOR ANY AEROSOL, FLAMMABLE, or LIQUID OF ANY KIND
The USPS does what the Department of Transportation (DoT) says.  The DoT does what the United Nations says.  They all agree that it is too complicated to tell you **how** to make a sensible package.  Instead, they specify **what** the Crash Test Dummy performance of the package should be.  Setting up a Crash Test Dummy laboratory for carton testing is more complicated than sensibly packing a carton.    The only solution is to buy special cartons that already have a UN certification number printed on them.  Soon I fear we will all soon be forced to order a carton of cartons, a different order for each different thing you need ship.  Remember getting old cartons from behind the liquor store? 

PARCEL POST OVERVIEW
RETAIL GROUND (PARCEL POST) is the cheapest postal system service, and the one that takes very large, very heavy boxes.  Write "USPS Retail Ground" on the box if using stamps instead of a mailing label.    Parcel Post will not take local traffic to Zones 1 to 4.  (A Zipcode-to-Zone chart is below, and you can easily make one centered on the place where you live.)  Try regular (not flat rate) Priority for just local or lightweight stuff. 

PRIORITY, PARCEL POST, or BROWN TRUCKS?   I use flat rate Priority  if it fits the box, parcel post (Retail Ground) for small stuff that doesn't fit, and the brown UPS trucks for heavy boxes (over 5 lbs or so).  

http://www.ups.com/dropoff?loc=en_US&WT.svl=PriNav     

EVER COLLECTED ANY UPS INSURANCE?
UPS insurance is free up to $100.  You can buy more (over $1 per hundred coverage), but you may never collect. 
You are warned to have an original receipt for the item, a signed receipt from the guy across the counter when you dropped off the package, perhaps the original complete packaging saved exactly as it looked at the other end, perhaps a police report . . .


PARCEL POST ("Retail Ground") - THE BIG BOX PENALTIES

AVOIDING THE TWO PITFALLS OF RETAIL GROUND (Parcel Post)
Retail Ground  (Parcel Post) can be cheaper than UPS if you avoid two pitfalls. 

1. AVOIDING THE  RETAIL GROUND  BALLOON RATE  PITFALL AT 84 INCHES

When you are under 20 lbs (as most gifts and eBay shipments are), then keep the box length plus girth under 84"or you will pay for 20 lbs (up to $55.78 across the country, 2016) regardless of actual weight.  Think of a balloon rate box as a flat rate box at the 20 lb rate.  If you're stuck with the size, enjoy the weight -- put something else in.  (Ordinary, non-flat-rate Priority Mail has the same 20lb/84 inches penalty in the more local zones 1-4.) 

DON"T JUST DROP YOUR ITEM  INTO  THE  CARTON  & THEN  FILL IT.
Place padding into the bottom of the box first, THEN add the shipment.  You want the item floating away from the walls, not crashing into them when you shake the box. 

2. AVOIDING THE  PARCEL POST OVERSIZE  PITFALL AT 108 - 130 INCHES
If your length + girth goes over 108 inches, you pay an oversize penalty.  Going across country with 70 lbs., your oversize cost is $170, when a smaller box would have been only $122 (2016 rates; in 2014, oversize penalty was  $132.20 and a smaller box was $105.83).  

Once you're penalized with this "dimensional weight" charge, you can pack your shipment up in as large a carton as you want (up to the maximax of 130 inches) and throw in some extra items . . . the price isn't going to change with either your weight (up to 70 lbs) or your size (up to 130 inches length + girth). 

At 130", you are expelled from the Postal System.  Go directly to UPS or FedEx Freight, do not pass Go, do not pay any more penalties.  
130" and 70 lbs are the limits no USPS service can exceed. 

To get parcel post in the USPS rate calculator, choose  "package" or "large package". https://postcalc.usps.com

Measure and weigh the carton first, get your two Zip codes. 
some price history



GETTING YOUR OWN 1.ZONE  AND  2.RATE TABLES   for  PARCEL POST

Still trying to run a small business?   Need to get six boxes out this morning without going online or to the post office?
You need two charts, your own stamps, and you'll have to present your packages in person at the Post Office counter,
unless you use the corporate privileges that eBay and PayPal have gotten for their customers, the ones I told you about above.  

If your business grows, you will yearn for these lower prices on the business calculator page:  https://dbcalc.usps.com/
but you have to bring everything to a BMEU, Business Mail Entry Unit.
See if there's a BMEU near you:  https://ribbs.usps.gov/locators/find-bme.cfm
If you figure out how to qualify for business rates, tell the rest of us what the forms/procedures/minimums are (jerry at remove this text speakeasy net).

Meanwhile, for the retail-level DIY route:
  1. You need to go from destination Zip code to a postal zone, and then
  2. You need a chart of rates per pound (for all those postal zones).  

PARCEL POST ("Retail Ground") -- Do It Yourself w/ZONES FROM ZIP CODES
A personalized chart from my town McLean to ZIP XXXxx

It's easy to get your own chart at  https://postcalc.usps.gov/Zonecharts/  .
These charts work for Priority boxes that are not flat rate, and for Parcel Post.  Both have  big-box problems penalties. 

Parcel Post and non-flatrate-Priority have the same 20lb/84inch balloon box problem, but only for local-ish Priority boxes (Zones 1-4).
Parcel Post big boxes have the oversize dimensional weight penalty at 108".
Flatrate Priority starts its oversize dimensional weight penalty  at 60", but only for distant Priority boxes (Zones 5-8).

Go to the zone chart, then the rate table, and you're done?  Not so fast.

THE SPECIAL CASE OF PARCEL POST ZONES 1 THROUGH 4

Parcel post zones 1-4 do not exist.  You have to use Priority.  (Try the non-flat-rate kind of Priority; it is probably cheaper for local, zone 1-4 shipments).
So why do we have 1-4 zones if we can't use them?  Wrong!!  They are used, just not by you.  Ground shipment is required for all stuff that knocks airplanes out of the sky, so we keep zones 1 thru 4 alive in the "Retail Ground" (Parcel Post) department for people who have no other choice but to use them.  If it weren't for dangerous materials shippers, we'd never send our trucks out on such local stops.
I don't care how you route your trucks.  Why can't you just take my money and deliver my box?  If the problem is dangerous cargo, give **that** a separate service and leave parcel post alone.  Listen, little retail customer,  the revolving door between government and corporations catapults industry people into top government positions, and lets government people retire into new -- and lucrative -- industry jobs.  No one at the USPS who drove the USPS forward would ever retire to a "second life" industry job at triple his former salary.  Wouldn't you like that kind of retirement?
If we don't use zones 1-4, why not abolish them?  Clarity of vision is a key part of the leadership we do not have.  Just mail your silly box. 

Chart from postcalc.usps.com/Zonecharts

Above: a chart from https://postcalc.usps.com/Zonecharts/


PARCEL POST ("Retail Ground") - Do It Yourself w/THE PRICE CHART (RATE TABLE)


THE PARCEL POST RATE TABLE, PRICES  BY ZONES


You've got the zone number.  Now you need a table of charges to that zone for all the weights up to 70 lb max. 
Because of its large size, the parcel post rate chart is on a page all by itself, from which you can print it out.  


I once tried to figure out how commercial Parcel rates are calculated when items are taken to Bulk Mail Center (BMC) and Auxiliary Service Facilities (ASFs).  These are the mail sorting centers Congress wants to shut down to "save money".  These Congressmen want to help us "save the Postal System from financial collapse."  Once enough of the sorting centers are gone, the Post Office will never again be able to deliver first class mail by the next day.  Delivering an ordinary envelope the next day and "overnight delivery"  from corporations like FedEx are not much different, except that one costs $21.05 to $36.05 ("FedEx Envelope" up to 8 oz, 2013) and the other costs 89 cents (3 oz First Class business envelope 2016).  I have written elsewhere that, like the US Congress, governance and senior management at the US Postal Service is corrupt and dysfunctional.  For example, when a facility is closed down and employees are thrown out of work, the postal executives get a bonus (society's reward to them for good leadership).

Private industry can beat any competitor once we use a corrupt political system to destroy in our time what previous generations had built for us. 

   DOMESTIC
    -
    First Class LETTERS          
  
FLATS (manila envelopes)   
   SMALL PKGs & padded envs  
FOREIGN .  .  .  .
-
INT'L   Letters

INT'L   Flats  
INT'L   Pkgs
Postcards  
BIG
Domestic     PRIORITY boxes                                
International  PRIORITY                          

ExpressMail $$$     
MediaMail    BOOKS                                 
Stnd Post (formerly PARCEL POST)    
Money Orders       




Money Orders 
Domestic:
$1.20 up to $500
$1.60 up to $1000
International Money Order
$11.40 up to $700
$17.10 up to $!,500


Search terms to find this data on the Internet:   site:pe.usps.com dmm    Price List Notice 123

Likely URL of current Price List: http://pe.usps.com/text/dmm300/Notice123.htm 

The "Price List" is 60+ pages.  The relevant section is  Services and Fees / Domestic / Other Services, or / International / Extra Services

Your overseas maximum is $1,500    The Hong Kong and Shanghai Banking Corp. had a higher maximum: billions.  There is something charming about this tale of money laundering in today's corporate world.

Some price history:

2012Jan22: Domestic Money Order: $1.15, $500; $1.55 up to $1000, the maximum

2012Jan22: Int'l Money Order $4.45 for $700, the then-maximum

2016April16: Domestic Money Order $1.20 up to $500; $1.60 up to $1000, still the maximum

        Int'l Money Order $11.40 for $750, new maximum $1,500 is $17.10, canceling for a refund is $26.95, changing payee's name is $12.40

        (Valid as of 4/2016, but I don't know when the int'l limits went up.)

 

   DOMESTIC
    -
    First Class LETTERS          
  
FLATS (manila envelopes)   
   SMALL PKGs & padded envs  
FOREIGN .  .  .  .
-
INT'L   Letters

INT'L   Flats  
INT'L   Pkgs
Postcards  
BIG
Domestic     PRIORITY boxes                                
International  PRIORITY                          

ExpressMail $$$     
MediaMail    BOOKS                                 
Stnd Post (formerly PARCEL POST)    
Money Orders      

END  OF  POSTAGE  CHARTS 

  (return to top)


HOW THIS PAGE STARTED, WHAT HAPPENED TO OTHER ONES?   

I still remember the day I was ready to put out a letter and then come back in for coffee.  I started this site in 2007 when I couldn't find out what stamp to put on the envelope.   "Forever stamps" weren't around, and besides, I loved to use pretty "commemorative" ones.  The government websites drove me crazy with a hundred questions and no information.  Reveal the secret!!  What stamp goes on an envelope these days? 

I finally found a web page that  told me the postage so I could just get rid of the envelope and have my coffee.  I decided to put up the simplest postage charts, the ones everyone wants first.  My page was inspired by a similar rate page done by the local post office in Lafayette, Tennessee.  Some guys who work there and one or two of their buddies  put up a web page with the few rates that most of us need most of the time. By putting up something myself, I could be less formal than the government, add some common sense, such as,  "If it isn't machinable, it costs them more, so we pay a penalty of X cents."  I could tease everyone and have some fun.

Then what?

Soon the rates were changing two different times a year.  The rate structure was getting complicated. Zones were added for Priority services that used to be the same for the whole country.  Rates to Canada and Mexico that used to be the same became different.  What a headache for everybody.  Tennessee gave up.  That's right -- the town  post office took down their rate page, gave up and never put it back.  I challenge you to find any place that posts the postage rates of the USA -- the ones you need,  all on one page.   I also apologize for any errors on my page, but at least you can get an overview and the logic -- if there is any -- behind  the rules.  Maybe I helped you pick the service you want before you went to the https://postcalc.usps.com page.  It was worth it if you didn't stand in  line as I did,  only to discover you chose the wrong envelope (and had to go home to fix it).

I never dreamed doing a chart of how many stamps to put on an envelope would turn into such a politically poisonous tale.  What's wrong with having a postal system that serves everybody and doesn't kill the people who work there?  The last straw was discovering that our 1st class parcel service was given away to China, producing increased business volume and fees for Ebay, which drove the negotiations that set up the deal.  I put this eBay story on another page.


(return to top)
 

   DOMESTIC
    -
    First Class LETTERS          
  
FLATS (manila envelopes)   
   SMALL PKGs & padded envs  
FOREIGN .  .  .  .
-
INT'L   Letters

INT'L   Flats  
INT'L   Pkgs
Postcards  
BIG
Domestic     PRIORITY boxes                                
International  PRIORITY                          

ExpressMail $$$     
MediaMail    BOOKS                                 
Stnd Post (formerly PARCEL POST)    
Money Orders         

home for this Website


   McLean, VA Post Office

Vacation over.
Back to reality and 35 lbs of mail.
Maybe next time ask if they offer a shredder option.  


1Jun2016 -- remove eBay China story to separate page, the politics should either be funny (laughable) or out of here.
30June2016: show on-line ShipNow access for all domestic services. State CH's discount for Priority Medium FlatRate/
19Aug2016 -- put link to forbiden items in the parcel post section, not just burried in Domestic Priority section. .