Businesses and organizations wishing to mail a large number of letters, fliers or postcards should request the Standard Class rate. Unlike the First Class rate, postage mailed under Standard Class is subject to discounts. When mailing hundreds of items, these discounts can save a great deal of money. Special handling does apply, but the rate is ideal for businesses with a high volume of mailings.
Visit your local United States Postal Service, or USPS, to apply for a permit to mail at the Standard Class rate. The permit costs about $180 dollars and is valid for one year. The price of a Standard Class piece of mail can average 5 to 10 percent less than standard First Class mail. For example, a Standard Class letter could cost 21.6 to 26 cents. The 2009 regular First Class mail rate is 42 cents. Be sure to add the permit imprint account number to each piece of mail.
Take bulk mail including parcels, Media Mail®, and Standard Mail®, to a USPS Bulk Mail Center. Bulk Mail Centers are located in many major U.S. cities, including San Francisco, Los Angeles, Chicago, Seattle and Cincinnati. A complete list of Bulk Mail Centers is located on the USPS website (see Resources below).
Ask about discounts for presorted First Class Mail. This option is available for those wanting to send a large number of business postcards or advertising fliers. To qualify, at least 500 pieces must be included. Businesses needing to mail out invoices or other documents would benefit from this type of bulk service. Because the mailings would not be identical, the Standard Class rate would not apply.
Use rubber bands on large envelopes as well as those with an odd or irregular shape. The bundle should not exceed 6 inches in thickness. Group by ZIP code. The first three numbers of the ZIP code should match. Write the first number of the three digits on the top of the bundle. For example, for a bundle with ZIP codes starting with 452, mark the bundle with the number 4.
Place the mail in trays and bring it to the nearest post office. You cannot take Standard Class mail to a mailbox. Complete a Postage Statement with the following information included: business or organization name, number of mailings, number of trays and the price you expect to be charged. You must list how many bundles are included in the trays in the Price Qualification Report.
Add bar codes to your trays for added discounts.
To quality for the Standard Class rate, the mailings must be identical—think business postcard or flier. Standard Class requires that the bulk mail include at least 200 pieces or 50 pounds of identical mail.