When it’s time to send out products, you’ve typically got two choices for packaging: boxes, or envelopes. Bubble mailers are one of the most popular envelopes for sending products…but did you know that USPS may not technically consider bubble mailers as packages if they aren’t thick enough?
Table of Contents
- Bubble Mailers and Envelopes are Considered Packages When They’re 3/4 Inches Thick or More
- What Do I Do if My Mailer isn’t 3/4 of an Inch?
- How Many Stamps Do I Need for Flat Envelopes?
Bubble Mailers and Envelopes are Considered Packages When They’re 3/4 Inches Thick or More
USPS will only accept bubble mailers as packages if their total thickness is 3/4 of an inch or more. This applies not when the bubble mailer is empty, but when the contents of your shipment are inside. As long as the total thickness of your mailer is at least 3/4 of an inch, you’ll be able to use any of the USPS shipping services to send it. One of the most popular ways to ship bubble mailers like these with the Postal Service is USPS Ground Advantage Service.
Pro Tip: If you’re on the hunt for some cool bubble mailers, ULINE has the best selection we’ve come across. Check out their mailers here.
What Do I Do if My Mailer isn’t 3/4 of an Inch?
If your mailer is less than 3/4 inches think, then you’ve got what USPS calls a “flat” envelope. USPS requires you to mail flats instead of ship them, since they’re too thin to be considered actual packages. Therefore, you’ll need to send these out using good old-fashioned stamps for First-Class Mail. USPS technically makes more money from their mail products than their shipping products, so the workers at your local Post Office won’t hesitate to classify a thin envelope as something that needs to be sent via the mail, rather than with one of the USPS shipping services.
Something to keep in mind is that regular First-Class Mail service doesn’t include any kind of tracking, whatsoever. If you’d like to track your envelope the same way you can track a package, then you’ll need to purchase Certified Mail service at your local Post Office.
How Many Stamps Do I Need for Flat Envelopes?
When sending a flat envelope, each Forever First-Class Mail stamp covers enough postage for one ounce. Letters that weigh more than 1 ounce require additional ounce stamps on top of your first Forever Stamp. For instance, let’s say you’re sending a flat envelope that weighs two (2) ounces. In this case, you’ll need one Forever stamp and one additional ounce stamp. If your envelope weighs three (3) ounces, you’ll need one Forever stamp and two additional ounce stamps.
If your letter hits the maximum amount of 3.5 ounces, USPS will require a total of four stamps (one Forever and three additional ounce stamp), since that extra half-an-ounce needs its own postage stamp to cover it.