First Class Package Retail: What’s Different About It?

Learn what's different about First Class Package Service at the Retail rate (aka what you'd pay if you go to the Post Office)
First Class Package Retail

First Class Package is one of the most popular shipping services that USPS offers, perfect for sending lightweight items out for cheap. However, USPS treats First Class Package differently at the Retail level than at the Commercial Pricing level (the deepest level of USPS discounts available). So, on top of the higher prices, you might run across some strange differences in this particular service depending on whether you to go the Post Office or buy postage with online shipping software.

The Main Differences Between First Class Package at Retail and Commercial Pricing Levels

Here are the two main differences between Retail First Class Package and First Class Package at the Commercial Pricing level:

  • Higher prices – The most obvious trademark of First Class Package at the Post Office is that it’ll cost much more than it will when you use shipping software to buy discounted postage. Retail Rates are always more expensive than Commercial Pricing rates, which represents the special level of discounts that USPS offers to huge shippers.
  • Different weight limits – The second defining characteristic of First Class Package at Retail rates is the lower maximum weight threshold. When you go to the Post Office, the maximum weight for First Class Package is just 13 ounces. However, you use shipping software to access Commercial Pricing rates, that maximum weight threshold bumps up to 15.99 ounces (or just under 1 lb).

Does USPS Offer Free Packaging for First Class Shipments?

Unlike Priority Mail service, USPS doesn’t offer any free packaging for First Class Package. If you want to ship this service, you’ll need to provide your own packaging. You can use either custom-branded packaging or generic…but if you’re trying to keep costs as low as possible, you’re probably better off opting for generic boxes or poly mailers.

If you’re looking for some affordable, unbranded boxes or poly mailers, the ULINE website is a great place to start.

Get the Cheapest First Class Package Rates with Online Shipping Software

If you’re still going to the Post Office to ship your packages, you’re doing it all wrong—it’s time to start taking advantage of online shipping software! You’ll not only get access to the deepest level of discounts that USPS offers, but you’ll also be able to ship a wider variety of items with First Class Package Service because of the higher weight limit. When it comes to saving the most money on your shipments, that extra 3 ounces or so can go a long way!

The thing about shipping software is, there are a ton of different options to choose from out there. So, if you’re on the hunt for the best shipping software choice for you, we suggest checking out our Reviews page.


Looking for the right shipping software for you?

To get the cheapest First Class Package rates, check out our guide:

Choose the Best Shipping Software


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