First-Class Package Service: How Can I Get Cheaper Rates?

Learn why using online shipping software is the only way to get the cheapest rates for USPS First-Class Package Service
First-Class Package Service
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If you’re a new shipper, you’ve probably heard the term First-Class Package Service being thrown around more than once. First-Class Package is one of the US Postal Service’s most popular shipping services, with tens of millions of these shipments sent and delivered every day. The thing is, the more you ship, the more your costs add up. That’s why saving the most money every time you ship is absolutely critical. Read on for the secret to getting the cheapest First Class Package rates out there…and how to get them for free.

First-Class Package Service is the Best Way to Ship Lightweight Items Under 16 Ounces

Before we divulge trade secrets, we’d like to get you more acquainted with First Class Package, or “FCP” for short. Simply put, this is the go-to USPS service for sending out lightweight items under 16 ounces (the maximum weight is 13 ounces when you go the Post Office…which you should never do, but more on that later). Rates depend on how much your package weighs, and how far it needs to travel to get to the final destination. The lighter your parcel is, and the shorter the distance to the final delivery point, the cheaper it’ll be.

When you ship FCP, you have to use your own packaging. That means you’ll need to use either generic or custom packaging for your boxes or envelopes. There’s no USPS-branded packaging allowed for this service, since USPS only provides packaging for Priority Mail and Priority Mail Express!

You should also note that FCP doesn’t come with built in insurance, like Priority Mail services do. So, you should always plan to add a little bit of extra insurance for these types of shipments. It only costs a buck or so depending on how much value you declare, and it’s worth it in case anything happens to your box or envelope during transit!

You’ll Get the Cheapest First-Class Package Rates with Online Shipping Software

Here’s the kicker about First-Class Package Service: while it’s the cheapest shipping service that USPS offers, you’ll never get the best rates when you go to the Post Office. Instead, you’ll always capture the deepest discounts when you use shipping software to buy postage online.

When you use shipping software, you’ll get access to the deepest level of discounts USPS offers, known as Commercial Pricing. Under Commercial Pricing rates, you can save up to 59% off what you’d pay for the same First-Class Package Rates at the Post Office, or on the USPS website. Typically, only huge shippers sending 50,000 or more packages a year can access these special savings…but with shipping software, you can get the same exact rates! The best shipping software options out there will also pass these discounts onto you for free, so you won’t pay anything except the cost of super cheap postage.

Oh, and we almost forgot to mention: the best part about shipping software is that it gives you the ability to print labels and schedule pickups from the comfort of your own home. That means you’ll never have to go to the Post Office again if you don’t want to! I don’t know about you, but the thought of standing in those lines makes me shiver. So, go find yourself some shipping software, and tell ’em Shipping School sent you! It’ll be worth it, trust me.

Looking for the right shipping software for you?

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

Choose the Best Shipping Software

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  1. Dolores Payne

    How much postage do I need for a 7×9 padded envelope weighing 4oz. and 2 inches thick?

  2. CC

    I have an 11.5×8.5 manila envelope. Can I place stamps on that to mail out or do I need to go to the USPS?

  3. Renee

    Question: USPS limits maximum dimensions for First class to 22x18x15. My package is 29x2x3. ( and it’s 13 oz.)
    Does it still qualify? Thanks.

    • Rockwell Sands

      Hi Renee – unfortunately this package doesn’t qualify for first class Package. The maximum length of the longest dimension is 22″, so this one is slightly too large. It’ll work for Priority Mail though!


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