The term "Bulk Mail", “Business Mail”, or “Commercial Mail” refers to quantities of mail prepared for mailing with reduced postage. Although the terms “Presorted”, “Business”, and “Commercial” Mail is preferred, customers may use the term "Bulk Mail". Domestic, commercial mail includes:
- First-Class Mail® and First-Class Package Service® (cards, letters, flats, & parcels)
- USPS Marketing Mail™ (formerly Standard Mail®) (letters, flats, & parcels)
- Periodicals (require prior authorization)
- Bound Printed Matter (flats & parcels)
- Media Mail® and Library Mail (flats & parcels)
- Parcel Select® and Parcel Select Lightweight® (parcels)
The Postal Service uses the terms "presorted", “commercial”, and “business” interchangeably.
Business mail is discounted from the price of a "single-piece". "Single-piece" means that you pay full postage when you as a retail customer put a First-Class Mail stamp on a letter, you are paying single-piece. Sending mail with Business Mail pricing is not required for high volume mailers, although using this service can save money.
Benefits of Using Business Mail
Customers receive a substantial discount on the per-piece cost of mailings by completing some of the work prior to mailing your pieces.
Can accommodate a variety of business needs.
- Option to promote your business or organization name through the use of permit imprint, postage meter, or PC Postage technology.
The Postal Service offers discounts for business mailings because you do some of the work that otherwise would have to be done by the Postal Service™ (for example, sorting the mail by ZIP Code™ or transporting the mail to a different Postal facility). Everyone benefits from this "worksharing." Mailers make an investment in time and technology, the Postal Service's expenses are reduced, and you pay less postage.
To mail at business prices, you need to:
- Get a mailing permit (permission to mail) and pay an annual mailing fee.
- Pay postage using one of several very convenient methods: precanceled stamps, postage meter, or permit imprint.
- Make smart choices about the size, shape, and weight of your mailpiece.
- Ensure that your mailing information is accurate.
- Presort the mailpieces (separate or sort your mail by ZIP Codes).
- Take your mail to the Post Office of your mailing permit.
Note: Business Mail Acceptance is the term used to define sites designated for business customers to drop off business mailings and assist with Standardization / ZIP +4.
The choices you make can result in significant postage savings. Business Mail is advantageous for large volume mailers who are willing to complete extra preparation work for their mailings in order to receive a discount. For more information (including information on sorting mail) refer to Business Mail 101.
To qualify for certain postage discounts, the mailer must prepare and presort the mailing as required. The mailer must also mail a minimum number of pieces:
- 50 pieces for Parcel Select
- 200 pieces (or 50 lbs) for USPS Marketing Mail
- 300 pieces for Presorted or Bound Printed Matter
- 300 pieces for Presorted Library Mail
- 300 pieces for Presorted Media Mail®
- 500 pieces for Presorted First-Class Mail®