usps first class vs. priority vs. express mail
the difference between usps first class, priority and express mail is in the time it takes to deliver the item and of course the related costs. If you don’t know, these are the names of three of the most popular services of USPS, the United States Postal Service. all three pertain to domestic services that include both letters and other documents, including parcels and shipments. There are obvious differences between these three services related to the limit of weights and volumes of the packages, the duration that each one takes to deliver the packages to different locations and, of course, the prices of the services. If you’ve just arrived in the United States or haven’t used USPS before, knowing the differences between First Class, Priority, and Express services is crucial to not only saving a few bucks, but also making sure your letter or document gets delivered. on time.
If you have a small home-based business, where you need to deliver orders received on your website, you need to have a delivery system in place to ensure satisfied customers. If you don’t need to rush and your customers can wait 3-4 days to receive their orders, both First Class and Priority are extremely effective and low-cost postal services that can deliver your shipments to your customers on time.
Reading: 1st class mail vs federal express
what is usps first class mail?
First Class Mail is the cheapest mail service available under the USPS for lightweight items like letters, cards, or small packages. With the exception of Alaska and Hawaii, most destinations across our country are covered by first-class mail in 2-3 business days at rock-bottom rates. however, there are certain restrictions on the weight of packages or envelopes; weight is allowed only up to 13 ounces. pricing changes based on size, shape, and weight and starts at $0.49 (March 2015).
what is priority mail?
Priority Mail is also a fast mail service like First Class Mail, but here you can send bulky packages. therefore, if you are shipping a package that weighs more than 13 ounces and up to 70 pounds and requires faster delivery, you should take priority mail services which deliver within 1-3 business days to most locations within from the country. however, there is no guarantee. in most cases, delivery is made within 2 days. For priority mail, you also get flat-rate options that are based on envelope size or box volume, which is beneficial if you need to deliver many items in a certain weight range. 70 pound weight restriction applies. but, if your package does not fit those sizes or shapes, the price will be calculated based on weight and delivery area.
what is express mail?
Priority Express Mail or Express Mail is the highest rate of mail available from USPS. There are times of the year when shipments are delayed, such as Christmas, New Year and all of December in general. this is when you should be cautious and upgrade to express mail service which is the fastest of the three mail services. guarantees delivery of your package or envelope within 24 hours, or next day delivery as they claim. however, express is the most expensive of the three options, with each package costing more than $10. using priority and first class, you can ship packages for less than $6. With express service, you can also get up to $100 insurance coverage in case your item is lost or damaged in transit. priority express mail also has flat rate options based on size and volume, and a 70 pound weight restriction applies.
what is the difference between usps first class and priority and express mail?
First Class, Priority, and Express are three different USPS mail services. USPS stands for United States Postal Service. they make sure that your package is delivered to the place you want as quickly as possible. when you choose one or the other, you’re also choosing how quickly you need the item delivered and what cost you’ll pay for it.
• characteristics of first class and priority mail and express mail:
• first class mail is the basic service that delivers your letters and packages up to 13 ounces in weight to most locations (except alaska and hawaii) in 2-3 business days. this is suitable if you have a document or a small package and want a fast and cheap way to send it across the country.
• priority mail is a service that delivers shipments weighing up to 70 pounds in 1 to 3 business days to all destinations within the country.
• priority express mail is the most expensive of the three services with insurance coverage and overnight delivery. it also has a 70-pound weight restriction.
the cost is calculated differently for different mail services. priority mail and priority mail express have flat rate options. here are the price ranges for each category as of March 2015.
• First class mail price ranges from $0.49 to $4.12 retail. price is based on weight and type of items; that is, whether it is a letter, a large envelope or a package.
• Priority mail price ranges from $5.75 to $166.75 retail.
• Priority Express Mail price ranges from $16.95 to $460.25 retail.
• For both Priority Mail and Priority Express Mail, the flat rate price is based on envelope size or box volume. If the package does not meet the size and shape of the flat rate products, the price is based on the weight and the delivery area.
• delivery time:
• First class mail is delivered in 2-3 business days.
• Priority mail is also delivered in 1 to 3 business days.
• priority express mail is delivered the next day.
• weight restriction:
• first class allows up to 13 ounces.
• priority and priority express mail have a weight limit of 70 pounds.
• tracking function:
• both express mail and express mail have tracking function.
• the first class does not have tracking, but you can include it by purchasing an additional service. so that’s conditional.
• signature on delivery:
• Signature on delivery is available for both priority mail and express mail.
• First Class Mail only has this service for packages.
As you can see, these three mail services give the public the opportunity to choose the service that best suits their needs. first class mail delivers within 2 – 3 days. priority mail delivers within 1 to 3 days. express mail delivers overnight. they also come with other facilities such as tracking and signature upon delivery.
- usps headquarters by tim1965 (cc by-sa 3.0)
- usps service delivery truck via wikicommons (public domain)