How Many Stamps Do I Need? – this question resonates for entrepreneurs. Entrepreneurs mail letters and ship parcels or packages as a part of normal business operations. Whether you’re running a physical or e-commerce store, you need to do these tasks at some point. The last thing you want to worry about is handling a returned mail or package due to insufficient postage.
The United States Postal Service (USPS) won’t deliver mail or packages without enough stamps, so it’s important to determine that “how many stamps do I need?” for a mail or package. In this article, you’ll learn the different shipping tips for entrepreneurs like you, which includes how many stamps do I need to send a letter or package.
1. Determine “How many stamps do I need” for Letters
Despite the availability of email delivery systems, entrepreneurs might still need to send physical documents via snail mail to government agencies, financial institutions, clients, and other stakeholders. Therefore, when you’re sending a mail or letter, it’s crucial to know the types and ‘how many stamps do I need‘ to ensure it won’t return to the sender or to you.
Here are some stamp tips when sending mails through USPS:
- Use One First Class Stamp
When sending a letter in a standard size envelope that weighs an ounce or less in the United States, most letters only require one stamp which costs US$0.55 (as of May 2021). For every extra ounce, it costs US$0.20.
- Use Two First Class Stamps
For standard letters that weigh two to three ounces and one-ounce large letters, you normally need two first-class forever stamps. So, two stamps for a two-ounce standard letter will cost you US$0.75 and US$0.95 for a two-ounce standard letter.
The postage cost is higher for larger letters than standard letters. A large mailing envelope exceeds 6.125 x 11.5 x 0.25 inches. For a one-ounce large letter, you’ll pay US$1.00 for the two first-class stamps.
- Use Additional Stamps
You can use a single first-class stamp and an additional ounce stamp if you have a two-ounce letter rather than using two forever stamps. For a standard three-ounce letter, you can use a single first-class stamp and two additional ounce stamps. Additional stamps are sold in your local post office for US$0.20 each.
2. Determine the “How many stamps do I need” for Packages
It’s pretty harder to calculate the postage for a package as compared to standard letters. You need to consider the weight and size of the package to determine the shipping cost as well as the type of service you’re requesting.
Check the following tips on determining ‘how many stamps do I need‘ for a package:
- Seek Assistance
This step is the easiest thing to do because you just need to seek help from the mail clerk to determine the number or amount of postage the package needs. You’ll ensure that the figure is correct, and you can ask any question about the type of service of your customer’s request.
- Print Your Shipping Label
If you prefer to print your shipping label and send the package without visiting your local post office, then you need to measure the package. Obtain all dimensions such as the height, width, and thickness (usually in inches) of the package.
You also need to weigh the package to the nearest ounce. Because the distance of the package destination also affects the postage cost, you’ll need to determine the originating and destination ZIP codes too. After gathering all relevant information, you can use the postage calculator of the USPS to know how much you need to pay and print the label.
3. Prepare and Send the Package Properly
For beginners, it’s important to learn how to ship a package properly. Here’s a helpful step-by-step guide by the USPS:
- Choose the Right Box for the Item
Use a box big and spacious enough to fit the item you’re sending. Choose a standard size, as much as possible, to avoid paying fees.
- Pack the Box Properly
Pack the box properly to protect the content and ensure the box and the item inside arrives intact to the receiver. Tape the box securely and make sure it closes flat without bulging. You can reinforce the flaps for an added layer of protection with 2-inch-wide packing tape.
- Address the Package
You can print a mailing label and use it rather than using a separate address label. If you need a separate address label, the address for the box follows the format for envelopes. You need to print or write address labels clearly using smear-free ink. In addition, you also need to include your return address.
- Select A Mail Service
Do you want the package to arrive fast? Or does your customer willing to wait? There are different types of mail services with varying package sizes, delivery speeds, and extra features such as insurance and tracking.
- Calculate and Apply Postage
You need to calculate the correct postage for the package to arrive on time. The shipping cost depends on several factors as discussed above.
- Ship the Package
You can drop a small package in a blue collection box, request free package pickup, leave the box with n postal provider or visit a local post office location.
4. Choose A Reputable Shipping Company
Whether you need freight transport for your high-volume cargo or a shipping company for your standard packages, you need to ensure that you’re dealing with a reputable company. You need a shipping company that can be your good partner to ensure your customers and intended receivers receive your letters and packages on time.
So, you need to make sure to check the following things when choosing a shipping company:
- Mail services
- Pricing options
- Insurance and any form of guarantees
- Local availability
- Customer service
You’re now more confident to send letters and packages with the helpful tips shared in this article. Avoid the hassle of redoing your postage and the entire shipping process by keeping yourself updated with the latest stamp and shipping information. In this way, you can build a good brand image and excellent customer experience to grow your business and maintain its success.