1.0 Prices and Fees
2.0 Basic Eligibility Standards for USPS Retail Ground
3.0 Content Standards
4.0 Attachments and Enclosures
USPS Retail Ground prices are calculated based on the zone to which the parcel is addressed and the weight of the parcel. USPS Retail Ground prices are available as follows:
- Except for items mailed under 1.1b and 1.1c, USPS Retail Ground prices are only available for mailable items sent to Zones 5 through 9.
- USPS Retail Ground prices are available for items sent to Zones 1 through 9 that contain mailable hazardous materials or live animals eligible to be shipped by surface transportation, or for items required by standard to be shipped by surface transportation only.
- The oversized price applies to pieces that measure over 108 inches but not more than 130 inches in combined length and girth.
- Parcels that weigh less than 20 pounds but measure more than 84 inches (but not more than 108 inches) in combined length and girth are charged the applicable price for a 20-pound parcel (balloon price).
The USPS Retail Ground price is charged per pound or fraction thereof; any fraction of a pound is considered a whole pound. The minimum postage per piece is the 1-pound price. Affix the correct full postage to each piece. See Notice 123—Price List.
[10-3-16] USPS Retail Ground is a ground shipping product for parcels, including oversized parcels, available only through retail channels. The USPS does not guarantee the delivery of USPS Retail Ground within a specified time.
USPS Retail Ground mail is not sealed against postal inspection. Regardless of physical closure, the mailing of articles at USPS Retail Ground prices constitutes consent by the mailer to postal inspection of the contents.
All USPS Retail Ground mail must bear a delivery and return address.
USPS Retail Ground mail consists of mailable matter that is neither mailed or required to be mailed as First-Class Mail nor entered as Periodicals (except as permitted under 3.0a and 3.0b or permitted or required under 207.7.9). The general public (other than publishers or registered news agents) may mail copies of Periodicals publications at USPS Retail Ground prices. Attachments or enclosures (also see 4.0) of Periodicals sample copies may be mailed under the following conditions:
- Sample copies of authorized and pending Periodicals publications may be enclosed or attached with merchandise sent at USPS Retail Ground prices.
- Postage at USPS Retail Ground prices is based on the combined weight of the host piece and the sample copies enclosed.
USPS Retail Ground may contain any printed matter mailable as Standard Mail, in addition to the enclosures and additions listed in 4.0.
Markings that have the character of personal correspondence require, with certain exceptions, additional postage at the First-Class Mail prices. The following written additions and enclosures do not require additional First-Class Mail postage:
- The sender’s and the addressee’s names, occupations, and addresses, preceded by “From” or “To,” and directions for handling.
- Marks, numbers, names, or letters describing the contents.
- Words or phrases such as “Do Not Open Until Christmas” and “Happy Birthday, Mother.”
- Instructions and directions for the use of the item mailed.
- A manuscript dedication or inscription not having the nature of personal correspondence.
- Marks to call attention to words or passages in the text.
- Corrections of typographical errors in printed matter.
- Manuscripts accompanying related proof sheets and corrections of proof sheets including corrections of typographical and other errors, changes in the text, insertions of new text, marginal instructions to the printer, and corrective rewrites of parts.
- Handstamped imprints, unless the added material is in itself personal or converts the original matter to a personal communication.
- Matter mailable separately as Standard Mail printed on the wrapper, envelope, tag, or label.
An invoice, whether it also serves as a bill, may be placed either inside a USPS Retail Ground piece or in an envelope marked “Invoice Enclosed” and attached to the outside of the piece if the invoice relates solely to the matter with which it is mailed. The invoice may show this information:
- Names and addresses of the sender and addressee.
- Names and quantities of the articles enclosed, descriptions of each (e.g., price, tax, style, stock number, size, and quality, and, if defective, nature of defects).
- Order or file number, date of order, date and manner of shipment, shipping weight, postage paid, and initials or name of packer or checker.
Incidental First-Class Mail matter may be enclosed in or attached to any USPS Retail Ground piece without payment of First-Class Mail postage. An incidental First-Class Mail attachment or enclosure must be matter that, if mailed separately, would require First-Class Mail postage, is closely associated with but secondary to the host piece, and is prepared so as not to interfere with postal processing. An incidental First-Class Mail attachment or enclosure may be a bill for the product or publication, a statement of account for past products or publications, or a personal message or greeting included with a product, publication, or parcel. Postage at the USPS Retail Ground price for the host piece is based on the combined weight of the host piece and the incidental First-Class Mail attachment or enclosure.