Package Services and USPS Retail Ground

Minimum Weight:
  1. none
Maximum Weight:
  1. 15 pounds for Bound Printed Matter
  2. 70 pounds for USPS Retail Ground, Media Mail, and Library Mail

Package Services is a collective term used for the three classes of mail described below which are primarily intended for specific items. There are three subclasses of Package Services: Bound Printed Matter, Media Mail and Library Mail. Each subclass is best suited for a certain kind of mail, so be sure to pick the one that best suits your mailing.

Package Services and USPS Retail Ground mailpieces do not receive expedited service. Package Services and USPS Retail Ground do not include free forwarding and return, but mailers can use ancillary service endorsements to tell the Postal Service how to treat undeliverable mail.

Unendorsed Package Services or USPS Retail Ground items (mail that is refused or is otherwise undeliverable) will be returned to the sender marked "postage due", except for Bound Printed Matter. Unendorsed, undeliverable Bound Printed Matter is disposed of at the local Post Office.

You can enhance the service and convenience of Package Services by adding extra services such as insurance and USPS Tracking. These services are available for a small fee.

Lower postage prices are available for bulk quantities of Package Services that meet additional standards for volume, presort, and destination entry.

If you are mailing merchandise, compare the costs and service between Priority Mail and USPS Retail Ground. In some cases, the postage costs are very similar to Priority Mail but Priority Mail travels there faster and includes free forwarding and return.

Package Services (Bound Printed Matter, Media Mail, Library Mail), and USPS Retail Ground-postage prices can be found in: Price List - Notice 123.

USPS Retail Ground

USPS Retail Ground is primarily intended for single-piece mailings which consist of any mailable matter that is not required to be mailed as First-Class Mail and includes USPS Tracking at no additional charge. It is commonly used for gifts and merchandise. There are no bulk prices for USPS Retail Ground.

USPS Retail Ground is generally presented at a USPS retail service counter where USPS Tracking service can be initiated.

USPS Retail Ground prices are based on the zone (distance) to which the parcel is addressed and the weight of the parcel. While any mailable matter not required to be mailed as First-Class Mail is permitted to Zones 5-8, Zones 1-4 items are limited to mailable hazardous materials, live animals, and other "surface-only" items.

Bound Printed Matter

Bound Printed Matter must:
  1. Be paid by permit imprint.
  2. Consist of advertising, promotional, directory, or editorial material (or any combination of such material).
  3. Be securely bound by permanent fastenings such as staples, spiral binding, glue, or stitching. Loose-leaf binders and similar fastenings are not considered permanent.
  4. Consist of sheets of which at least 90% are imprinted by any process other than handwriting or typewriting with words, letters, characters, figures, or images (or any combination of them).
  5. Not have the nature of personal correspondence.
  6. Not be stationery, such as pads of blank printed forms.

There are commercial prices, carrier route prices, and destination entry discounts available for bulk quantities of Bound Printed Matter (minimum quantity is 300 pieces). There are also different prices for BPM parcels than for BPM flats with a barcoded discount available for BPM flats.

Media Mail

Generally used for books (at least eight pages), film, printed music, printed test materials, sound recordings, play scripts, printed educational charts, loose-leaf pages and binders consisting of medical information, and computer-readable media. Advertising restrictions apply. There are presorted prices available for bulk quantities of Media Mail (minimum quantity is 300 pieces).

Library Mail

Used by qualifying institutions like libraries, universities, zoos, and research institutions to mail educational and research material. There are presorted prices available for bulk quantities of Library Mail (minimum quantity is 300 pieces).