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The flat rate box is a type of mailing box offered by the United States Postal Service. The flat rate, first offered in 2004, is a standard price that is set for different types of boxes. Depending on the size and where the item is shipped, the flat rate will vary. However, nearly anything can be mailed inside a flat rate box, as long as it fits. The benefit of flat rate boxes is that customers do not have to calculate costs based on the weight and dimensions of the package. Instead, they have the option to simply mail their packages by choosing a box and paying a predetermined flat rate.
Types of Flat Rate Boxes
Customers have the option of choosing from a number of flat rate boxes. Depending on the size, the flat rate box will have different prices. However, the USPS offers boxes for free, with the option of delivering boxes straight to the customer’s doors. Therefore, customers only need to concern themselves with the flat rate when determining the costs of shipping. To get an exact flat rate on the USPS boxes offered, customers can check the flat rate prices on the United States Postal Service.
Flat Rate Envelopes:
Envelopes are generally sized at 9.5 by 12.5 inches and are ideal for shipping letters and documents. There are a number of different flat rate envelopes available, such as padded, legal and gift card envelopes. Domestic rates are about 4 dollars, while international rates range from 11 to 14 dollars.
Small Flat Rate Boxes:
The USPS offers a single small flat rate box, with dimensions at about 5 by 9 by 2 inches. The domestic rate is offered at about 5 dollars, while the international rate is offered from 11 to 14 dollars.
Medium Flat Rate Boxes:
The USPS offers a range of medium flat rate boxes, with the average dimension of about 11 by 8.5 by 5.5 inches. Depending on the type of box, domestic flat rates are set at around 10 dollars, while international rates can range from 26 to 43 dollars.
Large Flat Rate Boxes:
The USPS offers two different types of large flat rate boxes, a standard box and a box designed for board games. The domestic rate for large flat rate boxes is about 14 dollars, while international rates are 35 to 58 dollars.
Tips for Using Flat Rate Boxes
When choosing a flat rate box, customers should keep in mind the type of mail service they intend to use. Flat rate boxes are associated with two different types of mail services, express mail and priority mail. Priority mail, the standard mailing service, delivers packages within two days and is offered at about 5 to 15 dollars. On the other hand, express mail delivers documents to recipients overnight, and is offered at a range from 12 to 20 dollars. Currently, the USPS only offers flat rate express mail with envelopes. For express mail packages, the costs depend on dimensions and weight of the item.