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How to Mail a Poly Mailer

Amy Lynn Voinier Mailing Bags 3 min read 7/11/2024
How to Mail a Poly Mailer

With this guide, mailing should be easy and successful, whether you’re a small business owner or simply sending a gift! 

Mailing a poly mailer sounds simple, but it’s a bit more complex than sticking a stamp on the package and tossing it into a mailbox.

Poly mailers: these rugged, lightweight plastic envelopes are used for everything from clothing to books; they’re tough, weather-resistant, and a cost-effective way to get items mailed. 

Let’s take you through every step of sending a poly mailer. Your package deserves to get to its destination safely and soundly.

Choosing the Right Poly Mailer

First, you need the right poly mailing bag for the job. Poly mailers come in every size and type, all with specific applications.

  1. Size Does Matter: Make sure the mailer is large enough to contain your item comfortably; without being so over-sized that it could allow your item to shift excessively.
  2. Durability: When sending a fragile or high-value item, select from heavier gauge poly mailers or consider one lined with bubble.
  3. Waterproof: Most poly mailers are waterproof, meaning that what is essential is to protect your items from elements on the way. So, choose according to your item.

Preparing Your Item for Mailing

Now that you’ve got the right poly mailer, it’s time to prepare it. Proper preparation ensures your package arrives in good condition. 

  • Wrap and Pad: Use bubble wrap or tissue wrap around your shipping item. This will offer protection from bumps and drops. 
  • Fit and Fill: Place the wrapped item inside the poly mailer. If there is extra space left inside, then just for security, you can add padding to it by putting some crumpled paper. 
  • Sealing the Mailer: Most poly mailers have a self-adhesive strip. All you have to do is peel back the backing and press down firmly to seal. You should use some packing tape over the seal.

Addressing the Poly Mailer

There is just one important thing to get right, and that involves addressing your poly mailer. 

A precise, legible address will ensure the package reaches its desired destination without a hitch. 

  • Recipient’s Address: Print or write in full the recipient’s address, including the street address, city, state, and zip code. Include the delivery address in the center of the poly mailer.
  • Return Address: Always include your return address to be sure your package will be sent back to you. This goes in the top left corner.
  • Postage: The postage should be placed in the top right corner of the mailer.
  • Printed Labels: You can handwrite the address, but the printed labels are neater and look more business-like. You will use a label, most of the time, that is provided by the carrier on your mailer.
  • Placement: The flat label bearing the address should be placed on the largest area of the poly mailer, avoiding the seam or any folds.

Weighing and Measuring 

Properly weighed and measured weight and dimensions are imp to calculating the correct postage.

  • Weigh: Postal scales are typically available for use in most post offices to measure the exact weight of your package. Little differences matter with postage. For instance, with USPS:
    • Packages below 8 ounces tend to be priced between $3.00 and $4.00 using First-Class Mail. Packages from 9 to 12 ounces run from around $4.50 to $5.50. Packages under 15.999 ounces can be shipped with USPS First-Class Package Service.
    • As a general rule, a 7.5″ x 10.5″ custom poly mailer weighs about 0.03 oz., a 10″ x 13″ custom poly mailer weighs about 0.25 oz., and a 14.5″ x 19″ custom poly mailer weighs about 0.4 oz.
    • Measuring: You will want to measure the length, width, and height of your package so that you are not off by too much if it has unique dimensions. For example: ○ A 10 x 13-inch poly mailer under 1 inch in thickness may get First-Class Mail rates.
    • Larger than that, 12 x 15.5 inches, or over 1 inch thick, one might have to go with Priority Mail due to size and dimensions.
    • Maximum combined length and girth using USPS Priority Mail is 108 inches.
  • Measuring: The next step will be accurately calculating the postage for the package. You will need to be able to document these measurements and weight as well to ensure you can efficiently and effectively key in the correct measurements and weight when buying postage either through an online postage site or at the post office.

Selecting the Right Shipping Method 

Now, you need to make up your mind about how you are going to send your package. There is a lot to consider here:

  • Options for Shipping: You can save a bit by using standard shipping, but it takes a long time. On the other hand, express shipping costs more, but in return, you get speed. You should select this option based on your budget and how urgently you need to send the item.
  • Carriers: USPS, FedEx, UPS—each has its pros. USPS is suitable for small, light packages. FedEx and UPS are probably better choices for extensive or costly items.
  • Tracking and Insurance: In case the items are of high value, try and find services that possess tracking and insuring capability.

Buying and Applying Postage

Calculating and applying postage is your second step.

The postage costs will be derived from the weight and size measurements above. You may achieve this at the carrier’s website or practically at the post office.

Then, you can buy your postage through the web and print it out, or you can even purchase it at the post office. Afterwards, put the postage label beside or on top of the address label, ensuring that it is very visible.

Dropping Off Your Package 

Finally, it’s time to send your package. Usually, this is how it should go: 

  1. Drop-off Locations: A package can be dropped at a post office, a postal drop box, or a designated carrier location. 
  2. Scheduling Pickups: In most cases, a scheduled pickup is allowed by many carriers. This means a carrier can pick up your package right from your home or office. 
  3. Tracking Receipt: It’s crucial always to get a receipt or tracking number. This allows you to monitor the package as it travels down the line and provides proof that you did, indeed, mail the item.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) About Mailing a Poly Mailer

  1. Can you send anything in a poly mailer?
    1. You can send most things in a poly mailer, but avoid using them for very fragile items unless you add some extra padding inside. Always make sure your item is well-padded and protected from potential damage during shipping.
  2. How can I tell if my package is safe enough? 
    1. To ensure your package is safe, make sure the item inside fits snugly with no empty spaces. Use bubble wrap or tissue for cushioning, then seal the mailer tightly with its adhesive strip. Add some packing tape for extra security. Give the package a gentle shake—if the item moves around, add more padding.
  3. What if my package is too heavy or big for a poly mailer? 
    1. If your item is too heavy or large, switch to a box instead. Poly mailers are great for lightweight, non-fragile items, but they might tear or break if overloaded. Boxes provide better protection and support for heavier or larger items.
  4. Can you reuse a poly mailer?
    1. Yes, you can reuse a poly mailer if it’s still in good condition: clean, with no leftover labels, and no damage. Cover any weak spots with tape. Just keep in mind that a reused mailer might not protect your items as well as a new one.
  5. Can I track my package? 
    1. Tracking your package is easy. When you buy postage, you usually get a tracking number with your receipt. You can use this number to track the package online through the carrier’s website. Keep your receipt or email confirmation handy since it has your tracking number and serves as proof of mailing and a way to check your delivery status.

Final Word on Mailing Poly Mailers

And there you have it! Mailing a poly mailer is a simple process once you know the steps. In each one of those stages, from picking the perfect mailer to dropping it off, there’s something important in each for your package. Follow these best practices, and you’ll become a pro at mailing poly mailers quickly. 

Happy mailing!