USPS First-Class Mail Letter Shipping USPS First-Class Mail Letter Shipping

USPS First-Class Mail Letter Shipping

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Read on to learn more about USPS First-Class Mail Letter Shipping on Whatnot!

What is USPS First-Class Mail Letter Shipping?

We now offer USPS First-Class Mail Letter shipping (also commonly known as plain white envelope (PWE) or standard envelope shipping), a cost-effective shipping option, for our US-based sellers in TCG and Sports Cards. First-Class Mail Letter shipping (also commonly known as plain white envelope or standard envelope shipping) can help simplify your card shipping process and save you money.

USPS First-Class Mail Letter shipping allows you to send eligible card items using standard paper business envelopes. These envelopes are ideal for trading cards, and they provide a budget-friendly option for shipping.

Key benefits of First-Class Mail Letter Shipping

  • Streamlined preparation: Packaging is simplified - just place your card(s) in a standard paper business envelope and use a shipping label provided by Whatnot.
  • Convenient drop-off: You can drop standard paper business envelopes into any USPS mailbox at your convenience, without waiting for the post office to open or rushing to arrive before closing time.

How to get started with USPS First-Class Mail Letter Shipping

  1. Enable the option: 
    1. Open the Whatnot app on your mobile device
    2. Tap Profile in the bottom menu bar
    3. Tap the Menu two-lines icon
    4. Under Selling, select Shipping
    5. Switch the Use USPS First-Class Mail Letter toggle to be “on.”
  2. Select service level: Once enabled, you can choose USPS First-Class Mail Letter shipping as a service level when creating a new show.

These steps are broken out in more detail here.

Cost of USPS First-Class Mail Letter Shipping

Up to 1 ounce: $0.64

1-2 ounces: $0.88

2-3 ounces: $1.12

Envelope requirements

When choosing an envelope, make sure it is a standard paper envelope or flat paper mailer that falls within the below measurement guidelines:

  • Length: Between 5 and 11 ½ inches
  • Width: Between 3 ½ and 6 ⅛ inches
  • Thickness: Up to ¼ inch with no lumps

Envelopes must be proportional and have an aspect ratio (length divided by height) between 1.3 and 2.5. Measure before sending and make sure to stay within the accepted limits to avoid surcharges.

USPS will not accept First-Class Envelopes that have clasps, strings, buttons or similar closure devices. Bubble mailers, cardboard packages, poly mailers, or any packaging made of plastic material will not be accepted.

Shipment requirements

To use USPS First-Class Mail Letter shipping, your items must meet the following eligibility requirements:

  • You've enabled USPS First-Class Mail Letter shipping in your Seller Shipping Settings.
  • The item belongs to one of the following categories:
    • Trading Card Games
    • Sports Cards
  • The total shipment weight is less than 3 ounces and has a total value of $20 or less.
  • The shipment is domestic (shipping from a US address to another US address).
  • There are no more than 5 individual cards in the shipment.

We recommend putting no more than 5 cards in a First-Class Mail Letter envelope to prevent scanning issues with USPS.

In some instances, a First-Class Mail Letter shipment will convert to a USPS Ground Advantage or Priority Mail shipping: 

  • If an ineligible item is added to a First Class Mail Letter shipment, we’ll upgrade the package to a USPS Priority Mail / Ground Advantage shipment and charge the buyer the difference (unless the seller has offered free shipping - in this case, the seller will pay for the upgrade).
  • If an eligible item that is added to a First Class Mail Letter shipment causes it to be heavier than 2.5 ounces OR containing more than 5 items OR having a value of greater than $20 based on the item’s starting bid or marketplace price, we'll upgrade the package to a USPS Priority Mail / Ground Advantage shipment and charge the buyer the difference (unless the seller has offered free shipping - in this case, the seller will pay for the upgrade).
  • If a single-item-shipment that was eligible for a First Class Mail Letter shipment based on the starting bid ends up selling for more than $20 as the ending bid (sold price)final auction price, we'll upgrade the package to USPS Priority Mail / Ground Advantage shipping at no extra cost to the buyer or the seller (only First Class Mail Letter shipping rates will apply), and this upgrade will not factor into the seller's shipping adjustment allowance.
  • If an eligible item that is added to a First Class Mail Letter shipment causes the total shipment to be worth more than $20 based on ending bid (sold price)final auction price, if that total shipment was worth less than $20 based on the starting bid of the incremental purchase, we'll upgrade the package to USPS Priority Mail / Ground Advantage shipping at no extra cost to the buyer or the seller, and this upgrade will not factor into the seller's shipping adjustment allowance.

FAQs

What is First-Class Mail Letter shipping?

First-Class Mail Letter shipping (also commonly known as plain white envelope or standard envelope shipping) is a low-cost shipping option for US sellers in TCG and Sports Cards. You can use standard paper business envelopes to ship cards using this option, saving you time and money.

How does First-Class Mail Letter shipping work?

To get started with First-Class Mail Letter shipping, toggle on the "USPS First-Class Mail Letter" option in your Seller Shipping Settings. Once it's enabled, you'll be able to select First-Class Mail Letter shipping as a service level when you're creating a new show.

When a buyer purchases a card an item from you with First-Class Mail Letter shipping, you'll be able to print a prepaid shipping label directly from your Order Status page. Package your card(s)item in a standard paper business plain white envelope and affix the shipping label. You can then drop off the envelope at any USPS mailbox, at any time of day.

How much does First-Class Mail Letter shipping cost?

The cost of First-Class Mail Letter shipping varies depending on the weight of the shipment. Here is a summary:

Weight                Price

Up to 1 ounce   $0.64

1-2 ounces        $0.88

2-3 ounces       $1.12

What are the eligibility requirements for First-Class Mail Letter shipping?

Items must meet the following criteria to be eligible for First-Class Mail Letter shipping:

  • The seller must have enabled First-Class Mail Letter shipping in their Seller Shipping Settings.
  • The card(s) must be from one of the following categories:
    • All TCG categories
    • All Sports Cards categories
  • The weight of the total shipment must be less than 3 ounces and have a total value of $20 or less.
  • The shipment must be domestic (US to US).
  • There must be no more than 5 individual cards in the shipment.

We recommend putting no more than 5 cards in a First-Class Mail Letter envelope to prevent scanning issues with USPS.

Can First-Class Mail Letter shipping be used for auction purchases as well as Buy-It-Now purchases?

Yes, this shipping option is available for eligible card items whether they were purchased through an auction or through Buy-It-Now, so long as the purchase is made during a show in which First-Class Mail Letter has been toggled on as a shipping option.

Why is Whatnot offering First-Class Mail Letter shipping?

We hope that this shipping option helps you as a seller in the following ways:

  • Save money: First-Class Mail Letter shipping is a low-cost shipping option.
  • Save time: First-Class Mail Letter shipping is a quick and easy way to ship items. Simply package your item in a plain white envelope and print a shipping label. You can drop plain white envelopes into any USPS mailbox at any time of day.

How can I get started with First-Class Mail Letter shipping?

To get started with First-Class Mail Letter shipping, toggle on the "USPS First-Class Mail Letter" option in your Seller Shipping Settings. Once it's enabled, you'll be able to select USPS First-Class Mail Letter shipping as a service level when you're creating a new show. See more details on how to use this shipping option here.

What happens if a shipment starts with a value of less than $20 but then exceeds $20 in the process of order bundling?

USPS First-Class Mail Letter shipping is available for shipments valued at $20 or less. In the following cases, we will upgrade the shipment to USPS Priority Mail / Ground Advantage shipping: 

  • If an eligible item that is added to a First Class Mail Letter shipment causes it to be heavier than 2.5 ounces OR containing more than 5 items OR having a value of greater than $20 based on the item’s starting bid or marketplace price, we'll convert the package to a USPS Priority Mail / Ground Advantage shipment and charge the buyer the difference (unless the seller has offered free shipping - in this case, the seller will pay for the upgrade).
  • If a single-item-shipment that was eligible for a First Class Mail Letter shipment based on the starting bid ends up selling for more than $20 as the ending bid (sold price), we'll upgrade the package to USPS Priority Mail / Ground Advantage shipping at no extra cost to the buyer or the seller, and this upgrade will not factor into the seller's shipping adjustment allowance.
  • If an eligible item that is added to a First Class Mail Letter shipment causes the total shipment to be worth more than $20 based on the ending bid (sold price), if that total shipment was worth less than $20 based on the starting bid of the added item, we'll upgrade the package to USPS Priority Mail / Ground Advantage shipping at no extra cost to the buyer or the seller, and this upgrade will not factor into the seller's shipping adjustment allowance.

Once shipped, how long will it take for my First-Class Mail Letter shipment to arrive?

First-Class Mail Letters spend 2-10 days in transit before arriving.

How will the 2-business-day shipping requirement work for First-Class Mail Letter shipping?

Print the shipping label and promptly drop off your First-Class Mail Letters within 2 business days of the sale to meet our shipping requirement and ensure timely delivery for your buyers.

What tracking capabilities are available for First-Class Mail Letters shipped through Whatnot?

You can track your First-Class Mailing Letter directly through Whatnot (tracking information will not be available on the USPS site). Limited tracking will appear as usual on your Order Status page. The final delivery scan will appear when the USPS carrier completes their route.

Note: Limited tracking for First-Class Mailing Letters is only available directly on Whatnot. You will not find tracking information on the USPS website.

What does “limited tracking” mean?

First-class envelopes offer limited tracking, meaning tracking typically includes up to 3 status updates. Please note that time between each status scan takes more time than Ground Advantage or Priority Mail Packages.

Example: Envelope with 3 status updates

  • In transit - Envelope accepted by local USPS office
  • Origin processing - Envelope accepted at USPS sorting facility
  • Delivered - Envelope delivered to buyer’s mailbox

In some cases, envelopes are not tracked. This can happen if the barcode is smudged, torn, or otherwise damaged during handling or processing. To help prevent damage during processing, it is important to ensure your envelope meets all measurement, uniform thickness and flexibility requirements.

Tracking limitations may also occur if a package is processed manually instead of through an automated sorting machine.

It's also worth noting that there may be occasional delays or errors in the tracking information due to technical issues or system glitches.

Why does tracking for First-Class Mail Letter shipping take more time?

The exact time it takes for First-Class Mail to start tracking can vary depending on the volume of mail being processed, the location of the origin and destination facilities, and other factors. In general, you can expect to see tracking information for your envelope within 24-72 hours after it has been shipped.

Is it possible to adjust the shipping type from First-Class Mail Letter to Priority Mail or Ground Advantage after a sale?

In this case, you can adjust the weight of the package to be 4 ounces or more, and then the shipment will be upgraded to Priority Mail or Ground Advantage shipping. This will help cover cases where someone in a show purchased a break spot for less than $20 but ended up with a card that has a high value and needs to be shipped via tracked mail. 

First-Class to Ground Advantage / Priority Mail upgrades count as a non-free adjustments - sellers get an allowance of 5 of these per week for free.

When will sellers be paid out for First-Class Mail Letter orders?

Sellers will be paid out for First-Class Mail Letter orders in 10 days. Early Payout sellers will be paid out when they generate their First-Class Mail Letter labels.

Will Whatnot ever offer First-Class Mail Letter shipping for orders outside of TCG or Sports Cards?

At this time, First-Class Mail Letter shipping is only available for card items sold in the TCG and Sports categories on Whatnot. We are actively evaluating the feasibility of this shipping option for other categories and will make updates as needed.

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