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How To Sample


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Product samples are miniature versions of a full-sized product. Select the mailing format that best fits your product in order to send samples.


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A letter is more than an envelope with a piece of paper in it. It actually refers to a category of mail that offers several formats for you to send your sample.

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Maximum thickness is ¼ inch.

Product Ideas:
Fragrances or Lotions
Shampoo and conditioner
Dental floss
Breath or flavor strips
Liquid soap

Automation Flat

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A flat is a versatile mailpiece that comes in a range of formats and sizes. It must be rectangular in shape, flexible, and a uniform thickness.

Image of an automation flat.

Maximum thickness is ¾ inch.

Product Ideas:
Disposable mopping pads
Toilet paper
Software (CD/DVD)
Trash bags
Paper towels

Marketing Parcel

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Marketing Parcel, formerly called Not Flat Machinable, is designed for mailers to offer product samples as part of their advertising programs. To mail Marketing Parcels you must have an alternative addressing format.

Image of marketing parcels.

Maximum thickness is 2 inches.

Product Ideas:
Granola bars
Disposable razors

Parcel Select Lightweight®

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A Parcel Select Lightweight is any piece of mail that does not fall into the categories above. It allows for a variety in shapes and sizes, giving you flexibility on what can be sent. Samples addressed to “or Current Resident” should be mailed as Parcel Select Lightweight.

Image of Parcel Select Lightweights.

Maximum weight of less than 16 ounces.

Product Ideas:
Coffee supplies
Hair products

Submit a request to have a Postal Service Sales Representative contact you about sampling

Get an overview of product sampling programs

Find pricing information in the Domestic Mail Manual ›

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