USPS Tracking for First Class Mail

Can you track a regular First Class letter?  I don’t know if it works, but there are some comments here and there about it. More details after the jump.

What is USPS Tracking?

It’s a barcode that the USPS generates that will track a package through the system.  If you use Priority Mail, you know what this is. Basically, every single package that goes through the USPS has a tracking barcode, and you can see where it is within the system by checking at USPS.com.

What everyone wonders is, “can you use USPS tracking on other kinds of mail, like a regular first class letter?”

According to the comments on that video, the answer is “yes”. User Sara G. says she’s tried it, and it works most of the time, and you must put it on the front of the envelope.

However, user Mark G. says, “You technically can not track anything USPS first class under 1/4″ inch thick. If that is caught, it will be upgraded to priority and it will be like $6 postage due. Most will make it through since most government employees don’t care.”

According to Shippingeasy, you cannot track First Class mail, and specifically, USPS Flats cannot be tracked.

What Does USPS Say?

I thought I spotted a page on USPS that had “First Class” listed in one of the classes that supported tracking.  However, other pages on USPS say it doesn’t exist.

However, there’s a product called Letter Track that will use Intelligent Mail Bar Codes to track plain old first class letters, at a cost of 32 cents additional per letter.

I will try this service out as soon as I can.

Do You Need It?

I think it depends. Ebay seller spinach-eater sells postcards, by the hundreds, and has not been scammed with a buyer claiming that the items didn’t arrive.

I may have been scammed and have sent only a few things through the mail. The product was a small pack of grease for a computer. Electronics and tech buyers have a terrible reputation for running scams on sellers.

So, it really depends on your customers.  In some markets, you need to protect yourself a lot more than in other markets.

Author: John

I can be reached at johnk@riceball.com.

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