Battle of the bulge – Guidance offered for overstuffed envelopes

November 18, 2016

Sometimes flat-rate envelopes get too stuffed and no longer get the flat rate.

To avoid this problem, USPS is reminding employees that customers should not turn Priority Mail Flat Rate Envelopes into “kangaroo pouches” by overstuffing them — even if the envelope can be sealed.

As postal regulations note, tape may be used on the flaps and seams to reinforce the container “provided the design of the container is not enlarged by opening the sides and the container is not reconstructed in any way.”

In other words: A small bulge is OK, but a fully stuffed kangaroo isn’t.

USPS wants employees to remind customers that manipulating or reconfiguring a Priority Mail Flat Rate Envelope by exceeding its capacity won’t help them save money.

Here’s why: Although these packages can be accepted, they must be weighed and zoned accordingly using the regular Priority Mail price — not the flat-rate charge.

Employees who have questions about flat-rate envelope pricing can email


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Leland Grant

so this is NOT allowed, BUT Amazon parcels weighing 100 to 200 hundred pounds, that take 4 people to lift is AOK to have on the pallet, you know crushing the ones under it into pancakes

Candie Lorenz

I don’t give a darn.70 lbs, is what we hired on for!!! Unions need to get busy!!

Eilene Renee Melchor

Doesn’t apply to this topic? ?

Tina Moreland

Oh love to see the amazon guy on the route delivering the envelopes that will fit into boxes:(

Tim Williams

I had a 100lbs bar bell set come in. I told my boss the package should of never gotten to me. Then she asked how I know its over 70lbs. I said…..the box says right on it 100lbs barbell set.
We weighed it and it was 101 and a couple ounces. I was still made to deliver it. I should of dropped it on my foot and injured myself.

Eilene Renee Melchor


Lynn Hansen

So that starter I delivered last week in a flat rate envelope should have been postage due?

About time someone noticed this was happening.


The article states the verbiage in DMM 255 “provided the design of the container is not enlarged by opening the sides and the container is not reconstructed in any way.”, and then immediately takes the statement out of context.. This is why postal workers do the stuff they do and make people lives harder for no reason, all because they read stuff like in this article. If there is a “bulging package” there is no “opening on the sides” so that it would make the package qualify as “enlarged” and the package is not ‘reconstructed” either.. Please interpret the DMM… Read more »


Interesting that the package in the photo has Priority Mail tape on it, which
is only available AT the post office, and usually applied by the postal employees when a customer requests it.
Point being this would have to pass muster on the way into the postal system by
a postal employee.

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