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What is Certified Mail? Everything You Need to Know

Certified mail provides the sender with proof that a shipment was mailed and delivered. Read this blog post to learn if it's right for your eCommerce business.
What is Certified Mail? Everything You Need to Know
Alexandra Ortolani

By Alexandra Ortolani

 

January 20, 2022

Key Points:

  • Certified mail provides the sender proof that the shipment was mailed and when it’s delivered
  • Certified mail is only available with USPS First Class Mail, First-Class Package Service, and Priority Mail
  • Certified mail costs $3.75 per shipment, not including the cost of postage

The United States Postal Service (USPS) processes and delivers 429.9 million mail pieces each day. So naturally, some mail is bound to get lost during transit, which is why merchants may want to utilize an added service to confirm delivery.

USPS certified mail is an extra service to give merchants the reassurance they need for their shipments. More specifically, merchants receive an electronic notice proving that a shipment has been sent and successfully delivered.

This blog post will discuss everything you need to know about this added service. This way, you know if it’s right for your eCommerce business.

Table of Contents

What is Certified Mail?

Certified mail is an added USPS service that provides the sender a mailing receipt and electronic verification to show proof of mailing and proof of delivery.

USPS Certified Mail

Certified mail is also available with three other services, such as:

  • Certified Mail Restricted Delivery: Customers may direct certified mail delivery only to the addressee (or an authorized agent). Restricted delivery guarantees that your mail is only delivered to the addressee. It’s also designed specifically for sensitive or confidential mail
  • Certified Mail Adult Signature Required: Customers may direct delivery of certified mail only to an individual who is 21 years of age or older
  • Certified Mail Adult Signature Restricted Delivery: Customers may limit delivery of certified mail only to a specific addressee or authorized agent who is 21 years of age or older

It’s important to note that this service is only available with USPS First Class Mail, First-Class Package, and Priority Mail.

Why do people use it?

Over 35.5 million Americans reported they were victims of package theft in the last year. Therefore, merchants should use certified mail to help reduce the possibility of package theft. With this service, merchants receive proof that a shipment was sent and received, which gives them peace of mind.

Certified mail is used for other reasons, such as:

  • Ensures delivery
  • Record-keeping to confirm a past delivery or dispute
  • Track your mail with a unique tracking number

Certified mail is also used for shipping to PO boxes. Since this service requires a signature from the recipient, a delivery notice is placed into a PO box by a postal carrier. Once the recipient signs for the delivery, they can receive their certified mail.

What’s the difference between registered mail vs. certified mail service?

Both registered and certified mail are very similar in services, yet they serve different purposes.

Certified mail provides the sender proof that the shipment was mailed and when it’s delivered. On the other hand, registered mail provides the sender package updates from every step of the shipment process. This distinction means you have more security knowing that more eyes and hands are looking out for your parcel.

Related post: Can I ship USPS registered mail?

How to Send Certified Mail

You’ll need a specific form to send certified mail. Visit your local post office and pick up copies of Form 3800 and attach them to your parcels yourself.

  1. Visit your local post office and pick up your Form 3800
  2. Write all the required information on the form
  3. Remove the backing and place the sticker on the mailpiece
  4. Choose USPS courier service and pay for the postage
  5. Decide if you want to purchase a restricted delivery service
  6. Consider using USPS return receipt service to receive a PDF image of the recipient’s signature
  7. Keep your certified mail receipt and documentation in a safe place

Once you complete the above steps, use your tracking number, which is included in your receipt, to see when and to whom the shipment was delivered.

Can certified mail be delivered without a signature?

No, a postal worker cannot leave certified mail without a signature. If no one can give a signature, the postal worker will leave a note saying a delivery attempt was made.

How Much Does Certified Mail Cost?

Certified mail costs $3.75 per shipment, not including the cost of postage. If you want to add a return receipt, there’s an additional $2.85 cost. This added service is available for purchase at your local post office or the USPS website.

However, with Easyship, users can save up to 89% off USPS shipments, instead of paying retail rates. This way, merchants can save on all USPS shipments, including all courier services that offer certified mail.

Easyship Certified Mail Example

For example, let's say you’re shipping a 5-pound package from New York to Miami. We’ll use our Free Shipping Rates Calculator to get an instant quote for this example.

Certified Mail Cost

As we can see, it costs $17.03 to ship a 5-pound package with USPS Priority Mail. So, the final cost comes to $20.78 when you add the $3.75 certified mail fee. Plus, you'll receive your parcel in 2 to 3 business days with USPS tracking and free package pickup.

How to Send Certified Mail

On the other hand, USPS costs $20.35, which doesn’t include the additional $3.75 certified mail charge. So ultimately, eCommerce merchants will save more money using Easyship to power their shipping processes.

Ship Certified Mail with Easyship

Certified mail gives merchants the peace of mind they need for shipping with updated delivery statuses and delivery confirmation. Merchants can receive electronic proof of package delivery for USPS courier services, such as:

  • First Class Mail
  • First-Class Package Services
  • Priority Mail

Now, merchants can avoid the uncertainty of knowing when their shipments arrive with this added-value mailing service. In addition, though, merchants can save even more money using a shipping platform with high-volume discounts.

Easyship offers multiple features and benefits to help merchants power their shipping while saving big with discounted shipping rates. With Easyship, merchants get instant access to premium features like:

  • Free Shipping Rates Calculator: Access high-volume discounts from major couriers. Plus, get instant access to delivery lead times from premium shipping couriers
  • Shipping Dashboard: Manage orders and create shipments instantly in the Shipping Dashboard. Plus, keep track of all your delivery lead times in one place
  • Optimized Store Checkout: Show the cheapest, fastest, and best value shipping options at your store's checkout. This way, customers can know the specific delivery lead time timeframe

Get the peace of mind you need with certified mail while saving up to 89% off discounted USPS rates with Easyship.

Ready to ship? Sign up for a FREE Easyship account and learn how to access the best available USPS shipping rates today


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