Do you need to mail a standard manila envelope but don’t know how many stamps are required?
Snail mail may not be as common these days thanks to the transition toward digital communications, but there are some occasions when you may still want to mail a physical document or physical pictures as opposed to digital copies.
In these cases, you will likely use a manila envelope.
We cover how many stamps you will need for a manila envelope.
How Many Stamps For A Manila Envelope?
Small and medium manila envelopes (Sizes 5×7 or 6×9) are considered standard mail and typically only require one forever stamp as long as they don’t weigh more than one ounce.
If the envelope weighs more than an ounce, you will need to add additional postage based on the weight.
You can add a second forever stamp, but you’ll save money by using an “additional ounce” stamp for every additional ounce over one ounce.
Large manila envelopes (size 9×12) fall into another mailing category known as “large envelopes” or “flats” that require two forever stamps for a single one-ounce envelope.
The main things to consider regarding mailing manila envelopes are the size and weight of the envelope.
There are three main sizes of manila envelopes:
- Small: 5 x 7
- Medium: 6 x 9
- Large: 9 x 12
You may find other sizes available, but these are the three standard sizes most people use for mail purposes.
For reference, standard envelopes are usually 4.125” x 9.5” or 3.875” x 8.875”.
Cost Of Mailing Small And Medium Manila Envelopes
Assuming sending the envelope through the standard mail, for one forever stamp, you will need to pay $0.58.
If you need stamps to cover the cost of postage for additional weight, you will pay $0.20 per additional ounce stamp.
Standard forever stamps recently went up in price from $0.55 to $0.58 per stamp.
The good news is that, as the name suggests, the stamps retain the same value even when the price goes up again.
That means that people who bought forever stamps when they were $0.55 can still use them the same way as the forever stamps sold at the updated rate.
Cost Of Mailing Large Manila Envelopes
Large manila envelopes cost a little bit more since they take up more space.
See the following rates to mail large manilla envelopes:
- 1 ounce: $1.16
- 2 ounces: $1.36
- 3 ounces: $1.56
- 4 ounces: $1.76
- 5 ounces: $1.96
Can I Use Standard Stamps On Manila Envelopes?
You can use standard stamps on manila envelopes.
When To Use A Manila Envelope
Manila envelopes are most often used when you want to mail documents that you don’t want to fold.
In most cases, this involves professional documents, such as contracts.
You can also use manila envelopes to mail pictures safely.
Folding a document may not look as professional.
In some cases, it may even affect the quality of the document.
A poorly placed crease can make a particular line of a contract or a signature illegible.
Of course, you can’t put a crease into a picture or it will damage the image.
If the pictures are larger than a standard envelope, you may want to mail them in a manila envelope.
Different Types Of Stamps
There are a couple of different stamps you can choose from when buying stamps.
- Standard stamp: Standard stamps cover the postage according to the amount printed on the stamp. Unfortunately, these stamps may not still cover postage if the price goes up in a year or two. In that case, you will need to add additional stamps to cover the total cost. Talk to your local postal service to learn more about how to get stamps for specific amounts.
- Forever stamp: The most common type of stamp you will encounter is the forever stamp. This stamp provides adequate postage for a standard envelope or small- or medium-sized manila envelope one ounce in weight or less, even if the cost of postage goes up. Forever stamps only work when mailing items within the United States.
- Additional Ounce Forever stamp: When you have a heavy envelope, you don’t necessarily need to use a second stamp. Instead, you can use an additional ounce forever stamp to cover the cost of postage for the additional ounce.
- Global Forever stamp: Global forever stamps work similarly to forever stamps with the additional benefit of working anywhere in the world. Naturally, these stamps cost more, but they are useful when you mail personal or professional letters abroad often.
Do Stamps Expire?
Stamps do not expire.
You can use stamps from as far back as 1860 (although you may want to check the value of old stamps before using them, especially if they are that old).
Keep in mind that the cost of postage may increase over time.
You may need extra postage in addition to an old stamp.
Can I Use A Damaged Stamp?
Essentially, it comes down to how much of the stamp is intact.
The post office has the right to use its discretion regarding damaged stamps.
Generally speaking, as long as more than 50% of the stamp is intact, you can still use it.
They won’t give you much trouble if the stamp only has minor damage.
Can I Reuse Stamps?
You cannot reuse stamps.
When you use a stamp, the post office defaces the stamp to ensure it can’t be used again.
Where To Buy Stamps
You don’t want to head to a store assuming that you can buy stamps and then find out they don’t sell them.
Here are some of the places you can buy stamps.
First and foremost, you can buy postage online through the USPS website.
You can also buy other shipping materials on the website for personal use and to help you with your commercial mailing needs.
If you have other online shopping needs, you may choose to buy your stamps through Amazon.
They also sell envelopes and all other mailing supplies.
2. Retail Stores
If you want a stamp right away, you may want to go to a retail store to get a stamp right away.
Here are some of the retail stores that sell stamps:
- Rite Aid
- Target (most locations)
You may also be able to buy stamps at certain gas stations and banks, but that varies based on the company.
Most of the time, you’ll need to go to a physical store to buy stamps.
In many cases, they aren’t available for delivery.
Keep in mind that most retailers don’t sell single stamps.
You will probably need to buy an entire book of stamps if you buy from a retailer.
Expect to get at least 20 stamps in a book.
If you only need one stamp, you may be better off going to the post office.
You also probably can’t buy various types of stamps at your local retailer.
If you need additional ounce stamps or global forever stamps, it’s best to go to the post office.
3. Post Office
Naturally, you can buy stamps at the post office.
However, most people don’t like making a special stop at the post office just for stamps.
It may be your only option when you have unique postage needs, though, as pointed out above.
As an added advantage, you will get the opportunity to ask questions of staff regarding your mailing needs.
They will be able to weigh your letter and tell you your mailing options.
Don’t forget that you must go to the post office if you plan to send your mail priority.
Saving Money On Mailing Manila Envelopes
If your work or personal life requires you to mail manila envelopes on the regular, you may want to find different ways to save on postage costs.
Follow these tips to save money on mailing manila envelopes.
1. Minimize Snail Mail To The Bare Minimum
Be mindful of what communications require snail mail and what business processes can be completed using digital communications, such as email and online signatures.
Don’t spend the money on postage for items such as bills.
You can usually pay most of your bills over the phone or online.
If you need someone to sign a contract, you can look for different programs online that allow people to sign documents digitally.
Ensure that your industry accepts digital signatures.
In some cases, you may be required to get a physical signature.
Don’t forget that you have the option to use fax machines as well (as long as you don’t need the original copy of the signature).
2. Buy A Scale
Get a small postage scale so that you know how much your manila envelope weighs instead of guessing.
If you think the envelope weighs less than it does, the item may be returned in order for you to apply the proper postage, hindering business operations.
Alternatively, if you overshoot your estimations every time, you will end up paying more in postage than required.
A scale will ensure that you always have the right postage for your envelope.
Of course, that only helps if you have the right amount of postage on hand.
3. Metered Postage
Instead of using standard physical stamps, you can use metered postage that calculates the exact amount of postage required based on the size and weight of the envelope you want to mail and then prints it onto the envelope.
Metered postage may look more professional.
Furthermore, you won’t have to spend more on postage than necessary.
You will always pay the exact amount of postage required instead of putting two forever stamps on an envelope that doesn’t require it because you have no extra ounce stamps.
In order to take advantage of metered postage, you need to buy a postage meter yourself or register for a program online that allows you to print your own metered postage.
When you buy your own metered postage machine, you won’t have to pay for the printer ink.
It’s up to you whether you mail enough envelopes to invest in the metered postage machine worth it or not.
4. Business Mailing Accounts
If you mail a lot of items as a part of your professional life, you may want to create a business mailing account with your preferred delivery service.
Commercial accounts tend to offer you reduced rates and other additional benefits, such as advanced tracking features and convenient online tools.
Accounts vary in price based on your needs and the delivery service you get an account with.
Ways To Mail A Manila Envelope
You have a couple of options when it comes to what company you want to use to mail your manila envelope and what service you want to use to mail the envelope.
When you want to display a sense of urgency or you need to get something to someone by a certain time, you may want to consider some of the express services offered.
1. United States Post Office
- First Class Mail: 1 to 5 business days
- Priority Mail: 1 to 3 business days
- Priority Mail Express: next day to 2-day guarantee by 6:00 p.m.
- UPS Ground: 1 to 5 business days
- UPS 3 Day Select®: 3 business days
- UPS 2nd Day Air®: 2 business days
- UPS 2nd Day Air A.M.®: 2 business days (as early as 8:00 a.m.)
- UPS Next Day Air Saver®: next business day
- UPS Next Day Air®: next business day by 10:30 a.m.
- UPS Next Day Air® Early: next business day by 8:00 a.m.
- FedEx Ground®: 1 to 5 business days
- FedEx Express Saver®: 1 to 3 business days
- FedEx 2Day®: 2 business days
- FedEx 2Day® A.M.: 2 business days by 10:30 a.m.
- FedEx Standard Overnight®: overnight by the next evening
- FedEx Priority Overnight®: overnight by the next afternoon
- FedEx First Overnight®: overnight by the next morning
- FedEx SameDay®: same day (in select areas)
As you can see, FedEx and UPS offer more express options, but they also tend to charge a little more for these services.
Plus, you can’t drop off the mail in your mailbox or a mailbox down the street.
Additional Options When Mailing A Manila Envelope
When a particular piece of mail is extremely important to you, you may want to request additional options to ensure the envelope reaches its destination.
Depending on the delivery service you choose, you have insurance options that will cover up to a certain amount of money if an envelope goes missing or shows up late.
Talk to your delivery associate to learn more about your different insurance options.
2. Proof Of Delivery
Sometimes, you need to ensure that a person receives a particular document.
Not only will you have additional peace of mind, but you’ll also have documented proof that the recipient actually got the envelope (even if they try to claim they didn’t).
Two of the most common forms of proof of delivery are sending something as certified mail or requiring a signature.
While the sender gets the additional security of knowing the mail was delivered, it can also make it difficult for the delivery service to get the envelope in the person’s hands if they don’t answer the door for the mailman due to schedule conflicts (consider having mail sent to a person’s workplace instead of their residence).
The number of stamps you need to place on your manila envelope depends on the size and weight of the envelope.
In most cases, small and medium manila envelopes only require a single forever stamp.
If the envelope weighs more than an ounce, you may also need to include an “additional ounce” stamp or two based on the weight.
Large manila envelopes require additional postage thanks to their size.
A large manila envelope less than one ounce in weight requires two forever stamps.
You will once again need to add “additional ounce” stamps if the envelope weighs more than one ounce.
Expect to pay more if you want to get the envelope to its destination quickly, or if you want to include insurance on the envelope.