top of page

Tips From the Mailroom

Game Play begins ONE WEEK from today! In the excitement, the Snails and Pigeons have gotten together for a meeting, and have decided to come up with a brief list of tips and rates for sending in mail to Mossquarters.

Knowing how much postage to use can be tricky. The USPS website doesn't offer very much help, either, and can often just lead to frustration. Even when you go in to the post office, your Official Postage Decisions can change based on who is behind the counter! (We ourselves have sent out an envelope containing 3 Forest Reports and were told it was $0.99 because it was rigid, and the next day sent out another and were only charged $0.60, and both envelopes got to the customer!) It also doesn't help that First Class Postage can't be purchased and printed online, beyond ordering a book of stamps and hoping for the best.

Due to the sheer volume of information out there, (and lack of trust in third party websites listing rates and changes,) we spent some time with the Post Master at the USPS location our PO Box lives in. They have a printout of all the rates, and will happily go over it with you! We have put together a reference guide with charts of the current official USPS pricing. If you follow this guide, you may feel less mystified by the USPS pricing structure.

TIP: You can get a small kitchen scale at grocery stores, big box retailers, and online shops! Ours was $9.99 online. Once your letters are packed up for shipping, get an exact weight in ounces and determine your postage from there.

NOTE: Since a PO Box is property of the USPS, they do not accept delivery by other third party mail carrier services, such as UPS or FedEx. These packages will be returned to sender! They will not be held for pick up.


Letter, Flat, or Package?

USPS has a very specific set of rules for First Class mail to determine what you are actually mailing. A normal, flat, "machinable" envelope with paper folded up inside is "A Letter." If it is over 1/4" but not over 3/4", it is "A Flat." If it is rigid and/or over 3/4" thick, it becomes "A Package."

Letters begin at $0.60, Flats begin at $1.20, and Packages begin at $4.50. (Are "Flats" the same as "Flat Rate"? No! We will explain this at the end.)

TIP: You can check for "rigidness" by giving your mail a little bend. If it does not easily bend, it is rigid. There are also "mail thickness" gauges you can purchase at your local Post Office or online. These are typically a thin piece of plastic with a 1/4" and a 3/4" hole cut into it that you can slide your letter through to see if it meets the thickness requirement. If you have to use any force at all, it is too thick and will go up a level.


Letter Postage

If your Letter is up to exactly 1/4" thick and up to exactly 3.5oz, congratulations! You will pay Letter Postage. This may be the most common category of postage you will pay when playing Mosswood. Here is a handy chart, correct as of August 2022.

Letter Weight:



Not over 1.00 oz.



Between 1.01 oz. & 2.00 oz.


$0.60 + $0.24

Between 2.01 oz & 3.00 oz.


$0.60 + $0.24 +$0.24

Between 3.01 oz. & 3.50 oz.


$0.60 + $0.24 + $0.24 + $0.24

Anything 3.51 oz. and up

Flats Postage

​See Next Chart

Non-machinable Surcharge


$0.60 + $0.39 -OR- $0.99

TIP: Purchasing a book of $0.24 stamps when you buy your Forever Stamps can save you money in the long run. Using two $0.60 stamps to cover $0.84 doesn't seem like much, but it can really add up when you are Letter LARPing!


Flats Postage

If your Letter is over 1/4" and up to exactly 3/4" thick and up to exactly 13.0oz, you will pay Flats Postage. This may happen from time to time. You can use the appropriate amount of stamps, or pay the exact amount at your local Post Office.

Flats Weight:



Not over 1.00 oz.


$0.60 x2

Between 1.01 oz. & 2.00 oz.


$0.60 x2 + $0.24 x1

Between 2.01 oz & 3.00 oz.


$0.60 x2 + $0.24 x2

Between 3.01 oz & 4.00 oz.


$0.60 x2 + $0.24 x3

Between 4.01 oz & 5.00 oz.


$0.60 x2 + $0.24 x4

Between 5.01 oz & 6.00 oz.


$0.60 x4

Between 6.01 oz & 7.00 oz.


$0.60 x4 + $0.24 x1

Between 7.01 oz & 8.00 oz.


$0.60 x4 + $0.24 x2

Between 8.01 oz & 9.00 oz.


$0.60 x4 + $0.24 x3

Between 9.01 oz & 10.00 oz.


$0.60 x4 + $0.24 x4

Between 10.01 oz & 11.00 oz.


$0.60 x6

Between 11.01 oz & 12.00 oz.


$0.60 x6 + $0.24 x1

Between 12.01 oz & 13.00 oz.


$0.60 x6 + $0.24 x2

Anything 13.01 oz. and up

Priority Mail

See Later Section

Non-machinable Surcharge


Add a $0.39 Stamp to Above

TIP: This is just a reference guide. If you are unable to get to a Post Office and have stamps delivered, using up to 8 or 9 stamps may be the way to go. If you are able to get to a Post Office, it may save you some time and headache to just have them weigh and rate it.

NOTE: Contact Mossquarters before you send something that reaches the higher end of this scale. Depending what it is, (for example if it is a single In-Character gift rather than your entire month's worth of 15 letters,) we may need to collect an additional small surcharge to get it to it's final destination. (It is unlikely, though!)


Package Postage

If your Letter is over 3/4" thick and is rigid and non-machinable, (or in some cases any combination of the three requirements,) we regret to inform you that your mail has been pushed into "Package Rate." These items get handled separately by the Post Office.

Package Weight:



Not over 4.00 oz.


1 and 2

Between 4.01 oz & 8.00 oz.


1 and 2

Between 8.01 oz & 12.00 oz.


1 and 2

Between 12.01 oz & 13.00 oz.


1 and 2

Anything 13.01 oz. and up

Priority Mail

See Later Section

TIP: There are many websites that will show you what "Zone" our PO Box is in for your address. We have many players who we are in Zones 1 or 2 for, but many as far away as Zone 7. We recommend checking with your Post Office for actual Package rates to 46311.


Priority Mail

If your Letter, Flat, or Package is over 13.00 oz., you will only be able to ship via Priority Mail. You can pay for a Priority Mail Upgrade on any piece of mail you send, even a plain letter! The pricing structure is more complicated, as there is "Flat Rate Priority" in which you select a box at the Post Office and it costs a set amount for whatever you can fit inside, and there is "Choose Your Own Package Priority" in which you are just paying for the upgraded shipping with tracking on your own envelope or box. You can use the Postage Calculator on the USPS website to get an exact rate, pay it, and print a shipping label. You can also go to your local Post Office for Priority Mail.

TIP: A "Small Flat Rate Box" for Priority Mail is $9.45, but a "Regular Flat Rate Envelope" is currently $8.95. For our purposes, you can usually save a bit and use the provided envelopes!

TIP: If you are on a coast and we are a Zone 7 to you, ask if Priority Mail is the better option for your Package Rate items. It might be surprisingly comparable!


That was a lot of information!

I blame the graphs, they make everything look bigger.

Remember, if you have a question, you can always ask a USPS employee at your local Post Office. If you make a mistake and don't use enough postage, don't worry! It will still get to us; when this happens the Post Office holds the item for "Postage Due" and places a slip in our PO Box letting us know to come to the counter and pay the additional shipping.

Remember, this is just a quick reference using a piece of paper the Post Master went over with us, and not an official USPS quote. While I am confident in it's accuracy as of this month's current rates, the USPS is always subject to change and USPS employee discretion, (as far as "is this item rigid or machinable" type judgements.)

64 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All
bottom of page