BAS Message
August 2020

On occasion I send pairs of RCA phono plugs to customers. These have resistors or capacitors in them to provide loading for a cartridge. The weight is negligible — 6 grams or ¼ ounce — so it should be cheap to mail. However by small package Post Office it costs $3.80!

I looked into a cheaper way and this led me into the arcane world of USPS regulations.

First Class letter seems obvious, $.55 for an ounce, but there is a ¼” thickness limit and the plugs are too big.

First Class large envelope starts at $1 for one ounce, with a ¾” thickness limit. However it must be of uniform thickness (not varying more than ¼”), rectangular, non-rigid and have a minimum size of 3-1/2” X 5” X .007”. Thankfully they allow a little leeway at the edges.

So I cut a piece of 1/2” foam 3.5” by 5” and cut a hole in the middle for two plugs. Then put it in a sturdy envelope (not padded).

Total weight 1.8 oz, so it would mail for $1.20.

For other items less than 3/4” thick I cut a piece of manila folder and tape the item down, then fill in the voids with foam or cardboard to make a uniform thickness, then insert in a unpadded mailer

Seems like a bit of a bother, but once I figured it out then I could repeat as needed.

Note: There is no tracking.

email me here


The Boston Audio Society
PO BOX 260211
Boston MA 02126

problems? email Barry:

updated 8/16/20