Conformer Expansion Products, Great Neck, NY, has developed a way to mail CDs and DVDs in their cases as well as other items such as drug prescriptions, direct-mail product samples, pens, key chains and lapel pins at the US Postal Service’s flat rate for Standard Mail û a 56 cent charge.
Under the new postal rate increases, traditional media mailings fall into either the parcel or the not flat-machinable (NFM) Standard Mail category. Shipping a five-ounce CD or DVD at Standard Mail rates costs $1.14 as a parcel and $1.11 in the NFM category.
Conformer Expansion Products’ design is patent-pending and meets both the flexibility and uniform thickness guidelines for machinable flats. The container fits any item that is less than 0.75 inches thick and less than 5.5 inches by 8.5 inches in dimension.
Bob Makofsky, general manager for Conformer, said in February his company began the “long and expensive” process of designing the envelope and the solution for processing at the automated flat rate.
“It’s challenging to get USPS approval on a new mailer,” Makofsky said. “You sit down with them and they tell you pass or you fail, there is no gray.”
In addition to retailers shipping CDs and DVDs, Conformer has seen positive feedback from clients who run media continuity clubs and nonprofits, who mail small gifts to donors.
Makofsky anticipates more business from mailers in upcoming months. He said that according to his company’s research, 2 percent of the 230 billion pieces processed by the USPS each year are mailed in bubble envelopes, a medium that will rise in costs with the new increase.
“We’re trying to get to companies who may have been doing the same thing in the same way for a while and help them ease the transition,” Makofsky said.
Makofsky said Conformer would be looking at ways to add automation to the fulfillment process, as the new mailer has been designed to work well with machinery.