Why doesn't a pre-printed label qualify for Commercial Base Pricing?

Preprinted labels do not qualify for benefits such as Commercial Base Pricing because the label is missing data elements that are required in an IMpb barcode per the USPS. In order to qualify, you must be able to upload the following information to the USPS:

  • Shipping Address File
  • Destination Zip Code + 4
  • Mail Class

When using an online shipping software package, you enter the characteristics of the shipment - for example: (1) What address is the item being shipped to? (2) How is it being shipped? (3) What Extra Services are being added to the shipment? The Intelligent Mail Package Barcode itself is then generated based on the criteria that you have defined. As part of the software package, a shipping services file is then sent to the USPS.

This is not the case with a pre-printed label. With a pre-printed label, you are peeling and sticking the label on the package. No shipping services file is being uploaded to the USPS – unless you have an application such as E-Services or E-Services with Electronic Return Receipt. More importantly, you have not created the label based on the unique characteristics of the shipment – therefore the overall requirements have not been met. There is no address validation, correction, or zip + 4 upload. With that said, the item does not meet the full IMpb requirement and will only qualify for retail rates. The pre-printed label DOES meet the USPS minimum requirement that states every package must now include an IMpb barcode. In fact, the pre-printed label does include an IMpb barcode that will provide partial IMpb benefits including tracking information such as arrival and departure info, date and time of delivery and attempted delivery.


A pre-printed label does not qualify for full benefits because the mail class is not included. As a result, pre-printed labels do not receive:

  • Free insurance on Priority Mail / Priority Mail Express or
  • Commercial Based Rates