The Post Office provided a discount rate for quantity mailings of advertizing printed matter or "Bulk Mail". Payment of an item was generally indicated in two ways:
1. A permit indicium was printed or handstamped on the item.
2. A denominated meter impression was applied to the item.
Bulk mail rates from 1964 to 1971 was the subject of an earlier post. This article is a continuation, taking us up to 1999.
Bulk Mail Rates
Rates until the mid-1980s were straightforward, but then became more complicated as different categories of bulk mail based on factors such as mail preparation and pre-sortation by the mailer were introduced by Canada Post :
Pre-Sortation CategoriesIn the examples shown below, I have not identified pre-sortation categories, nor have I prepared a chart showing bulk mail rates from 1971 to 1999.
- Machinable Pre-Sort
- NDG (National Distribution Guide) Pre-Sort
- Letter Carrier Pre-Sort
Denominated metered covers are used to show the rates in this article because permit mail is usually undated and undenominated. However, I have included examples of permit mail at the end of this posting.
5 cents for the first two ounces : July 1, 1971 - February 28, 1977
Montreal, April, 1976
5 cents first weight step
6 cents for the first two ounces : March 1, 1977 - March 31, 1977
Toronto, January 13, 1978
6 cents first weight step
7 1/2 cents : April 1, 1978 - March 31, 1979
Collectors are often surprised when they come across fractional rates. The 7 1/2 cent bulk mail rate was in effect for one year.
Toronto, August, 1978
a) 2 ounces : April 1, 1979 - June 30, 1979
b) 50 grams (metrication) : July 1, 19799 - December 31, 1981
Toronto, January 4, 1980
9 cents bulk mail rate for 50 grams
From this point on, I will not be providing effective dates for the rate . Rates become complicated in this time period. Covers are shown in chronological order.
August 1986 : 15 cents
Toronto, August 1986
September 1989 : 17 1/2 cents
Heart and Stroke Foundation mailing with the following message printed on the envelope:
44% of the people reading this letterwill die from heart disease of stroke.The improved "Ticker Test" inside will tellyou how to reduce your risk.
October 1989 : 21 cents
Mississauga, October, 1989
December 1990 : 18 cents
March , 1991 : 18 1/2 cents
February 1992 : 19 1/2 cents
Neither the term "BULK" or its abbreviation "BLK" appears on the envelope. However, a tiny "nbre", the abbreviation for "envois en nombre", the French expression for bulk mail was printed on the envelope. Could this have been an attempt by the mailer to hide the true nature of the correspondence?
nbre is the abbreviation for the French term for bulk mail, "envois en nombre"
Three different rates are shown : 30c, 21c, and 20c!
May, 1993 : 30 cents
March 1993 : 21 cents
August 1993 : 20 cents
August, 1995 : 21.2 cents
April 1997 : 24 cents
September 14, 1998 : 29.5 cents
Windsor, Ont., September 14, 1998
February 1999 : 24 cents