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Stamps.com Blog

Get the latest information on the mailing and shipping industry.

Media Mail: Summary of April 2016 USPS Rate Decrease

April 21st, 2016 Comments off

What is Media Mail?
Media Mail is a cost-effective way to send media materials through the U.S. Postal Service (USPS). You can send books, videotapes, DVDs, CDs, printed music and other sound recordings through Media Mail as long as they weigh less than 70 pounds.

What is the Estimated Delivery Time for Media Mail?
It can take between 2 to 10 days for your Media Mail package to be delivered to its destination.

Changes to Media Mail in 2016
On Sunday, April 10, 2016, the USPS implemented a postage rate decrease, as a result of which it will now cost less to ship a Media Mail package.  Prior to the change, it would cost $2.72 to ship a 1 lb. Media Mail package which will now only cost $2.61.  The table below lists the decrease in Media Mail rates for packages weighing up to 25 lbs.

266057_Image for Media Mail Blog Post

Save with Media Mail
If delivery on your shipment is not time sensitive, Media Mail can help save you a lot!  If you’re a Stamps.com customer sending a 1-pound package, it will cost $5.75 and up with Priority Mail (using the Stamps.com discount) and only $2.61 with Media Mail.  Using Media Mail in this situation will save you around 53% in postage costs.

FAQs on the April 2016 Postage Rate Decrease

April 12th, 2016 Comments off

FAQs Image

Here are some Frequently Asked Questions on the April 2016 USPS Postage Rate Decrease:

When did the lower postage rates go into effect?
The U.S. Postal Service (USPS) implemented the new postage rates on Sunday, April 10, 2016.

What mail classes are being impacted by this rate change?
The table below provides a quick summary of the main changes that were implemented on Sunday, April 10, 2016:

Rates Table

Will this decrease impact Priority Mail?
No, the USPS Postage Rate Decrease will only impact mailing products and services.  The rates for USPS shipping services were already adjusted on Sunday, January 17, 2016.

Why is the USPS implementing a postage rate decrease?
The 4.3% exigent surcharge that was granted to the USPS by the Postal Regulatory Commission (PRC) in January 2014 is being lifted.  This temporary postage rate increase was granted to help the USPS recoup the losses it encountered during the recession.  Since these losses are estimated to have been recouped by April, the USPS is implementing a postage rate decrease.

Has Stamps.com been updated with the new rates?
Yes, Stamps.com’s postage rates are updated in real-time and all postage printed will reflect the new April 2016 USPS rates.

Special Note:  In order to get the discounted metered mail rate of $0.465 for First Class Mail Letters (1 oz.) and the lower $2.45 Post Office rate for First Class Mail – Parcels weighing 1-3 ounces, Stamps.com customers must upgrade to Version 13.3.

Will this decrease impact both mailing and shipping services?
No, the USPS Postage Rate Decrease will only impact mailing products and services.  The rates for USPS shipping services were already adjusted on Sunday, January 17, 2016.

Are the rates for First Class Mail Letters decreasing?
Yes, the good news about the April 2016 USPS Postage Rate Decrease is that the rate for First Class Mail Letters (1 oz.) will decrease from $0.49 to $0.47 when purchased at the Post Office.  Stamps.com customers get the discounted “Metered Mail” rate, which is also decreasing from $0.485 to $0.465.

What happens if I already printed my letter with the old rate?
The valid postage rate for letters for PC Postage users was $0.485 until April 10, 2016.  Any mail printed with this amount can still be used and will be delivered.  At this time, Stamps.com will not be accepting misprint or unused postage refund requests for the old rate, but the good news is that your mail should still be delivered as normal.

I am seeing a $2.45 rate for packages weighing between 1 and 3 ounces for First Class Package Service – isn’t the Commercial Base rate $2.60?
While online rates are typically cheaper than the Post Office rates, prices at the Post Office were not increased during the January 2016 postage rate increase. This created an unique situation where the Post Office rate for First Class Package Service parcels weighing between 1 and 3 ounces is cheaper than the online rate (Commercial Base pricing). Stamps.com has incorporated this cheaper 2016 Post Office rate into its program! To get this discount, you MUST download Stamps.com Version 13.3.

I am seeing a “No Updates Available” message in the Stamps.com Software when I click on the “Check for Updates” link.  Why is that happening?
In order to receive the lower First Class Package Service rate for parcels weighing between 1 oz. and 3 oz., you would need to download the latest version of Stamps.com, Version 13.3.  To update to Version 13.3, please visit www.stamps.com/download.  If you go to Help -> Check for Updates, it will say that “No updates are available to Stamps.com software at this time” but there actually is an update available at the special download page.  This is required if you want to receive the $2.45 rate.

Please make sure to download Stamps.com Version Version 13.3.

What is changing with Media Mail?
Media Mail rates are decreasing and will now start at $2.61 for a 1 lb. package, compared to $2.72 previously. This mail class continues to be a great cost-effective option to ship books and DVDs as long as quick delivery is not required.

Are there any changes for Special Services?
Yes, the rates for Special Services have been decreased as well.  Certified Mail, Registered Mail, Signature Confirmation and other services are now available for a lower price.  These rates are already updated in Stamps.com.  Get more details on the decreased rates for Special Services.

USPS Announces Postage Rate Decrease – Starts April 10, 2016

April 1st, 2016 Comments off

262456_Postage-Rate-Decrease_blogFor the second time in 2016, the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) will be changing its rates on April 10th, 2016.  The good news is that this time rates are decreasing for USPS Mailing Services products. 

What Are The Changes?
Here is a summary of the April 2016 postage rate updates:

– First Class Mail Letters (1 oz.) rates will decrease from $0.49 to $0.47 when purchased at the Post Office. Each additional ounce will cost $0.21.

– The discounted “Metered Mail” category for First Class Mail Letters (1 oz.), which includes online postage providers and postage meters, will decrease from $0.485 to $0.465. Each additional ounce will cost $0.21.

– First Class Mail Flats (1 oz.) will decrease from $0.98 to $0.94. Each additional ounce will cost $0.21.

– Postcard rates will decrease from $0.35 to $0.34.

letters and postcards

– First Class Mail – Parcels available at the Post Office will also see a decrease and rates will start at $2.45 (previously $2.54) for a 1 oz. package.

first class mail parcels

Important:  While the Commercial Base rate for First Class Package Service for mailpieces weighing between 1 and 3 ounces is $2.60, Stamps.com has incorporated the lower Post Office pricing into its program!  So, instead of paying $2.60 for a 1 ounce package, Stamps.com customers will only need to pay $2.45.  To get this discount, Stamps.com customers must download Version 13.3.

– Media Mail rates will start at $2.61 instead of $2.72 for a 1 lb. package.

media mail

Why Are USPS Rates Decreasing? 
The 4.3% exigent surcharge that was granted to the USPS by the Postal Regulatory Commission (PRC) in January 2014 is being lifted.  This temporary postage rate increase was granted to help the USPS recoup the losses it encountered during the recession.  Since these losses are estimated to have been recouped by April, the USPS is implementing a postage rate decrease. 

No Action Needed For Stamps.com Customers
Stamps.com will automatically update all USPS rates inside the software and web-based version (Stamps.com Online) on Sunday, April 10, 2016.  If you are a Stamps.com customer, no additional actions are needed and you will see the new reduced USPS rates automatically.

Special Note:  If you want the discounted metered mail rate of $0.465 for First Class Mail Letters (1 oz.) and lower $2.45 Post Office rate for First Class Mail – Parcels weighing 1-3 ounces, make sure to upgrade to Stamps.com Version 13.3.

How To Use USPS Triangular Tubes With Stamps.com

March 25th, 2016 Comments off

261555_Blog-Triangular-tubesItems like posters, blueprints and important documents etc. will sometimes need to be rolled and packed into a triangular shipping tube.  These are a great option if you need a space-saving mailer that won’t roll around – but how do you add postage to them using Stamps.com?

Selecting USPS Triangular Tubes In Stamps.com
Like traditional tubes, you don’t need to look for a separate mailpiece type called “Tubes” from the drop-down Mail Class/Mailpiece menus.  When mailing triangular tubes, select “Packages” as your mailpiece type.  With Stamps.com, you can ship these at a First Class Package Rate.  As of January 17, 2016, you can create postage for First Class Packages weighing up to 15.999 ounces (13 ounces was the former maximum weight for First Class Packages).

How To Measure Your Triangular Tube
If you need your triangular tube package delivered quickly, you may want to select Priority Mail instead of First Class Package Service.  Since Priority Mail rates are based on zones, for certain zip codes you will have to enter the dimensions of your tube in order to obtain the correct rate.

You’ll have to know the length, width, and height of your triangular tube.

- Length –this is the longest side of your mailpiece.
- Width –this is the base of your triangle.
- Height – if your triangular tube is resting on the ground or a table, how many inches off the ground is it?

Girth:  What It Is and Why It Is Important For Your Triangular Tube
If you regularly ship triangular tubes, we also recommend knowing the girth of your mailpieces.  You can find out the girth by adding the three smaller sides of your triangle, so if each side is 5 inches, the girth will be 15 inches.

Why is knowing girth important?  This is because the USPS uses the total size to determine whether your tube is a Package, Large Package or Oversized Package.  The total size is: Length + Girth.

- Package: Total Size less than or equal to 84″
- Large Package: Total Size greater than 84″ but less than or equal to 108″
- Oversized Package: Total Size greater than 108″ but less than or equal to 130″

Get Free USPS Priority Mail Triangular Tubes
If you’re ready to ship off your blueprints and charts, you can certainly use your own supplies with Stamps.com.  We also offer Priority and Priority Mail Triangular Tubes that you can order for free from us!  These help the USPS identify the mail class you are using for your package.  Just remember that these are not Flat Rate mailpieces.  You would still need to select “Packages” as your mailpiece.

To order free USPS tube packaging, log in to your software and click on “Online Store,” which appears beneath “Buy Supplies.”   Two types of free tubes are available in the section called “Free USPS Supplies.”

Easily Send Easter Mailings and Packages with Stamps.com

March 18th, 2016 Comments off

260787_New-Blog-Post-Images-Easter-Mailings

This year, Easter falls on Sunday, March 27, and Stamps.com can help you celebrate in style! Easter egg hunts are fun, but hunting for information on mailing options isn’t.  We want to make the process easy for you!

Customize Your Easter Cards with Stamps.com
Easter is a great time to send a card to a loved one or friend.  Everyone likes getting mail!  If you want to send a card or letter, you can print postage on various envelope sizes, including sizes #9, #11, and #12, the Personal (3 5/8” x 6 1/2”) and Monarch (3 7/8” x 7 1/2”), and the NCR Greeting Card Envelope (8 3/4” x 5 3/4”).  You can also use our Custom Layout Designer to create custom envelopes and postcards of non-standard sizes.  Click on “Envelopes” in the left navigation bar and look for the envelope icon next to the “Printing On” drop-down list.

Make Your Easter Cards Extra Special with NetStamps
For Easter, we offer two fun designs: Easter Thoughts NetStamps and Easter Basket NetStamps.  You can order these fun designs in various quantities!  Once you receive them, you can add postage amounts to your sheets, either one at a time or on a full sheet.  Want to be prepared for other upcoming holidays?  Check out our other themed labels in the same category.

Easily Send Easter Care Packages with Stamps.com

Sometimes distance separates loved ones, but we can help!  Want to send decorated or blank eggs to a loved one or friend in the US?  Remember to individually cushion each one and pack them with plenty of padding.  With our Shipping Label option under our Packages section, you can easily print a trackable label on plain paper or on one of our self-adhesive labels, such as SDC-1200.  Another fun idea is to send plastic-eggs filled with candy or chocolate.  If you’re sending chocolate, refrigerate or freeze them beforehand to keep them from melting.

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