Stamps.com Blog

Stamps.com Blog

Get the latest information on the mailing and shipping industry.

USPS Delays Rate Increase Scheduled for April 26, 2015

April 15th, 2015 Comments off

blog_usps-logo-delay-rate-increase2The U.S. Postal Service announced that it will delay the postage rate increase and service classification changes that were scheduled to start on Sunday, April 26, 2015.

The decision to delay the 2015 rate increase was motivated by the fact the Postal Regulatory Commission had not approved all of the proposed 2015 rates changes submitted by the USPS.  In particular, some “market-dominant” mail classes such as Standard Mail and Periodicals had not been approved.  To avoid a staggered implementation of the new rates, the USPS felt it was better to delay the entire rate increase and classification change to a later date.

No new date has been announced. The USPS said it will resubmit a new pricing proposal to the Postal Regulatory Commission for approval.

Stamps.com will keep you updated with all the USPS postage rate increase changes once more info is available.

Certified Mail Has You Covered During Tax-Time

April 3rd, 2015 Comments off

Certified Mail Blog
Use USPS Certified Mail To File Your Taxes

Mailing in your tax return this year?  Use USPS Certified Mail with Return Receipt!  Why?  When you use Certified Mail with Return Receipt, you get a receipt showing when your tax return was delivered or when delivery was attempted.  You also receive an electronic or physical delivery record showing who signed for your tax return.  This feature is extremely helpful in the event of any dispute around mailing dates.  Remember, the IRS considers your return filed on time, if it is postmarked by April 15th!

Use Stamps.com To Print Certified Mail

Stamps.com makes it very easy to print Certified Mail postage online.  All Stamps.com customers can print postage for Certified Mail and fill out the standard USPS Certified Mail and Return Receipt forms.

Stamps.com Premier members can use our automated Certified Mail forms that allow you to print postage, address information and all Certified Mail requirements (including a mailing receipt or Return Receipt) in one simple step.

If you are not a Premier member, you will need to fill out and attach USPS form 3800.

Tax Time Tips

#1.  Sufficient Postage:  Make sure the envelope with your tax returns includes sufficient postage!  Any tax returns without enough postage will be returned.  Stamps.com customers need not worry since the software always calculates the exact amount of postage you need.

#2.  Write legibly:  To avoid any delays or confusion, make sure to clearly write the destination and return addresses on the envelope that includes your tax return.  If you are a Stamps.com customer you are covered, since the software will print the address information for you.

#3.  Post Offices with extended hours:  Certain Post Offices may be open late on April 15th to postmark your tax return.  Find a Post Office near you here.

 

How-To: Automatically Saving Addresses in the Address Book

March 27th, 2015 Comments off

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Did you know Stamps.com can automatically save the delivery addresses you enter onto an envelope or shipping label when you print postage? With just a few steps, you can set up the Address Book to auto-save addresses into our system.

Steps to Automatically Save Address in Address Book

  1. From inside Stamps.com software, select “File” in the top navigation and then “Preferences”
  2. Once the “Preferences” dialog box opens, select the “Addresses” tab and then select the “Automatically save manually entered delivery address to the address book” check box.
  3. Lastly, click OK.

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Just like that, you no longer have to manually input delivery addresses every time you print postage.

How to Get a Refund for Late Delivery on Priority Mail Express

March 20th, 2015 Comments off

Refund for PME BlogIf you need your packages delivered overnight, Priority Mail Express is a great option!  The mail service provides the fastest delivery offered by the U.S. Postal Service with delivery occurring 7 days a week, 365 days of the year.  The USPS also offers a money-back guarantee if your package is not delivered on time.

The Money-Back Guarantee
Unlike First Class Mail or Priority Mail, Priority Mail Express has a money-back guarantee if your mailpiece is not delivered by the promised time.  The money-back guarantee is contingent on a number of factors including the package drop-off time as well as the origin and destination zip codes.   You can access specific guaranteed times here: http://postcalc.usps.com/ServiceCommitments.aspx.

How do I get a refund on late Priority Express Mail?
So what happens if your mailpiece is not delivered by the specific commitment time?  The USPS handles delivery of your mailpiece, so even if the postage on your mailpiece is printed via the Stamps.com platform, the USPS will be responsible for the refund.

For domestic mail, if your Priority Mail Express item is not delivered by the guaranteed time, please visit your local Post Office no later than 30 days from the date the item was mailed.  Before you go, please take with you a copy of the receipt from your Print History.

If you’re logging into the Stamps.com software, click on “Search” on the left side of your software screen and click on the info box (i) that corresponds to the label/tracking number in the Print History.  Click on “Print” to generate a physical copy of your receipt.

If you’re logging into Stamps.com Online, click on the “History” tab at the top of your screen and select “Search Print History.”  After that, the instructions are the same as for the Stamps.com software.

At the Post Office, the window clerk will ask you to complete PS Form 3533 (Refund for Postage).  Please be aware that the form is not available online.  Once your claim is verified by the clerk, your claim will be paid by cash or money order.

How do I get a refund on late Priority Express Mail for international mail?
For international mail, a money-back guarantee is currently available for Priority Mail Express International items sent to the following countries:

  • Australia,
  • Canada,
  • China,
  • France (does not include Corsica and Monaco),
  • Germany,
  • Hong Kong,
  • Israel,
  • Japan,
  • New Zealand,
  • Singapore,
  • South Korea,
  • Spain (does not include the Canary Islands),
  • Sweden,
  • Switzerland,
  • Thailand,
  • United Kingdom.

You can initiate a request for a postage refund with the USPS no later than 30 days from the date of mailing by calling 1-800-222-1811 or by going to the International Claims Inquiry Page at https://www.usps.com/ship/file-international-claims.htm.

USPS Announces Postage Rate Increase – Starts April 26, 2015

March 4th, 2015 Comments off

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IMPORTANT UPDATE!  On March 27, the USPS announced they will delay the implementation of the 2015 rate increase and classification changes scheduled to start on Sunday, April 26, 2015. USPS rates WILL NOT be changing on April 26, 2015.  

The U.S. Postal Service has announced a postage rate increase for select mail classes and services for 2015. The new postage rates will start on Sunday, April 26, 2015.

First Class Letters & Postcards
The cost to send a one ounce First Class Letter will NOT BE INCREASING and will remain $0.49. Additional ounces will cost $0.22, a one cent increase from 2014. Postcard rates will increase by one cent to $0.35, from $0.34 in 2014.

If you print postage online or use a postage meter, the “Metered Mail” rate for a one ounce First Class Letter will be increasing by $0.005 to $0.485 from $0.48. The Metered Mail rate is a discount provided to users who print postage online and through a postage meter.

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Priority Mail Express

For Priority Mail Express packages, rates will NOT BE INCREASING in 2015.

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Priority Mail Express Flat Rate Boxes & Envelopes
For Priority Mail Express Flat Rate Envelopes and the Flat Rate Box, rates will NOT BE INCREASING in 2015.

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Priority Mail
For Priority Mail packages, rates will NOT BE INCREASING in 2015. As a reminder, Priority Mail rates were reduced in September 2014. With 2 day delivery to over 90% of U.S. addresses and improved tracking, Priority Mail is a great shipping option for e-commerce sellers.

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Priority Mail Flat Rate Boxes & Envelopes
For Priority Mail Flat Rate Boxes and Envelopes, rates will NOT BE INCREASING for 2015.

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Priority Mail Regional Rate Boxes
For Priority Mail Regional Rate Boxes, rates will NOT BE INCREASING for 2015. Regional Rate Boxes provide shippers a low cost option for packages traveling shorter distances.

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First Class Package Service
First Class Package Service will see an average increase of 5.1% in 2015. For packages that weigh 13 ounces or less, First Class Package Service remains the lowest cost option to ship a package to a U.S. address.

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Parcel Select (nonpresort)
Prices for Parcel Select (nonpresort), the U.S. Postal Service’s ground shipping product, will increase an average of 9.8% in 2015. While the average rate is increasing, the USPS did lower Parcel Select prices in some shipping zones.  In Zones 1 to 4 for packages weighing between 6 lbs. through 24 lbs, rates are decreasing by as much as $9.35 per package (15 lb., Zone 4). There are no price increases for Zones 1 to 4 for packages weighing 25 lbs. through 70 lbs.

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Media Mail
Media Mail rates will see an average increase of 6.2% in 2015. For books, videos and other products that qualify, Media Mail remains a great low cost shipping option.

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First Class Letters & Postcards – International
The cost to send a one ounce First Class Letter to an international destination will increase five cents, to $1.20 from $1.15. Postcard rates will increase by five cents, to $1.20 from $1.15 in 2014.

First Class Package International Service
The overall increase for First Class Package International Service will be 7.2% in 2015.  The average price increases by pound are:

  • Up to 1 lb. – Average increase of $0.66
  • Up to 2 lbs. – Average increase of $1.29
  • Up to  3 lbs. – Average increase of $1.65
  • Up to 4 lbs. – Average increase of $2.01

First Class Package International Service remains the cheapest option among all carriers to ship internationally. It also includes tracking for the most popular countries including the U.K., Australia and Canada.

Priority Mail International
The overall increase for Priority Mail International will be 5.5% in 2015. Additionally, the USPS is introducing Zone-based pricing for Priority Mail International packages traveling to Canada. Canada will be split into 7 zones with rates ranging from $30.75 to $37.50 for a 1 lb. package.

Priority Mail Express International
The overall increase for Priority Mail Express International will be 6.7% in 2015.

Global Express Guaranteed
The overall increase for Global Express Guaranteed will be 7.2% in 2015.

Stamps.com Will Automatically Update to the New USPS Rates on April 26, 2015
Stamps.com will automatically update all USPS rates inside the software and web-based version (Stamps.com Online) on Sunday, April 26, 2015. If you are a Stamps.com customer, no additional actions are needed and you will see the new USPS rates automatically.