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Frequently Asked Questions about the 2016 USPS Postage Rate Increase

February 2nd, 2016

blog_faq-2016-ratesFrequently Asked Questions about the 2016 USPS Postage Rate Increase

LETTER MAILING
When did the new USPS postage rates go into effect?

The USPS implemented the 2016 rates on Sunday, January 17, 2016.  All postage printed after this time must include the correct 2016 rate.

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 2016 USPS rates.

Are First Class Mail letter rates increasing?
No, the 2016 USPS rate increase is only impacting shipping services. Rates for First Class Mail letters are remaining the same. Those rates are:

  • First Class Mail Letters (1 oz.): $0.49 – no change from 2015. Each additional ounce will cost $0.22
  • First Class Mail Letters Metered Mail Rate (1 oz.): $0.485 – no change from 2015. Each additional ounce will cost $0.22
  • First Class Mail Flats/Large Envelopes (1 oz.): $0.98 – no change from 2015. Each additional ounce will cost $0.22
  • Postcard rates will not increase and will remain at $0.35 – no change from 2015

What happens if my letter has the old rate and hasn’t been delivered yet?
If your letter was postmarked before Sunday, January 17, 2016, then your letter will be delivered as normal.  But if the letter entered the mailstream with the 2015 rates, the letter could either be sent back to you for postage due or possibly delivered to the recipient with a request for postage due.

SHIPPING
Are Priority Mail rates increasing?

Yes, Priority Mail rates are increasing for 2016. After three years without a shipping rate increase, Priority Mail will see an average rate increase of 9.4% in 2016.

What is happening to the Priority Mail Regional Rate Box C?
The USPS is discontinuing the Priority Mail Regional Rate Box C as of January 17, 2016. This box will still available to use (branded now as Priority Mail), but you must pay regular Priority Mail rates.

Can I drop off a Regional Rate Box at the Post Office?
Yes, Regional Rate Box A and Box B may be turned in at the Post Office. Important Note: If postage for the Regional Rate Box is purchased at the Post Office, the USPS has changed the additional charge from $0.75 to $2.25 if the Regional Rate package is being delivered to Zones 1 to 4, and to $1.00 if the package is being delivered to Zones 5 to 9.

Why have the rates increased so much for Click-N-Ship?
Previously, customers who printed postage on Click-N-Ship (USPS.com) received Commercial Base pricing, which were discounts offered to customers for printing postage online. Starting on January 17, 2016 those online discounts will no longer be offered for Click-N-Ship and customers will pay Post Office prices (Retail Rates).

Has the maximum weight increased for First Class Package Service?
Yes, the maximum weight for First Class Package Service Commercial Base pricing (online postage) will be increased from 13 ounces to 15.99 ounces. This opens a lot of opportunity for e-commerce sellers who are looking for a fast, cost-efficient means to ship packages. First Class Package Service includes free tracking and delivery is typically 1 to 3 days across the U.S.

Can I ship a 16 ounce (1 pound) package using First Class Package Service?
No! If your package weighs 16 ounces (1 pound) or more, you may NOT use First Class Package Service for delivery. Any package that weighs 1 lb. should be upgraded to Priority Mail, Priority Mail Express, Parcel Select or Media Mail.

How much does it cost to ship a 15.99 package using First Class Package Service?
The cost to send a 15.99 ounce package using First Class Package Service is $3.65, significantly cheaper than any other shipping service.

What happened to Commercial Plus pricing for First Class Package Service?
The USPS is looking to simplify their pricing programs. Starting on January 17, 2016, Commercial Plus pricing has been eliminated for First Class Package Service. However, Commercial Plus pricing is still available for Priorty Mail and Priority Mail Express (domestic and international).

I am seeing a $2.54 rate for packages weighing between 1 and 3 ounces for First Class Package Service – isnt 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 are cheaper than online rates (Commercial Base pricing). Stamps.com has incorporated this cheaper 2016 Post Office rate into our program! To get this discount, you MUST download Stamps.com Version 13.3

What happened to Standard Post (previously Parcel Post)?
Standard Post, a ground delivery service sold only at the Post Office, has been renamed Retail Ground. Other than the name change, the service level remains the same as 2015.

What is Parcel Select Ground?
Parcel Select Ground is the new name for Parcel Select (Nonpresort), a ground delivery service for medium-sized and large shippers. Other than the name change, the service level remains the same as 2015.

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