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FAQs on the April 2016 Postage Rate Decrease

April 12th, 2016

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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.

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