Frequently Asked Questions about the 2017 USPS Postage Rate Increase

February 10th, 2017 Comments off

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Have questions about the 2017 USPS Postage Rate changes? We have answers!

 

When did the new USPS rates start?

The 2017 USPS postage rate increase went into effect on Sunday, January 22, 2017.

Are Forever Stamps purchased before January 22, 2017 still valid?

Yes, Forever Stamps purchased from the Post Office (or another location) remain valid. You can still use Forever Stamps to mail a one-ounce First-Class Mail letter, even if purchased before January 22.

Can I buy the $0.46 Metered Rate postage stamps at the Post Office?

No, the Metered Rate $0.46 postage stamps can only be printed using an approved PC Postage/online postage vendor such as Stamps.com or through a postage meter. The Metered Rate $0.46 stamps cannot be purchased at the Post Office. Learn more about saving with Metered Mail rates here: http://blog.stamps.com/2017/02/02/save-3-cents-printing-first-class-mail-letters-online/

How do I get Commercial Base discounts for printing postage online?

You automatically qualify for Commercial Base pricing if you print shipping labels using Stamps.com (or any online postage vendor). These rates are automatically calculated when you print postage.

Did online postage rates for any international mail classes increase for 2017?

There is no rate increase for Priority Mail Express International, Priority Mail International or First Class Package International Service in 2017, if you buy postage online using Stamps.com (or any online postage vendor).

Can anyone use Regional Rate Boxes or are they only for large quantity shippers?

Anyone can ship using Regional Rate Boxes, regardless of the number of packages shipped. If you buy postage for a Regional Rate Box at the Post Office, you will have to pay and additional $2.25 for Zones 1-4 and $1.00 for Zones 5-9.

Did online postage rates for Parcel Select Ground decrease?

Yes, for certain weight and zone combinations, the price for Parcel Select Ground will be lower than what it was in 2016. Most of these rate decreases are zone specific for packages weighing between 2 pounds and 5 pounds.

When do I need to include that plastic (Form 2976-E) envelope on my package for the Customs Forms?

The USPS Form 2976-A Customs Form includes four copies of the standard Customs Form and must be inserted into the Form 2976-E envelope. You would attach this on Priority Mail International or Priority Mail Express International packages, but you can use the USPS 2976 Customs Form (1 page) for First-Class Package International Service packages.

I am a Stamps.com customer. Do I need to take any actions to get the new rates?

No, if you are a Stamps.com customer, you do not need to take any action. Stamps.com automatically updated all USPS rates inside the software and web-based version (Stamps.com Online) on Sunday, January 22, 2017.

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Stamps.com Automatically Updated with New 2017 USPS Rates

January 23rd, 2017 Comments off

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New USPS postage rates went into effect Sunday, January 22, 2017. Wondering if there’s anything you need to do to get these updated rates when mailing and shipping with Stamps.com? The good news is, you’re all set! All postage printed through Stamps.com will reflect the new 2017 USPS rates. Our mailing and shipping solutions—both the software AND our Stamps.com Online web-based version—are designed to reflect current USPS pricing automatically, which means no service interruptions for you.

Here’s a summary of the 2017 postage rate increase for Commercial Base (online postage) prices by mail class:

 

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Get more info on the 2017 USPS postage rate increase.

 

 

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Free: 2017 Postage Rate Increase Guide

January 16th, 2017 Comments off

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Effective January 22, 2017, the U.S. Postal Service will implement new rates for domestic and international mail classes as well as its Special Services. Want to learn more about these changes and how they may impact your mailing and shipping? We’ve created a new guide for our customers detailing the USPS rate and service change for each mail class. This Postage Rate Increase Guide includes side-by-side rate comparisons so you know how much you’ll pay on and after January 22, whether you pay retail rates or discounted Stamps.com rates. This guide also includes general shipping suggestions and a Frequently Asked Questions page to help answer any questions you might have about this rate increase.
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This guide includes 2017 postage rates for:

 

Get more info on the 2017 USPS postage rate increase.

 

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6 Proven Methods to Grow Your Business

December 30th, 2016 Comments off

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Are you ready to expand your ecommerce business? Stay a step ahead of your company’s growth by planning and preparing for new opportunities with these six ideas.

Attract new customers

Look into implementing a referral program both to leverage existing customers and draw in their own contacts to your site, and use social media to create new buzz on Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat and Instagram by promoting specials and giveaways.

 Encourage larger orders

By being more aggressive with upsells, cross-product selling and volume promotions, you can increase your sales one customer at a time.

Bump up your content.

Review your copy and add new SEO keywords, meta tags and powerful new language to your product descriptions. Add compelling photography and video to enhance your listings.

 Increase prices

Increasing some prices by a small percentage or charging for shipping if you currently ship for free are simple ways to drive up your profits. Just be sure not to make your increases so large or noticeable that buyers start clicking away from your site.

 But also discount some prices, when it makes sense

Avoid deep discounts, which can be a sign of desperation to shoppers, but create attractive, short-term promotions offering popular products at a lower price. Bargain hunters will feel the thrill of the hunt and may share their finds in their networks, bringing you more business.

 Diversify

If you’re successful in one channel, imagine how much more you can do across multiple channels. Add to your product line, make yourself available as an expert in your field or product line, and consider importing and exporting your own and other ecommerce business owners’ products.

Categories: Small Business Marketing Tags:

6 Crowdfunding Tips For Your Ecommerce Endeavors

December 23rd, 2016 Comments off

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Looking for capital? These days, finding a cash outlay for your business endeavors can be as simple as setting up a crowdfunding website. Popular sites like Kickstarter and Indiegogo have changed the way businesses seek investors, making it easier than ever for companies and contributors to connect. Better yet, crowdfunding eliminates some of typical conditions investors often impose in return for their support, such as a stake in the company or creative control.

Kickstarter is an online fundraising platform that allows users in the U.S., U.K. and Canada to publicly post creative projects, including specs, prototypes, potential risks and progress updates, to grab the attention of investors. Be aware the Kickstarter requires users to set a monetary goal and deadline, and if the full amount of requested funds isn’t pledged by that date, the company does not receive anything (and any pledged money is returned to the donors). Indiegogo, meanwhile, is broader in scope, with a longer list of eligible projects and an international user base. Both Kickstarter and Indiegogo apply a percentage-based fee to the total funds collected, and Indiegogo’s fee increases if the fundraising goal isn’t met. While Kickstarter and Indiegogo are the best-known crowdfunding sites, businesses may also consider a variety of other similar services, such as 33needs, Rockethub, appbackr and ChipIn.

Ready to crowdfund? Keep these tips in mind.

  • Have a great product or idea to pitch. With thousands of crowdfunding campaigns ongoing at any one time, your business or product idea needs to stand out. Scroll through crowdfunding sites to be sure you aren’t duplicating an existing campaign.
  • Set realistic goals. Remember, you’re trying to get your business or product off the ground. Don’t ask for more than you need to cover your costs at this stage of the game.
  • Plan the perfect campaign. Think about the kind of customers and inventors who would comprise your target audience. Are they social-media savvy? Do they like a straightforward approach or a pitch with an edge? Can you reach out to popular bloggers to help promote your campaign? Consider these points as you write your copy and add additional media, such as photography and video.
  • Be open about your goals. Investors need to know that the business they’re contributing to stays true to your proposal. Reassure interested parties and investors with regular updates during the crowdfunding process, and welcome their feedback. If your business gets successfully funded, it’s even more important to continue the conversation and let your investors know how you’re using their money and what they can expect in the future.
  • Consider rewards. Crowdfunding businesses may choose to reward investors at certain levels with public acknowledgement, products and other incentives, which may help encourage participation. However, many incentives ultimately cost in you time, money or both, so carefully weigh whether rewards are a financially responsible option for your campaign and your business.
  • Watch the clock. If your crowdfunding campaign has a hard deadline, you’ll want to space out content over the life of the campaign. Still, the first 48 hours can be the most crucial. Plus, if you manage to raise the needed funds early on, your campaign may catch the attention of mainstream media, which can bring you needed publicity.
Categories: Small Business Marketing Tags:

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