USPS Announces 2018 Postage Rate Increase

October 26th, 2017 Comments off

The U.S. Postal Service has proposed new postage rates to be implemented on Sunday, January 21, 2018, subject to approval by the Postal Regulatory Commission (PRC). Listed below are the highlights of the proposed 2018 USPS rate increase for customers buying postage online:

First Class Mail Letters
The rate for a First Class Mail Letter (1 oz.) for postage purchased at the Post Office is increasing by one cent to $0.50 from $0.49. If you print postage online (via Stamps.com), the Metered Mail rate will continue to receive a 3 cent discount off the Post Office price, with rates increasing to $0.47 in 2018 from $0.46 in 2017. Each additional ounce will cost an extra $0.21 (no change from 2017).

The rate for a First Class Mail Flats/Large Envelope is increasing by two cents to $1.00 (1 oz.) and postcards are increasing by one cent to $0.35 in 2018.

2018 First Class Mail Letter Rates

 

Priority Mail Express (Commercial Base Pricing)
Overall, prices for Priority Mail Express will increase by 3.9%. A 1 lb. package going to Zone 8 using Priority Mail Express will cost $35.04 in 2018 compared to $33.76 currently.

2018 Priority Mail Express Rates


Priority Mail Express Flat Rate (Commercial Base Pricing)

Priority Mail Express Flat Rate Envelopes will also see a rate increase in 2018. The increases vary depending on the type of envelope, ranging from $0.80 to $0.82 per envelope.

2018 Priority Mail Express Flat Rate


Priority Mail (Commercial Base Pricing)

Priority Mail will see an average increase of 6.2%. A 1 lb. package going to Zone 8 using Priority Mail will cost $7.76 in 2018 compared to $7.25 currently.

2018 Priority Mail Rates

Priority Mail Flat Rate Boxes & Envelopes (Commercial Base Pricing)
Postage rates for Priority Mail Flat Rate Boxes as well as Flat Rate Envelopes will increase in 2018. The popular Priority Mail Flat Rate Padded Envelope will cost $7.10 in 2018 compared to $6.50 currently, a $0.60 increase. And the Priority Mail Medium Flat Rate Box will cost $12.85 in 2018 compared to $12.40 currently.

2018 Priority Mail Flat Rate


Priority Mail Regional Rate (Commercial Base Pricing)

Shipping rates for Priority Mail Regional Rate Boxes will be increasing for most Zones. However, Regional Rate Box A for Zone 5 will be saying the same price at $8.15. And Regional Rate Box B for Zone 5 will be decreasing by $0.30 to $10.65 from $10.95 currently.

2018 Priority Mail Regional Rate Boxes


First Class Package Service (Commercial Base Pricing)

Overall rates for First Class Package Service will increase by 3.9%.  Rates are increasing the most in packages weighing 13 ounces or greater with a 15.999 ounce package costing $4.94 in 2018 from $4.30 currently ($0.64 increase).

2018 First Class Package Service Rates


Parcel Select Ground (Commercial Base Pricing)

While most Parcel Select Ground options will be increasing, there are some weight and zone groupings where rates are decreasing. Parcel Select Ground rates are decreasing for Zone 4 – 4 lbs, and Zone 5 – 3, 4 and 5 lb. packages.  Rates are also decreasing for Zone 3 for packages weighing between 44 lbs. and 59 lbs.  Rates are seeing a much larger increase of between $1.03 and $4.11 per package in the 10 lbs. or heavier traveling to Zones 6, 7 or 8.

2018 Parcel Select Ground Rates

 

Media Mail
Media Mail rates will increase by 1.9% in 2018. A 1 lb. package traveling to Zone 8 will cost $2.66 in 2018 compared to $2.63 currently.

2018 Media Mail Rates

 

INTERNATIONAL
Global Express Guaranteed (Commercial Base Pricing)

Global Express Guaranteed postage prices will increases across all weights and zones.

2018 Global Express Guaranteed Rates

Priority Mail Express International
Priority Mail Express International rates will be increasing by an average of 3.9% across all 17 Country Groups in 2018.

Priority Mail International
Priority Mail International rates will be increasing by an average of 3.9% in 2018.

First Class Package International Service
First Class Package International Service rates will be increasing by an average of 3.9% across all 17 Country Groups in 2018.

Stamps.com Will Automatically Update to the New USPS Rates on January 21, 2018
Once the rates are approved by the PRC, Stamps.com will automatically update all USPS rates inside the software and web-based version (Stamps.com Online) on Sunday, January 21, 2018. If you are a Stamps.com customer, no additional actions are needed and you will AUTOMATICALLY see the 2018 USPS rates in the platform.

Frequently Asked Questions about the 2017 USPS Postage Rate Increase

February 10th, 2017 Comments off

298170_SM_Stamps_Blog_RateChange

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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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.

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