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.

Parcel Select: Summary of 2016 USPS Rate Increase

February 19th, 2016 Comments off

What is Parcel Select Ground?
Parcel Select Ground is a ground delivery service from the USPS typically used by large- and medium-sized shippers. The service includes free USPS Tracking and shipping rates are determined by distance, package weight and dimensions of the mailpiece.  The maximum allowable package weight for Parcel Select is 70 lbs.

Parcel Select Ground can only be purchased via online postage vendors such as Stamps.com or Endicia. If you are a high volume shipper, you can purchase postage directly from the USPS using contract services, however packages are required to be dropped off at a Destination Entry facility.

What is the Estimated Delivery Time for Parcel Select Ground?
Parcel Select Ground offers U.S. delivery within two to eight days, depending on the destination.

Changes to Parcel Select in 2016
Name Change to Parcel Select Ground
The USPS is changing the name of Parcel Select (Nonpresort) to Parcel Select Ground in 2016.

Rate are Decreasing in Zones 1-5
For packages weighing between 3 lbs. to 70 lbs. that shipping to Zones 1 – 5, Parcel Select Ground rates are decreasing by as much as $12.73 (20 lbs., Zone 5) per package in 2016.

blog_parcel-select-ground_2016-usps-rate-increase

 

Frequently Asked Questions about the 2016 USPS Postage Rate Increase

February 2nd, 2016 Comments off

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.

USPS Announces Postage Rate Increase – Starts January 17, 2016

October 22nd, 2015 Comments off

Blog_Postage_Rates_2016The U.S. Postal Service has proposed a postage rate increase for select mail classes and services in 2016, pending approval from the Postal Regulatory Commission (PRC).  If approved by the PRC, the new postage rates will start on Sunday, January 17, 2016.  Below are some highlights on the upcoming rate changes:

Priority Mail Express
The Priority Mail Express service will see an average increase of 15.6% in postage rates next year.  2016 Commercial Base rates for your Priority Mail Express packages will increase across the board, with the exception of packages weighing less than 0.5 lbs being shipped to Zones 5, 6 and 7.

PME
Priority Mail Express Flat Rate Boxes & Envelopes
In 2016, Priority Mail Express Flat Rate Envelopes will see an increase of $2.55.  Priority Mail Express Flat Rate Boxes will be discontinued next year.

PME Flat Rate
Priority Mail
Priority Mail rates will see an average increase of 9.4% in 2016.

PM
Priority Mail Flat Rate Boxes & Envelopes
Postage rates for Priority Mail Flat Rate Boxes as well as Envelopes will increase across the board in 2016.

PM Flat Rate

Priority Mail Regional Rate Boxes
Postage for Priority Mail Regional Rate Boxes A and B will be increasing for a large majority of the zones as shown below.  Priority Mail Regional Rate Box C will be discontinued in 2016.

PM RR

First Class Package Service
First Class Package Service rates will see an average increase of 12.8% in 2016.  The maximum weight for First Class Package Service Commercial Base pricing will be increased from up to 13 ounces to up to 16 ounces.  First Class Package Service Commercial Plus pricing will no longer exist in 2016.

FCPS

Parcel Select Ground
Currently known as Parcel Select Nonpresort, this ground service will undergo a name change in 2016 and will be referred to as Parcel Select Ground next year.  Parcel Select Ground rates will see an average increase of 1.9% in 2016.  Postage prices will actually go down for packages weighing between 3 – 10 lbs. and being shipped to Zones 1 – 5.

PS

International Shipping
International shippers will also see an increase in postage rates starting January 17, 2016.  Below are some highlights on the upcoming rate changes for international mail classes:

Global Express Guaranteed postage rates are expected to rise by an average of 7.1%.

Priority Mail Express International postage rates will increase by an average of 11.6% next year.  Flat Rate Boxes for this international service will be discontinued in 2016.  In addition, prices for Priority Mail Express International Flat Rate Envelopes and Boxes will be further separated into additional country groups.

Priority Mail International postage rates will see an overall increase of 10.2% in 2016.  Commercial Base and Commercial Plus pricing for this service will be the same next year.

First Class Package International Service postage rates will increase by an average of 21.6% in 2016, however Commercial Base and Plus prices will remain the same next year.  The average price increases by pound are:

– Up to 1 lb. – Average Increase of $5.17
– Up to 2 lbs. – Average Increase of ($1.77)
– Up to 3 lbs. – Average Increase of $1.63
– Up to 4 lbs. – Average Increase of $11.58

Additional Changes
Below are details on additional changes that will be implemented next year:

Critical Mail:  In order to further simplify its product offerings, the U.S. Postal Service will discontinue the Critical Mail service in 2016 once the new rates are implemented in January.

Click-N-Ship Features:  Available on USPS.com, these features will move to retail pricing once the new rates are implemented in January 2016.  Commercial Base pricing for these features will no longer be available.

Stamps.com Will Automatically Update to the New USPS Rates on January 17, 2016
Stamps.com will automatically update all USPS rates inside the software and web-based version (Stamps.com Online) on Sunday, January 17, 2016. If you are a Stamps.com customer, no additional actions are needed and you will see the new USPS rates automatically.

Call us toll-free at 1-888-434-0055, Monday - Friday, 6 AM - 6 PM Pacific Time.