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 New Postage Rates for 2014

November 18th, 2013 Comments off

The U.S. Postal Service has submitted their 2014 mailing and shipping rates to the Postal Regulatory Commission (PRC).  If approved by the PRC, the new postage rates will start on Sunday, January 26, 2014.

New USPS Products for 2014:

  • The USPS has proposed a new First Class letter rate for the “Metered Mail” category, including postage meters and online postage. This new rate would be $0.48 — $0.01 below the proposed price of $0.49 for Stamped letter mail.
  • Priority Mail Express will now be offering a new 10:30 a.m. delivery time option for a $5.00 fee.
  • A new “Zone 9” delivery zone is being introduced to represent U.S. territories and freely associated states (Micronesia, Marshall Islands, and Palau) for Priority Mail and Priority Mail Express.
  • A fee of $0.20 per package will be assessed on any package that does not have an Intelligent Mail Package Barcode on the shipping label. Note: All shipping labels printed from Stamps.com automatically include the Intelligent Mail Package Barcode if you include USPS Tracking.
  • Priority Mail International: The maximum weight for Rate Group 2 (Mexico) has been increased to 70 lbs. from 44 lbs.
  • Commercial Plus Pricing: The minimum annual package volume threshold for cubic pricing and other Commercial Plus offerings will be lowered to 50,000 packages.

First Class Letters & Postcards
For First Class letters and postcards, the USPS has requested a special “exigent” rate increase for 2014.  This “exigent” request is seeking a postage rate increase above the Consumer Price Index (CPI). By law, the USPS is not allowed to increase postage rates above the CPI for the “Market Dominant” mail classes (letters, postcards, Media Mail, etc.).  Also new for 2014, the USPS has proposed a new discounted rate for letters and postcards where the postage is printed from a Postage Meter or Online Postage service such as Stamps.com.

2014 First Class Letter Postage Rates

Priority Mail Express
USPS pricing for Priority Mail Express will increase an average of 3.0% in 2014.

2014 Priority Mail Express Rates

 

Priority Mail Express Flat Rate Boxes & Envelopes
For Priority Mail Express Flat Rate, Flat Rate Envelope prices will not be increasing for 2014.  Priority Mail Express Flat Rate Boxes will be increasing by $5.00 in 2014.

2014 Priority Mail Express Flat Rate Postage Prices

Priority Mail
The USPS has not announced the average overall increase for 2014 Priority Mail rates yet.  However, in some weight ranges and zones, the prices will be reduced compared to 2013.

2014 Priority Mail Postage Rates

Priority Mail Regional Rate Boxes
The USPS has not announced the average overall increase for Priority Mail Regional Rate Boxes yet.  However, in some weight ranges and zones for Regional Rate Box B, the prices will be reduced compared to 2013.

2014 Priority Mail Regional Rate Box Rates

Priority Mail Flat Rate Boxes & Envelopes
For Priority Mail Flat Rate Boxes and Envelopes, rates will not be increasing for 2014 except for the Small Flat Rate Box and the Large Flat Rate Box (regular and APO/FPO).

2014 Priority Mail Flat Rate Postage Prices

Parcel Select
Prices for Parcel Select, the U.S. Postal Service’s bulk ground shipping product, will increase an average of 5.9% in 2014. Note: In 2, 3 and 4 lbs, rates in some shipping zones are being reduced in 2014 compared to 2013.

2014 USPS Parcel Select Rates

First Class Package Service
First Class Package Service will see an average increase of 5.0% in 2014.

2014 First Class Package Service Rates

Media Mail
Media Mail rates will see an average increase of 6.3% in 2014.

2014 Media Mail Rates

International Mail

  • The overall increase for First Class Package International Service will be 0.8%. Note: Commercial Base (online postage) prices WILL NOT be increasing in 2014.
  • The overall increase for Priority Mail International will be 1.1%.
  • The overall increase for Priority Mail Express International will be 1.3%.
  • The overall increase for Global Express Guaranteed will be 3.0%.

Stamps.com Will Automatically Include New Rates on January 26, 2014
Stamps.com makes it easy to prepare for the postal rate change by automatically applying these new prices starting on Sunday, January 26, 2014. Additionally, Stamps.com customers will continue to receive Commercial Base pricing discounts to help lower your shipping costs in 2014.

Ultimate Guide to the 2012 USPS Postage Rate Increase

January 27th, 2012 16 comments

Stamps.com has released the “Ultimate Guide to the 2012 USPS Postage Rate Increase” to help small business owners understand the postage rate increase that went into effect on January 22, 2012.  The FREE guide contains detailed information on postage rates for each USPS mail class, including special services.

2012-postage-rate-increase-guide

The guide contains info on the 2012 USPS postage rate increase including details on each mail class.

The guide is free and can be downloaded at:
http://www.stamps.com/whitepapers/Ultimate-Guide-2012-USPS-Postage-Rate-Increase.pdf

Stamps.com Automatically Updated with New USPS Rates

January 23rd, 2012 20 comments

With the 2012 USPS rate increase, all Stamps.com postage printed on or after January 22, 2012 will reflect the new rates. No action is required of customers. Stamps.com mailing and shipping solutions are designed to reflect up-to-date USPS pricing and will transition to the new rates in real time, enabling customers to print postage without any service disruptions.  

Stamps.com Software Customers

  • Stamps.com Software will automatically reflect the new rates. No action is required.
  • To utilize the new 2012 USPS products such as the Express Mail Flat Rate Box or the Regional Rate Box C, Stamps.com Software customers will need to upgrade to Version 9.5Download Version 9.5 for FREE!
  • If shipping Media Mail and/or Parcel Post, Stamps.com Software customers will need to upgrade to Version 9.5 in order to incorporate the new Intelligent Mail Package Barcode. Download Version 9.5 for FREE!

Stamps.com Online Customers

  • Stamps.com Online will automatically reflect the new rates. No action is required.
  • Stamps.com Online will automatically incorporate the new 2012 USPS products. No action is required.

 New 2012 USPS Products

  • Express Mail Flat Rate Box — It’s priced at $39.95 and can be used for overnight delivery anywhere in the country for one price regardless of weight (up to 70 lbs).
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Express Mail Flat Rate Boxes come in 2 versions – top loading and side loading. Both boxes hold up to 70 pounds.

  

  • Priority Mail Regional Rate Box C — It’s the U.S. Postal Service’s largest and deepest box at 15” x 12” x 12” and can hold up to 25 lbs.
blog_regional-rate-box-c

Priority Mail Regional Rate Box C is 15″ x 12″ x 12″ and holds up to 25 pounds

  

  • First Class Package Service (formerly known as First Class Mail Parcels) — This mail class will now include the Intelligent Mail Package Barcode to provide FREE Delivery Confirmation.
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Free Delivery Confirmation is now included with First Class Package Service

  

 New 2012 USPS Commercial Base (Online Postage) Rates

Mail Class

2012 Price

2011 Price

First Class Letters – 1 oz.

$0.45

$0.44

First Class Letters – Additional Ounces

$0.20

$0.20

First Class Flat/Large Envelope – 1 oz.

$0.90

$0.88

First Class Flat/Large Envelope – Additional Ounces

$0.20

$0.20

Postcards

$0.32

$0.29

Express Mail – 0.5 lb.

$12.85 & up

$12.96 & up

Priority Mail – 1 lb.

$4.90 & up

$4.80 & up

First Class Package Service – 1 lb.

$1.64

$1.56

Media Mail – 1 lb.

$2.47

$2.41

Parcel Post – 1 lb.

$5.20 & up

$5.10 & up

Global Express Guaranteed – 0.5 lb.

$44.00 & up

$35.50 & up

Express Mail International – 0.5 lb.

$26.91 & up

$24.79 & up

Priority Mail International – 1 lb.

$22.09 & up

$20.19 & up

First Class Mail International –  1 lb.

$5.75 & up

$5.58 & up

Free Webinar: Understanding the 2012 Postage Rate Increase

January 13th, 2012 6 comments
2012_RateCalendar

The USPS postage rate increase goes into effect on January 22, 2012.

Stamps.com is hosting a free webinar for small business owners and e-commerce sellers to discuss how the USPS postage rate increase will affect mailing and shipping costs in 2012. 

What: Free webinar on 2012 USPS Postage Rate Increase

When: Wednesday, January 18 at 11:00 a.m. PT/2:00 p.m. ET

Where: Register at https://www2.gotomeeting.com/register/514968362

Topics Covered:
— Information on all USPS mail class rate increases
— Compare the new USPS rates to private carriers
— Learn about the new USPS products for 2012 including the Priority Mail Regional Rate Box C and Express Mail Flat Rate Box
— Find out how to get free delivery confirmation using the new Intelligent Mail Package Barcode
— Learn how you can lower costs using exclusive online postage discounts

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