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USPS Announces 2020 Postage Rate Increase

October 15th, 2019 Comments off

The U.S. Postal Service has proposed new postage rates to be implemented on Sunday, January 26, 2020, subject to approval by the Postal Regulatory Commission (PRC). Listed below are the highlights of the proposed 2020 USPS rate increase for customers buying postage online for DOMESTIC letters and packages:

First Class Mail Letters - 2020 Rates

INCREASE PER LETTER - 2020 Rates vs. 2019 Rates
Mailpiece Weight20202019Increase
Letters - 1 oz.$0.55$0.55$0.00
Letters - Additional Ounces$0.15$0.15$0.00
Metered Mail Letters (Stamps.com Rate) - 1 oz.$0.50$0.50$0.00
Metered Mail Letters (Stamps.com Rate) - Additional Ounces$0.15$0.15$0.00
Flat/Large Envelope - 1 oz.$1.00$1.00$0.00
Flat/Large Envelope - Additional Ounces$0.15$0.15$0.00
Postcards$0.35$0.35$0.00
International Letters - 1 oz. (County Groups 1-9)$1.15$1.15$0.00
International Postcard (County Groups 1-9)$1.15$1.15$0.00

The rate for a First Class Mail Letter (1 oz.) for postage purchased at the Post Office is NOT INCREASING in 2020, remaining at $0.55. If you print postage online (via Stamps.com), the Metered Mail rate will also NOT BE INCREASING, with rates remaining at $0.50 in 2020, a 5 cent discount off the Post Office price. Each additional ounce will cost $0.15 (no change from 2019).

The rate for a First Class Mail Flats/Large Envelope is NOT INCREASING in 2020 with the price remaining at $1.00 (1 oz.). Postcards are also not increasing, remaining at $0.35 in 2020.

Priority Mail Express - 2020 Rates (Commercial Base Pricing)

INCREASE PER PACKAGE - 2020 Rates vs. 2019 Rates
Weight (lbs.)Zones 1/2Zone 3Zone 4Zone 5Zone 6Zone 7Zone 8Zone 9
0.5$0.07$0.57$0.56$0.79$0.87$0.95$1.37$2.28
1$0.26$1.43$-1.21$-0.91$0.36$0.28$1.53$2.50
2$0.47$1.63$-0.40$0.94$2.51$2.48$3.44$5.18
3$0.67$2.30$-0.96$0.42$2.18$2.04$3.10$4.75
4$0.88$2.35$0.08$-0.16$2.15$1.84$2.79$4.40
5$0.09$0.76$0.99$1.49$1.64$1.79$2.56$4.18

Overall, prices for Priority Mail Express will increase by 2.2%. A 1 lb. package going to Zone 8 using Priority Mail Express will cost $38.05 in 2020 compared to $36.52 currently.

Priority Mail Express Flat Rate - 2020 Rates (Commercial Base Pricing)

INCREASE PER PACKAGE - 2020 Rates vs. 2019 Rates
Mailpiece20202019Increase
Flat Rate Envelope$22.75$22.68$0.07
Legal Flat Rate Envelope$22.95$22.80$0.15
Padded Flat Rate Envelope$23.25$23.18$0.07

Priority Mail Express Flat Rate Envelopes will also see a rate increase in 2020. The increases vary depending on the type of envelope, ranging from $0.07 to $0.15 per envelope.

Priority Mail - 2020 Rates (Commercial Base Pricing)

INCREASE PER PACKAGE - 2020 Rates vs. 2019 Rates
Weight (lbs.)Zones 1 & 2Zone 3Zone 4Zone 5Zone 6Zone 7Zone 8Zone 9
1$0.07$0.07$0.07$0.15$0.16$0.16$0.17$1.49
2$0.22$0.23$0.24$0.26$0.29$0.31$0.33$2.28
3$0.23$0.24$0.25$0.28$0.35$0.39$0.46$3.09
4$0.23$0.25$0.26$0.30$0.41$0.47$0.53$3.72
5$0.23$0.25$0.27$0.31$0.47$0.54$0.61$4.33

Priority Mail will see an average increase of 2.8%. A 1 lb. package going to Zone 8 using Priority Mail will cost $8.42 in 2020 compared to $8.25 currently.

For 1 and 2 lb. packages, the Priority Mail rate increases are modest with a maximum increase of $0.17 for 1 lb. Zone 8, costing $8.42 (increase of 2.0%) and an increase of $0.33 for 2 lb. Zone 8 to $11.19 (increase of 2.9%). For packages weighing 4 lbs. or more, the rate increase are much more significant with increases of at least $0.53 per package.

Priority Mail Flat Rate - 2020 Rates (Commercial Base Pricing)

INCREASE PER PACKAGE - 2020 Rates vs. 2019 Rates
Mailpiece20202019Increase
Flat Rate Envelope$7.15$6.95$0.20
Legal Flat Rate Envelope$7.45$7.25$0.20
Padded Flat Rate Envelope$7.75$7.55$0.20
Small Flat Rate Box$7.65$7.50$0.15
Medium Flat Rate Box$13.20$12.80$0.40
Large Flat Rate Box$18.30$17.60$0.70
APO/FPO Large Flat Rate Box$16.80$16.10$0.70

Postage rates for Priority Mail Flat Rate products will increase in 2020. The popular Priority Mail Flat Rate Padded Envelope will cost $7.75 in 2020 compared to $7.55 currently, a $0.20 increase. Rates for the Priority Mail Medium Flat Rate Box will increase 40 cents, to $13.20 from $12.80 currently. Rates for the Large Flat Rate Box will increase 70 cents, to $18.30 from $17.60 currently.

Priority Mail Regional Rate Boxes - 2020 Rates (Commercial Base Pricing)

INCREASE PER PACKAGE - 2020 rates vs. 2019 rates
Box TypeZones 1 & 2Zone 3Zone 4Zone 5Zone 6Zone 7Zone 8Zone 9
A$0.03$0.07$0.09$0.16$0.42$0.58$0.90$3.05
B$0.02$0.01$0.02$0.88$0.57$0.74$0.86$4.65

Rates for Priority Mail Regional Rate Boxes will be increasing for all shipping zones in 2020. A 5 lb. package going to Zone 8 using Regional Rate Box A will increase by $0.90 to $12.10 in 2020 compared to $11.20 currently.

Regional Rate Box A packages traveling shorter distances (up to Zone 5) are seeing a modest increase of up to 16 cents. Packages traveling to farther shipping zones are increasing much more – Zone 6 is seeing a 42 cents increase, Zone 7 is seeing a 58 cents increase and Zone 8 is seeing a 90 cents increase.

First Class Package Service - 2020 Rates (Commercial Base Pricing)

INCREASE PER PACKAGE - 2020 Rates vs. 2019 Rates
Mailpiece WeightZones 1 & 2Zone 3Zone 4Zone 5Zone 6Zone 7Zone 8Zone 9
1 ounce$0.08$0.08$0.08$0.08$0.09$0.09$0.09$0.09
2 ounces$0.08$0.08$0.08$0.08$0.09$0.09$0.09$0.09
3 ounces$0.08$0.08$0.08$0.08$0.09$0.09$0.09$0.09
4 ounces$0.08$0.08$0.08$0.08$0.09$0.09$0.09$0.09
5 ounces$0.03$0.03$0.03$0.03$0.03$0.03$0.04$0.04
6 ounces$0.03$0.03$0.03$0.03$0.03$0.03$0.04$0.04
7 ounces$0.03$0.03$0.03$0.03$0.03$0.03$0.04$0.04
8 ounces$0.03$0.03$0.03$0.03$0.03$0.03$0.04$0.04
9 ounces$0.11$0.12$0.12$0.12$0.12$0.13$0.13$0.13
10 ounces$0.11$0.12$0.12$0.12$0.12$0.13$0.13$0.13
11 ounces$0.11$0.12$0.12$0.12$0.12$0.13$0.13$0.13
12 ounces$0.11$0.12$0.12$0.12$0.12$0.13$0.13$0.13
13 ounces$0.10$0.10$0.10$0.15$0.16$0.16$0.17$0.17
14 ounces$0.10$0.10$0.10$0.15$0.16$0.16$0.17$0.17
15 ounces$0.10$0.10$0.10$0.15$0.16$0.16$0.17$0.17
15.999 ounces$0.10$0.10$0.10$0.15$0.16$0.16$0.17$0.17

Overall rates for First Class Package Service will increase by 2.2%. A 15.999 ounce package for First Class Package Service traveling to zone 8 will increase $0.17 to $5.70 in 2020 from $5.53 currently.

Packages that weigh 9 to 15.999 ounces are all seeing increases of 10 cents or more. A package weighing 15.999 ounces traveling to Zone 8 is seeing an increase of 17 cents (3.0%) to $5.70 in 2020 from $5.53 in 2019.

Parcel Select Ground - 2020 Rates (Commercial Base Pricing)

INCREASE PER PACKAGE - 2020 Rates vs. 2019 Rates
Weight
(lbs.)
Zones 1 & 2Zone 3Zone 4Zone 5Zone 6Zone 7Zone 8Zone 9
1$0.07$0.07$0.07$0.15$0.16$0.16$0.17$0.17
2$0.22$0.23$0.24$0.26$0.29$0.31$0.33$0.33
3$0.23$0.24$0.25$0.28$0.35$0.39$0.46$0.46
4$0.23$0.25$0.26$0.30$0.41$0.47$0.53$0.53
5$0.23$0.25$0.27$0.31$0.47$0.54$0.61$0.61
6$0.24$0.25$0.28$0.41$0.54$0.62$0.71$0.71
7$0.24$0.28$0.28$0.46$0.60$0.70$0.80$0.80
8$0.25$0.30$0.33$0.51$0.65$0.78$0.90$0.90
9$0.27$0.31$0.35$0.54$0.71$0.84$1.00$1.00
10$0.38$0.43$0.47$0.79$1.03$1.24$1.46$1.46

Overall rates for Parcel Select Ground will increase by 2.5% in 2020. A 2 lb. package going to Zone 8 will increase $0.33 to $10.89 in 2020 from $10.56 currently.

NEW: Parcel Select Ground rates are now cheaper than Priority Mail for all weights and shipping zones. For a 2 lb. package traveling to Zone 8, Parcel Select is cheaper by 30 cents ($10.89) compared to Priority Mail ($11.19).

Media Mail - 2020 Rates

INCREASE PER PACKAGE - 2020 Rates vs. 2019 Rates
Weight
(lbs.)
20202019Increase
1$2.80$2.75$0.05
2$3.33$3.27$0.06
3$3.86$3.79$0.07
4$4.39$4.31$0.08
5$4.92$4.83$0.09
6$5.45$5.35$0.10
7$5.98$5.87$0.11
8$6.52$6.39$0.13
9$7.06$6.91$0.15
10$7.60$7.43$0.17

Media Mail rates will increase by 1.9% in 2020. A 1 lb. package traveling to Zone 8 will increase 5 cents, to $2.80 in 2020 compared to $2.75 currently.

Stamps.com Will Automatically Update to the New USPS Rates on January 26, 2020
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 26, 2020. If you are a Stamps.com customer, no additional actions are needed and you will AUTOMATICALLY see the 2020 USPS rates in the platform.

USPS Holiday Shipping Deadlines 2019

October 7th, 2019 Comments off

The USPS has announced the 2019 Holiday shipping deadlines to assure package delivery by December 24th. Be sure to mail by these deadlines so your packages arrive on time.

This year the USPS did not announce separate Mail-By dates for Alaska and Hawaii, so residents of these states can follow the deadlines for the contiguous United States.

Domestic Holiday Mail-By Deadlines

Military Address (APO/FPO/DPO) Holiday Mail-By Deadlines

International Holiday Mail-By Deadlines

Categories: Shipping, USPS News Tags:

Big Ways to Improve Your Google Shopping Campaigns

September 26th, 2019 Comments off

Have you ever noticed those little picture ads near the top of a Google search page? Those are Google Shopping ads. They’re unique in what they can do – and great for increasing online sales. So, let’s run down a few ways to make the absolute most of a Google Shopping campaign.

Optimizing Your Google Shopping Data Feed

To begin your Google Shopping campaign, you’ll need to upload a data feed in CSV or XML format. Your data feed document should have all the info that appears on your ads: Price, Taxes, Title, Description, Product URL and Image URL. Depending on what kind of product you have, there may be optional fields you can add. For example, you can add color and size for apparel items.

Which additional details need to be added? Make sure your feed is optimized with all the relevant details. Imagine if someone asked if you wanted to buy a “Sweater”? The first thing you’d ask is… what kind? Then if you liked the description of the sweater, you’d want to know if they have it in your size.

The important thing to remember here is that unless the product info is part of your data feed, it won’t make it to your ad. Give your prospects everything they need to buy.

The Right Titles and Descriptions for Your Shopping Ads

Now, let’s look at a few ways to juice up your ad. Make sure to include relevant keywords in the title and description, which will help your product get matched to a query. It’s not enough to just list the model number, which will only attract people looking for that exact model. You’ll be losing out on a lot of potential customers.

Let’s play a little good product title/bad product title to get it right:

  • Bad product title – “Black Shoes”
  • Good product title – “Black High Heel Pumps – Size 8 – Women’s Shoes”

See how much more targeted the second option is? A good title has specific keywords like “high heels” and “pumps” to perfectly match anyone looking for a pair of shoes like that.

Next, be sure your description also has keywords, plus the selling points that would make someone want to buy. The description is where you can put your best selling points. Think of it this way… the title is the “what,” and the description is the “why.” Once someone clicks through, give them your best sales pitch to convince them to buy.

Successful Bidding Strategies for Google Shopping Ads

Google Shopping works the same way as an auction. When a user types in a search like “floral throw pillows,” Google checks all of the prices bidders (retailers) are willing to pay. The highest bidders will win the opportunity to be shown to the consumer looking for “floral throw pillows.” That’s how the system works, now we’re going to give you some tips to make the system work for you.

Don’t Set the Same Bid Across Your Campaign

One of the biggest mistakes is to blanket the same bid across an entire campaign. Determine the bid by looking at the value and profit margin of each product.

Start with Best-Sellers

You’ll have enough variables to deal with when beginning a Google Shopping campaign. Start with your best products, where you have a strong competitive advantage. Some products with low profit margins may never make sense to include in your feed.

Use Custom Labels to Create Bid Groups

Custom labels can be applied to your data feed to create price groupings. Try putting higher converting products together, and giving them all higher bids. Put lower bids on the group of products that don’t convert as well.

Optimizing your campaign is a continual process, but following these tips will give you a big head start.

Categories: Small Business Marketing Tags:

GlobalPost: The Answer For Possible USPS International Shipping Disruptions

September 13th, 2019 Comments off


Nervous about the U.S. leaving the Universal Postal Union in October? Wondering how you’ll make your international deliveries for the holidays?

Don’t worry, Stamps.com has international shipping options for online retailers of all sizes. Our new GlobalPost international shipping services leverages partnerships with international postal operators as well as commercial carriers to offer worldwide delivery.

These international services are not reliant on U.S. relationships with the UPU and will ensure that businesses can continue to ship internationally without disruption, while still receiving similar transit times, customs clearances and competitive rates!

 Economy InternationalStandard International
Weight Limit per package4.4 lbs.Varies by country
Countries ServedOver 20036
Package TypesFlats up to 16 oz.
Packages up to 4.4 lbs.
Packages up to 66 lbs.
Transit TimeVaries6-10 days
TrackingDoor-to-CountryDoor-to-Door
Max Value of Goods$400$400
Free CoverageUp to $100 against loss or damage, plus shipping costsUp to $100 against loss or damage, plus shipping costs
Duties & TaxesPaid by recipientPaid by recipient

GlobalPost services reach over 200 countries and territories and includes features not found in traditional international postal services, including:

  • Global Address Verification: Improve deliverability with real-time address verification
  • No Customs Forms: Send Customs electronically – no forms to print
  • Ship Merchandise in Flats: Save money with international flats/large envelopes
  • Instant Refunds: No more tracking refund requests that can take up to 2 weeks
  • Free Pick-Up Service: Schedule pick-ups when it’s convenient for you (select markets only)
  • Parcel Coverage: $100 Included

Avoid disruptions and uncertainty in your global shipping – sign-up for GlobalPost today! Visit GoGlobalPost.com or call 1-888-899-1255

Categories: International Shipping Tags:

Can I Mail Prescription Drugs with USPS?

September 10th, 2019 Comments off

If you need to mail prescription drugs, you’ll want to get to know federal and state laws about shipping these items before trying to ship them with the USPS. Here are the basics of mailing drugs via the USPS. You will need to be familiar with what is permitted, and what isn’t, to avoid any legal issues.

Prescription Drugs

As the name implies, prescription drugs are not available except with a written order from a licensed medical provider. You are only permitted to mail prescription drugs via the USPS if you are a pharmacist or medical provider mailing such drugs to the patient they have been prescribed to. This means that without proper medical licensing you can receive prescription drugs, but you cannot, under any circumstance, mail them.

Over-the-Counter Drugs

Prescription drugs are only permitted to be sent via USPS under specific circumstances—but what about over-the-counter drugs?

Any drug that is available for retail without a prescription is considered an over-the-counter drug. Common examples of such drugs are mild pain-relief medicines and skin creams. Anyone can mail such drugs with the USPS as long as they comply with federal and state laws such as the Poison Prevention Packaging Act of 1970 and the Consumer Protection Safety Commission Requirements.

Controlled Substances

Controlled substances are drugs in which the federal government tightly controls. These substances are placed into five categories, or schedules, each with varying regulations and mailability. Some controlled substances are treated as prescription drugs—they can be mailed by medical professionals with the proper documentation. Other controlled substances are not mailable under any circumstances. The USPS takes the shipment of narcotics very seriously, and the Postal Inspection Service Prohibited Mail Narcotics program investigates shipments of illegal drugs through the mail and works closely with state, local, and federal law enforcement agencies to combat this illicit trade.

You cannot mail a controlled substance unless:

  • You and the person you are mailing the drugs to are registered with the Drug Enforcement Agency or are exempt from the registration requirement. (Law enforcement, civil defense workers, and members of the military do not need to register with the DEA).
  • You are participating in a federal mail-back program to dispose of such drugs and follow the mailing regulations for participation in the program.
  • You are a drug manufacturer or pharmacy owner who is filling a prescription containing narcotics.
  • You should be aware that anything used to take narcotics, such as pipes or syringes, cannot be mailed under current federal guidelines.

Rules for Packaging Drugs

Controlled substances must have inner packaging that is marked and sealed in accordance with the Controlled Substances Act in addition to providing information on the inner packaging about the prescription, such as the prescription number and the name and address of the pharmacy dispensing the drug. The outer wrapping of such packages must be plain and cannot contain any information identifying the package’s contents.

Other drugs must be placed inside a plain wrapper or package.

Promotional samples of non-prescription drugs may have a brief description of the product on the outside of the package along with the words SAMPLES ENCLOSED.

It is important to follow all of these rules because mailing drugs in a non-allowed manner is considered a breach of federal law and can result in serious legal consequences. If a USPS inspector finds non-mailable drugs in a package presented for delivery, that worker is required to report it as well as reject the item for delivery.

Categories: Shipping Tags:

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