USPS Announces 2021 Postage Rate Increase for Mailing Services

October 19th, 2020 Comments off

The U.S. Postal Service has proposed new postage rates for Mailing Services to be implemented on Sunday, January 24, 2021, subject to approval by the Postal Regulatory Commission (PRC). 

The 2021 rate increase for USPS Shipping services has not been released yet. 

Listed below are the highlights of the proposed 2021 USPS rate increase for customers buying postage online for USPS Mailing services.

First Class Mail Letters - 2021 Rates
INCREASE PER LETTER - 2021 Rates vs. 2020 Rates
Mailpiece Weight20212020Increase
Letters - 1 oz.$0.55$0.55$0.00
Letters - Additional Ounces$0.20$0.15$0.05
Metered Mail Letters (Stamps.com Rate) - 1 oz.$0.51$0.50$0.01
Metered Mail Letters (Stamps.com Rate) - Additional Ounces$0.20$0.15$0.05
Flat/Large Envelope - 1 oz.$1.00$1.00$0.00
Flat/Large Envelope - Additional Ounces$0.20$0.20$0.00
Postcards$0.36$0.35$0.01
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 2021, remaining at $0.55. Each additional ounce for First Class Mail will cost $0.20, a five cent increase from 2020.

If you print postage online (via Stamps.com), the Metered Mail rate (1 oz.) will increase by one cent to $0.51 in 2021.  The Metered Mail rate has a 4 cents discount off the Post Office price, representing a 7% discount.

The starting rate for a First Class Mail Flats/Large Envelope is NOT INCREASING in 2021 with the price remaining at $1.00 (1 oz.). Additional ounces are also NOT INCREASING in 2021. Postcard rates will increase by one cent to $0.36 in 2021, from $0.35 in 2020.

First Class Mail International Letters and Postcards are NOT INCREASING in 2021.

USPS Special Services - 2021 Rates
INCREASE PER SERVICE - 2021 Rates vs. 2020 Rates
Service Description20212020Increase
Certified Mail$3.60$3.55$0.05
Restricted Delivery$9.15$9.00$0.15
Adult Signature Required$9.15$9.00$0.15
Adult Signature Restricted Delivery$9.15$9.00$0.15
Certificate of Mailing - Basic$1.55$1.50$0.05
Insurance - Up to $50 of coveragestarts at $2.30starts at $2.25$0.05
Live Animal Transportation Fee$0.20$0.20$0.00
Package Intercept (Domestic)$14.65$14.65$0.00
Pickup on Demand$24.00$24.00$0.00
Return Receipt - electronic$1.75$1.70$0.05
Registered Mailstarts at $12.90starts at $12.60$0.30

USPS offers additional services that can be added to your mailpiece to provide record of mailing, delivery information, package insurance and restricted delivery.  The table above indicates the 2021 rate changes for USPS Special Services.

Media Mail - 2021 Rates
INCREASE PER PACKAGE - 2021 Rates vs. 2020 Rates
Weight (lbs.)20212020Increase
1$2.89$2.80$0.09
2$3.45$3.33$0.12
3$4.01$3.86$0.15
4$4.57$4.39$0.18
5$5.13$4.92$0.21
6$5.69$5.45$0.24
7$6.25$5.98$0.27
8$6.81$6.52$0.29
9$7.37$7.06$0.31
10$7.93$7.60$0.33

Media Mail rates will increase by an average of 3.579% in 2021. A 1 lb. package traveling to Zone 8 will increase 9 cents, to $2.89 in 2021 compared to $2.80 in 2020.

Stamps.com Will Automatically Update to the New USPS Rates on January 24, 2021

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 24, 2021. If you are a Stamps.com customer, no additional actions are needed and you will AUTOMATICALLY see the 2021 USPS rates in the platform.

Categories: USPS News Tags:

UPS and Stamps.com Offer Discounted Shipping Rates

October 16th, 2020 Comments off

Stamps.com is thrilled to announce a new partnership with UPS, one of the world’s largest and most reliable delivery services. Now, in addition to USPS, Stamps.com customers have access to UPS® services with special discounts up to 62%. Now you can ship and manage both USPS and UPS shipments from one convenient interface!

The benefits of using UPS shipping through Stamps.com:

Get Low UPS Rates – Up To 62% Off!

Stamps.com gives you access to pre-negotiated discounts of up to 62% off UPS 2nd Day Air® and up to 48% off UPS® Ground Daily Rates services.

Stop Paying Surcharges

Nobody likes surcharges and extra fees. But when you create a UPS® account within Stamps.com, many common surcharges can be avoided, saving you even more money!

Ship with UPS’s Fastest Ground Ever

UPS will reach 90% of the U.S. population in three days or less, and 75% of the U.S. population will have Saturday delivery by October 2020. Reach more customers, in more places, faster.

UPS Package Tracking Instantly Available

UPS package tracking info is immediately sent to your marketplace/store and an optional notification email is delivered to your customer once an order is shipped.

How do I enable UPS shipping in my Stamps.com account?

Adding UPS Shipping to your Stamps.com account is simple and easy.  Follow these instructions:

#1 In Stamps.com Online, click the “Settings” (Gear) Icon in top right corner.

#2 In the left Navigation, select the “Carriers” tab and then click “Add” icon in the top Navigation.

#3 On the “Add New Carrier” page, click on the UPS® logo.

#4 The “UPS Technology Agreement” will appear. After reading the agreement, click “I Agree” in the bottom left corner.

#5 The “UPS Promotional Rates Agreement” will appear. Click the link to the read the agreement and then click “I Agree” in the bottom left corner.

#6 UPS® will now be displayed in your “Settings” window as a Carrier. Close the “Settings” window by clicking the “X” in the top right corner.

#7 UPS® will appear as a Carrier in the “Carrier” Dropdown Menu.  Just select “UPS” and you can start printing UPS shipping labels at discounted rates.

Add the benefits of UPS to your shipping mix today!

*Rates are limited to shipping from the continental U.S. only. These rates and discounts exclude shipment origins from Hawaii, Puerto Rico, and Alaska. Rates and any applicable discounts are subject to change at any time without notice.

UPS, the UPS brand mark and the color brown are trademarks of United Parcel Service of America, Inc. used here with permission. All rights reserved.

Categories: UPS Shipping Tags:

4 Tips to Soften Holiday Shipping Carrier Surcharges

October 14th, 2020 Comments off

Online retailers are expecting Q4 2020 online sales to grow significantly this holiday season.  According to Deloitte, e-commerce sales should grow 25% to 35% in 2020 as more customers move their buying activity online due to retail store closures from the COVID-19 pandemic.

This increase in e-commerce sales during the 2020 peak period brings a huge demand for parcel delivery.  And with most of the increased parcel delivery going to residences, shipping carriers have announced holiday surcharges to help offset the added costs of delivering to a residence.

2020 Carrier Holiday Surcharge Summary by Carrier

USPS – starts Oct 18, 2020 through Dec 26, 2020

Holiday surcharges apply to all shippers who use Commercial Base Pricing (purchasing postage online).  Surcharges range from $0.25 for First Class Package Service, to $0.40 for Priority Mail and $1.50 for Priority Mail Express.

UPS Ground – starts Nov 15, 2020 through Jan 16, 2021

Holiday surcharges for UPS Ground ranges from $1 to $3 per package being delivered to a residence, depending on how much additional volume a shipper has compared to the amount of parcels shipped in February 2020 (last full month before COVID-19 surge).  The higher volume of packages, the higher the surcharge.  Important Note:  UPS will not apply 2020 Peak Season surcharges* nor will it increase its rates in Q4 2020 to customers on Stamps.com under the Digital Access Program.

FedEx Ground – starts Nov 2, 2020 through Jan 17, 2021

FedEx Ground is basing their holiday surcharges on specific parcel volume being delivered to a residence.  Shippers who ship over 35,000 packages per week average during November will determine when the surcharge is applied.   Holiday surcharges for FedEx Ground ranges from $1 to $4 per package, depending on volume.  

4 Tips to Lower the Impact of Carrier Holiday Surcharges

1. Use USPS First Class Package Service for all packages under 1 lb.

First Class Package Service is the cheapest shipping service among all U.S. carriers for packages under 1 lb.  The service provides delivery across the U.S. in 2-4 days including tracking for a maximum cost of $5.95 (includes holiday surcharge).  While the USPS has implemented a $0.25 holiday surcharge for 2020, $0.25 is much cheaper than the $1-$4 other carriers are charging.  If your package is being delivered to a residence and is under 1 lb., there is no better option than First Class Package Service.

2. Downsize your boxes if possible as DIM is more important than ever

With holiday carrier surcharges, it’s more important than ever to make sure your boxes are properly sized for the items they are delivering.  Make sure you are using the smallest possible package size that can provide safe transit for your product.  Shaving a few inches from the box size can equal big cost savings.  As an example – a 12″ x 12″ x 8″ box will have a DIM billable weight that is two pounds higher than a 12″ x 12″ x 6″ box.  That extra 2” in box size will cost $2 or more per package. 

3. Introduce Product Bundles to Increase AOV

A great e-commerce strategy to help increase average order value (AOV) is to introduce product bundles. Product bundling is when you couple together multiple products as a package deal that are often purchased at the same time.  A good example is when a person buys a new iPhone, they typically get a new phone case and possibly a longer charging cable.  Once created, bundles can be promoted on the core product page to help buyers find all the products they need quickly, and thus increase AOV. Plus, a higher AOV can help sellers lower the sting of extra holiday surcharges as you have more revenue to absorb the additional delivery costs. 

4. Offer Sales Promotions Before Holiday Surcharges Start

During the 2020 peak period, try to create sales promotions that will encourage buyers to make purchases earlier in the season, before the carrier holiday surcharges start. This is especially important if you provide free shipping since the additional shipping fees will either require you to increase your product price or you’ll need to lower your margin.  This strategy also helps kick off your holiday sales while ensuring your buyers have plenty of time to receive their packages before the holidays.

Carrier Surcharge Start Dates:

USPS – starts October 18
FedEx Ground – starts November 2
UPS Ground – starts November 15

*UPS reserves the right, it its sole and unlimited discretion, to apply Peak Surcharges to the UPS Digital Access Program or to otherwise change UPS’s pricing or terms at any time without notice.

Categories: Shipping Tags:

USPS Holiday Shipping Deadlines 2020

October 9th, 2020 Comments off

The USPS has announced the 2020 Holiday shipping deadlines to assure package delivery by December 24th.

For international packages, please be aware that some international carriers have experienced intermittent delays due to logistical challenges caused by COVID-19. As always, it is best to send your package as soon as possible to ensure timely delivery. For more information visit the Stamps.com Coronavirus Update Page.

Domestic Holiday Mail-By Deadlines

Alaska and Hawaii Holiday Mail-By Deadlines

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

International Holiday Mail-By Deadlines

Categories: Uncategorized Tags:

What Is the 10/10 Retail Holiday?

September 30th, 2020 Comments off

In recent years the start of the Holiday season for retailers has unofficially begun the day after Thanksgiving, Black Friday. This year more than two dozen national retailers are ready to make October 10th—full six weeks before Black Friday—the unofficial start of the Holiday retail season.

What is the 10/10 Retail Holiday?

In what could be a win-win for shoppers and retailers alike, participating retailers have agreed to hold large sales on the weekend of October 10th. Shoppers will be able to get a head start on their holiday shopping, retailers will be better able to manage shipping delays, product inventory. Retailers face Holiday challenges every any year, but this year these are amplified due to the logistical complications of COVID-19. With more people than ever expected to do their shopping online this year, spreading out Holiday sales may be helpful for many retailers.

Why 10/10?

Deborah Weinswig, retail consultant and CEO of Coresight Research, along wit Shopkick reward app and Fashwire, conceptualized the 10/10 retail holiday as a sibling to one of the largest shopping day in the world, 11/11. Never heard of 11/11? That’s because it’s held in China. Also called Singles’ Day, 11/11 started in the early 1990s as a day to recognize singles — the four 1s are said to represent four single people. Ironically, it soon evolved into popular day to celebrate relationships. Today, tens of billions of retail dollars are spent on 11/11 each year. It’s the single largest day of offline and online shopping on the planet.

While 10/10 may never reach the level of its 11/11 counterpart, it is hoped that a new tradition can be started this year. And with more and more retailers seeing the advantage of kicking off the holiday shopping season earlier, 10/10 may very well become part of the national shopping vocabulary in the not-too-distant future.

Categories: Marketing for Ecommerce Tags:

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