At the start of each new year the USPS typically announces new pricing, and this year is no exception. Effective January 22nd, new USPS prices will take effect.
You might recall our post from last year regarding the 2016 USPS price changes. We talked a lot about the price of a First-Class stamp being decreased by $.02 (from $.49 to $.47). This year it’s going back up two pennies. Initially, this seems like a bit of a bummer. But look at the bright side. The decrease that happened last year was the first time the cost of postage went down since 1919. So hypothetically, had it gone up a couple cents last year and this year again, we would be closer to $.53. Let’s choose to be optimistic and still consider ourselves winners with the 4 cent swing.
You could also try and stave off the postal increase a little longer by purchasing a few extra forever stamps at your local post office before the new rates go into effect.
Below are some of this year’s notable changes (keep in mind, we are quoting the new USPS postage costs, not LetterStream prices. LetterStream typically increases prices only to the extent that the USPS fees increase, but for exact pricing review your LetterStream job invoice when creating mailings on our website):
2017 Postage Rates
– First Class Stamps up from $.47 to $.49
– First Class Postcard Rate staying at $.34
– Extra Ounces staying at $.21
– International Rates staying at $1.15
– Certified Mail up from $3.30 to $3.35
– Return Receipt up from $2.70 to $2.75
– Electronic Return Receipt up from $1.35 to $1.45
– Registered Mail staying at $11.70
– Flats (.0001 – .999 oz) postage up from $.95 to $.98
– Flats extra ounces up from $.20 to $.21
Standard Mail Now Marketing Mail
Another notable change moving forward is that Standard Mail will now be known as Marketing Mail. Not to add to the confusion, but Standard Mail is/was the name of what many of us know as Bulk Mail. Standard Mail should not be confused with First-Class Mail which is what most of our customers send regularly.
The biggest news in the mailing business, in maybe forever, or since the forever stamp. The United States Postal Service (USPS) is LOWERING the price of a first-class stamp. The price DECREASE goes into effect on April 10, 2016, when your cost for a first class stamp will be reduced to 47 cents each.
The last time the USPS decreased the price of a first-class stamp was in 1919, when the price dropped a single cent from 3 cents each to 2 cents each. Now, the greatest price decrease in the price of a first class stamp since 1885; the USPS is cutting the price of a first-class stamp by a whopping 2 cents! For more information check out the wikipedia page on the History of United States postage rates.
Why are Stamp Prices Going to 47 Cents?
The federal regulatory body that governs USPS pricing is the Postal Regulatory Commission (PRC)(http://www.prc.gov). This organization decides whether the Postal Service can raise prices and by how much. A year ago the USPS was given a special waiver by the PRC to increase prices by more than the maximum amount allowed (according to their rules), so now the PRC is making the USPS roll prices back.
It really makes no sense though, as the USPS is still operating at a loss. Follow this link to read the USPS press release on the topic of lowing prices (http://about.usps.com/news/national-releases/2016/pr16_009.htm).
What Other Postage Prices are Changing in April?
In addition to the decreasing price of a first-class stamp, other stamp prices are going down as well. In fact, nearly every increase that took effect in 2015 is being reversed. Seems a bit odd that the Postal Regulatory Commission and the USPS couldn’t work out a meet-in-the-middle solution, but their loss turns out to be mailers’ gain. Here’s a sampling of new postage rates:
- First-Class Postcards will decrease from $.35 to $.34 each (reversing last year’s increase)
- Additional ounces for First-Class mail will decrease from $.22 to $.21 (reversing last year’s increase)
- Certified Mail base fees will decrease from $3.45 to $3.30 (reversing last year’s increase)
- Certified Mail Return Receipt Green Card fees will decrease from $2.80 to $2.70 (reversing last year’s increase)
- Certified Mail Electronic Return Receipts will decrease from $1.40 to $1.35 (reversing last year’s increase)
- International First-Class Letters will go down from $1.20 to $1.15 (reversing last year’s increase)
- One ounce First-Class flats will decrease from $.98 to $.95, and 2 ounce pieces will fall from $1.20 to $1.15 (reversing last year’s increase)
- Registered Mail letters will decrease from $12.20 to $11.70 (falling more than last year’s increase by another 25 cents)
- The price of a First-Class Stamp will fall from $.49 to $.47 (there was no increase in the price of a first-class stamp last year)
We encourage everyone to take advantage of the cheaper postage prices in 2016 and send more mail. If you need some help with that, give us a call, we are what you call experts.
It’s official; new postage prices go into effect on May 31st, 2015. On May 4th the Postal Regulatory Commission approved the USPS proposed price change request.
As a recap, the price of a USPS First-Class stamp remains unchanged at $.49. Therefore there is no need to stock up on Forever stamps.
However, most other postal mailing categories will see increases. Below are some of the highlights for First-Class Mail.
- First-Class Postcards will increase from $.34 to $.35 each
- Additional ounces for First-Class mail will increase from $.21 to $.22
- Certified Mail base fees will increase from $3.30 to $3.45
- Certified Mail Return Receipt Green Card fees will increase from $2.70 to $2.80
- Certified Mail Electronic Return Receipts will increase from $1.35 to $1.40
- International First-Class Letters will go up from $1.15 to $1.20
- One ounce First-Class flats will increase to $.98, and 2 ounce pieces will be $1.20
- Registered Mail letters will increase from $11.95 to $12.20
- The price of a First-Class Stamp will remain at $.49
Keep in mind, we are quoting the new USPS postage costs, not LetterStream prices. LetterStream typically increases prices only to the extent that the USPS fees increase, but review your invoice when creating mailings online for exact pricing.
It’s generally difficult to find the new postage rate charts at USPS.com before a postage rate change is implemented, but with a little digging, the rate tables can be found. Follow this link for the new postage rates for 2015. You can download an Excel file in the left sidebar called “Mailing Services Prices excel – Proposed Updated 05/01/15”.
We don’t recommend using the “Calculate a Price” postage rate tool on the USPS website for mailings after May 31 until that date has passed. While the tool technically allows you to enter the future date of a mailing, it doesn’t take into account the new rate increases. (Don’t ask us why.)
If you’d like to see the complete PRC (Postal Regulatory Commission) document, it was published by the Federal Government Publishing Office on May 4, 2015 and can be found here: http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2015-05-04/pdf/2015-10029.pdf