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USPS to Raise Rates at the End of August

USPS to Raise Rates at the End of August

The US Postal Service filed notice today with the Postal Regulatory Commission (PRC) requesting rate increases to take effect August 29, 2021.

The filing impacts only “Market Dominant” rates, not “Competitive” rates. (Rates for Priority Mail, commonly used by online sellers, is not impacted, for example).

The proposed price changes would raise overall Market Dominant product and service prices by approximately 6.9 percent.

The price of a letter stamp will increase from 55 cents to 58 cents; an outbound international letter will increase from $1.20 to $1.30.

Media Mail/Library Mail rates will increase by 10.865 percent, which is higher than the class average of 8.804 percent. The Postal Service said it was applying Package Services’ largest price increase to Media Mail/Library Mail “because that product has the lowest cost coverage in the class (79.3 percent)” (see the USPS filing – PDF format).

Today’s move was expected, according to an article published 2 days ago in Government Executive, which quoted Art Sackler, executive director of the Coalition for a 21st Century Postal Service, a group of large-scale mail users like Amazon and the National Newspaper Association:

““Rate hikes, paired with decreased service, will drive many U.S. companies away from using USPS for their business, or, in some cases, out of business altogether,” Sackler said.”

Sackler was referencing the USPS’s plan to slow the speed of First Class Mail. As part of its ten-year strategic plan, the USPS is modifying service standards for First-Class Mail letters and flats from 1- 3 day States to 1-5 day service.

Or as some are saying, you’ll pay more for slower service.

The Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act of 2006 had limited rate hikes for dominant mail – the average increase for each class of mail could not be greater than the rate of inflation (as explained in this 2010 blog post). But that changed in November 2020, and the USPS noted in its announcement that the price changes announced today were “in accordance with approvals provided by the PRC last year.”

The USPS did not address rates for competitive services in today’s announcement. Last year, it raised shipping rates during the crucial holiday shipping season as a “planned temporary price adjustment” that were in effect from October 18 through December 27, 2020.

You can find today’s announcement on the USPS website.

The Washington Post reported on the rates, adding, “Also Friday, the agency sent out “reduction in force,” or layoff, notices to hundreds of management-level employees.”

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Ina Steiner
Ina Steiner
Ina Steiner is co-founder and Editor of EcommerceBytes and has been reporting on ecommerce since 1999. She's a widely cited authority on marketplace selling and is author of "Turn eBay Data Into Dollars" (McGraw-Hill 2006). Her blog was featured in the book, "Blogging Heroes" (Wiley 2008). She is a member of the Online News Association (Sep 2005 - present) and Investigative Reporters and Editors (Mar 2006 - present). Follow her on Twitter at @ecommercebytes and send news tips to ina@ecommercebytes.com. See disclosure at EcommerceBytes.com/disclosure/.

6 thoughts on “USPS to Raise Rates at the End of August”

  1. For me ( I ship BIG Damn Boxes), keeping up with these squirrely postal rates is as simple as charging a high price for postage, and returning the difference in postal money order refund in the box.
    People LOVE it. We’re all little kids at heart and love getting real money back.
    Works like a charm :o)
    I have an excellent reputation……

  2. The only price increase I worry about is for First Class Packages, which is how the majority of my items ship. Thankfully, FCPs don’t seem to be impacted by this change. I would like to know how DeJoy is able to get approval for two price increases in one year

  3. they already slowed down first class mail (letter). postmarked May 3rd, delivered May 24th

  4. If I could find another service for First Class! Too bad we can’t get China’s USPS rate.

  5. ““Also Friday, the agency sent out “reduction in force,” or layoff, notices to hundreds of management-level employees.”
    Now weed out some carriers. I get different temps because my regular got injured. I have an average of 7 mostly 1st class packages per day. I don’t fill out that scheduled pickup sheet they can scan because it isn’t practical with 3 accounts and sales that often happen just before the mailman comes. Also I don’t do a scheduled pickup at all any more because one of the temps I was getting told me he didn’t have to scan each package: only the one sheet that I was supposed to compile. But I asked him if a customer put up their red flag and had a package in the box would he scan it, and he said yes. So I’ve been doing it that way, with a note in the box that the packages were in a bag at the side door, since a busy sidewalk of literbugs pass by my mail box daily.
    Saturday I was leaving at 1:30 PM and my packages were still there so I took them to head to the Post Office when I saw a mail truck parked on my route. So I stopped and waited. A young Millenial lady arrived who I have never seen before and I asked if she would take my stuff. She did and commented (recognized my car?) that she didn’t pick them up because she didn’t have any mail for me and I hadn’t scheduled a pickup. I asked her what about the red flag being up and the note inside that the packages were around the corner of the house? She said she didn’t look (she had to walk right by it) because she didn’t have to. Of course she never scanned them. Being a Saturday, I won’t get penalized by ebay as that isn’t a ‘working day’.
    What do they make an hour to start? Pretty high isn’t it, compared to other jobs where the only skills you need are to be able to read, drive a car, and walk a few miles a day.

    1. A typical example of that old saying, “Good enough for government work.”

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