The US Postal Service raised rates on Sunday (July 10) and made some other changes as well. And if recent history is any guide, USPS rates will rise again in 3 months.
USPS First Class Mail rates (considered “dominant” services) went up by an average of 6.5% on Sunday. That includes the cost of a stamp rising to 60 cents.
Most “competitive” services were not affected, though the USPS did make some price and classification changes to Priority Mail, Parcel Select, and certain International Special Services, which we summarized in this May news story.
Significantly for online sellers, the USPS now includes $100 “baked-in” insurance for Priority Mail domestic outbound service and Priority Mail Returns service.
In announcing the higher insurance coverage, the USPS had said it was an effort to enhance the customer experience and grow revenue with added benefits – and to “assist with becoming the Shipper of Choice with value-added services.”
However, we continue to hear anecdotal reports from sellers who say they’re unable to get the USPS to honor insurance claims (feel free to share your experiences in the comments section).
The USPS also raised rates for certain services, including Mailbox rentals (6.8% higher) and money orders (14.4% higher) – see details in this April news story.
The Postal Service used to raise rates once a year, each January, but Postmaster Louis DeJoy told mailers to expect rate changes twice a year, each January and July.
But as online sellers know all too well, the USPS also implements rate hikes each holiday-shopping season. It began the practice of “temporary rate adjustments” in 2020 (October 18 through December 27, 2020), and last year, it imposed the holiday surcharge between October 3 and December 25, 2021). Sellers, brace yourselves for another rate hike in 3 months.