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Get Ready to Pay More for Your Post Office Box

Get Ready to Pay More for Your Post Office Box

Happy New Year, your costs are going up. One example of the many increases that are hitting small businesses: the Postal Service is raising fees for renting a PO box this month.

The USPS sent a reminder to box holders who are on a January schedule to renew before the new rates take effect in 2 weeks:

“If your PO Box renewal fees are due in January, and you would like to renew at the existing rate, please visit usps.com/poboxes to renew before January 22, 2023. Fees paid on or after that date are subject to new rates.”

What about renters whose renewal date comes later in the year – can they renew now at the current rate? No – only customers whose PO Box rent is due on January 31, 2023 can renew at old rates prior to the price change date of January 22, 2023 – customers may not prepay for PO Box rent at the old rate if their PO Box rent is due after January 31, 2023. (Note: The information in this paragraph was updated with a clarification from the USPS on January 10, 2023.)

Something box renters may not be aware of is that rates vary significantly by location. On the USPS landing page for box rentals, it states prices start at $4.33/month for the smallest size PO box, but don’t count on getting that rate.

The full rates currently in place as of October 2022 are spelled out on this page of the USPS website, broken out by semi-annual (6-month) rates and quarterly (3-month) rates.

The new rates taking effect on January 22, 2023, can be found on this page of the USPS website – under Services & Fees, click on PO Boxes (p. 34).

The table columns indicate the box size ranging from 1 (XS, which is 3″ x 5.5″) to 5 (XL, which is 12″ x 22.5″).

The table rows indicate “fee group,” which are determined by zip code; real estate values are the highest contributors among several other factors, according to the Postal Service.

There is one more factor that determines how much the USPS charges for PO Boxes: Competitive vs. Market Dominant. As a general matter, the Postal Service offers “competitive” Post Office Box service to customers who are located within 8 miles of a current or recent competitive mailbox service provider, Coleman explained.

The Postal Regulatory Commission (PRC) first approved the request for competitive pricing in 2010 at 49 Post Offices, and it’s expanded to more locations since then.

Here are a few examples of how the rates will change in 2 weeks for a Size 1 (XS) box for a 6-month period:

Fee Group C30 (Competitive):
: $150
As of Jan. 23, 2023: $160

Fee Group C44 (Competitive):
: $65
As of Jan. 23, 2023
: $69

You can read about the other rate changes taking effect on January 22nd in this December 23rd EcommerceBytes article.

Update 1/10/20223: The article was updated to reflect that only customers whose PO Box rent is due on January 31, 2023, can renew at old rates before January 22nd.

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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/.

3 thoughts on “Get Ready to Pay More for Your Post Office Box”

  1. Just an FYI . Each local Post Office gets to set their price, none are the same. It depends on their inventory of empty and the sizes available.

  2. sticker shock! i remember it was $7/year in the medium sized city i lived in.
    I bet there’s all kinds of restrictions, now, too…such as if your box overfills.

    there certainly is for forwarding your mail.

  3. Ouch, new rates were approve, Watch out 2 cubic foot packages surcharge jump from $15 to $25

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