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Mon Nov 16 2020 16:11:39

USPS Announces 2021 Rate Hike and New $100 Surcharge

By: Ina Steiner

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This is the sound of the other shoe dropping, and it's not a pleasant sound for online sellers who rely on the Post Office to deliver their packages. The US Postal Service is raising rates in January for Shipping services, including Priority Mail. 

Today's news follows the previously announced rate increase for Mail service, also taking effect on January 24, 2021.

Here's by how much (an approximate average) rates are rising for some popular services:

Priority Mail service: 3.5% 
Priority Mail Express service: 1.2%
First-Class Package Service (FCPS) Commercial: 6.5%
First-Class Package Service (FCPS) Retail: 4.8%

USPS filed the proposals with the Postal Regulatory Commission (PRC) today, November 16, and we have no reason to think the PRC won't approve the 2021 rate increase as it did for the 2021 Mail services increase.

One of the first things that greets readers when reviewing the filing is the following:

"For Priority Mail Express, Priority Mail, Parcel Select, Parcel Return Service, USPS Retail Ground, and First-Class Package Service customers, a $100 fee will be assessed on parcels found in the mailstream that exceed the maximum mailable size limit (combined length and girth greater than 130 inches)."

That's a surcharge sellers will have to pay close attention to when mailing packages come mid-January. We've yet to dig deeper to see if there are other surprises.

The USPS provided the following list of current and planned prices for certain services in Monday's announcement:

Priority Mail small flat-rate box: $8.30 (current), $8.45 (planned)
Priority Mail medium flat-rate box: $15.05 (current), $15.50 (planned)
Priority Mail large flat-rate box: $21.10 (current), $21.90 (proposed)
Army/Air Post Office and Fleet Post Office large flat-rate box: $19.60 (current), $20.40 (planned)
Priority Mail regular flat-rate envelope: $7.75 (current), $7.95 (planned)
Priority Mail legal flat-rate envelope: $8.05 (current), $8.25 (planned)
Priority Mail padded flat-rate envelope: $8.40 (current), $8.55 (planned)
Overall, these changes would raise prices approximately 3.5 percent for Priority Mail service and 1.2 percent for Priority Mail Express service.

What has been new this year for sellers is the USPS holiday rate increase that went into effect on October 18 and runs through December 27, 2020. An informal survey of EcommerceBytes reader had revealed that small online sellers believed holiday shoppers would bear the brunt of USPS surge pricing, though even those who pass along the higher rates will still see higher costs.

Check out the filing on the PRC.gov website (PDF format), and let us know what you think.



Comments (25) | Permalink

Readers Comments

Perminate Link for USPS Announces 2021 Rate Hike and New $100 Surcharge   USPS Announces 2021 Rate Hike and New $100 Surcharge

This user has validated their user name. by: Ina

Mon Nov 16 16:26:48 2020

ShippingEasy has already taken a look (that was fast):

https://bit.ly/38OR2AQ

Perminate Link for USPS Announces 2021 Rate Hike and New $100 Surcharge   USPS Announces 2021 Rate Hike and New $100 Surcharge

This user has validated their user name. by: iheartjacksparrow

Mon Nov 16 16:41:27 2020

"First-Class Package Service (FCPS) Commercial: 6.5%"

I guess the USPS has figured out how most of the small sellers ship their packages. And this is an insane increase. Postage for my lightest items will go from $3.60 to $4.30 (with the payment processing fees figured in). It's unfortunate that the USPS is the only service that handles small, lightweight items  

Perminate Link for USPS Announces 2021 Rate Hike and New $100 Surcharge   USPS Announces 2021 Rate Hike and New $100 Surcharge

by: grumpwell This user has validated their user name.

Mon Nov 16 16:43:47 2020

I can't seem to locate the section for media mail. Does anyone know how much this is scheduled to increase?

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by: redcabin This user has validated their user name.

Mon Nov 16 16:58:54 2020

Media Mail

Weight Not Over (lbs) Single Piece
1 2.89
2 3.45
3 4.01
4 4.57
5 5.13
6 5.69
7 6.25
8 6.81
9 7.37
10 7.93

Perminate Link for USPS Announces 2021 Rate Hike and New $100 Surcharge   USPS Announces 2021 Rate Hike and New $100 Surcharge

This user has validated their user name. by: iheartjacksparrow

Mon Nov 16 17:10:35 2020

@grumpwell:

Go here and scroll down

https://blog.stamps.com/2020/10/19/usps-announces-2021-pos
tage-rate-increase-for-mailing-services/

Perminate Link for USPS Announces 2021 Rate Hike and New $100 Surcharge   USPS Announces 2021 Rate Hike and New $100 Surcharge

by: grumpwell This user has validated their user name.

Mon Nov 16 17:47:49 2020

Thanks!  In years past I have always been concerned with the price of First Class but between all of the rate increases and the change to zoning last year I now have to use media mail for all the CD's I sell.  

Perminate Link for USPS Announces 2021 Rate Hike and New $100 Surcharge   USPS Announces 2021 Rate Hike and New $100 Surcharge

by: Shanna This user has validated their user name.

Mon Nov 16 20:16:20 2020

Well, with Joe 'China' Biden in charge soon, there is no way the USPS will charge the Chinese the going rate, the taxpayers will be subsidizing them for the next 4 years.

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by: COVID-19 This user has validated their user name.

Mon Nov 16 21:32:48 2020

All this rate hike for the same old crappy service?  GTFOH, USPS!

Perminate Link for USPS Announces 2021 Rate Hike and New $100 Surcharge   USPS Announces 2021 Rate Hike and New $100 Surcharge

This user has validated their user name. by: RKTOYS

Tue Nov 17 17:01:20 2020

I had a nasty surprise from UPS yesterday.  Apparently, due to the econ...err...new regu...err...pandemic (kung flu), my packing peanuts now fall under freight charges.  $99 minimum for $20 worth of starch and air.  And that was the lowest price; freight is through the roof everywhere.  So it looks like I'll be back to stuffing boxes with newspaper...

Perminate Link for USPS Announces 2021 Rate Hike and New $100 Surcharge   USPS Announces 2021 Rate Hike and New $100 Surcharge

by: aris 2 This user has validated their user name.

Tue Nov 17 18:53:29 2020

I'm 71 and have been selling music through the mail since the early 80's.
I will NEVER whine/complain about the price of using the USPS because, frankly, they do a great job and when one has lived as long as I have, one accepts the fact that the price of EVERYTHING, always, eventually goes up, especially when struggling to stay afloat.

It is what it is.
They are still a great deal and cheaper in so many ways compared to UPS and FedEx.  

Perminate Link for USPS Announces 2021 Rate Hike and New $100 Surcharge   USPS Announces 2021 Rate Hike and New $100 Surcharge

This user has validated their user name. by: Rexford

Wed Nov 18 18:58:40 2020

Sadly the news channels only talk about stamp increases, therefore consumers don't hear about these astronomical package increases.

Over the last few years, I have acquired more smaller and lighter weight items to sell and that is the majority of my inventory now.   I'm glad I made that decision.  

But, it looks like I'll be raising my shipping prices--again.  If they take I have no choice but to raise my prices.  As we all know very well, there is no such thing as free shipping.

Perminate Link for USPS Announces 2021 Rate Hike and New $100 Surcharge   USPS Announces 2021 Rate Hike and New $100 Surcharge

This user has validated their user name. by: Rexford

Wed Nov 18 19:03:24 2020

Shana says "Well, with Joe 'China' Biden in charge soon, there is no way the USPS will charge the Chinese the going rate, the taxpayers will be subsidizing them for the next 4 years."

Subsidized under Trump.  Subsidized under Obama.   Subsidized under Bush.

Perminate Link for USPS Announces 2021 Rate Hike and New $100 Surcharge   USPS Announces 2021 Rate Hike and New $100 Surcharge

by: Fiestaforrest This user has validated their user name.

Thu Nov 19 00:18:11 2020

Redford...you beat me to it.  I was going to say the same thing.  It is unfortunate that Shanna felt the need to bring her political bias to this discussion

Perminate Link for USPS Announces 2021 Rate Hike and New $100 Surcharge   USPS Announces 2021 Rate Hike and New $100 Surcharge

by: Eagle This user has validated their user name.

Thu Nov 19 00:43:23 2020

AS Etsy and Ebay would want you to do, just throw the cost of shipping onto the back end of your product cost so you can offer "free shipping". They don't care if the cost of your "slightly used" or "refurbished" items now cost as much as the same brand spanking new item at the big box store our manufacturers site.

Perminate Link for USPS Announces 2021 Rate Hike and New $100 Surcharge   USPS Announces 2021 Rate Hike and New $100 Surcharge

by: MichaelP This user has validated their user name.

Thu Nov 19 02:50:22 2020

The USPS needs to fix the problems with the reliability of Priority shipments and failure to do acceptance scans before they raise rates once again.

Most of my items ship First Class from a blue collection box, and for those items I currently have few problems with.

My problems come with Priority Mail items that are large enough to need pickup by my mail carriers. I leave them in a parcel locker for for pickup (for my convenience and the carrier's), but they never get acceptance scans even when I request on the online pickup form or with notes left on the package. They typically go a couple days without any scans.

Additionally, I have had a very, very disproportionate number of heavy shipments (more than 10lbs) that never get an acceptance scan and then go a week to 12 days before finally showing up on tracking. They may take more than a month to arrive at their destination, or they may never arrive.

I then have to waste my time filing a claim because I had to refund the buyer for lost or late delivery. I don't understand why this isn't corrected and the problems continue.

I currently have a package sent PM Flat Rate (around 14lbs) with not even one scan and I had it picked up by my mail carrier 9 days ago. All I have is the confirmation email of pickup. I've had this experience so many times this year.

I contacted the USPS to report the missing package and it is now at about 47 hours from the time I submitted my claim and I have received no response whatsoever, just a confirmation that they received my search request.

Perminate Link for USPS Announces 2021 Rate Hike and New $100 Surcharge   USPS Announces 2021 Rate Hike and New $100 Surcharge

by: MichaelP This user has validated their user name.

Thu Nov 19 03:11:50 2020

"I will NEVER whine/complain about the price of using the USPS because, frankly, they do a great job and when one has lived as long as I have, one accepts the fact that the price of EVERYTHING, always, eventually goes up, especially when struggling to stay afloat."

aris 2, I agree with you accept that the price increases are constant and significant every single year. It's not like they just increased the price for the first time in several years.  

Also, I have had numerous problems over the last few years with missed scans, late or missed pickups, severely late or lost packages, and envelopes/boxes not being delivered.

The fact is they don't do a great job, and there is a lot of room for improvement in the reliability of their service. But if you want to sell competitively on small, lighter weight items then you have to ship USPS.

Perminate Link for USPS Announces 2021 Rate Hike and New $100 Surcharge   USPS Announces 2021 Rate Hike and New $100 Surcharge

by: Markdownsandmore This user has validated their user name.

Thu Nov 19 06:19:14 2020

Every single bit of this rate hike goes to pay for the retirement fund deficit

Perminate Link for USPS Announces 2021 Rate Hike and New $100 Surcharge   USPS Announces 2021 Rate Hike and New $100 Surcharge

by: Chicago48 This user has validated their user name.

Thu Nov 19 07:10:50 2020

The increase won't help its pension problem.  Our post offices are cutting jobs and cutting hours.  I don't know how they can do that in the middle of holiday rush.

Perminate Link for USPS Announces 2021 Rate Hike and New $100 Surcharge   USPS Announces 2021 Rate Hike and New $100 Surcharge

by: ZZ This user has validated their user name.

Thu Nov 19 07:12:02 2020

"but they never get acceptance scans even when I request on the online pickup form or with notes left on the package. They typically go a couple days without any scans."
Call the postmaster. If you schedule a pickup the carrier is required to scan the packages. Mine finds he like to wait until his route is doneand scans back at his 'office'. I don't complain to him even though the item isn't officially in their hands until it's scanned.
So a couple weeks ago my label printer got a speck of something the size of a grain of salt in line vertically over the bar code. My carrier, back at the office, could not scan, so he entered the numbers manually, rather than return them to me. All the 1st class got delivered (I guess) as no buyers complained, even though no other USPS employee ever entered the numbers again when they wouldn't scan.
eBay claims against the 2 Priority items were filed. After 2 weeks one of them got scanned in the wrong town but delivered after 18 days. The other one never got scanned again and the buyer claimed he never got it. USPS insurance paid me.
All this because my carrier felt it was more convenient for him not to scan when he accepted the packages. Of course the next day he came knocking on my door with my newest batch, as he tried to scan them immediately, rather than type them in at the office. Now he's back to scanning at the office. At least my carrier scans ...

Perminate Link for USPS Announces 2021 Rate Hike and New $100 Surcharge   USPS Announces 2021 Rate Hike and New $100 Surcharge

by: MichaelP This user has validated their user name.

Thu Nov 19 08:34:37 2020

"Call the postmaster."
@ ZZ, I will do.

The PM price increase for zone 9/US Territories is insane! It's like the price increases for the next decade or two all rolled up in to one year. And next year they'll be right back at it with more price increases.

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