Ina Steiner EcommerceBytes Blog
News and insight focusing on ecommerce.
by Ina Steiner, Editor of EcommerceBytes.com
Wed Oct 9 2019 20:48:45

Quick and Dirty Look at January Postage Rate Hike

By: Ina Steiner

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The USPS filed for a price increase that would go into effect on January 26, 2020 if approved. There's no change in price of a Forever stamp (it will remain at 55 cents), and Mailing Services would go up an average of 1.9%.

Shipping Services price increases vary by product. For example, Priority Mail Express would increase 3.5 percent and Priority Mail would increase 4.1 percent, on average.

The Postal Service wrote in its press release, "Although Mailing Services price increases are based on the Consumer Price Index, Shipping Services prices are primarily adjusted according to market conditions. The Governors believe these new rates will keep the Postal Service competitive while providing the agency with needed revenue."

We've gone through the notice and pulled out some quick and dirty points of interest to online sellers.

Priority Mail
Priority Mail prices will increase an average of 4.1 percent. 

Retail prices will increase an average of 4.9 percent. 

Priority Mail Retail Flat Rate Box prices will be as follows:
- Small, $8.30; 
- Medium, $15.05; 
- Large, $21.10 and 
- Large APO/FPO/DPO, $19.60. 

The regular Flat Rate Envelope will be priced at $7.75, with the Legal Size and Padded Flat Rate Envelopes priced at $8.05 and $8.40, respectively.

Commercial Base and Commercial Plus Pricing (purchased online) 
The Commercial Base prices will increase 2.8% on average. Commercial Base prices will, on average, reflect a 15.3 percent discount off of Retail prices.

Commercial Plus prices will increase 3.0% on average. Commercial Plus prices will, on average, reflect a 15.2 percent off of Retail prices.  

First-Class Package Service (FCPS)
Overall, FCPS prices will increase 2.6 percent, with a 3.9 percent increase for FCPS-Retail and a 2.2 percent increase for FCPS-Commercial. 

The USPS made a point of noting that, unlike some other shippers, the Postal Service does not add surcharges for fuel, residential delivery, or regular Saturday or holiday season delivery.

The PRC will review the prices before they are scheduled to take effect Jan. 26, 2020. The complete Postal Service price filings with prices for all products can be found on the PRC site under the Daily Listings section at prc.gov/dockets/daily. 

For the Mailing Services filing see Docket No. R2020-1. For the Shipping Services filing see Docket No. CP2020-5. 

The price change tables are also available on the Postal Service’s Postal Explorer website at pe.usps.com/PriceChange/Index.

We'll check in with the experts to take a closer look, but in the meantime, let us know how at first glance the rates will impact you.

Comments (31) | Leave Comment | Permalink
Readers Comments

Perminate Link for Quick and Dirty Look at January Postage Rate Hike   Quick and Dirty Look at January Postage Rate Hike

This user has validated their user name. by: Mighty Mouse

Wed Oct 9 21:50:46 2019

Shipping cost is the Achilles of online sales, it has been going up every year. Everything is costing more and now with sales tax being collected on most sales online, there is not much of a reason for buyers to look for a good deal online.  Don't be surprise if brick and mortar make a comeback in the future, they can have things shipped to them in bulk much cheaper than we can ship to the buyers.  Don't get me wrong, you will always have people shopping online for the convenience, but a lot of buyers are just cheap.

Perminate Link for Quick and Dirty Look at January Postage Rate Hike   Quick and Dirty Look at January Postage Rate Hike

by: justchangecarriers This user has validated their user name.

Wed Oct 9 22:07:25 2019

Didnt they just overahaul the whole system and jack up the costs like crazy this past year.

Now they already need an increase?

Shipping is already ridiculous now with the USPS. The zone first class change was already a HUGE cost increase. How do they already need more?

Perminate Link for Quick and Dirty Look at January Postage Rate Hike   Quick and Dirty Look at January Postage Rate Hike

by: mcposty This user has validated their user name.

Wed Oct 9 22:48:17 2019

tell them no.
also tell them to give better rates to small and medium businesses..direct discounts not from third parties.

Perminate Link for Quick and Dirty Look at January Postage Rate Hike   Quick and Dirty Look at January Postage Rate Hike

by: industrystones This user has validated their user name.

Wed Oct 9 23:09:31 2019

@Mighty Mouse
I have been saying this for the past 6 months regarding the brick & mortar thing.
Absolutely they will be making a comeback.

The ONLY people who can afford to sell online with the ridiculous shipping prices are billion dollar entities or Chinese companies or get a break on bulk shipping.

Perminate Link for Quick and Dirty Look at January Postage Rate Hike   Quick and Dirty Look at January Postage Rate Hike

by: purpleiris This user has validated their user name.
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Wed Oct 9 23:20:10 2019

While I am a big proponent for reducing our shipping rates and significantly raising rates for those who've been raping us all these years, I cannot argue with the following statement:

"The USPS made a point of noting that, unlike some other shippers, the Postal Service does not add surcharges for fuel, residential delivery, or regular Saturday or holiday season delivery."

Perminate Link for Quick and Dirty Look at January Postage Rate Hike   Quick and Dirty Look at January Postage Rate Hike

by: purpleiris This user has validated their user name.
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Wed Oct 9 23:50:47 2019

Regarding others' thoughts about B&M's making a comeback, I think that would be a good thing for the economy. I also think it would be good for eCommerce because, as prices rise, the cheapskates looking for garage sales online will go back to actual garage sales and thrift stores.

Although, just last night, I was doing some research on eBay's search engine (gave up on that due to unfamiliarity with the site) when I came across several listings from a seller with 130K feedback and a 99.4% rating. I did the same search query that I did on Etsy (''quilts'') because I was wanting to compare the findings on the two.

This seller has queen size quilts, apparently located in Michigan, listed for $26.99 with free shipping and it only takes four days for delivery. Really? It would probably cost at least that much to ship from Michigan to Texas.

So, the only way I could see them making money is if they are actually shipping from China, which would certainly take more than four days. Yet, they have such a high positive rating that I doubt they are lying about delivery time.

Who can compete with that? Who would want to unless they live in a region of the planet with such a low cost of living? I have to express my own frustration with how slow our government moves on such important issues, if they're doing anything at all.

Perminate Link for Quick and Dirty Look at January Postage Rate Hike   Quick and Dirty Look at January Postage Rate Hike

This user has validated their user name. by: DeathFromAbove

Thu Oct 10 00:21:25 2019

I wish I received a 4% annual pay raise on demand.  That would be great.  Instead with marketplace fees (pay to play, increased fees, etc), paypal, usps/fedex/UPS rate hikes that are difficult to pass on to customers, 1st class package becoming variable (which makes offering free shipping an unpredictable gamble), return fraud, sales tax, etc, etc, I probably take a 4% CUT every year since about 2015..  Will it ever end?  Everybody wants a bigger and bigger cut in return for NOTHING.  Without us stuffing the damned packages, there won't be anything.  Give us a break already with the constant cost increases that are not tied into anything quantifiable or justified other than greed.

Perminate Link for Quick and Dirty Look at January Postage Rate Hike   Quick and Dirty Look at January Postage Rate Hike

This user has validated their user name. by: iheartjacksparrow

Thu Oct 10 00:55:40 2019

I really loathe it when the USPS files for an increase and states that a service will raise some percentage above the existing rate. For all the online businesses who need to know this information as quickly as possible, I wish they'd state something like, a First Class Package increases from $2.66 to $2.86, so we can start planning what our postage amount will need to increase to.

Perminate Link for Quick and Dirty Look at January Postage Rate Hike   Quick and Dirty Look at January Postage Rate Hike

by: Moonwishes This user has validated their user name.
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Thu Oct 10 01:29:55 2019

Seeing this increase makes me see red! I look at the fact that they base their prices on the Consumer Price Index. Yet tomorrow, Social Security recipients will find out that the predictions are true that the price index that SS looks at will give recipients around a 1.6% increase, of which the cost of Medicare is going up $8.80 I believe the article said. So for those with the lowest amount of SS checks, they will technically received no increase again. For those making an 'average' size check they will get a $18-20 increase per MONTH after the MC increase is taken out. That is barely $5/week folks! Oh yeah if a person has to pay IRS taxes on their SS for whatever reason, they have to pay tax on the increase that they got that all went into Medicare!

No wonder so many old and retired people, and disabled who sell part time if they can are selling online so that they get a little bit more in to make the monthly check stretch further and get them through the month. I realize it is easy to think that people should have planned better for retirement, but I know I got struck down by a severe chronic disease in my mid-40's at my highest earning level. Now a barely livable wage! I wish whoever negotiates the USPS rate hikes would go over and help out the SS folks!

@PurpleIris - I agree with you about the quilt nonsense. And it is nonsense. The Chinese have been selling so-called 'home/hand-made' quilts here in the USA for 20-30 years priced at around $29.99. I am a quilter and I know what it takes to make a quilt from the fabric going into it, the thread, batting and backing, and the time and energy involved. The cost of purchasing the goods (fabric cheap and very poor quality) to make the quilt and then the cost to send them here to the states, and for the seller to bump up the cost to make some profit and deal with the shipping, there is only one conclusion that I can come to for the wages that the people making these quilts is probably less than an American quarter. Essentially they are using slave labor to make these and NOBODY should buy these quilts! Sorry this is my soap-box. I got something in the mail this week and was surprised that because the quality was so good, I was surprised to find that it was made in China. Apparently some companies that care are willing to fork out for quality products even if they come from China, but these so-called 'handmade' craft items like quilts, crocheted doilies, etc. should be totally boycotted.  

Perminate Link for Quick and Dirty Look at January Postage Rate Hike   Quick and Dirty Look at January Postage Rate Hike

by: purpleiris This user has validated their user name.

Thu Oct 10 02:32:01 2019

@DeathFromAbove, I hear ya!

@Jack, in all the years I've been selling online, I've never noticed much of a difference, if any, in the proposed and approved rates. Even if there was a difference, they do publish the approved rates well prior to the effective date.

@Moon, I'm not sure how they're pulling off a 4-day delivery unless they are actually shipping from Michigan. If they ARE shipping from Michigan, then why are they not paying our domestic rates? If they are NOT, then how is it legal for them to claim they're shipping from Michigan and how the heck do they get 4-day delivery from the other side of the world when our shipments can take that long from coast to coast? Yes, I cried rape in my first post!

Perminate Link for Quick and Dirty Look at January Postage Rate Hike   Quick and Dirty Look at January Postage Rate Hike

by: purpleiris This user has validated their user name.

Thu Oct 10 02:40:15 2019

@Jack, clarification...they don't initially publish the approved rates via the Notice 123, but you can find them by doing a search on their site. They publish the internal document that gets distributed administratively and I believe they have been downloadable for a while now via Excel and PDF.

Perminate Link for Quick and Dirty Look at January Postage Rate Hike   Quick and Dirty Look at January Postage Rate Hike

by: hawk This user has validated their user name.

Thu Oct 10 05:53:11 2019

the greed eventually always destroys everything and everybody it touches, including the fools that constantly raise the prices every time they bat their eyes. eventually , it all falls, and people will say the h**l with it all. they have never learned anything through out history.

Perminate Link for Quick and Dirty Look at January Postage Rate Hike   Quick and Dirty Look at January Postage Rate Hike

by: unhappyebayguy This user has validated their user name.

Thu Oct 10 08:57:17 2019

Remember when Priority Mail first came out? It was $2.99 up to a lb anywhere in the country. In the grand scheme of things, that was not all that long ago!  

Perminate Link for Quick and Dirty Look at January Postage Rate Hike   Quick and Dirty Look at January Postage Rate Hike

by: KW This user has validated their user name.

Thu Oct 10 09:06:17 2019

Again??? Makes low cost items way less attractive.  Maybe Amazon's next move will be to open up their shipping to non-amazon sellers.

Perminate Link for Quick and Dirty Look at January Postage Rate Hike   Quick and Dirty Look at January Postage Rate Hike

by: epuise This user has validated their user name.

Thu Oct 10 09:10:06 2019

eBay killed the B&M biz when it debuted, & in it's heyday.
With postage & fee hikes, more & more 'flip it on eBay' re-sellers are finding it hard to buy cheap & sell online for a profit.
This started last 5 years, esp. w/ false snad stuff & charge backs.
Postage is taking the profit OUT of online in many categories.
The good news is, B&M & live are coming back.

Perminate Link for Quick and Dirty Look at January Postage Rate Hike   Quick and Dirty Look at January Postage Rate Hike

by: epuise This user has validated their user name.

Thu Oct 10 09:11:16 2019

Tax policy is killing the US.
The Tax & economic policies are for the top 5% & big biz.
About time people accepted they voted in a SNAD.

Perminate Link for Quick and Dirty Look at January Postage Rate Hike   Quick and Dirty Look at January Postage Rate Hike

by: Whatever This user has validated their user name.

Thu Oct 10 09:31:22 2019

B & M is coming back - however - if you don't actually own the building and have to lease - the realtors in the USA have all lost their minds and convinced the landlords that their property is worth so much money.

Case in point - I'm in an antique mall - booth - each year the rent to the landlord have gone up $500 per month - started at $3,000.  This year the rent is jumping from $4,000 per month to $5,500! That's quite a bit.  The owner of the business is downsizing - the old place is a wreck with the landlord refusing to reinvest in the property - leaky roof - rats galore and the homeless doing mischief daily - one just busted out the electrical panel (exposed to alley) and the landlord thinks the tenant should replace.  I had planned on not moving to the new location and simply relying on the internet to supplement my income but after seeing this newest increase I guess I'll be hanging in there at the new smaller location.

The problem for the PO is gross mismanagement - the exorbitant wages and pensions - aside from the delivery people everyone is overpaid - the clerks at the counters are nothing more than cashiers just like the ones at Walmart but when you mention this everyone gets crazy.

As all the corporate raiders keep extracting more and more from everyone on everything they are all killing business in America - I'll be doing more and more garage sales now and the flea market when it's affordable.  A 10x10 space at $100 a day in this horrible economy is just plain stupid.

People we are IN a recession - get a grip - if your not making your plans now for the worse your just plain stupid.  Christ I could be a prepper????

Perminate Link for Quick and Dirty Look at January Postage Rate Hike   Quick and Dirty Look at January Postage Rate Hike

This user has validated their user name. by: Extra_Mile

Thu Oct 10 11:13:18 2019

The proposed Mailing Services price changes include:
Product Current Proposed
Letters (1 oz.) 55 cents 55 cents
Letters additional ounces 15 cents 15 cents
Letters (metered 1 oz.) 50 cents 50 cents
Flats (1 oz.) $1 $1
Outbound International Letters (1 oz.) $1.15 - $1.20
Domestic Postcards 35 cents 35 cents
The proposed domestic Priority Mail Flat Rate Retail price changes are:
Product Current Proposed
Small Flat-Rate Box $7.90 - $8.30
Medium Flat-Rate Box $14.35 - $15.05
Large Flat-Rate Box $19.95 - $21.10
APO/FPO Large Flat-Rate Box $18.45 - $19.60
Regular Flat-Rate Envelope $7.35 - $7.75
Legal Flat-Rate Envelope $7.65 - $8.05
Padded Flat-Rate Envelope $8 - $8.40

Perminate Link for Quick and Dirty Look at January Postage Rate Hike   Quick and Dirty Look at January Postage Rate Hike

This user has validated their user name. by: RKTOYS

Thu Oct 10 12:01:40 2019

B&M coming back?  Thanks for the laugh.

B&M is worse than ever.  Nothing but bare shelves as far as the eye can see.  Last month, word came down that KMart, the only big box within 25 miles, is closing at the end of the year.  Yesterday I found out they're also shutting down the flea market, forever, at the end of next month.  Retail is a bigger joke than the governor's campaign slogan.

Perminate Link for Quick and Dirty Look at January Postage Rate Hike   Quick and Dirty Look at January Postage Rate Hike

by: ElectronixRecyclers This user has validated their user name.

Thu Oct 10 12:18:31 2019

B&M require employees and physical real estate.  The elimination of those costs allows sellers to absorb higher shipping.

The only reason online prices are as high as they are now is because the paradigm says we still compete with physical retailers.  If there wasn't a Best Buy selling DVD players for $49.95 down the block, I could charge $59.95.

In the US, we have an effective three-way horizontal monopoly on shipping between FedEx, UPS and the Postal Service, and the various online marketplaces have arrangements with these carriers creating vertical monopolies as well.  This keeps another carrier from entering the market and forcing competition.

It is far easier for me to buy, store and sell 500 DVD players than it is for Best Buy to buy, store, distribute, sell, finance and service 10,000.  I'm putting more in my pocket per unit than Best Buy, I'm just working on a far smaller scale.

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