Starting May 12th, it’ll cost you one extra little penny to mail someone your thoughts. That’s right…the US Postal Service is getting ready to make some price changes, and the biggest change for most consumers will be a price increase for First Class stamps from 41c to 42c.
The news isn’t all bad, though. That’s because for the first time in the history of the US Postal Service, the new pricing structure will include online price reductions, rebates, commercial volume and contract prices, as well as several other new incentives. The heat must be on the USPS to be competitive in pricing, as according to Postmaster General John Potter: “These innovative pricing incentives will make our products more attractive to all shippers, especially small businesses. We’re pricing our products to sell in today’s competitive shipping market.”
The information below can help you plan for your postal expenses – and figure out a few ways that you can save – starting next month.
New Prices as of May 12
Consistent with The Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act, the average increase of the prices is at or below the rate of inflation as measured by the Consumer Price Index. Here’s what the new pricing will be:
First-Class Mail letter 1 oz. = 42c (current price = 41c)
First-Class Mail letter 2 oz. = 59c (current price = 58c)
Postcard = 27c (current price = 26c)
Certified Mail = $2.70 (current price = $2.65)
First-Class Mail International to Canada and Mexico 1 oz. = 72c (current price = 69c)
First-Class Mail International to all other countries 1 oz. = 94c (current price = 90c)
Ways to Save…
Forever Stamps — Last year, the US Postal Service introduced Forever Stamps… and this is your chance to reap the rewards! You can purchase Forever Stamps prior to May 12 at the lower 41c rate, and then use them even after the price change. Forever Stamps are widely available through Post Offices, Contract Postal Units, consignment locations, Automated Postage Centers, and The Postal Store®. To help meet increased demand before the price change, the US Postal Service plans to have 5 Billion Forever Stamps in stock. So you shouldn’t have any problems getting your hands on them.
In addition to Forever Stamps, the US Postal Service is introducing all new ways to help you save, including the following new incentives:
Express Mail — With the new “zone-based pricing system,” you’ll pay less when you send a letter to a nearby destination using Express Mail. You can also save 3 percent when you purchase Express Mail online or through a corporate account. Finally, additional price reductions are available if you ship quarterly minimums.
Priority Mail — The new pricing structure includes a provision to help you save an average of 3.5 percent when you use electronic postage or meet other requirements.
Parcel Select — Large- and medium-size shippers will receive pricing and volume incentives under the “last mile” delivery provision.
Parcel Return Service — A new weight-based pricing system will result in significant price reductions for the return shipping of lighter packages.
You can learn more about the new pricing structure at www.usps.com/prices, and you can purchase Forever Stamps at your local Post Office or online at The Postal Store®.