The USPS Has Done It Again … Postage Rates Take a Hike!

What do postage rates and Social Security taxes have in common? They increase … not necessarily yearly, but guaranteed, they will increase. Today is the latest roll out for the USPS. That snail mail letter will now cost you three cents more and the trusty post card, another penny.

On January 26, 2014 the U.S. Postal Service® will implement new postage rates for several mail classes including First Class Package Service, Priority Mail® and Priority Mail Express® along with many special services.

Here’s a summary of the 2014 USPS postage rate increase, effective immediately:

• First Class Letters (1 oz.) will increase by three cents to $0.49 from $0.46. Each additional ounce will cost an extra $0.21 (up one cent from 2013).

• NEW – The USPS has introduced a new First Class letter rate for the “Metered Mail” category, which includes online postage providers and postage meters. This new rate would be $0.48, one cent below the retail rate of $0.49 for First Class Letters.

• First Class Flats (1 oz.) will increase by six cents to $0.98 from $0.92. Each additional ounce will cost an extra $0.21 (up one cent from 2013).

• Postcard rates will increase by one cent to $0.34 from $0.33.

• Priority Mail Express products include:
– Retail Flat Rate, Padded Flat Rate and Legal Flat Rate envelopes — $19.99
– Flat Rate Boxes — $44.95
– Domestic Priority Mail Flat Rate products retail prices start at $5.60.

• Priority Mail Commercial Base (online postage) rates will continue to start at $5.05 and in some weight ranges and zones, the prices will be reduced compared to 2013.

• Priority Mail Express Commercial Base (online postage) rates will increase by an average of 3% and will start at $16.95 (previously at $13.09).

• First Class Package Service will see an average increase of 5% in 2014.

• NEW – A new morning delivery service option will become available for Priority Mail Express. For an extra $5.00 fee, Priority Mail Express packages can be delivered to their destinations by 10:30am.

• NEW – Priority Mail International: The maximum weight for Rate Group 2 (Mexico) has been increased to 70 lbs. from 44 lbs.

• NEW – Commercial Plus Pricing: The minimum annual package volume threshold for cubic pricing and other Commercial Plus offerings will be lowered to 50,000 packages.

• NEW – The following countries are now also eligible for USPS Tracking™: Estonia, Finland, Gibraltar, Hungary, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Malta, Portugal, and Singapore.

So, what’s one to do if you don’t do all your bill paying, thank yous and communications online? Buy a roll (or several) of Freedom Forever stamps. Sold at the current rate per stamp of first class mail … they are good, even when the rates pop up. Also, it’s smart to have a few sheets of one cent stamps (for post cards) and three cent stamps (for regular mail) stamps in your desk.

JB_pic_2013-2Judith Briles is known as The Book Shepherd, the Author and Publishing expert and the Founder and Chief Visionary Officer of Author U, a membership organization created for the author who wants to be seriously successful. She’s been writing about and conducting workshops on publishing since the 80s. She’s the author of 31 books including Author YOU: Creating Your Book and Author Platform that has won multiple “best” in the writing/publishing categories in book award competitions. Her next book is Snappy, Sassy, Salty … Wise Words for Authors and Publishers has just been released. Join Judith live on Thursdays at 6 p.m. EST for Author U-Your Guide to Book Publishing on the Toginet network at:

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