changes made last year are set to take effect
on Sunday, Jan. 27, for most mailing
The stamp for a first-class 1-oz. domestic
letter will increase by 5 cents to
55 cents and each additional ounce will
cost 15 cents, possibly the only decrease
from 21 cents.
“Forever” stamps, which can be used
as a first-class stamp regardless of how
much they cost when they were bought
at a post office, also will rise in price to
55 cents each on Jan. 27.
Metered 1-oz. mail will only increase
by 3 cents to 50 cents, making metered
envelopes 9-percent cheaper to mail than
the stamped rate, according to the U.S.
First-class large envelopes remain at
$1 for the first ounce and go up 15 cents
for each additional ounce.
For those who send cards and letters to
Canada, Mexico and other international
destinations, the postage rate remains
$1.15 for an envelope or postcard up to
1 oz. Domestic postcard rates will stay
at 35 cents.
Shipping rates are set to change and
increase as the Postal Service moves to
zone-based pricing for first-class packages.
These will have an average rate
increase of 11.9 percent
for commercial packages
and 13.3 percent
for retail packages.
Prices will be based
on weight as well as a
package’s origin and
destination – the more
zones crossed, the
higher the rate. The
USPS map has nine
Flat-rate boxes will
go up; the current price
of a small box is $7.20
and goes up slightly to $7.90. Medium flatrate
boxes are now $13.65 and increase to
$14.35 and large boxes that are $18.90 will
increase to $19.95. Flat-rate shipping provides
the best deal for packages weighing
more than 2 pounds because they will still
be shipped to any zone for one rate, according
to Shipping Easy.
Priority mail rates will increase by an
average of about 6 percent. Parcel ground
select rates actually drop almost 2 percent.
Some sites that calculate how rates could
affect businesses offer advice that includes
switching to postage meters, adding another
piece of paper to a first-class envelope for
just 15 cents more and folding documents
in half so they fit in a 6-by-9-inch envelope
instead of using a large flat envelope.
Another notes that Priority Mail still
has flat-rate options, free packaging,
good tracking and quick delivery times
compared to other options.
The U.S. Postal Service is holding
back until June on another set of changes
– “dimensional rating” or DIM Weight.
In this category, a package’s rate will be
calculated differently. These rates now
apply to farther zones 5 through 9 and
are set to take effect across the country.
Numerous sites and articles explain the
upcoming changes and offer suggestions
on how to best prepare for them based on
aspects of retail and commercial shippers.