The fall season has become synonymous with pumpkin spice and announcements that a small postage increase from the U.S. Postal Service will impact the upcoming year. So, when a substantial postage increase went into effect on August 29, 2021 – the change caused a lot of concern and questions.
Who authorized this increase?
According to prc.gov, “the Postal Regulatory Commission is an independent agency created by the Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act (PAEA) in 2006 to provide strengthened oversight of the United States Postal Service. The Commission promotes high-quality universal mail service for the American people by ensuring Postal Service transparency, accountability and compliance with the law.” The PRC has broad regulatory oversight related to Postal Service and authority over price changes. To generate new revenues, the PRC approved and expedited the recent USPS proposed new postage price structure. Noted by a recent article published by govexec.com, “It will mark the first time postal management instituted higher-than-inflation rate hikes under a new authority the commission granted the Postal Service last year. ”
USPS® explains the change is driven by “its 10-year plan to achieve financial sustainability and service excellence” to remain competitive while providing the USPS with needed revenue.
What does this change mean to your postage price? Some of the most notable changes are:
- +$0.03 to $0.58 for 1st class stamp (i.e. 1 oz. letter)
- +$0.04 to $0.40 for postcard postage (presorted first-class with processing fees increased $0.05 to $0.3292)
- The full price update can be viewed by clicking here>
- Beginning October 3 and ending December 26, the U.S. Postal Service will have a temporary rate change for selected shipping services (impacting Priority Mail, Priority Mail Express, Parcel Select Ground and USPS Retail Ground) – the full announcement with rates can be viewed here>
Ready for the good news that came with the announcement?
The price of a 1st class postcard stamp may have increased $0.04 to $0.40, but the maximum size is now 9″ by 6″ ( which was previously 4.25″ by 6″). That’s A LOT more space to fit a compelling message to your patients and clients and mailing first-class means it will arrive faster. The very popular oversized postcard measuring 8.5″ by 5.5″ previously would have cost $0.55 in postage to deliver with first-class speed. The larger format is believed to increase usage in direct mail due to the extra space. How do you see your office mixing up your marketing campaigns based on this change?
More good news? Pitney Bowes does not expect to see another rate change this upcoming January, although there has been no confirmation from USPS or PRC.
Did you stock up on Forever Stamps before the postage price increase?
The benefit of the forever stamp is the price is locked in at the time you purchased it. So if you did stock up – lucky you! If you are like me, I always like to have stamps on hand. Personally, I had a moment of “uh oh” when I bought stamps for my wedding invitations. I then realized they were forever stamps, and I ended up saving $4 – woohoo :)
Comment with any questions you have or if you would like to brainstorm ways to save on your marketing mailings.