Come mid-January, shipping late Christmas presents and other goods through the U.S. Postal Service will cost customers slightly more.
That's because in a Nov. 13 vote, the USPS's Board of Governors decided to change prices starting Jan. 18 for Express Mail, Priority Mail, Parcel Select, Parcel Return Service and some international shipping products.
"The move to annual January price changes for shipping services products is consistent with industry-wide practice and provides a clear picture of the competitive, affordable prices the Postal Service offers," notes Robert Bernstock, president of Mailing and Shipping Services.
Rates for Priority Mail will increase by 3.9 percent, Express Mail by 5.7 percent, and Parcel Return Service by 5.3 percent. Parcel Select and International Shipping Services will see the biggest jump at 5.9 percent and 8.5 percent, respectively.
But prices will remain competitive, Bernstock says. Commercial Plus pricing, meant for high-volume shipping, is 14.5 percent below retail price, and Priority Mail is 7 percent below. A new, smaller Priority Mail flat-rate box will also be introduced to give customers more options.
"The Postal Service remains the best shipping value in the market," the company notes in a press release.
This is the first time the USPS has changed its shipping prices before adjusting prices on mailing services such as stamps. Those changes will be announced in February and go into effect in May.
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Auctiva staff writers constantly monitor trends and best practices of those selling on eBay and elsewhere online. They attend relevant training seminars and trade shows and regularly discuss the market with PowerSellers and other market experts.