USPS Letter Rates to Rise in 2012

Impact on sellers should be minimal.

by staff writer
- Oct 20, 2011

Merchants who use letter envelopes to ship their items or postcards to promote their businesses will have to pay slightly more beginning next year.

The U.S. Postal Service announced it will raise some of its rates beginning Jan. 22. However, the increase, which is capped at 2.1 percent, shouldn't have a big impact on sellers, according to Auctiva Product Analyst Rebecca Miller.

Though it will cost 1 cent more to mail letter envelopes within in the U.S, 5 cents more for letters to Canada and Mexico, 7 cents more to send letters to other international countries, and 3 cents more for postcards, the adjustment for sellers will be minimal, says Miller, an eBay seller of 11 years.

Standard Mail, Periodicals and Package Services will also see a fee increase of about 2.1 percent. However, Express Mail and Priority Mail will not.

Miller says she would be much more concerned if USPS increased the cost of Priority and Express Mail, since these prices were raised about a year ago.

These are the first price changes for First-Class Mail stamps in more than two years, USPS reports.

The upcoming price adjustments were needed to help with USPS' current financial "crisis," says Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe. The postal service has lost billions of dollars in revenue as the result of a decrease in mail volume. So far, USPS has closed hundreds of satellite offices and is seeking to switch to a five-day delivery schedule.

"We continue to take actions within our control to increase revenue in other ways and to aggressively cut costs," he says.

Meanwhile, eBay is asking its users to support USPS' efforts to restructure its operations. eBay Main Street, the company's government relations organization, is circulating a petition to urge Congress to pass legislation that would provide relief to the USPS and keep shipping rates competitive for small businesses.

Among the operational changes USPS has proposed is a move to five-days-a-week delivery service.

About the Author

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.

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