Q. When will the new prices take effect?
A. The new prices for Mailing Services and Shipping Services take effect May 12, 2008.
Q. What do the terms “Mailing Services” and “Shipping Services” mean?
A. “Mailing Services” are our market-dominant products and consist of the following:
“Shipping Services” are our competitive products and consist of the following:
Q. When were the prices for Shipping Services announced?
A. We announced the prices on March 12, 2008.
Q. Does the price change include any mail classification changes?
A. Only a few. In First-Class Mail International service, we are introducing shape-based pricing to align with our price structure for domestic First-Class Mail service. In Periodicals, we are introducing a new pricing for “Limited Circulation” publications.
Q. Is my Forever Stamp™ valid for the new First-Class Mail letter price?
A. Yes. The postage value of the Forever Stamp is always the First-Class Mail single-piece 1-ounce letter price in effect on the day of use (the day of mailing). Forever Stamps purchased through May 11 will be worth 42 cents postage on May 12. A Forever Stamp affixed to a 1-ounce letter does not require additional postage. As always, customers will need additional postage for letters weighing over 1 ounce, letters subject to the nonmachinable surcharge, and mailpieces that are larger than letter-size.
Q. I have nondenominated American Flag stamps. Will I need additional postage?
A. Yes. The postage value of the nondenominated American Flag stamp is 41 cents. Any mailpiece subject to a higher price will require additional postage.
Q. How much is the Forever Stamp?
A. Effective May 12, the Forever Stamp will sell for 42 cents and will be available in booklets of 20 for $8.40. Sheets of 18 stamps will be available from our Automated Postal Centers® (APCs®) and at select automated teller machines (ATMs) for $7.56.
Q. Are Forever Stamps available in coils or other formats?
A. No, but we will have other 42-cent stamps available in coils and panes on April 18.
Q. I have several types of stamps with no denomination. How can I determine the value of these stamps?
A. See Quick Service Guide 604a, Basic Standards for All Mailing Services Nondenominated Postage, on page 88 or on Postal Explorer® at http://pe.usps.com/text/qsg300/Q604a.htm. It lists nondenominated stamps, stamped cards, and stamped envelopes and the postage value.
Q. Can I use the Forever Stamp for International Mail?
A. Yes, but keep in mind that the postage value of the Forever Stamp is the domestic First-Class Mail letter price in effect on the day of use (the day of mailing). Through May 11 it is 41 cents, and beginning May 12 it is 42 cents. Since all international prices are higher, you will need additional postage.
Q. Will the price of the Breast Cancer Research semipostal stamp change?
A. No, the price remains 55 cents. The “postage value” of a semipostal stamp is the domestic First-Class Mail single-piece 1-ounce letter price that is in effect on the day of use (the day of mailing).
Q. Can I apply my 41-cent stamps toward the purchase of 42-cent and other stamps?
A. No. Stamps cannot be exchanged unless mistakes were made when originally purchased, or your stamps were defective when purchased. Post Offices™ have ample supplies of 1- and 2-cent “make-up” stamps. Remember, the postage value of the Forever Stamp is the domestic First-Class Mail letter price that is in effect on the day of use (the day of mailing), so no “make-up” stamps are needed for them.
Q. I see there will soon be a 62-cent stamp. Is this a new price category?
A. No, it is not a new price category. The 62-cent stamp offers the convenience of paying postage for 1–ounce nonmachinable letters with a single stamp. The stamp will be available May 19.
Q. Why are prices going up again?
A. The costs of doing business — for items such as fuel, transportation, utilities, and health care benefits — have continued to increase. Without an increase to keep up with rising costs, we face significant losses. Many people do not know that postal operations are not subsidized by tax dollars. We rely on the sale of postal products and services to cover our operating costs.
Q. The USPS raised prices last May. Why another increase 12 months later?
A. The new postal law calls for predictable price changes and includes a mechanism for Mailing Services prices to increase at the rate of inflation each year (as measured by the Consumer Price Index). Rather than larger increases every several years, the new process will provide smaller, more predictable price changes.
Q. Will the fees for Repositionable Notes (RPNs) increase?
A. No. The fees remain:
Q. Will price increases for Shipping Services mail also be capped at 2.9 percent?
A. No, prices for Shipping Services products are not subject to a price cap. However, there is a price floor: Each product must cover its costs, and in the aggregate, the Shipping Services products must generate sufficient net contribution to cover 5.5 percent of our overhead.
Q. Will there be an increase to the price for additional ounces?
A. No, the price for additional ounces for retail (single-piece) First-Class Mail letters, large envelopes, and packages remains 17 cents for each ounce.
Q. Will the price for additional ounces for presorted First-Class Mail letters decrease?
A. Yes, the price decreases to 12.5 cents. The new price aligns the additional-ounce price for automation and presorted letters.
Q. Is the nonmachinable surcharge increasing?
A. Yes, the nonmachinable surcharge for First-Class Mail letters will increase to 20 cents. Keep in mind, the nonmachinable surcharge applies to letters only. It does not apply to large envelopes and packages.
Q. Will the price for postcards increase?
A. Yes, the new price will be 27 cents for eligible postcards. Stamped cards will increase to 30 cents each.
Q. Along with the price increase, will there be any changes to First-Class Mail classification?
A. Yes, we’re introducing shape-based pricing with separate prices for international letters, flats, and packages. This includes a 3.5 ounce maximum weight for letters and other shape characteristics such as flexibility standards for flats. This change aligns First-Class Mail International service with domestic First-Class Mail service.
Q. What type of barcode is required for the parcel price?
A. On First-Class Mail parcels, mailers may use a 5-digit UCC/EAN Code 128 or a POSTNET® barcode.
Q. Will the Delivery Confirmation™ fee increase for First-Class Mail parcels?
Q. Will OneCode ACS™ service for First-Class Mail letters still be available at no charge?
A. Yes, for the first two notices. Additional notices are 6 cents each.
Q. Is the Move Update standard changing for automation- and presort-rate First-Class Mail?
A. Yes. However, that change is separate from the pricing change, and takes effect November 23. See the January/February issue of MailPro at www.usps.com/mailpro for more information.
Q. In addition to shape-based First-Class Mail International prices, are there any other changes?
A. Yes. The number of individual country price groups is expanded to nine — aligning the First-Class Mail International price groups with Priority Mail International and Express Mail International service.
Q. With separate prices for First-Class Mail International packages, can these packages now be insured?
A. No. However, you can insure packages sent by Priority Mail International service (other than in the flat-rate envelope).
Q. Is there a change to the nonmachinable surcharge for First-Class Mail International letters?
A. Yes. The nonmachinable surcharge applies to First-Class Mail International letters, regardless of weight, just as it does in domestic First-Class Mail service. The new price will be 20 cents in addition to postage. The nonmachinable surcharge applies to letters only.
Q. Are there any classification or price eligibility changes?
A. For eligible publications, a new limited-circulation discount is available on qualifying Outside-County copies. The discount is 5 percent.
Q. Will the 5 percent discount for limited-circulation publications apply to the bundle and container charges?
A. Yes. The 5 percent discount applies to the total Outside-County postage excluding postage for advertising pounds, Ride-Along pieces, and RPNs.
Q. Will the fees associated with Periodicals mail change?
A. Yes. Periodicals fees will be as follows: original entry $510; re-entry $60; additional entry $80; news agent registry $50.
Q. Where can I find a listing of all the new Periodicals prices?
A. All new prices are available online at www.usps.com/prices.
Q. Will In-County Periodicals be subject to bundle and container prices?
A. No. Bundle and containers prices apply to Outside-County copies only.
Q. Is the Ride-Along price still available?
A. Yes. The Periodicals Ride-Along price will be $0.159 each.
Q. Will the fee for Repositionable Notes (RPNs) increase?
A. No. The fee remains $0.015 each.
Q. Will there be any structural changes to Standard Mail prices?
A. No, the price structure remains the same.
Q. Will the separate price categories for irregular parcels, machinable parcels, and Not Flat-Machinable (NFM) pieces continue?
Q. Will the barcode requirements for parcels remain the same?
Q. Will the nonbarcoded surcharge for parcels and Not Flat-Machinable pieces increase?
A. No, it remains 5 cents.
Q. Are there changes to Standard Mail Nonprofit mailings?
A. Nonprofit prices and incentives continue to mirror those of regular Standard Mail service.
Q. I understand that mailings will be subject to the new Move Update standard?
A. Yes. However, the new requirement does not take effect until November 23, 2008. See the January/February issue of MailPro at www.usps.com/mailpro for additional information.
Q. Will there be any classification changes to Packages Services mail?
A. No, there are no changes to any of the Package Services categories.
Q. Are there any changes to Media Mail eligibility?
A. There are no changes to Media Mail other than the new prices. Contents are limited to books, sound recordings, recorded videotapes, and computer-readable media (not blank). Media Mail cannot contain advertising except eligible books may contain incidental announcements of books. Prices are still based on weight (unzoned).
Q. How is Business Reply Mail changing?
A. There are minor increases to certain Business Reply Mail (BRM) per-piece charges. Remember, all BRM returns are subject to the appropriate price for First-Class Mail letters, large envelopes (flats), and parcels.
Q. Will permit fees increase?
A. Yes. All annual mailing fees and the permit imprint application fee will increase to $180, and all annual accounting fees (account maintenance fees) will be $565. The new fees apply only to first-time payments and renewals. Customers with current fees paid will use the new fees when they renew.
Q. I see the pickup on demand service will increase to $14.75. What about Carrier Pickup™ service?
A. Carrier Pickup service remains available at no charge.
Q. Do the fees for Delivery Confirmation service increase?
A. No. All Delivery Confirmation service fees remain the same.
Q. Will Post Office box fees change?
A. Most Post Office box fees will increase modestly, but there are no changes to “fee groups” this year. The new fees will apply only to new rentals and renewals. Current Post Office box customers will pay the new fees when they renew.
Q. Will Caller Service fees change?
A. Yes. As with Post Office box fees, new fees will apply only to first-time users and renewals.
Q. What are the most significant changes for Express Mail?
A. Except for the flat-rate envelope, Express Mail prices will be zoned, which is consistent with standard industry practices. Zone pricing allows us to reduce prices for those items shipped locally up to Zone 3.
We also have Express Mail commercial base prices that are 3 percent below retail prices. Commercial base prices apply to:
Q. Where can I find Express Mail commercial base prices?
A. Unlike Priority Mail service, there is no separate price chart. Except for the flat-rate envelope, all commercial base Express Mail prices are a 3 percent reduction off the retail price list. Commercial base pricing will be built-in to the authorized postage payment system.
Q. Is the flat-rate envelope eligible for commercial price incentives?
A. Yes. The Express Mail Flat-Rate Envelope commercial base price will be $16.00, which is 50 cents lower than the $16.50 retail price.
Q. How do I open an Express Mail Corporate Account?
A. Go to www.usps.com/forms/pdf/ps5639.pdf to download an EMCA Account Application and Payment Authorization form. Instructions are on the form.
Q. What is Express Mail Hold for Pickup?
A. USPS has changed the name of Express Mail Post Office to Post Office to Express Mail Hold for Pickup.
Q. Are there any service changes to Hold for Pickup?
A. The service, currently available at 7,400 Post Offices, will expand to approximately 31,000 locations and all 2,495 Automated Postal Centers® (APC®). The new service also includes automatic callbacks to the designated recipient as indicated on Label 11-A, Express Mail.
Q. What services can be added to Express Mail Hold for Pickup?
A. There are no changes. Extra Services include Mailing Receipt, Return Receipt, COD, Insurance and Indemnity, and Additional Insurance.
Q. Does the sender have to provide a contact phone number when purchasing Express Mail Hold for Pickup?
A. No, but if no contact phone number is provided, the retail associate will inform the sender that it will be the responsibility of the sender to notify the recipient that the Hold for Pickup shipment has arrived at the destination Post Office.
Q. Will POS, IRT, and APC inform the customer about pickup time (10 a.m., Noon, or 3 p.m.)?
A. Yes. In addition, the commitment time will be printed on the mailer’s receipt.
Q. I understand there are now two separate price lists for Priority Mail service?
A. Yes, in addition to retail prices, we now offer lower commercial base prices for:
Q. Where can I find Priority Mail commercial base prices?
A. All new prices are available online at www.usps.com/prices.
Q. Are commercial base prices available at APCs?
Q. What are the new prices for the flat-rate boxes?
A. The retail price for the large flat-rate box introduced March 3, 2008, will continue to be $12.95 for domestic addresses, and $10.95 for APO/FPO destination addresses. The new commercial prices will be $12.50 and $10.50, respectively. The regular flat-rate boxes (both shapes) will be $9.80 for retail and $9.30 for commercial.
Q. What is the new price for the flat-rate envelope?
A. The retail price will be $4.80, and the commercial base price will be $4.75.
Q. Do all the new Priority Mail prices include (no-fee) Delivery Confirmation service?
A. No, only the commercial base prices include electronic Delivery Confirmation service.
Q. Will there be commercial price incentives for Parcel Select service?
A. Yes. We are introducing Loyalty Incentives and Growth Incentives for large-volume Parcel Select shippers based on DDU growth only. Customers who qualify for these incentives will receive annual rebates ranging from 2 to14 percent of DDU postage.
Q. When do the new international changes take effect?
A. New international mail prices will be implemented with the domestic price changes on May 12, 2008.
Q. What are the new Express Mail International Flat-Rate Envelope prices?
A. The Express Mail International Flat-Rate Envelope retail price will be $23.95 for Canada and Mexico, and $25.95 for all other countries. Commercial base prices will be 8 percent below retail prices.
Q. Are there any changes to Express Mail International pricing?
A. Yes. Customers using Click-N-Ship or PC Postage service will continue to get a commercial base price 8 percent lower than the comparable retail price. We are expanding availability of the commercial prices to include customers who pay postage using an Express Mail Corporate Account and who use USPS-provied Global Shipping Software (GSS) for mail preparation and Customs-related functions.
In addition, we’re adding commercial volume prices based on annualized volume or postage for customers who pay postage through an Express Mail Corporate Account and use GSS.
Q. Are there any changes to Priority Mail International pricing?
A. Yes. Customers using Click-N-Ship or PC Postage service will continue to get a commercial base price 5 percent lower than the comparable retail price. We are expanding availability of the commercial prices to commercial customers who pay postage using a permit imprint advance deposit account and GSS for mail preparation and Customs-related functions.
Q. What are the new Priority Mail International Flat-Rate Envelope prices?
A. The Priority Mail International Flat-Rate Envelope retail price will be $9.95 for Canada and Mexico and $11.95 for all other countries. Commercial base prices will be 5 percent below retail prices. The weight limit for the Priority Mail International Flat-Rate Envelope remains 4 pounds.
Q. What are the new prices for the Priority Mail International Flat-Rate Boxes?
A. The retail prices for the regular flat-rate boxes (both shapes) will be $23.95 for Canada and Mexico, and $38.95 for all other countries. The price of the large flat-rate box introduced March 3, 2008, remains $29.95 for Canada and Mexico, and $49.95 for all other countries. Commercial base prices will be 5 percent below retail. The weight limit for all flat-rate boxes remains 20 pounds.
Q. Other than the prices, are there any other changes to IPA and ISAL?
A. Yes. Published prices for ISAL Direct Shipment are eliminated, and only available through customized agreements.
Q. Are International Reply Coupons (IRCs) still available?
A. Yes, the selling price will be $2.10 each. IRCs are exchangeable in any other Universal Postal Union member country for stamps equal to the minimum postage for an air letter.
Q. Are there any significant changes to International Mail extra services?
A. The structure of extra services is unchanged.