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Postage Rates Go Up Jan. 26: Stamps, Bulk Mail, Packages

USPS postage rates 2014

The U.S. Postal Service will be charging higher postage rates effective later this month, starting Jan. 26, 2014.

(UPDATE Jan 17, 2014:  New rates are now posted on the USPS website – here [1]. )

Following is a summary of some of the increases likely to affect small businesses.

Letters and Postcards

Packages

Packages will see a number of increases:

In a few sizes, Priority Express package rates and Priority Regional box rates may actually go down slightly.  But taken as a whole, the rates are increasing.

The rates for packages are complex.  Stamps.com has a good series of charts showing various increases and decreases [2].  

Back in September the Postal Service requested the rate hikes [3] as “exigent” (emergency) increases needed to make up for losses due to the Great Recession of 2008-2009.  The Postal Regulatory Commission, which has oversight,  approved the changes in a 2 to 1 split decision, but refused to make them permanent.  However, it’s not clear how long “temporary” will be. 

Any mailings up through January 25th will be at the old rates.

What can you do to save money on 2014 postage?

Many small businesses have already moved toward electronic communications.  Electronic invoicing, direct payroll deposit, electronic bill payment, email marketing instead of printed mailers, and other techniques cut down on paper and attendant postage costs.

But electronic is not always feasible. Here are a few other techniques to consider, in order to guard your bottom line. While not always big savings, they may help a bit:

Editor: Updated January 17, 2014 to include official link to new postal rates.

Image: USPS