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USPS Shipping Rates go up in 2018



USPS Shipping Rates Increasing in 2018 - Here are the New USPS Shipping Prices

The U.S. Postal Service has revised prices for its Shipping Services. The rate changes went into effect on Sunday, Jan. 21, 2018. The price for Mailing Services went up by around 1.9 percent, and most USPS shipping prices saw an average increase of 3.9 percent.



USPS Shipping Rates Increasing

Priority mail cost also went up by five cents across the board, affecting everything from Flat Rate Envelope to Large Flat Rate boxes.

USPS Shipping Prices

Since the advent of the internet and eCommerce, the price of shipping has become a considerable expenditure for businesses of all sizes. But for small businesses offering free shipping in order to compete with large online retailers is a challenge. So anytime USPS shipping prices increase, small businesses take a hit to their bottom line.

Pitney Bowes, a supplier of global eCommerce solutions and shipping and mailing products, believes the changes mean small business shippers must begin thinking in new ways.

2018 USPS Priority Mail Rates

When a package is shipped via Priority Mail will arrive in 1-3 business days. This will depend on where the package starts and ends. Small businesses with eCommerce solutions use it because the packages can be tracked easily and they can be insured up to $50 for most shipments.

USPS Shipping Rates Increasing in 2018 - Here are the New USPS Shipping Prices

2018 USPS Priority Mail Flat Rate Prices

Many eCommerce businesses use the USPS Priority Mail Flat Rate boxes and envelopes because it simplifies shipping. The slogan of the service, “If it fits, it ships” pretty much says it all. The boxes are available for free, and for packages weighing up to 20 pounds 1-3 business days will cost you a flat rate to anywhere in the US.

USPS Shipping Rates Increasing in 2018 - Here are the New USPS Shipping Prices

2018 USPS First Class Package Service Rates

The USPS First Class Package Service (FCPS) is ideal for shipping packages under one pound. You can pay more if your customers want expedited shipping, but for those willing to wait an extra business day or two, it is the most cost-effective option.

USPS Shipping Rates Increasing in 2018 - Here are the New USPS Shipping Prices

U.S. Postal Service Photo via Shutterstock

39 Comments ▼

Shubhomita Bose


Shubhomita Bose Shubhomita Bose is a Staff Writer for Small Business Trends. She covers key studies and surveys about the small business market, along with general small business news. She draws on 8 years of experience in copywriting, marketing and communications, having worked extensively on creating content for small and medium sized enterprises.

39 Reactions

  1. Bump the retail price and negotiate more on pricing to bulk shippers. For an entity that has taken a loss for years it’s probably a smart move. For SMBs on thin margins it hurts a lot.

    • Aira Bongco

      It hurts especially if the business is dependent on the service to begin with. It may be small but it all adds up. I wish there are discounts.

  2. A lot of my business is abroad so this so the international rate hike is killing me!

    • The new international rates are absolutely INSANE! Before the recent rate hike, a 3 lb, 4 oz package going from the US to Japan would cost $33.40. It now costs a rediculous $50.75!! If my math is correct, that is more than a 50% increase in price. 50%! I just love the way that the post office is not advertising those rate hikes…only the ones that have increased by 10% or less ever get mentioned by them. Thank you, USPS, for killing my international sales.

      • There is another very serious problem with USPS. For many years the USPS has been lying to merchants regarding its delivery performance with Priority Mail. They claim that they can ship anywhere in the USA within 3 days or less. In far too many cases it just doesn’t happen. Priority Mail is a total waste of money. You get about the same results with regular first class mail.
        I recently ordered an item from New Zealand which is not widely available in the USA but I definitely need it. I paid a premium on shipping to get it to San Angelo, Texas as soon as possible. That proved to be a waste of money. There was no problem with DHL shipping time from New Zealand to Austin, Texas. The product was reshipped with Priority Mail at Austin Texas. If USPS cannot get the parcel to move 205 miles in 4 days there is something very seriously wrong with their service. When I did internet tracking on the package I was outraged. These idiots at USPS first took the package to Houston, Texas which is nearly 400 miles from San Angelo, Then they took it Ft. Worth Texas which is 270 miles away. Makes absolutely no sense.
        Instead of using USPS Priority Mail you are probably better off using FEDEX Ground which has much better delivery performance that USPS Priority Mail.

  3. This is really a HUGE price increase. Priority Mail is going up almost 10%. In addition, the USPS has eliminated the discount for purchasing online! It appears they have eliminated the Priority Mail Regional Rate Boxes, too. So, if you were purchasing postage online, you will be hit with a 20% increase!

  4. Well. Adios to my business. F you Ebay and USPS! How are you gonna go from charging 2.05 to 2.60!!!! FOR THE SAME 3 OZ WEIGHT. This is COMPLETE BS.

    • International bubble mailer that cost 6.39 now costs 13.75! This will most likely kill our overseas customers buying from us.

  5. Almost a buck more for the small Flat rate priority boxes. More loss in profits for the little eBay seller.

  6. I have received about 4 packages as a buyer, the shipping was through Pitney Bowles . I owed money for postage due according to USPS. Hopefully the postage will now be correct when I buy again and Pitney Bowles is used for shipping.

  7. A flat document envelope from US to South America today just went from around $12 to $22.50. That is almost double. Even my post office manager was stupified. That’s the end of any foreign commerce for me.

    • I am a small business owner and also impacted by rising costs. However, I think in our “instant” age, expectations are getting unrealistic. We can fax/download/upload/email documents immediately with little to no cost but to physically deliver something thousands of miles away, there are costs. The problem is probably more that the mailing/shipping costs have been artificially lower than they should have been for decades.

      Think about it this way — 100-150 years ago, any package would have taken a difficult journey to deliver to another continent and probably cost the equivalent of $10,000+ unless you did volume and knew someone in the shipping business who’d be willing to take and safeguard an important document on their ship for discount. 300 years ago, it would likely have cost $100,000 or more to travel to another continent and deliver anything, with MONTHS and MONTHS of delay. Heck, even matters of critical national importance deployed with all the resources of a government were difficult to deliver.

      Although travel costs have dramatically decreased in the past century or so, who could you hire for $22 to travel a few thousand miles with an envelope? You can barely hire a courier to hand-deliver a document city-to-city within a single county for $22. If you stop and think about it, it is pretty cheap to deliver something to another country for less than the cost of the average pizza delivery order.

      For me, the take-away is that people can accommodate gradual change far better than abrupt change. My business model has had to re-evaluate things based on shipping costs, too. But I want to step back and be thankful for what we have at the same time.

  8. Shubhomita Bose

    Thanks everyone for your comments. Here’s hoping USPS takes note of this and realizes leaving small businesses disgruntled is a costly mistake.

  9. I’m not sure where the average of 8.6% on Priority Mail comes from because as far as I can see almost every size option was increased by almost 20%. A padded flat rate envelope used to cost $5.70 online and is now $6.80, what other business would get away with hiking up their prices 20%? Inflation and average wage increases are no where near this. And why has the online discount been discontinued? It saves the post office time and money if more small business’s purchased and shipped using pre-ordered supplies and paid online, no clogging up their customer lines, just a straight drop off. This is a bitter pill to swallow indeed!

    Oh and Ebay – the Global Shipping Program between the UK and USA is awful – just awful. It’s excessively expensive and takes weeks longer to receive items. There is ample tracking between USPS and Royal Mail so I don’t see why a third party needs to be paid excessive additional fees for simple transactions and items which would incur no import duties? Perhaps between countries who do not have as secure or robust local mail providers this would be helpful, but between these two very secure mailing systems, it’s a croc. I wish more Ebayers would boycott it!

  10. Martin Lindeskog

    Another example why the state shouldn’t be involved in business. I am glad that we have competition in the shipping field nowadays.

    I wonder how these increases will hurt e-commerce and exporting to international customers.

  11. Most people don’t realize that UPS offers discounts for small businesses (9% for ground and 18% for air and intl. There’s no minimum volume required, it’s free to sign up for, and in many cases the rates are cheaper than USPS. It’s definitely worth checking out, especially now that USPS just jacked up their rates.

    [Edited by Editor]

  12. I don’t know what you people are talking about. Fist class international has gone up almost 100%. it was first $1.23 with no tracking then it went up to about $2.50 the 5.48 not it’s $10.91 for two ounces. The fricking post office will out tracking # on incoming Chinese packages at our expense!

  13. Yeah this price hike is outrageous. Last month it cost $7.10 to ship a 1 oz package to Australia…now it costs $13.75! I am going to lose a lot of international customers because of this. And because my merchandise is so light both UPS and FedEx are still more expensive. Last year they raised the international rate about $1 which was understandable…but to raise it to over $6 more?? I was in total shock at the post office today realizing that my small business is going to take a huge hit from this.

  14. With increasingly dismal delivery performance, reductions in staff and service, double-digit pricing increases, the elimination of online purchasing discounts, and the closing of the nearest regional processing center (mandating mail now travel 350 miles round-trip, to be delivered here in town!).. this will effectively eliminate the USPS as a viable alternative for ANY of our shipping needs – PERIOD!

    If ever a business was determined to kill itself, the USPS is the quintessential example!

  15. This is insane. I tried to ship a small package within the same county that I live in…before it was $5.65 and now it’s $9.45!!!! That’s WAY more than a 10% increase. At that price, it’s easier for me to deliver it myself. And with gas prices so low, I find these new prices ridiculous. Not to mention that from a customer service perspective, it’s way easier dealing with FedEx or UPS. Goodbye, USPS. It was nice shipping with you!

  16. I guess the rate hikes will help cover the horrendous service we receive, and the postal carrier who deliberately tampers with my mail as payback for my complaints about her. Time for UPS.

  17. End Corporate Rule

    Fully one third of my packages will not be shipped out due to this insane increase. Some prices are doubled and all the priority envelopes went up $.65 each!
    What is this 10%-14% increase crap. We don’t care what kinda con job rate hike corporations blab about: WE care about the amount it costs us. THE TOTAL COST to ship has increased by up to 100%!!!!!!
    I spend over $15k each year shipping through USPS. They can drop that amount to $10k right now because I don’t ship packages to pass the time. If I don’t make money then I won’t ship.

  18. With elections coming up, people should try to understand why this is happening. To attract voters, the government has increased hiring, wages and benefits to all level of employees. We tax payers are paying for it, then we’re paying for it again in the higher rates which have been increasing stubstantially over the last seven years especially. Government can’t even fund it’s retirement programs. These programs are in the “red” big time and again, tax payers are paying for it. Just think about it, get a government job and for practical purposes you can’t be fired, so many of the employees are not productive (I’ve seen it personally), articles are out there where government employees spend substantial business time on the internet (watching porn, etc.) and they have all kinds of excessive benefits. It will never change unless we get an administration in Washington that is not into buying votes by promising more, more, more. In simple terms, the middle and lower classes in this country do not have a chance as long as fewer and fewer people are working to fund the larger and larger, unproductive people in this country. And, politician want us to believe that they can continue to tax the “rich”. Think about it, most rich people are rich because the know what they are doing. Over tax them and they will close unproductive businesses, move somewhere else and one way or another figure out how not to keep paying higher taxes. the result is fewer jobs and a continued poor economy. Then the burden will continue to fall on the productive and successful middle class and the poor. It just will not work, cost of living keeps going up and eventually the US will more and more resemble third world countries and at the same time we keep bringing more and more immigrants that add to the poor, create fewer and fewer jobs and again, higher taxes to cover all of the expenses. The US Post Office is just one of the agencies that can not raise rate fast enough to even fund past retirement benefits and they are still losing money. It’s never ending.

    • Nonsense.

      USPS receives no taxpayer money. It is an independent agency, authorized by the Constitution of the United States, and is entirely funded by its revenues.

      However, it is subject to congressional oversight and mandates including the mandate to provide equal service to all. It cannot therefore operate as yet another business.

      So its users have to pay for it. Isn’t that what you want? Otherwise you become one of the “larger and larger, unproductive people in this country.”

      I visit my local PO almost every day, and all I see is a small staff working very hard. No one is surfing the Internet.

      Oh, and those retirement benefit funding levels? Also mandated by Congress.

      • The poster you replied to was right.

        Tax-funded jobs in general are full of people who do nothing productive. Some post office somewhere doesn’t invalidate his points, no matter how hard they *happen* to work there.

        How can USPS charge these absurd rape-rates? Imagine McDonald’s jacking up the price of a Big Mac to $30 a pop. Do you think that would have highly negative consequences for their business?

        Postal service is just one of those government-maintained monopolies and cartels that are used to fleece you at every turn.

        Ever wonder how Comcast can get away with being Comcast? -It’s because the government makes sure they have no *genuine competition*. Sometimes there’s simply no alternative.

        Think about it. The government is not your friend. They kind of prove that to you by taking your money by force each year. First they trained you to think you have a moral obligation to give them money, of course, because otherwise you’d see it for the extortion it is.

  19. Priority Mail Flat Rate envelopes were perfect for me because I didn’t have to weigh each individual package and customize the invoice. I have a full time job and don’t have the time for that. The rate increase is absolutely ridiculous. Plus it looks my occasional Medium Flat Rate Boxes are going away too. This is a crisis!

  20. The USPS Economy shipping rates are not much better. It’s killing Ebay sales! I won’t even purchase an item that’s a bargain when I get a look at those shipping quotes.

  21. I agree with those that feel some of the increases were 40 or 50 percent. I just shipped a box to my home in Florida from the Buffalo, NY area and I’ve done this many, many times before for no more than $23 and the weight of this box was about 10 pounds(lower than my normal). When the clerk said $33.50(6-7 day ground), I said that their recent price was excessive and I would have to reconsider using UPS. He said they too raised prices and added I should do what I have to do with regards to alternatives. I’m sure this is an attempt to shore up pension payments and reduce their deficit but I for one will not be ripped off without looking for relief.

  22. Its now cheaper for us to ship most of our packages using FedEx and UPS because of the USPS rate hike, especially the international. And yes their rake hike is OVER 50% for international stuff, we ship excess of $20K per year. Congratulations USPS for putting another nail in your own coffin. What good is a price increase if your customers choose another carrier. I could double our prices too, but I dont want to give my customers a reason to purchase at the competition and put myself out of businesses. Pricing USPS near or above FedEx and UPS rates make it a no brainer, since those carriers are a million times more reliable anyway.

  23. The post office people are scumbags. 15% increase my a$$. 1oz packages were $1.23 then $ 2.48 then 5.48 now almost $12.00 yet they will put tracking numbers on Chinese junk flooding the country at my expense. The game is rigged folks to shut down the economy.

  24. Great post–very encompassing! I have found that shipping rates can vary tremendously depending on the shipping company (USPS, UPS, FedEx, DHL, TNT, etc). There are too many factors to consider such as weight/dimensions, fuel surcharges, remote area fees and the international destination. However, when in doubt i use ShipBrain to compare international shipping rates from USPS, UPS, FedEx, DHL, TNT . Usually I’m surprised to see who is the cheapest or the fastest. Very cool tool.

  25. Prior to 2016, my eBay international sales were approximately 10-15% of my total sales volume. I have shipped to over 75 countries over the last three years. Since January of 2016, I’ve had exactly 2 items sent “overseas”, to Canada! I used to be able to mail a shirt for $12-14, now it’s pushing $30. WTF? fuel prices have dropped, so shouldn’t the postage? Using the Global Shipping Plan is convenient, and I like the no-hassle of filling out customs slips, but it’s not making a difference. And as bad as USPS rates are, UPS, FedEx and DHL are even worse. So long international sales. eBay, have you noticed?

  26. My small flat rate on a 6×9 small flat went from $5.00 to $6.45

    You guys are getting a good deal on the increase.

    Hal

  27. Pitney Bowes is behind Ebay’s Global Shipping Program, which saw shipping prices increase 300% a few years ago.

  28. I have recently received a few packages via priority mail via USPS. Now they all have Pitney Bowes labeled on them. This was a domestic US shipping, not Global. What gives? The seller on ebay does not mention or have pitney bowes/global mailing service on the listing. Pitney bowes service repackages items and then sends them off to the buyer, 90% of items are damaged/stolen during this repackaging process. Besides this, it is illegal to open other peoples mail to begin with, so how is this pitney bowes federally legal to exist? and how can i request that my mail is not shipped via pitney bowes? I am under the understanding that my packages are being shipped USPS Priority, not by pitney bowes… Help!

    • Pitney Bowes has nothing to do eith repackaging Ebay item . Sellers use the automatic service on Ebay to print and psy for shipping, so they can be dropped off at the post office instead of standing in line everyday. That is all it is for.

  29. I once had a very successful eBay store selling US made products to worldwide destinations. My international sales accounted for one third of my business 4 years ago. Now I can no longer sell to any international desinations. Thanks all the USPS postage hikes over the years. In fact I lost most of my international sales 2 years ago already. So this latest USPS postage hike made absolutely no impact to me whatsoever any way.

    I am so glad that I am no longer paying 50% of my postage for the health and retirement benefit for USPS retirees. I simply stop selling internationally. And I pay UPS for domestic sales.

    Believe it or not. I recently bought a power adapter for a camera from China. Two weeks later USPS tracking showed it arrived at my local USPS station. But it was never delivered. It was lost by the postman. I filed a request to ask USPS to search for it. 3 weeks later the postman delivered it and said I was lucky. Lucky for what? It was 3 weeks late. Then the funny part came. USPS sent me an email saying sorry that they could not find my package. Fine! how about reimburse me for my loss?

  30. Re personal/not business packages going overseas. In April or May of 2016 I mailed 3 packages to Italy, each one weighing between 2.6 and 3.3 lbs. I paid $23.50 for each, being the fixed cost for any package under 4 lbs. Last week (Nov. 17), I brought an envelope package weighing 3.6 lbs and was given a price of $49.50 !! I went back home and checked online. THERE, the price was $59.50. This increase is between 100 and 150%. WHAT’S UP?

    P.S. I have also gotten different weights for domestic packages this year, twice, depending on which USPS office I go to. One employee said “maybe she had someone else’s package weight still on her scale” ??

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