The U.S. Postal Service’s yearly price change has arrived! These postage rate changes affect all business owners – but especially ecommerce businesses. That’s why the team at Endicia has highlighted the most critical updates to ensure an effortless transition – so you can focus on the bottom line. Here are the top 5 things you need to know about USPS price change, so that you can save money on shipping in 2014.
1. Priority Mail shippers may now qualify for huge discounts
There are a number of postage discounts available to online sellers that ship a certain volume of packages each year, two of the most popular discount tiers being Commercial Plus and Commercial Plus Cubic pricing for Priority Mail. In the past, sellers had to commit to shipping 75,000 and 150,000 Priority Mail pieces per year to qualify for Commercial Plus and Cubic pricing, respectively. But in 2014, this package threshold has been lowered to just 50,000 Priority Mail pieces for each, meaning more sellers will qualify for deep discounts.
2. Minimal postage increases for Zone 8 shippers – because of Zone 9
There’s good news for sellers shipping across the nation (8 zones) – you can expect to see minimal increases to your Priority Mail and Priority Mail Express rates. In 2014, USPS will introduce a new Zone 9, encompassing U.S. freely associated states. This new zone, which was previously a part of Zone 8, spans Micronesia, Palau and the Marshall Islands, and will see a significant increase in rates. By separating these regions into a zone of their own, the U.S. Postal Service is able to keep regular Zone 8 rates low for those online sellers shipping longer distances domestically.
3. International shipping prices to see little to no increase…
Online sellers can look forward to 2014 as a prime year to grow their business globally – especially since First-Class Package International Service will undergo no postage increase for those using PC Postage. First-Class Package International Service allows online sellers to ship up to 4 lbs. and also offers free international Delivery Confirmation (if you ship online) to select countries such as Canada, Australia, Brazil, Israel and more. Commercial Base pricing for Priority Mail International will actually see an overall decrease of about 1.8% and Priority Mail Express International will see an average overall increase of just 0.8%.
4. …And there will be more international discounts
On the Priority Mail International and Priority Mail Express International side, 2014 will be a year for additional discounts. For the first time ever, USPS will introduce discounts for PC Postage users on Flat Rate boxes going to international locations. So if you print postage electronically, you can take advantage of additional savings.
5. PC Postage can save you money – especially if you’re using First-Class Mail Parcel and Standard Post
If you’ve just gotten your online business off the ground, or are a low-volume shipper still making trips to the Post Office, now is the ideal time to switch over to a PC postage solution. Many low-volume shippers don’t know that they can qualify for a lower postage rate just by printing shipping labels online. This is especially true for those online sellers using First-Class Mail Parcel and Standard Post to ship from the retail counter. You can find the exact same delivery times in First-Class Package Service and Parcel Select – two (lower-cost) options that are exclusively available through electronic means.