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Postage increases effective January 27

January 24, 2019

The following U.S. Postal Service 2019 price increases take effect Jan. 27. You can buy forever stamps until Saturday at the current prices. Comment: the letter rate increase is 10% and seems high based on the last few increases. However, in 1932 the 2¢stamp increased to 3¢ and in 1958 the increase was to 4¢ and then in 1963 to 5¢ and so forth. Those percentage increases were 50%, then 33.3% and 25% and continued on at lower percentages. 10% is not so terrible if it stays that way for a while. Also the additional ounce rate dropped from 21¢ to 15¢ making a 2 ounce letter a penny cheaper than before and heavier envelopes even lower. The USPS is attempting to simplify the postage rates for noncommercial customers that typically use stamps and feel that making all the rates divisible by 5 will help.

Here is a partial list of the most common rates. Post this for future reference.

  • First-class forever stamps will increase from 50¢ cents to 55¢ cents.
  • The first ounce of metered mail or stamps printed-on-line goes from 47¢ to 50¢.
  • The additional ounce rate mail drops from 21¢ cents to 15¢. This applies to stamped and metered mail.
  • Large envelopes up to one ounce remain the same at $1.00 [not 2 stamps – this is a dime less than two stamps. A suggestion is to use one forever stamp and three additional ounce stamps – this can get a little nutsy but if you typically mail large envelopes you should do it right].
  • The additional ounces for this are the same as for letters – 15¢.
  • Post cards remain the same at 35¢.
  • Media mail up to 1 pound increases very little from $2.66 to $2.75 while a 5 pound package increases to $4.83 from $4.70.
  • International letters up to 1 ounce and postcards remained the same at $1.15.
  • Priority Mail regular flat rate envelopes increase to $7.35 from $6.70. Note that there are commercial base rates that are lower for volume users. Priority express goes up to $25.50.
  • There are other increases for Priority Mail flat rate larger envelopes and boxes and Priority Express that need to be checked out. There are also increases for packages and larger size mailing pieces, media mail, commercial rates, base pricing and mail requiring reduced services by the Postal Service. All of these need to be checked out if they apply to you.
  • First class mail can be sent up to 15 ounces. This is a maximum of $3.10 for a large envelope. 16 ounces and over will need to be sent using priority mail.
  • There will be a 70¢ surcharge per piece for nonmachinable mail. You will need to find out what this means when you want to mail something bulky in an envelope.

One way to beat the increases is to buy discounted postage stamps. Go to any stamp dealer or to ebay.com and search for “discount postage” and you can find older stamps at discounts upwards from 25 percent. A word of caution is that packages with postage stamps that weigh 13 ounces or more must be taken to a retail service counter at a post office for mailing.

Have fun!

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