I wrote this in December well before Click N Ship changes were taking place. I got a few emails from readers telling me that they could no longer print First Class Package labels from USPS.com. After some investigation, it looks like only Priority Mail, Priority Mail Flat Rate, and Priority Mail Express are currently available for purchase online through Click-N-Ship. This means if you want to print first class packages at all without paying any type of label fee or monthly subscription, you need to print labels through the ShippingEasy Starter Plan.
No First Class or First Class Package service available.
The First Class Package Service is one of the United States Postal Service’s most popular shipping options, and for good reason. It has virtually no competitive service from the other major carriers and stands as the cheapest, but surprisingly fast, way to ship lightweight packages.
With all the upcoming rate changes announced by USPS, as well as the move to Retail rates for Click N Ship, it’s challenging to find and interpret the specific changes related to First Class Packages. That’s what this article is for!
To start off, let’s go with the major changes happening to First Class Package service, and then go into more detail
MAJOR CHANGES TO FIRST CLASS PACKAGE SERVICE IN 2016
- First Class Package Commercial Base pricing will increase for most weights, and move to a single rate for packages 1 oz. – 8 oz.
- First Class Package service will be extended to include 13 oz. – 15.999 oz. for all Commercial Base Rate tier customers
- Retail Rates for First Class Packages will not change in 2016
Retail Rates First Class Package Service 2016
You will pay Retail Rates for First Class Packages if you:
- Buy your Postage at a local Post Office
- Use Click N Ship after January 17, 2016
It’s important to know that while almost all rates are changing for USPS in 2016, Retail First Class Package rates will not. This took me a while to figure out because when USPS announced all of their new rates, I couldn’t find any changes for Retail First Class package, and those prices would be important given Click N Ship is moving to Retail Rates.
After some digging, I found there will be no change to Retail Rates, which is strange considering that would make 1 oz. – 3 oz. packages cheaper than Commercial Base if you go to the Post Office, but only by $0.06. I don’t think it’s worthwhile to save all your 1-3 ounce packages and wait in line at the post office just to save a few pennies, but it’s still interesting to see Retail being cheaper in any scenario.
Changes for Commercial Base First Class Package Rates 2016
The most exciting and positive change in a sea of price increases is that USPS will extend First Class Package Rates to include 13 ounce – 15.99 ounce packages for all customers with access to Commercial Base Rates, no negotiations or approval required.
While this opens the door for low price shipping on all weights under 1 lb. for all online sellers, it doesn’t help that these rates won’t be available at all on Click N Ship. To fix this issue for Click N Ship users, I suggest ShippingEasy’s FREE Starter Plan, which is one of the few truly free ways to get access to Commercial Base pricing on First Class Postage without paying any monthly fee or per-label fee.
Compare ShippingEasy rates and rates you’ll get with Retail / Click N Ship:
One important change to note is that USPS will apply the same rate from 1-8 ounces, and increase the price by $0.05 for each additional ounce. This simplifies shipping for very lightweight packages and the entire service as a whole. If you know the package is less than 8oz, you can skip weighing it given there is no rate savings in this range.
So there you have it, everything you need to know about First Class Package shipping in 2016. I felt like this needed its own piece as it’s an important part of many sellers’ shipping process, so having all the information in one place can be helpful.
Send me a message to firstname.lastname@example.org if you want to know more or if I missed something important. Happy shipping!
Want to know how other shipping services were affected by the new rate changes? Download our 2016 Rate Change Guide to learn all about it.
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