This article reflects 2018 USPS First Class package service rates, effective January 21, 2018
Something to note first and foremost, it looks like only Priority Mail, Priority Mail Flat Rate, and Priority Mail Express are currently available for purchase online through the USPS’s 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 USPS 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 2018 rate changes announced by USPS, as well as 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 USPS First Class Package service, and then go into more detail.
MAJOR CHANGES TO USPS FIRST CLASS PACKAGE SERVICE IN 2017
- First Class Package Commercial Base pricing will increase for most weights, and move to a single rate for packages 1 oz. – 4 oz. and a varying rates for 5 oz. to 15.999 oz.
- First Class Package service is still includes 13 oz. – 15.999 oz. for all Commercial Base Rate tier customers
- Retail Rates for First Class Packages also increased for 2018
Retail Rates First Class Package Service 2018
You will pay Retail Rates for First Class Packages if you:
- Buy your Postage at a local Post Office
- Use Click N Ship on the USPS website
Changes for Commercial Base First Class Package Rates 2018
In 2016, USPS extended 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 opened the door for low price shipping on all weights under 1 lb. for all online sellers, it didn’t help that these rates weren’t 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 1-4 ounces but not 5-8 ounces, as they were last year. This slightly simplifies shipping for very lightweight packages. If you know a package’s approximate weight, you could possibly skip weighing it given there is no rate savings in the 1-4 range.
So there you have it, everything you need to know about First Class Package shipping in 2018. 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.
For information on all rate changes, get The eCommerce Seller’s Guide to 2018 Shipping Rate Changes from ShippingEasy:
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