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Thursday, November 03, 2005

USPS Rate Increases

The Postal Rate Commission (PRC) officially delivered its recommendations for a postal rate increase in 2006. There is no doubt that the USPS has been hit hard by rising gas costs given its lack of flexibility to add a fuel surcharge or similar (we posted on this in early September). The hardest hit rate, in terms of percentage increase, will be Media Mail.

The PRC proposed a 12.9% increase on this type of package. This would bump up your standard 1 lb. package from $1.42 to $1.60. According to the summary current charges are too low to cover the cost of processing Media Mail. The increase in price is understandable, if difficult to swallow, and may be worth it if the resulting USPS handling of Media Mail is improved (now there is some wishful thinking).

No listings service that sets shipping has made an official announcement on the proposal. The sooner a site comes out and assures its booksellers that it will increase their shipping reimbursement 12.9% to match the increase, the sooner booksellers will commit to that site for 2006.