Keep Our Service Free-Donate

Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Where to Get Free Holiday Shipping & Guide to New Rates

Poor Man Survival

Self Reliance tools for independent minded people…


ISSN 2161-5543

A Digest of Urban Survival Resources


Where to Get Free Holiday Shipping & Guide to New Rates

Despite the lengthy practical suggestions for saving money I mailed to the postal commissioner several months ago [two months later I got an Email of all things which ignored my letter but asked me to complete a survey on how well the she –the commissioner is a woman- had done]…the USPS plans a significant and complex boost to its rates starting in late January much to the dismay of small businesses and shippers everywhere.

Here are a few ways you can save some cash at least for this holiday season…next year you can join the rest of us and send online gifts and cash!  [Read the rest of the post to learn about the new rate hikes].

 Send it Free by Buying on this date:  Avoid painful shipping costs by taking advantage of holiday deals and have your package mailed FREE by opting to shop on December 14th – that is the day more than 1,000 popular retailers such as the GAP, Bath & Body, Harry & David and more offer free shipping with guaranteed delivery by Christmas eve.  BONUS:  Go to for details and find coupons for even more savings.

Keep in mind the most requested gift for the past ten years has been gift cards and you can find discounted cards at: or head over to Costco or Sam’s Club.

Don’t forget to comparison shop for shipping fees by looking at other carriers such as FedEx and UPS which can save as much as 50% - just be certain to be precise in your measurement and weight as all carriers are picky about these dimensions…try to compare prices.

Some stores will offer free shipping upgrades for gifts purchased the week before Christmas – find out beforehand by Googling “free shipping” and “Christmas.”

Current and Expected Rate Hikes

A 1-ounce package currently costs $2.66, no matter where it’s going, while a package weighing 15.999 ounces currently costs $4.94 no matter its destination.

Looking at the proposed rates for 2019, that 1-ounce package would still cost $2.66 for Zones 1 and 2 next year, but it would cost $3.09 for Zone 8.

3-ounce packages will be impacted the most, according to Nash. Yet at the same time, he noted that packages weighing between 15 to 15.999 ounces will see a smaller increase. For example, as mentioned above, a 13-ounce package to Zone 8 would cost an extra $1.43 in 2019. However, a 15.999-ounce package to Zone 8 would rise by 59 cents.


The USPS said that on average, Priority Mail rates will increase by 5.9 percent next year. Retail prices will increase an average of 6.6 percent, and Commercial Base prices (which are cheaper than Retail rates) will increase 3.2 percent on average.’s Eric Nash noted that Priority Mail Padded Flat Rate Envelope, a popular option for ecommerce sellers, is increasing by $0.45 to $7.55, while also noting the decline in rates for medium and large flat-rate boxes. Observations about Other Priority Mail Changes
Nash called out some other key changes he said were worth noting:

Priority Mail Regional Rates
– Box A – Closer shipping zones (Zones 1/2 through Zone 5) are seeing bigger rate increases from $0.55 (Zone 1/2 = $7.65) to $0.61 (Zone 5 = $8.76). Farther zones are seeing smaller rate increase – going up by $0.26 (Zone 7 = $10.55) and to $0.40 (Zone 8 = $11.20)

– Box B – Other than Zone 1/2 where the increase is $0.64, the increase is relatively small at $0.08 (Zone 3 = $8.50), $0.03 (Zone 4 = $9.40) and zero increase for farther Zones 5-8.

Regular Priority Mail
– For a 1 lb. package, the rates are increasing between $0.28 (Zone 3 = $7.28) to $0.49 (Zone 8 = $8.25).

– Heavier weights for Priority Mail are going to see rate decreases. Between 11 lbs. and 70 lbs., all shipping zones are seeing lower rates compared to 2018. Cost savings range from $0.11 (11 lbs. Zone 1/2 = $10.67) to $1.37 savings (70 lbs. Zone 8 = $184.51) compared to 2018.

– For medium weight packages (4 lbs. to 10 lbs.), packages traveling to Zone 5 and higher are also seeing lowering rates compared to 2018, with costs being lowered by $0.17 (7 lbs. Zone 5 = $15.43) to $0.63 (5 lbs. Zone 8 = $20.40)

Priority Mail Dim Weight: Watch Out for Large Packages
The USPS is changing its dim weight divisor to make it in line with that of its rivals UPS and FedEx. Dimensional weight affects large but light-weight packages, a reflection that they take up room so should cost more than they would if they were charged based on weight alone.

USPS said that new for 2019, “dimensional weighting will be extended from Zones 5-9 to all Zones, and the dim divisor will be changed from 194 to 166. This change will eliminate the need for balloon pricing, the existing proxy for dim-weight pricing in Zones L-4.”

Lowering the divisor means higher fees for those packages.

Media Mail
Media Mail rates are not seeing much of an increase for 2019. Rate increases range from $0.09 ($2.75) for 1 lbs. to an increase of $0.28 ($12.63) for 20 lbs.

Parcel Select Ground

– For Parcel Select Ground, parcels weighing between 3-18 lbs. traveling to farther zones (Zone 5-9) are actually seeing a rate decrease in 2019.

– Parcel Select Group is also seeing a rate decrease for all zones for parcels weighing between 21 to 70 pounds

First Class Package International Service
There are a lot of callouts for this service, we’ll just note that Nash said Canada is seeing a rise in rates that will mean a cost increase of 48 cents for packages weighing up to 8 ounces ($9.98) to $1.66 for packages weighing 4 pounds ($37.05)

Rates for many countries are not changing, including Mexico and Australia.

But Nash said heavier parcels that weigh over 2 lbs. traveling to Country Group 5, 6 and 9 are seeing a significant rate increase – that includes Western European countries (including UK, Germany, France, and Spain).

Summing Up
Small sellers will continue to rely on USPS, which noted that, unlike its two major rivals, it does not add surcharges for fuel, residential delivery, or regular Saturday or holiday season delivery.

The PRC will review the proposed rates before they are scheduled to take effect on January 27, 2019. We’re not sure how they’ll rule on the *market-dominant* proposed changes that include a 10% hike in first class letter (the Postal Service wants to raise the cost of a Forever stamp from 50 cents to 55 cents, with a decrease in the rate for each additional ounce).

However, the USPS has far more leeway with raising rates for *competitive* shipping rates described here, and we expect the PRC to approve them. Keep an eye out for developments.

Here is a link to the USPS press release announcing 2019 rates. You can view the USPS Shipping Services filing price change tables on the Postal Service website, and you can view the Notice of Competitive Products on the PRC website (Docket No. CP2019-3).

We expect and other postage providers to publish more analysis than we can include here. ShippingEasy published a blog post that includes the impact of Commercial Plusrates (for higher volume shippers).


Yours for a brighter season,

Bruce ‘the Poor Man!’

Final Notes…

Contributors and subscribers enable the Poor Man Survivor to post 150+ free essays annually. It is for this reason they are Heroes and Heroines of New Media. Without your financial support, the free content would disappear for the simple reason that I cannot keep body and soul together on my meager book sales & ecommerce alone.

14 Frugal Food-Rescuing Tips from Grandma 
These timeless ideas still have value today.

How to Prepare for a Natural Disaster…


·         Special Offer for our Readers

 72-hour Emergency Meal kit that's being offered contains 16 total servings of such delicious meals as Blue Ribbon Creamy Chicken Rice, the always-loved Granny's Homestyle Potato Soup and the stick-to-your-ribs breakfast favorite Maple Grove Oatmeal.

This kit normally sells for $27, plus shipping and handling and is rated 4½ out of five stars by customers.

While supplies last, these kits are available for only $21.95 and that includes Priority Shipping [we were forced to increase prices due to another round of USPS price hikes]. Go here for this deal:

Support our efforts by shopping my storefront…



Additional Resources

Your Free Middle Class Survival Kit


Researched by our editors and include 100s of tips, tricks and insider methods of saving money, earning extra money [many from the comfort of your home], the best places to live,  How to find little-known freebies, discounts and other benefits-over 2,000 programs!




How to Survive the War on the Middle Class

14 of the best reports I’ve assembled on protecting your freedom-Download link.




A Smoking Frog Feature, Shallow Planet Production


Rhonda said...

Thanks for the useful tips-sure am tired of the post office inflation though! Their new motto should be: Pay more-Get less!

Amy said...

Very useful-didn't see this info posted anywhere else! Thanks & all of us at SYS wish you the best for the holidays!

Stephanie said...

Good stuff, solid resources, better than Yahoo that's for sure!