POSTAGE RATES….A mere 16 months after we last did this, I have yet another public service announcement about postage rates here at the Washington Monthly:

On Monday, first class postage goes up to 41 cents.

As usual, I’m appending an exciting chart for lazy mailers like me who buy only ordinary first class stamps. It shows you the new postage rates all the way up to the first class maximum weight of 13 ounces, along with the number of 41¢ stamps required to keep your snail mail crawling smoothly through the system.

Interesting note: although the basic rate increased to 41¢, the rate for additional ounces decreased from 24¢ to 17¢. So letters over an ounce but under 4 ounces are actually cheaper than before.

Also worth noting, though: the postal service’s efforts toward “Shaping a More Efficient Future in Mail” are not designed to make your life more efficient. Letters over 3.5 ounces, for example, have to be mailed at the “large envelope” rate, which is why there’s a whopping 56¢ increase between 3 ounces and 4 ounces. Also, the new rules are much more stringent about shape and size, with higher rates on letters more than a quarter inch thick. Get out your calipers, people! Pricing details are here. Kvetching from the direct mail industry is here.

UPDATE: Text and chart changed to actually be accurate. I didn’t notice the new 3.5 ounce first class maximum the first time I read the rules.

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