This is the first I have heard of this so I wanted to pass it along. I expected this to be coming soon but it surprises me that it’s so close to the date and this is the first that I am hearing of it. From the USPS:

Shipping Services January 18 Pricing Change

On January 18 prices for Express Mail, Priority Mail, Parcel Select, Parcel Return Service, Global Express Guaranteed, Express Mail International, Priority Mail International, and M-Bags change. As always, we do not impose fuel surcharges, hidden surcharges, or surcharges for residential or Saturday delivery.

The move to January price changes for shipping services is consistent with industry standards and provides a clear picture of the affordable services we offer. Highlights for domestic shipping services include new Commercial Plus pricing, with up-front discounts for high-volume Express Mail and Priority Mail users. On average, Commercial Plus prices for Express Mail are 14.5 percent less than retail prices; Priority Mail Commercial Plus prices average 7 percent less. We are also introducing a new, smaller Priority Mail flat-rate box. The new box is priced the same as the flat-rate envelope and provides a great option for customers sending smaller items that require sturdy packaging and the convenience of flat rate pricing. Prices for Express Mail and Priority Mail are designed to maintain the Postal Service’s competitive position as the best shipping value in the market, especially for packages weighing less than 5 pounds. The new prices also make Parcel Select, our “last mile” ground product, an even better value for high-volume shippers. For international mailers, Global Express Guaranteed, Express Mail International and Priority Mail International are the best value in global shipping.

New flat rate prices effect January 18, 2009
Flat Rate Envelopes and Boxes Retail Commercial Base Commercial Plus
Priority Mail —
Envelope $4.95 $4.80 $4.75
Small box $4.95 $4.80 $4.75
Regular box $10.35 $9.85 $9.67
Large box $13.95 $13.50 $13.27
Large box (APO/FPO) $11.95 $11.50 $11.30
Express Mail —
Envelope $17.50 $16.63 $14.96

This pricing change is the first to separate shipping and mailing services. We will announce the price change for mailing services in February, including stamp prices, with new prices effective in May 2009.

The biggest question that I have after reading this is what will the terms be for the discounted Priority Mail and Express? Is it volume by total packages a year or by day. For a seasonal seller like myself, I am hoping its total by the year. I cannot promise x packages a day but I sometimes have days of a few hundred at once so this could really benefit me.