The US Postal Rate Commission on Wednesday gave the green light to a 5.4% hike in most postal rates. However, USPS commissioners shocked marketers by amending upward the Postal Service's proposal by increasing some rates by a hefty 12.7% for 'media mail' (books and CDs).

Rates for some nonprofit [charity] marketers were raised by 12.3% for saturation mailings, although their routine daily mailing rates were cut by 3%.

Ian Volner, counsel for the Association of Postal Commerce, said the change could significantly affect sellers of children's books and music, while the rates hike got a mixed reception from the powerful Direct Marketing Association.

"We are never pleased with rate increases, but for the vast majority of DMA members we have to be pleased [that there was no change from the increase proposed by the Postal Service]," said senior vp Jerry Cerasale. "For classes that got double-digit increases, we don't like that at all."

The PRC generally approved the recommended 5.4% hike that will boost rates from 17.5 cents for weekly news magazines to 18.5 cents; household magazines from 27.4 cents to 28.9 cents; and targeted three-digit barcoded mail from 20.3 cents to 21.4 cents.

Data sourced from Wall Street Journal Online; additional content by WARC staff