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Sending out holiday cards and gifts this year? Postal Service changes may affect you

Some first-class mail is getting slower, and some shipping services will become more expensive.

MINNEAPOLIS — There are some big changes for the Postal Service starting this week that will impact your holiday shopping, shipping and greeting cards.

The first change started Friday and will affect how fast your mail is delivered.

Some first-class mail and some periodicals will now arrive slower than they used to, about one to two days slower on average.

The Postal Service says this change will only affect mail that is sent over long distances.

It will not affect local or regional mail.

The Postal Service says 61% of first-class mail and 93% of periodicals, such as newspapers and magazines, will not be affected by this new change.

“This change is all about cutting costs,” University of Saint Thomas logistics and supply chain professor Kyle Goldschmidt says.

“Before today, about 20% of the mail traveled by airplane and that’s costly. The Postal Service is trying to reduce some of their costs by relying more on ground transportation, which is cheaper, but can also take longer to deliver your mail.”

This will definitely affect things like greeting cards, so if you're sending them out this year, get them out a little earlier.

And if you're sending out some holiday gifts, expect to pay a little more this year.

Starting Sunday, prices for retail and commercial packages are going up anywhere from $0.25 to $5.00 per package, depending on the size of the package and the type of service you're buying.

This change is only temporary. It will end on Dec. 26 when the holidays are over.

These price increases will also affect companies that sell products online. So if you’re a big holiday shopper, you might see some higher shipping costs on your bill.