|Mon Jan 28 2013 11:57:37|
Most Important USPS Changes Affecting Sellers
By: Julia Wilkinson
| The USPS has changed mail rates again, and as often happens it's sent online sellers into a tizzy as they try to navigate the new rate and mail class changes in the real world of their daily packing and shipping tasks. I've looked over the changes, various sellers' comments, and some article summaries, and here are what I think are the key takeaways for sellers:|
- Parcel Post Is Going Bye-Bye but Don't Panic! You Can Buy Parcel Select Online (Just Not Through eBay Until March).
That's right, no more Parcel Post, it's now something called "Standard Post," but some sellers seem to think this means they'll have to use this and stand in line at the P.O., since it's not available online.
But, there's a similar option called "Parcel Select," and thought it won't be available to purchase via eBay's postage printing system 'til March, you can buy it through one of the online service providers such as Stamps.com, Endicia, or Pitney Bowes.
- First Class Mail International (Now "First Class Package International Service"): Prices Going Way Up, But They're Adding Delivery Confirmation.
I and a lot of sellers used First Class Mail International to send lighter-weight items (under 4 lbs). to other countries. The bad news: prices for the new First Class Package International Service" are going up 58.6% (!). The good news: we will finally have delivery confirmation with a first-class international service. Not all right away (of course), but this class will include free delivery confirmation to Canada to start, and additional countries will be added throughout 2013. (Sure, that's vague, but that's an important element FCI was missing).
- Media Mail is still there and the prices have only gone up slightly. Sellers of books, dvd's, cd's and other media can breathe easy; media mail is still there and still cheap. A sample price change is for a 5 lb. package, the price will go up to $4.33 from $4.15, or 18 cents. I don't think these prices will impact anyone too much.
And oh yes, what about the cost of a single USPS first-class mail stamp (does anyone use those anymore? Well, I confess I do!). It's going up just one cent, from $0.45 to $0.46, just enough to make making change annoying.
For more on the USPS changes, see one of the online guides -- a good one is the Stamps.com guide -- and also Ina's article about the new rates.
What do you think are the most (or least) important changes to the USPS services and rates? How will they impact you as a seller? Post a comment here!
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