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Fri Oct 6 2017 16:15:01

Sellers Face 6 Percent Priority Mail Rate Hike in 2018

By: Ina Steiner

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Online sellers are facing the prospect a 6 percent increase in USPS Priority Mail shipping costs in January. The USPS filed for higher rates that, if approved by the Postal Regulatory Commission, would take effect on January 21, 2018.

While Priority Mail rates would increase by an average of 3.9% in total, retail prices would increase by an average of only 0.8 percent - that's the rate you pay at the window.

However, sellers who print shipping labels online would see Priority Mail rates rise by an average of 6.2% for Commercial Base pricing (the most common). Those lucky enough to get Commercial Plus rates (high volume customers) would see an average rate hike of 6.1%.

Here's a summary of some of the RETAIL rates that are changing:

Letters (1 ounce): 49 cents (current), 50 cents (proposed)
Letters (additional ounces): 21 cents (no change from current price)
Outbound international letters (1 ounce): $1.15 (no change from current price)
Domestic postcards: 34 cents (current), 35 cents (proposed)
Small flat-rate box: $7.15 (current), $7.20 (proposed)
Medium flat-rate box: $13.60 (current), $13.65 (proposed)
Large flat-rate box: $18.85 (current), $18.90 (proposed)
Regular flat-rate envelope: $6.65 (current), $6.70 (proposed)
Legal flat-rate envelope: $6.95 (current), $7 (proposed)
Padded flat-rate envelope: $7.20 (current), $7.25 (proposed)

Because Priority Mail is considered a "competitive" product rather than "market dominant," the rate changes seem likely to be approved. As the USPS states, "While Mailing Services price increases are limited based on the Consumer Price Index, Shipping Services prices are adjusted strategically, according to market conditions and the need to maintain affordable services for customers."

Payment processors charge fees on the total amount of transactions, so online sellers will see those costs rise as well. And eBay takes a commission on shipping costs in addition to the value of the item sold, meaning eBay sellers are always particularly hard hit by postage rate increases.




Comments (29) | Permalink

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Sellers Face 6 Percent Priority Mail Rate Hike in 2018   Sellers Face 6 Percent Priority Mail Rate Hike in 2018

by: FeelingFroggy This user has validated their user name.

Fri Oct 6 16:27:02 2017

Thank heaven for the lick and stick stamps at 60 percent. HA HA I TOLD YA ALL SO LAST MONTH.

Sellers Face 6 Percent Priority Mail Rate Hike in 2018   Sellers Face 6 Percent Priority Mail Rate Hike in 2018

This user has validated their user name. by: Rexford

Fri Oct 6 19:57:56 2017

Actually my buyers will face that hike.  As has been said many times, there is no such thing as free shipping.

Sellers Face 6 Percent Priority Mail Rate Hike in 2018   Sellers Face 6 Percent Priority Mail Rate Hike in 2018

by: maxmad This user has validated their user name.

Sat Oct 7 07:24:31 2017

More shipping cost at ebay means higher profit for ebay and more sales for sellers that sell off ebay, and as usual the only losers will be ebay buyers and sellers ,


I can hardly wait for the ebay promotion  begging you to list all your  items, but only valid in certain heavy weight categories, like cement, patio pavers, tools, engine blocks

Sellers Face 6 Percent Priority Mail Rate Hike in 2018   Sellers Face 6 Percent Priority Mail Rate Hike in 2018

This user has validated their user name. by: toolguy

Sat Oct 7 11:47:39 2017

If I want to mail a package of 8 oz. from San Pedro Ca. to NY it's costs $2.77

If a chinese seller has a package that weighs 8 oz from china it lands in San Pedro and then goes to NY at a cost of .20-.30 cents.

HOW CAN THIS BE? Americans are being RIPPED OFF.

Maybe it's time for American sellers to boycott the USPS and show them where the buck starts and stops!

Sellers Face 6 Percent Priority Mail Rate Hike in 2018   Sellers Face 6 Percent Priority Mail Rate Hike in 2018

This user has validated their user name. by: RKTOYS

Sat Oct 7 17:19:22 2017

I would say this is my buyers' problem but I would have to have some.  It's just too hard to sell anything to people that think they're entitled to free shipping on every single item.  If conventions weren't getting out of control with booth rent, I'd seriously abandon my e-commerce accounts.

Sellers Face 6 Percent Priority Mail Rate Hike in 2018   Sellers Face 6 Percent Priority Mail Rate Hike in 2018

by: Snapped This user has validated their user name.

Sat Oct 7 19:22:39 2017

Those of you feeling frustrated, powerless and thus militantly disconcerted by this typically annual announcement three months before potential enactment and wishing to blame the USPS might find some solace and surprising empowerment by remembering to consider that this nickle a box rate hike is a request.

The Postal Regulatory Commission must approve it.  The PRC is comprised of Presidentially appointed commissioners.  Three fourths of which are currently Republicans; the lone Democrat's term expires before Thanksgiving.  Perhaps public opinion makes a difference in their approval process?

Incidentally, the USPS doesn't set the ePac rates either.  That's done internationally.  Ina had a nice article with lots of comments about it being raised shortly, just a week or so ago.  Unfortunately, it seems most ppl blame the USPS for that 'disparity' too.

So if one chooses to march into battle, please go armed with facts so to avoid self inflicting wounds to the nethers.  

Sellers Face 6 Percent Priority Mail Rate Hike in 2018   Sellers Face 6 Percent Priority Mail Rate Hike in 2018

by: comments This user has validated their user name.

Sat Oct 7 22:00:44 2017

The post office is shooting themselves in the foot. This just causes consumers and business to ship with more cost effective mailing options. The last price increase on signature confirm saved me a fortune. I used to use it on all packages over $250 even after ebay raised seller protection requirement to $750. That and their regular failure to actually get the signature choosing instead to leave the packages as "delivery status not updated". This alone saved me $150-$200mo. It will be a long time before they get that money back. Keep raising and we will find ways to keep saving.

Sellers Face 6 Percent Priority Mail Rate Hike in 2018   Sellers Face 6 Percent Priority Mail Rate Hike in 2018

This user has validated their user name. by: Marie

Sun Oct 8 03:12:41 2017

@froggy

A rate hike in January is not an unusual thing.  Most online sellers are aware of this.  Of course none of us like it, but it is a fact that we must deal with annually.

Sellers Face 6 Percent Priority Mail Rate Hike in 2018   Sellers Face 6 Percent Priority Mail Rate Hike in 2018

This user has validated their user name. by: Marie

Sun Oct 8 03:16:14 2017

@comments

USPS is the cheapest way to ship light weight packages and while the average package you send is not a light weight one, there are tons of sellers out there that do.  I'm not aware of any other carrier that can compete with USPS on a light weight package.  Things that can ship FCP Domestic.

Sellers Face 6 Percent Priority Mail Rate Hike in 2018   Sellers Face 6 Percent Priority Mail Rate Hike in 2018

by: bb6 This user has validated their user name.

Sun Oct 8 10:58:34 2017

The problem with the rate hikes are that the customers are not  aware of them and they think the sellers are jacking up the shipping fees to pocket the extra money. They usually adjust to the new shipping prices when all the sellers bump them up. This usually takes a good 6 months. A lot of sellers will bump the shipping price or prices of the items to reflect the raised prices so it doesn't hit their wallet. Then there are always a large amount of sellers that would rather take the hit on the shipping to have more sales because they have a price advantage over other sellers that already raised their prices. If you don't sell enough with the lower shipping you take a hit in the wallet. So which kind of seller will you be?

This also really stings the people that sell lower priced items. I have one business that sells just lower priced items. Most customers can't comprehend that it actually cost money to ship an item and when the shipping prices are now higher then the price of the item they get sticker shock. You can't build the shipping into an item and have free shipping because everyone else will have that item much lower then your price. The only thing you can push is for them to buy more items to lower the shipping cost.  

Sellers Face 6 Percent Priority Mail Rate Hike in 2018   Sellers Face 6 Percent Priority Mail Rate Hike in 2018

by: Gemz This user has validated their user name.

Mon Oct 9 00:51:28 2017

Well I for one do not ship USPS unless it's smart Ship with FedEx starting the ride and the USPS ending it. About 2 months ago on Ebay it was the way to save BIG money on every item shipped (well, 9 out of 10 anyway). Starting about 2 weeks ago I clicked the box by accident to inadvertently say FedEx Home Delivery! I took a look at what I did and noticed that the price went from 17.80 to 11.50!!! That's a huge difference! (We ship heavy items). Now FedEx is blowing the doors off 20 pound+ items which was unheard of as Smart Post always won hands down! I don't know what is going on out there but to me it looks like FedEx wants all the heavier shipping business and they putting their money where their mouth is by destroying the USPS rates!  

Sellers Face 6 Percent Priority Mail Rate Hike in 2018   Sellers Face 6 Percent Priority Mail Rate Hike in 2018

by: Gemz This user has validated their user name.

Mon Oct 9 00:56:07 2017

With the hike of only 5 cents I don't see that being that much of a problem if you don't take into account that they do it every year, they give near free shipping to the Chinese, and sellers in general will use the 5 cent increase to jack shipping rates into the range of another dollar or more which then reflects bad to the customer and why I can see how everyone is up in arms even though it's just 5 cents.

Of course there is that problem that EVERY one of our customers requires free shipping or they don't buy at all. No one out there believes they should pay the way to their door. You can be higher in price than the next guy that charges for shipping (and is still lower) and still get the sale! Crazy you say??? Not on Ebay! Sometimes the customers are dumber than the clowns running it! (Not often, but it does happen!)!

Sellers Face 6 Percent Priority Mail Rate Hike in 2018   Sellers Face 6 Percent Priority Mail Rate Hike in 2018

by: Tiffee Jasso This user has validated their user name.

Mon Oct 9 03:46:12 2017

According to something Ina published a month or so ago, the Chinese shipped over 31 million First Class packages to the US. American sellers shipped 8 million or something close to that number. I doubt Amercian sellers even with the raises the Post Office has made these past few years is getting enough from American sellers to make up the difference. If there is any treaty Trump needs to kill it is the Postal treaty as it costs the US Post Office about a hundred million dollar loss a year. Maybe some should start asking the President to dump the treaty. From what I have seen, he is not shy of making others mad.

Sellers Face 6 Percent Priority Mail Rate Hike in 2018   Sellers Face 6 Percent Priority Mail Rate Hike in 2018

by: Chicago48 This user has validated their user name.

Mon Oct 9 07:06:11 2017

I would say this is my buyers' problem but I would have to have some.  It's just too hard to sell anything to people that think they're entitled to free shipping on every single item.
^^
I charge shipping (reasonable) and customers pay for shipping.  Some of my items are free shipping, but overall customers WILL pay for shipping.  Don't believe that nonsense about amazon's 1 day delivery cutting into competition.  Buyers are not stupid, they know that it costs money to ship things, and they will pay.

Sellers Face 6 Percent Priority Mail Rate Hike in 2018   Sellers Face 6 Percent Priority Mail Rate Hike in 2018

by: Chicago48 This user has validated their user name.

Mon Oct 9 07:07:11 2017

Of course there is that problem that EVERY one of our customers requires free shipping or they don't buy at all. No one out there believes they should pay the way to their door.
^^
My customers pay.  I sell on AMZ (FBM) and Ebay and customers pay for shipping.

Sellers Face 6 Percent Priority Mail Rate Hike in 2018   Sellers Face 6 Percent Priority Mail Rate Hike in 2018

This user has validated their user name. by: VV

Mon Oct 9 09:12:23 2017

It's just the flat rate offerings. Those are RARELY the cheapest method to use. Compared to last rate increases this isn't that bad.

To those using the Fedex option on ebay: BEWARE. I use it about twice a month and easily half of those end up being way upcharged later. No notification. Just when the monthly bill comes it's more. Usually by a significant margin. I have a digital scale and even add an inch on measurements.

If you try to argue ebay points you to fedex and fedex points you to ebay.

Sellers Face 6 Percent Priority Mail Rate Hike in 2018   Sellers Face 6 Percent Priority Mail Rate Hike in 2018

This user has validated their user name. by: toolguy

Mon Oct 9 09:46:39 2017

Most of my items I charge for shipping + 10% (for ebay)

Some items go for free if my profit margin is high enough

It's hard to charge a guy for shipping on a $50 item that I paid $2 for at surplus. . .

Sellers Face 6 Percent Priority Mail Rate Hike in 2018   Sellers Face 6 Percent Priority Mail Rate Hike in 2018

by: Bethofvt This user has validated their user name.

Mon Oct 9 10:13:20 2017

I charge shipping.  My buyers pay it.  A 5 cent increase in flat rates is not going to make any difference in my sales.  I am so thankful it is a small increase this year.

Sellers Face 6 Percent Priority Mail Rate Hike in 2018   Sellers Face 6 Percent Priority Mail Rate Hike in 2018

by: Whatever This user has validated their user name.

Mon Oct 9 10:20:23 2017

Well seems to me priority mail got it easy this time - regular first class shipping (4 oz) has already gone up at my PO from $2.67 to $3.00 - that's a hell of an increase. Can't wait to see what ebay will "give" us when their current contract is up.

Sellers Face 6 Percent Priority Mail Rate Hike in 2018   Sellers Face 6 Percent Priority Mail Rate Hike in 2018

This user has validated their user name. by: cfrphoto

Mon Oct 9 10:36:12 2017

Where are the new rates for USPS First Class package service, commonly used by eBay sellers?

Also, the article leaves out proposed changes to international mail standards that could snuff out international trade in small light weight items like postage stamps for collectors, small coins, photographs and color slides. Is a photograph a document? What about a stamp or a color slide?

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