Good News from USPS for Online Merchants Shipping Internationally
By Ina Steiner
One of the biggest challenges in shipping internationally is the inability of merchants to confirm when a package has been delivered unless they use very expensive services. Online merchants who ship internationally using USPS are finally getting some good news. As promised, the USPS is expanding its Delivery Confirmation International Service to additional countries. Previously the service was only available to packages going to Canada, but effective July 28, 2013, it will be available to packages going to an additional 15 countries.
In January, the USPS renamed First-Class Mail International Parcel to First-Class Package International Service (FCPIS). It also added it to the Competitive mail class group, allowing it to raise rates at a higher rate than previously possible, giving sellers sticker shock.
Julia Wilkinson noted on the AuctionBytes Blog that it was a rate increase of 58.6% and said many eBay, Amazon and online sellers used First Class Mail International to send lighter-weight items (under 4 lbs).
The USPS said it would throw in free Delivery Confirmation for FCPIS, but has been slow to roll it out.
Beginning July 28, the USPS is adding free Electronic Delivery Confirmation to 15 additional countries for First Class Package International Service. Those countries are the following:
Eric Nash, Director of Online Marketing for Stamps.com, said that since the UK and Australia will get free Delivery Confirmation (DC) as of July 28, ecommerce sellers should be very excited. And, he said, eBay sellers will now get free tracking posted back into eBay for free when using First Class Package International Service. "Based on what eBay did in January for the addition of Electronic Delivery Confirmation for First Class Package Intl. Service packages going to Canada, I think this tracking will qualify for eBay Seller Protection."
Nash noted that along with First Class Package International Service, the electronic DC was also being added for Priority Mail Flat Rate Envelopes and Small boxes as well.
About the author:
Ina Steiner is co-founder and Editor of EcommerceBytes and has been reporting on ecommerce since 1999. She's a widely cited authority on marketplace selling and is author of "Turn eBay Data Into Dollars" (McGraw-Hill 2006). Her blog was featured in the book, "Blogging Heroes" (Wiley 2008). Follow her on Twitter at @ecommercebytes and send news tips to email@example.com.
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