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Etsy Warns Sellers about Rising Shipping Costs

This week Etsy informed sellers of changing postal rates, and warned that the postage rate changes at the USPS and Canadian postal service would automatically be reflected on any postage purchased through Etsy Shipping Labels once the rate changes go into effect.

As it explained, changes to specific postage costs for USPS and Canada Post vary depending on the mail class and destination. Etsy put together detailed rate comparison charts for both services to illustrate how rates for specific mail classes will be different from 2013 rates. “Since sellers using Etsy Shipping Labels receive discounts on most mail classes, the rates you see in the charts may be lower than those available at retail post office counters,” it explained.

Etsy provided some context for U.S. sellers using USPS:

  • Changes to USPS postage rates will automatically be reflected on any postage purchased through Etsy Shipping Labels on January 26, 2014.
  • USPS customers can expect to see a 5% increase on average for First Class packages, with the most significant change for 1-3 oz packages.
  • There will be little to no increase applied to Priority Mail prices. Priority Mail International prices will see an overall decrease of about $0.40.
  • Confirmation included with First Class International and Priority Mail International Flat Rate envelope and Small Flat Rate boxes has expanded to 12 additional countries: Estonia, Finland, Gibraltar, Hungary, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Malta, Portugal and Singapore.
  • A ninth zone has been added for Priority Mail and Priority Mail Express services going to certain remote destinations. This new zone applies to eight zip codes and allows the USPS to keep the current zone eight prices consistent between 2013 and 2014.

Etsy also provided context for Canadian sellers regarding rate changes for Canada Post:

  • Good news! The most inexpensive rate for Light Packet USA and International will now apply to packages weighing up to 0.15 kg (up from 0.1 kg).
  • Changes to Canada Post postage rates will automatically be reflected on any postage purchased through Etsy Shipping Labels (currently available via the prototype team) on January 13, 2014.
  • Canada Post customers should expect to see a 3.2% increase on average in their domestic shipping rates, and a 3.1% increase in international rates, while packages that weigh over 3 kg will see a lower average increase.
  • The price of all liability coverage, when purchased in addition to any included coverage, will increase to $2.05 CAD for every $100 CAD of declared value.
  • A service area adjustment surcharge of $5.00 will be applied to all shipments going to specific postal codes in Fort McMurray, Alberta.

Etsy also reviewed some of the tools available to sellers to help them cope with changes.

eBay also informed sellers of rising shipping costs. On December 23, eBay said rate changes for UPS were going into effect on December 30, 2013; rate changes for FedEx were going into effect on January 6, 2014; and said USPS rate changes would be coming later in January.

eBay said it was updating its shipping calculator, eBay labels and PayPal labels to reflect the new rates, and advised sellers to make sure their shipping costs reflected the new rates.

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Ina Steiner
Ina Steiner
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). She is a member of the Online News Association (Sep 2005 - present) and Investigative Reporters and Editors (Mar 2006 - present). Follow her on Twitter at @ecommercebytes and send news tips to ina@ecommercebytes.com. See disclosure at EcommerceBytes.com/disclosure/.