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USPS Fixes Error Introduced with January Rate Changes

Chalk up another problem resulting from the January 2016 postal rate increase. The USPS inadvertently removed the ability for users to print postage for Priority Mail Regional Rate A and B boxes through its Click N Ship website when new rates went into effect on January 17 – the problem was fixed as of January 30th.

The issue was especially confusing because the USPS had announced it was eliminating Regional Rate C rates. “I cannot believe that there was no notice about the Regional shipping disappearing,” an eBay seller had written upon finding A and B rates missing. The seller added, “This whole USPS shipping thing has become one big cluster f**k.”

The sentiment is not surprising given the scope of changes introduced with the January rate changes. One change that also appears to have been an oversight on the part of the USPS – and PRC – is the fact that First Class Package Service is in some cases more expensive for commercial shippers (see, One Case Where It’s Cheaper to Ship at the Post Office). Some online postage providers are providing shippers with the retail rate of $2.54 so that their customers don’t have to pay the extra 6 cents for Commercial Base rates (it applies to FCPS for packages weighing up to 3 ounces).

As far as the missing Priority Mail regional rates, sellers reported getting information from window clerks and postal carriers that turned out to be incorrect. One seller wrote on the eBay boards, “I just got an email back from the post office that says “Thank you for contacting Postal Explorer, the USPS resource for domestic and international mailing requirements and prices at pe.usps.com. The Regional Rate Boxes are available to commercial customers on the business calculator and are no longer available on the retail calculator or on Click-N-Ship. This change was made when the prices changed on January 17, 2016. Regional Rate boxes can still be used by taking them to the local Post Office. An additional fee will be charged for non-commercial use.”

Another seller reported seeing a message on the Click N Ship website on January 22nd about the missing rates: “Attention Click-N-Ship Customers: Regional Rate Boxes A and B were inadvertently removed during our last update. We’re working to put them back as soon as possible. Please watch this space for updates.”

You can find an acknowledgement of the problem and the fix in this PDF file.

Unfortunately there may be many sellers who are unaware that the Regional Rate Boxes A and B are available on Click N Ship once again.

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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). Follow her on Twitter at @ecommercebytes and send news tips to ina@ecommercebytes.com.