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USPS Closer to Making Small Packets from Overseas Pricier

USPS Closer to Making Small Packets from Overseas Pricier

The USPS is getting one step closer to making small packets from overseas more expensive, something for which many small sellers in the US have advocated. The Postal Regulatory Commission (PRC) will host a conference next week on the topic of postal rates for inbound small packets.

The US Postal Service will present information on creating new prices for Inbound Letter Post Small Packet and Bulky Letter. The action is a result of the PRC conditionally approving last month the USPS request to move the product from Market Dominant to Competitive. That would remove the postal product from the domain of Terminal Dues under the UPU, from which President Trump has already decided to withdraw. (Read more about it in this January 9th EcommerceBytes Blog post.)

The PRC announced in its notice on Tuesday:

“A technical conference will be held in the Commission’s hearing room at 10:00 A.M. on February 15, 2019, where the Postal Service will outline the methodology it intends to use to establish prices for the Inbound Letter Post Small Packet and Bulky Letter product and for Inbound Competitive Registered Mail services, and be available to answer questions.”

The meeting is currently set to be open to members of the public, however, the Postal Service can notify the PRC if it “foresees the need to rely upon information it would otherwise identify as non-public.”

The PRC noted that the Postal Service “should be prepared to discuss whether these prices will be of general or limited applicability (and if limited applicability, what limitations would apply) and the methodology it plans to use to establish prices that are consistent with the requirements of 39 U.S.C. § 3633(a) and with consideration for the policies outlined in the Presidential Memorandum.”

In addition, the PRC established Docket No. CP2019-83 as a follow up to a Postal Service request to transfer Inbound Letter Post small packets and bulky letters from the market dominant Inbound Letter Post product to the competitive product list.

Note that in the comments section of January’s blog post, some sellers said they would be harmed by a rise in shipping costs for small packets from overseas.

It’s certainly an issue in which small sellers take a great interest.

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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/.

4 thoughts on “USPS Closer to Making Small Packets from Overseas Pricier”

  1. I sympathize with the sellers who rely on components from China to make their jewelry or other items who will now be forced to raise their prices. However, this move will be beneficial for a huge segment of U.S. sellers who are unable to offer competitive shipping rates versus the Chinese sellers. As has been mentioned many times before, it’s more expensive to mail an item across the street in the U.S. than it is for Chinese sellers to mail their items 11,000+ km away.

  2. I’ll take it seriously when I actually see something change significantly. If they raise it a cent or something, it’s not news.

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