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Etsy’s New Global Shipping Option Reduces Reliance on USPS

Etsy's New Global Shipping Option Reduces Reliance on USPS

Etsy launched a new international shipping program for packages weighing under one pound in order to spare sellers from potential shipping disruptions and rate hikes in the future.

Etsy partnered with an Asendia affiliated company to offer the Etsy Global Postal Shipping program, which Etsy said includes an affordable international shipping option that uses First Class International Parcel services.

Etsy told sellers it had been concerned last year when the United States had been set to exit the Universal Postal Union, which could have had negative consequences for shippers had the USPS not remained in the union, according to Etsy.

Sellers discussed the new Global Postal Shipping program on the Etsy boards on Tuesday, and many seemed uncertain about whether it was an additional option when printing international shipping labels through Etsy, or if it would be the only method available to them.

On a help page, Etsy explained some details in a section called “How Global Postal Shipping labels work”:

“Our provider for Global Postal Shipping labels, an Asendia affiliated company (“Global Postal Shipping Partner”), partners with USPS and other national postal services to ship packages internationally.

“When you purchase a Global Postal Shipping label, you’ll print a USPS domestic shipping label addressed to the closest Asendia processing center. When our Global Postal Shipping Partner receives your package from USPS, they replace the domestic shipping label with an international shipping label addressed to your buyer. They then send the package through the buyer’s country’s national postal carrier.”

Some sellers remained uncertain about various details and wondered if the new program was modelled after eBay’s Global Shipping Program (GSP). We sent an inquiry to Etsy asking for more information, and it subsequently posted an announcement on its forums, to which it pointed us.

Included in the post was the following answer to our question about whether the program was mandatory:

“For international orders 15oz or less (not including those going to Canada), Global Postal Shipping labels will replace USPS First Class International Package Service on Etsy Shipping Labels as the only option. For international orders over 15oz or going to Canada, USPS International First Class is still the option offered.”

However, it also provided an answer on whether sellers could continue to select other services such as USPS International Priority and Priority Express:

“Yes, you’ll still be able to ship with USPS International Priority and Priority Express when shipping internationally. Global Postal Shipping is only replacing First Class. There are no changes to Priority Mail/Priority Mail Express.”

We had also asked whether the program would require the buyer to pay duties similar to eBay’s Global Shipping Program, and, if so, how buyers would know the full cost up front (pre-purchase), but the post seemed to indicate that would not be the case.

Etsy sent the following email to sellers on Tuesday:

International postal solutions are here!
Last year, we told you about how the United States Postal Service proposed leaving the United Postal Union (UPU), a global organization that sets shipping rates between countries.

This move could have meant significant shipping disruptions and increases for international shipping rates when shipping to certain countries. However, a vote by the UPU decided that the USPS would remain a part of the organization.

To help protect you from future shipping disruptions and increased international shipping rates, we’ve added an additional carrier provider to Etsy Shipping Labels. You’ll see the new option called Global Postal Shipping when you purchase an international shipping label on Etsy.

Don’t worry, you’ll still have the same affordable rates and reliable service as you do today. Check our help article for more information on how this new label works.

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You can read this evening’s post for more information.

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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.