Hopefully online sellers are aware by now of the higher USPS rates in place during the holidays – Etsy warned its sellers on Thursday.
The temporary holiday postal rate hike, which is unprecedented, goes into effect on October 18 and will last through Christmas.
eBay had also issued a warning but took a different approach in its October 12th notice to sellers, advising them to consider UPS and FedEx as alternatives.
Etsy, on the other hand, downplayed the surge pricing in its October 15th announcement:
“Like many shipping carriers this holiday season, USPS is temporarily increasing its rates for domestic packages to account for rising expenses. Even with this increase, USPS shipping labels purchased on Etsy still cost less than retail rates you’d pay at the Post Office. However, the rates available on Etsy and from other online retailers will be slightly higher than usual from October 18 through December 27.”
The USPS issued its own reminder on October 16th, including the following paragraph about the reason for the surge pricing:
“The planned temporary price adjustments are in response to increased demand for online shopping package volume due to the coronavirus pandemic and expected holiday ecommerce. As a result of these changing market conditions, the Postal Service is implementing a time-limited price increase on all commercial domestic competitive package volume from Oct. 18 until Dec. 27, 2020. Retail prices and international products will be unaffected.”
The temporary holiday prices impact the following commercial domestic competitive parcels – Priority Mail Express, Priority Mail, First-Class Package Service, Parcel Select, and Parcel Return Service.
EcommerceBytes conducted an informal survey of readers asking how they will be impacted. As we noted in the results published on the EcommerceBytes Blog, increased shipping costs result in higher payment processing costs and marketplace commissions, meaning Etsy and eBay will take a bigger cut from each sale.