The USPS announced Monday that shipping rates for “competitive” services will be going up on January 24th, including Priority Mail and FCPS. In Monday’s announcement, it focused on “retail” rates – the rates shippers pay at the Post Office.
On Wednesday, it provided additional context for “commercial” rates – those offered by online postage providers.
While retail rates for Priority Mail are rising by an overall average of 3.5% and 1.2% for Priority Mail Express service, commercial rates for Priority Mail are rising an average of 4.2%, and 2.5% for Priority Mail Express.
To give an example of the changes online sellers face, the current (pre-holiday surge pricing) and new commercial rates for Priority Mail Flat Rate boxes are as follows:
Small Flat-Rate Box: $7.65 (current), $7.90 (planned)
Medium Flat-Rate Box: $13.20 (current), $13.75 (planned)
Large Flat-Rate Box: $18.30 (current), $19.30 (planned)
It behooves sellers to dig into the new rates – and Stamps.com’s analysis can help. As usual with its rate-hike analysis, Stamps.com provides detailed charts – and it calls out certain patterns it sees, or “points of interest” as it calls them.
Just a few examples of its call-outs:
- For commercial rates, Priority Mail “Small Flat Rate boxes are increasing only $0.25 (3.5%) while the Large Flat Rate Box is increasing $1.00 (5.46%).”
- Priority Mail “Regional Rate Box A, the closer shipping zones (Zones 1-5) are seeing a modest 1-2% increase. At Zone 6, the rate increase jumps significantly to 4.46% or higher.”
- “First Class Package Service remains the best deal across all shipping carriers in the U.S.”
It’s imperative sellers adjust their product prices and/or shipping charges to account for higher costs, not only what they’ll pay in direct shipping costs, but the resulting higher payment-processing costs and, in the case of eBay and Etsy, higher commission fees.
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