The USPS Shipping rate hike announced on Wednesday is bad news for online sellers, and that’s not all! There’s a new $1.50 penalty fee that could blindside sellers shipping packages if they aren’t extremely careful.
The USPS press release didn’t describe all of the changes – at first blush, it looked as if the changes applied only to Priority Mail “Retail” rates (the cost when buying postage at the post office window). But Commercial rates available to sellers who purchase postage online are also increasing.
The USPS is adding new fees – one if sellers don’t enter accurate information about packages impacted by dim-weight rates, and other fees for packages that exceed sortation requirements.
- “A new $1.50 fee, applicable to certain competitive products, will be assessed on parcels that are greater than one cubic foot or with a length greater than 22 inches, if the customer did not provide dimensions or provided inaccurate dimensions in the electronic manifest file.”
- “A new series of nonstandard fees, applicable to certain competitive products, will be assessed on packages that cause the Postal Service to incur manual handling costs when the dimensions of the package exceed sortation requirements.”
While some sellers may think this is a good move to curb shippers intentionally trying to underpay, it makes it expensive to make a mistake.
USPS Priority Mail Rate Hike
Priority Mail Retail prices will increase an average of 4.5 percent. Commercial Base prices will increase 2.7 percent on average. Note that Commercial Base prices will, on average, reflect a 17.9 percent discount off of Retail prices.
USPS First Class Package Service (FCPS) Rate Hike
Overall, FCPS prices will increase 7.6 percent on average, with a 8.4 percent increase for FCPS-Retail and a 7.4 percent increase for FCPS-Commercial.
The Postal Regulatory Commission has the complete report in a PDF file on its website.
And lest anyone forget, the rate hike comes as the USPS is slowing down the mail, including plans to slow down FCPS (First Class Package Service) “after the holiday shipping season.”
The PRC will review the prices before they are scheduled to take effect on January 9, 2022.
The filing also included pricing to support USPS Connect, “a suite of affordable package delivery solutions for businesses that the Postal Service expects to launch in 2022, if favorably reviewed.”
In addition, after a 2-year market test, the Postal Service is requesting the establishment of a permanent Plus One product “which will provide additional marketing options for businesses to reach local customers utilizing mail.”
Update 12/6/2021: The USPS will go forward with its regular Shipping rate hike on January 9th, but it will delay the $1.50 Dimension Noncompliance Fee and the $4 and $15 Nonstandard Fees until April, see more in this December 5th AuctionBytes Blog post.