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Mon Jan 28 2013 11:57:37

Most Important USPS Changes Affecting Sellers

By: Julia Wilkinson

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The USPS has changed mail rates again, and as often happens it's sent online sellers into a tizzy as they try to navigate the new rate and mail class changes in the real world of their daily packing and shipping tasks. I've looked over the changes, various sellers' comments, and some article summaries, and here are what I think are the key takeaways for sellers:

- Parcel Post Is Going Bye-Bye but Don't Panic! You Can Buy Parcel Select Online (Just Not Through eBay Until March).

That's right, no more Parcel Post, it's now something called "Standard Post," but some sellers seem to think this means they'll have to use this and stand in line at the P.O., since it's not available online.

But, there's a similar option called "Parcel Select," and thought it won't be available to purchase via eBay's postage printing system 'til March, you can buy it through one of the online service providers such as Stamps.com, Endicia, or Pitney Bowes.

- First Class Mail International (Now "First Class Package International Service"): Prices Going Way Up, But They're Adding Delivery Confirmation.

I and a lot of sellers used First Class Mail International to send lighter-weight items (under 4 lbs). to other countries. The bad news: prices for the new First Class Package International Service" are going up 58.6% (!). The good news: we will finally have delivery confirmation with a first-class international service. Not all right away (of course), but this class will include free delivery confirmation to Canada to start, and additional countries will be added throughout 2013. (Sure, that's vague, but that's an important element FCI was missing).

- Media Mail is still there and the prices have only gone up slightly. Sellers of books, dvd's, cd's and other media can breathe easy; media mail is still there and still cheap. A sample price change is for a 5 lb. package, the price will go up to $4.33 from $4.15, or 18 cents. I don't think these prices will impact anyone too much.

And oh yes, what about the cost of a single USPS first-class mail stamp (does anyone use those anymore? Well, I confess I do!). It's going up just one cent, from $0.45 to $0.46, just enough to make making change annoying.

For more on the USPS changes, see one of the online guides -- a good one is the Stamps.com guide -- and also Ina's article about the new rates.

What do you think are the most (or least) important changes to the USPS services and rates? How will they impact you as a seller? Post a comment here!

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by: FREDDY This user has validated their user name.

Tue Jan 29 10:42:56 2013

What's the alternative to USPS? Go with UPS or Fedex. I have found the rates are much higher especially on smaller items.
IMO problem is the pensions they have to pay out - people live longer - the amount of pension is high that each receives. Someone has to keep paying for it.  Am I the only one that seen this coming a long time ago?   Who pays for increased benefit package?? Only way is to raise prices. Doesn't matter if your USPS or GM or Federal Gov't. Prices just have to keep going up and up and up etc etc.

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by: vinyldoctor This user has validated their user name.

Tue Jan 29 10:58:05 2013

After reading the new tariffs on the USPS website it now says that Media Mil is for Educational Material only. I am a seller of music I wonder if this will become an issue  

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by: XebayX This user has validated their user name.

Tue Jan 29 11:33:00 2013

Lets not forget that eBay is still taking a cut of the increase, so what I used to pay for a 1 ounce international package ($3.00 + plus eBay's 11% ($0.33) = $3.33) is now way more than twofold ($6.16 plus 11% ($0.68) = $6.84) 205%

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by: pace306 This user has validated their user name.

Tue Jan 29 11:49:39 2013

.. fellow sellers ....

I rethought it all - and now understand why I may be WRONG!

I thought eBay had to be high as a kite to let this happen (they bribe judges when it comes to arbitration so why not a congressman or even the PM General?) but then I realized ...

its all about PB & the gang!  (sorry Kool - you've been moved to second class - its all about eBay, JD and the benjamins!).

eBay will now get an enhanced revenue stream from Pitney Bowes with their new international shipping scheme!

PB bypasses the PO or gets a rate with them that no one can touch - sellers will get folded into the program because it will be cheaper - and BOOM! instant 2013 revenue increases!

Im so stupid for not realizing it before .... Its not about international shipping and tax/duties or anything else (it cant be about chargebacks since eBay/Paypal make money off the international theft they condone).

Brilliant eBay, once again you've found a way to get more water out of the same stone!  

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by: Just Plain Irritated This user has validated their user name.

Tue Jan 29 12:31:22 2013

Has anyone thought about this in regards to increases in international shipping rates?

Our government is electronically "printing" our money like crazy. That makes each dollar worth less, thus it costs more dollars to pay for everything.

That could explain why the international rates were affected with such large increases.

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by: comet This user has validated their user name.

Tue Jan 29 12:57:12 2013

When the items GET to Canada----will CanadaPost AGREE to do their part of the "tracking?"  From the packages I have sent over the years to Canada the carriers are FAR worse than ours and refuse to even deliver properly addressed NON-tracking items.  

And just think---only a PORTION of Canada speaks/reads English!   In the Eastern half the Govt and locals make a HUGE big deal that THEY will have nothing to do with English as this would "corrupt" their French heritage.  While sympathetic to this it gets a bit---extreme when they REFUSE to place English signs on parking meters/lots at TOURIST ATTRACTIONS under the guise that by seeing these it will make them FORGET their French.

Imagine that they NOW have to deal with packaged addressed in English AND it needs an extra STEP or so to deliver!  

That said I am not thrilled to be once again forced to PAY for some one elses deal  ie the Post OFfice refusing to work out in advance of implementation the tracking costs and process into countries other than Canada.  I am with @MARIE here---why should WE have to pay for a service we CANNOT access????

It def has the ebay "ring" to it---force us to do something to punish the FEW but make the MANY pay the price.  

UGH.  

I am off to mark my one and only consistent overseas selling item with LARGE type to have the potential buyers CONTACT ME to see what the postage--formerly about $6 to Europe--will NOW cost.  Of course there is NO WAY to go and make a seperate price for the countries likely to BUY this item either----grrrrrr.....

Makes ya kinda unnerstand why those guys go POSTAL now don't it.  

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by: comet This user has validated their user name.

Tue Jan 29 12:58:46 2013

Oh and ANOTHER thing---the Post Office sponsors that doper Lance to the tune of $14 MILLION DOLLARS (OUR dollars lest we forget) in a year when they LOST $13 BILLION in operation costs.

Makes ya go---

WHO was the "Dope" here????

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by: mbbn This user has validated their user name.

Tue Jan 29 13:19:23 2013

This is SO frustrating.
1) Internationally shipping--
I ship internationally here and there and have never paid more than $15 for shipping--even to far-flung destinations like Australia.
I shipped to Turkey yesterday under the USPS's 'new deal' and it was $27!!!

2) Anyone out there use eBay mobile and scan their deliv confirmations?
I have loved the ability to scan the delivery confirmation UPC codes with the iPhone using the eBay mobile app.  
Now with the USPS 'new deal' these delive confirmation slips are obsolete.  I asked the woman at the post office this am if I could try scanning the devliv confirm UPC sticker she slapped on the package and she said 'you can't do anything once it has been stickered by us' (almost as if my phone was going to plant some laser bomb or something!!).
So the deliv confirmation slips were amazing w/ being able to quickly and easily scan the UPC before I left the house to go to the post office.
Now these slips are obsolete and I am left having to manually enter the 18+ digit number codes on every package.

Thank you USPS for making things more expensive and now less convenient!
Awesome.

Any suggestions out there?
Am I missing something?

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by: mastoyshop This user has validated their user name.

Tue Jan 29 13:30:17 2013

Yesterday when I went to the post office to pay for postage on my usps labels printed with web tools from usps click n ship for business, they had to put all new delivery confirmation labels (now called tracking) on my packages AND I had to pay 90 cents extra for the first class package because it is no longer Free or so I was told. I was also told that they will no longer scan my packages so my tracking wont be included because I have to pay Online.. a few weeks ago ebays calculator was off and over 15.00 in refunds had to be issued, ebay charges a percentage of Shipping in their fees, so if I had paid for shipping online, the customers would have been cheated and now if I dont pay Im cheated and punished. or I have to cheat the customer and not give them the whole refund. ??? of course ebay cheats me anyway because they dont refund any on the fees when the postage is refunded, Paypay does give back their part of the fee. about half of my sales are first class packages and international first class so it looks like another effort to run the small sellers out of ebay. As far as offering Free shipping, come on now Shipping is NOT FREE. so I guess stupid is as stupid does.  I need to go redo my auctions and put some BIG writing in my about me about this rip off.. and no ebay and USPS I am not some Kook sitting in the toolies.. Im a respected professional who loves sharing my toys with the world.. I think both ebay and USPS need to take a hard look in the mirror. I dont know how much the usps IG makes per year but I know JD made 750k plus 16 MILLION last year.. in one year.. more than the President of the USA or any of their counterparts..and way more than Amazons CEO..  Karma JD Karma will visit you

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by: mastoyshop This user has validated their user name.

Tue Jan 29 13:31:03 2013

And please note I used my Real ID and am not hiding so you can ask any questions you want.

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by: Digmen1 This user has validated their user name.

Tue Jan 29 13:36:53 2013

Here in New Zealand our Post Office is asking government permission to cut back mail deliveries from 6 to 3 days a week, to save costs etc.
The government seems ready to agree, and the feedback I have seen most people accept that this has to happen, as no one is sending letters anymore.

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by: tb This user has validated their user name.

Tue Jan 29 15:22:09 2013

Since changing my international prices Saturday on eBay and my own website, international sales have halted. I got one International order in 3-1/2 days where normally I get 5-10 a DAY.

Not much you can do. I don't quite see the benefit of going with someone else (far more expensive), or not shipping internationally. It costs nothing to offer your products for sale internationally.

It's definitely a drag alright.

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by: mindelec This user has validated their user name.

Tue Jan 29 17:49:07 2013

"That does not bode well when you want to ship a 2lb book to Australia."

or england or germany or even canada.  i was shocked at the increase to first class and even more shocked at the increase to flaterate priority envelopes.  there is no longer a cost effective way of shipping books internationally.

i do believe the PO might have killed what was a decent international business for me.

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by: mjr55 This user has validated their user name.

Tue Jan 29 18:39:16 2013

The argument that "well....shipping via UPS or Fedex still costs more" is a poor one.

This attitude is precisely why USPS keeps raising prices...because they know people will keep paying it. USPS is also half the speed of a courier and aren't anywhere near as careful with packages. The bottom line is the only reason they are raising prices is to pay for stupid pensions for these people.  

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This user has validated their user name. by: Marie

Tue Jan 29 19:36:26 2013

@mastoyshop
Your post office is mistaken. They didn't accurately understand the changes.  That was part of one of the articles here on this site.

@digmen1

Our postal service has been trying for awhile to get permission to cut back to 5 days a week.

@xebayx

You are absolutely right.  This is how Ebay gets more money without taking the heat.  Ebay does absolutely nothing, provides no extra service, gave us no additional CSRs, nothing, they don't do anything [except bill us] to get paid this fee on the S&H we now are paying.  It is pure and complete profit for them.  This has been my objection from the very beginning when they first announced the fees on S&H.

One thing to remember however is that Ebay isn't going to reap as much benefit from this as you think.  Ebay's fees on International S&H is calculated from the amount you have stated on your listings for US shipments.  For example, you state US shipping is $5 and to Australia it is $15.00.  Your fees on the S&H paid to Ebay are calculated on the $5.00 amount.  So since the US postal fees only went up slightly in most cases, Ebay only makes a little more money.  They do not get to benefit from the HUGE increases in the international rates.

@comet

The Canadian postal service in my experience will do just fine most of the time.  I have packages that I'm able to track from here. They have to have something worked out with Canadian postal service.

Now what I'm really surprised at is how no one seems to be upset about the rated to the other countries when USPS has stated the large increases are to help accomodate being able to track the packages.  Except one slight problem.  They are only ready to track Canadian packages.  All the other countries they are going to be doing this for, they are ready yet.  But they sure plan on collecting the additional fees from us.  I don't think this should be allowed.  If they can't provide the service, they should not be able to collect the fees.

 

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by: mimi51 This user has validated their user name.

Tue Jan 29 21:41:22 2013

Another pain in the butt is that we can't print ''Parcel Select'' from e-Bay until March.  Just Priority.   Apparently you can print it with the 3rd party sites like stamps.com but the monthly fee makes them not competitive for me.  Can't afford to ship everything Priority so my costs go up because I have to take packages to the Post Office to use ''Parcel Select''.  Buyers are already clueless about how much shipping costs and this will make them even more liable to leave low DSR's. All in all, it's just a bad deal for sellers.

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This user has validated their user name. by: Marie

Tue Jan 29 21:44:03 2013

@mimi
Are your packages 13 oz or less?

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by: mimi51 This user has validated their user name.

Tue Jan 29 21:46:56 2013

@ Marie.  Nope - I sell mostly china and collectibles and ship in packages that often weigh 10 or 15 lbs.  Smaller stuff I ship Priority and use the boxes from the PO with no problems.  But lots of it used to go Parcel.  Used UPS this week and probably will keep using it for the heavier shipments.  

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This user has validated their user name. by: Marie

Tue Jan 29 21:49:30 2013

Well darn it, sorry.  Can you just print your labels out directly from the USPS website?  I know it creates a little more work as you have to retype the addresses and then come back and enter your tracking numbers.  But is it possibly an alternative to running around trying to get things shipped?  Just a thought, no comment needed.

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by: mimi51 This user has validated their user name.

Tue Jan 29 22:42:21 2013

@Marie.  Can't print Parcel Select from the USPS site.  You have to go to the Post Office.  After being able to just drop off packages without standing in line or have them picked up, I'm not interested in waiting in line. Darn it. Just being grumpy tonight!  

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