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Sun Sept 1 2019 11:56:54

eBay Warns of Possible Disruption to International Mail Delivery

By: Ina Steiner

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eBay, which relies heavily on cross-border trade, warned sellers of a possible disruption to international mail delivery if the United States pulls out of the Universal Postal Union (UPU) next month. The UPU consists of members from 192 countries, including the US.

At the heart of the issue is UPU Terminal Dues, which influences how much a shipper on one country will pay to have a small package delivered to a recipient in another country. Since it's not efficient for each country to negotiate with every other country the rates at which they will deliver mail from their citizens, the UPU sets terminal dues for cross-border deliveries among its member countries. 

Last year, President Trump issued an ultimatum for the UPU to change the system, a move that was viewed positively by many small online sellers in the US who had become angry that it was sometimes cheaper for foreign shippers (particularly China-based sellers) to mail small items to US buyers than it cost them. 

As the USPS stated in June, "The UPU rate system for small packets creates economic distortions which allow foreign producers to ship goods to US consumers at a lower price than US postage rates."

The USPS also said in June it would remain in the international mailing business whether or not the US remained a member of the UPU. It also noted that one UPU proposal would allow for the US to remain in the UPU, with self-declared rates for small packets, to be implemented in 2020.

In the meantime, eBay appears to be looking to Congress for help, emailing members of its eBay Main Street program with the subject line, "Help Protect American Small Businesses."

The email advised recipients, "Tell Congress: Don't Withdraw from the Universal Postal Union," and stated the following:

"Right now, Washington is on a collision course that could seriously disrupt international sales for American small businesses, just before the holiday season. This October, the US government is threatening to withdraw from the Universal Postal Union (UPU), which does everything from setting rates for international mail delivery to standardizing customs forms. If the US moves forward with withdrawal from the UPU, small business sellers on eBay who use the US Postal Service to send items overseas could be faced with increased costs and service disruptions, and global mail delivery could even come to a halt.

"Tell Congress to REJECT US withdrawal from the UPU and protect small businesses and consumers! Write Your Members of Congress."

The email included a link to the eBayMainStreet.com website with more information.

The issue is coming down to the wire: the Trump administration set in motion a plan to withdraw from the UPU on October 17, 2019 if a satisfactory resolution was not adopted by the UPU, which is holding a Congress on remuneration rates in Geneva, Switzerland this month (September 24-26).

Regardless of whether the US stays in the UPU, the cost of sending and receiving international small parcels in the mail is likely to rise. That's especially true for items from China, as an article in AndroidPolice.com pointed out on Saturday:

"Regardless of if the U.S. remains in the UPU, the postal service will be expected to hike rates for small packets come next year. That means you should expect to pay more for a whole bunch of things in 2020 - whether you buy them on AliExpress or Amazon, where importers might pass along the pain."

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by: RL15 This user has validated their user name.

Sun Sep 1 12:14:07 2019

Sure hope the U.S. pulls out of the UPU

Thats a start.

Next wish is the U.S. bans all imports from china.

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by: FeelingFroggy This user has validated their user name.

Sun Sep 1 12:54:23 2019

Oh well we don't ever ship international, not even to canada or mexico. Don't care what they do.

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by: thievesBay This user has validated their user name.

Sun Sep 1 13:37:40 2019

This message from eBay is all about them being the two-faced frauds that they are. It isn't about how it would affect sellers and consumers, it's about eBay's dependence on revenue from the Chinese sellers they love so much. Just think, if the Chinese actually would have to pay a fair amount for shipping then maybe local sellers (USA, UK, Germany, etc.) could sell something. But eBay doesn't want that, they want Chinese junk flooding all of their sites. eBay would be hit hard by this and THAT'S the only reason.  

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This user has validated their user name. by: Marie

Sun Sep 1 15:39:58 2019

It is a scare tactic to get people to write their congress people and try to head this off.  

While the Pres has said we will pull out of the UPU, it is not eminent.  It takes time, it is not immediate.  There is a process that has to be followed.

With that said, this is still an very important matter and while I know the goal of many here, to include me, is to get fair shipping rates charged to China shippers so that US isn't as such a disadvantage.  I fully support that.  But this subject and this action of pulling out of the UPU is just not that simple.

The treaty doesn't just cover the US and China.  There is so much more to it than that.  It is complex and detailed in nature.  There is so much that can and will go wrong if we pull out of the UPU.  The US and China just aren't the only two countries in the world that will be affected.

Setting aside Ebay's mixed actions on this subject, I urge you to read up on this subject so that you are informed.  You are in a much better position to make an informed decision about you should or shouldn't do than to just go by this information to make a decision.  

Ebay is dealing both sides on this one.  But they are right about how the action of pulling out of the UPU can and will significantly affect international shipping all over the world.

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by: Whatever This user has validated their user name.

Sun Sep 1 16:37:50 2019

Stop China at all cost - we'll survive - we did before - screw ebay - they'll have to go back to depending on Americans again - you know - actually show the listings - quit beating up the sellers - earn their money

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This user has validated their user name. by: Marie

Sun Sep 1 16:42:22 2019

It is important to realize that this issue is NOT all about Ebay.  To assume that is just not being informed of the facts of the subject at hand.

If you want to see our nationwide economy take a significant hit, then just do away with international shipping  to all the countries in the treaty that members of the UPU participates.

There is more to the world than selling on Ebay.

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by: SenseiSez This user has validated their user name.

Sun Sep 1 20:17:41 2019

Great News! It sure will be disruptive for international mail delivery. But, that's Chinese sellers - NOT us American sellers. This does take a long time - However, our President had set this into action last year! So, it will go into effect in October.  HaHA! What is eBay going to do without these Chinese sellers!!!?  Too Bad!  I suggest everyone write their congressman stating how happy you are that finally someone is doing something right for American sellers!

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by: Shanna This user has validated their user name.

Sun Sep 1 20:52:58 2019

Marie, of course this is all about eBay. Walmart, Amazon, your local department store do not get shipments from China, or any other country through the international mail system, they get it from cargo ships.

This really effects Chinese sellers selling on eBay and Amazon sending one off to customers in the US. A 3 oz package costs them 40 cents, less than the cost of a stamped letter going across town. And thanks to the negotiations of Donahoe and Wenig, Chinese sellers get free tracking scans. This will effect eBay's bottom line, as Chinese sellers will no longer be able to sell things for 99 cents and make a profit.

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by: Silver Ice King This user has validated their user name.

Sun Sep 1 23:36:29 2019

The UPU had a chance to deal with this last year at a special meeting they called just for this issue.  They voted do nothing until their next scheduled meeting in 2020 at the earliest.  I have no sympathy for China as they are paying the same rates for postage as Gabon does.  China has taken advantage of this and is not only destroying the USA business economy but doing the same to many other countries as they subsidize the postage for those Sellers also.

When this change takes place the rates for that 3 ounce package from China is supposed to cost them the same amount as we pay to ship it to China, which is now about $14.25.  This will either completely kill the Chinese market over here or put more money into the USPS coffers so that our rates should not have to go up so many times than the current CPI.  

USPS currently loses about $0.50 per epacket they deliver.  I was surprised to find that the E-Packet actually costs the Chinese Seller more than if they mailed without it using the UPU set rates.  So USPS actually made a decent deal when they made this change, even though with Ebay helping the Chinese Sellers in every way possible it has caused them to lose even larger amounts while Ebay continues to capitalize on this deal.

It also has not helped the USPS that Congress has voted to make them prepay their retirees health care costs at the rate of $5 Billion per year until the year 2056.  No other company or government entity has ever been given this mandate and is just another stupid decision by Congress to hit the pocketbooks of all Americans, except them as they get free postage to send mail and packages to all of their constituents.

I cannot wait to see this increase on China finally imposed as it is already being imposed on most other countries sellers mail packages to..

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by: 1st Armored Division 1971-1973 This user has validated their user name.

Mon Sep 2 00:49:49 2019

25% of my sales are international. It would be the kiss of death for my business to lose this much of what I do. Seems eBay sellers think China is the only one who exports. Many US sellers do too.

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This user has validated their user name. by: Marie

Mon Sep 2 01:48:21 2019

@SenseiSez
You think the treaty only covers China??

Ebay will be fine.  They will offer some other benefits to sellers from China to keep them on the site.  I don't know what that might look like, but it is likely to happen.

@shanna

There are all kinds of businesses across the USA that get international shipments via USPS.  Heck if you only consider the documents sent back and forth.  But certainly that isn't the only thing.

So yes the impact of this will be felt far beyond Ebay, Amazon, Etsy or any other similar site.

I'm not trying by any stretch of the imagination to defend these rates China get.  Nothing I've ever said even comes close to that.  To have them labeled as a developing country and give them all these breaks is beyond ridiculous.  

All I've done is suggest that before you write your congress person or whatever way you may choose to try and have your voice heard is to actually learn what the impact of pulling out of the UPU really means.  Some want it to seem it is a simple subject and it only relates to China.  But that is absolutely not true.

But I understand, that the impact on Ebay is front and center in may posters minds so that is all they see when they discuss this subject because it does have such an affect on them.

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by: moonmyst This user has validated their user name.

Mon Sep 2 11:14:37 2019

@RL15: My comment is exactly as you stated. Allowing China to send their cheap junk over here, AND using a cheaper shipping rate, is flooding the U.S. market with every knock-off imaginable. It's killing our economy and our ambition.

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by: Whatever This user has validated their user name.

Mon Sep 2 12:31:12 2019

In 20 years on ebay and with hundreds of thousands of #'s in sales - I can count the international sales I've had. They never supported my business. That said when eBay allowed chinese sellers and their cheap crap to come online my business has been in the toilet ever since. And why in the heck is ebay consumed with making a billionaire a day in china? who's kicking who back? I say get rid of the problem and let's put american's back to work - china didn't just steal our sales - they stole everything and the sheep (us) just stood back and watched the parade. They took our jobs and our money - time to get it back.

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by: thievesBay This user has validated their user name.

Mon Sep 2 12:36:18 2019

@1st Armored Division 1971-1973 If the US withdraws this SHOULD result in more domestic sales. This is, IF eBay would allow it to happen. Their algorithm is so utterly messed up they probably would still try shoving all of the Chinese junk down everyone's throats. eBay doesn't want this to go through because eBay relies on revenue from the Chinese. There is no other reason.

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by: SenseiSez This user has validated their user name.

Mon Sep 2 13:03:25 2019

Hi Marie, Oh, yes, I am keenly aware that this news doesn't pertain exclusively to China. I know that, having bought items from Southeast Asia wherein the seller paid next to nothing to ship the items. But, China is a very large part of this matter. Take a minute and think, just think, how it'll be when there are tens of thousands (I guess) less eBay listings due to these Chinese sellers being gone. Without the USPS, basically, funding these Communist Chinese sellers they will definitely have to stop selling. After all, what right-minded US bidder would look to pay such exorbitant amounts for postage on an item they'd purchased from China? Why is it OK for our taxpayer money to be used to discount sellers from a totally totalitarian repressive society/government as Communist China? Check out the various news outlets/blogs ... Hong Kong ... the 1.5 million Ueyghars locked up in concentration camps total suppression of rights in China. It's not difficult to see for yourself how us Americans should not have our hard-earned money used to prop up this sort of thing. eBay may be OK with that. Any decent US citizen should not!
             Pres Trump seems to want to wreck the Chinese economy due to the threat they pose to us and the world. This subsidizing of Chinese sellers will play a  very good part in helping him, and us, achieve it!  
            Contact your congressman and INSIST that they help American small business by WITHDRAWING from the Universal Postal Union.

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by: Geetar This user has validated their user name.

Mon Sep 2 15:48:22 2019

I am sorry but Trump did the right thing. He warned of pulling out of the UPU. He said do something or we will pull out. The UPU sat on their hands and basically said "nope we're not doing anything"

Anyone not seeing that $.40 shipped from China vs. a minimum of $2.65 is a huge problem must be blind..

Also look at US sellers importing product from China or elsewhere. They pay tariffs. The small package coming in pays no tariffs or duties. The shipping they pay should be even higher for that reason. Or do what they do in Europe, make buyers pay before it is delivered.

I also believe Trump is right with this trade war. It seems China is out to break our legs (financially). They will and are doing anything to put us at a disadvantage. I would love to see a full blockade of all imports from China. That is what is needed.

I know. "you cant do that" Yes, we can... At one time we were at the top of the world when it came to manufacturing. We could do it again. In that time we built the best made things in the world. Were made indestructible. And we didnt have to. We could have sold junk and got away with it. The difference between Chin and the US is pride. We have it and the chinese dont. They will always be a step behind because they always try and get over.

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by: Geetar This user has validated their user name.

Mon Sep 2 15:53:33 2019

Didnt ebay try and have an ebay china?

You would have thought they would have learned their lesson. I dont remember the details, but I know they left with their tails between their legs.

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by: Tiffee Jasso This user has validated their user name.

Mon Sep 2 17:19:35 2019

While pulling out of the UPU could hurt some sellers and some countries, this has come about because of the UPU not protecting other countries from China, who is not a third world impoverished country by any definition. It is a highly industrialized nation that uses heavy handed methods to make sure they do not pay their share of US Postal costs.
Every American in this country that uses the Post Office, has to pay money out of their pocket to subsidize China's trillion dollar business with US buyers. This is wrong, and it is the UPUs fault.
A lot of money has been paid out to lobbyists, legislators, and committee members  to keep the status quo on postal rates for China. I think the time has come to right the wrong. Chinese should pay the same rate to ship an item as any citizen in the world has to pay to ship an item to them.  

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by: booklover27 This user has validated their user name.

Wed Sep 4 11:32:30 2019

There is no doubt we should pull out of another scam that the Clinton's got us into.  No one has defended the little guy before this President got into office. If we don't stand together on this its going to be tough going for the Millennial's in the future.  



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