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Mon Sept 21 2020 22:40:47

Will Sellers Absorb the Higher Cost of Holiday Shipping?

By: Ina Steiner

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The US Postal Service is raising rates for online sellers over the holidays in an unprecedented move. But who will pay the higher rates - sellers or buyers? 

USPS Priority Mail is rising an average of 4.2%, while First-Class Package Service is increasing an average of 7%. (Note that retail rates - the rates you pay if you bring your package to the Post Office - will not increase.)

The rates take effect between October 18 - December 27, 2020.

We're taking a quick survey of US sellers to find out if they'll be impacted, and if so, who is paying the extra cost, sellers or buyers? 

You can take the survey through SurveyMonkey, and we'll publish the results in a future issue. Thanks in advance!

Comments (18) | Leave Comment | Permalink
Readers Comments

Perminate Link for Will Sellers Absorb the Higher Cost of Holiday Shipping?   Will Sellers Absorb the Higher Cost of Holiday Shipping?

by: FeelingFroggy This user has validated their user name.

Tue Sep 22 06:07:07 2020

Smart sellers will just raise their prices to cover the extra cost. Whiners will complain or quit thus cutting off their noses to spite their business. How hard is it to raise your shipping 50 cents to cover the cost. We have already done it with over 15000 listings. We feel if the buyer whines about the cost we just politely tell them that they are free to shop elsewhere and then just block them.

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This user has validated their user name. by: Rexford

Tue Sep 22 07:37:16 2020

Looks like my electric power utility company isn't the only service company to implement surge pricing as a way to monetize.  There are more hands in our pockets than a WWII assembly line. At what point do sellers give up 50% to sell online?

If one keeps increasing the shipping price and the product price to remain profitable, at some point retail will be cheaper for buyers.  And when does the free shipping house of cards collapse?  I thank God I took the time to build my own website.

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by: Geetar This user has validated their user name.

Tue Sep 22 10:23:27 2020

I will raise prices. I have no choice. But I will not be lowering after the holiday. They are bound to raise rates anyway....probably in Feb.

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by: Whatever This user has validated their user name.

Tue Sep 22 10:57:52 2020

I quit doing free shipping over 3 years ago - still earned my pay last year even as things started to collapse. I won't be going back to free shipping ever - the buyer either wants or needs my product period.

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This user has validated their user name. by: RKTOYS

Tue Sep 22 11:10:06 2020

I expect trends to continue.  Every year, greedy organizations force me to raise priced online.  Every year, more of my sales shift offline.  Too bad about the pandemic wiping out all of my offline sales this year.  When conventions and flea markets open up, I'll be just about 100% offline.

Perminate Link for Will Sellers Absorb the Higher Cost of Holiday Shipping?   Will Sellers Absorb the Higher Cost of Holiday Shipping?

This user has validated their user name. by: toolguy

Tue Sep 22 12:34:33 2020

Looks like I might have to inform "Joe Lunch Bucket" on why eBay shipping has increased.

The US Postal Service has raised fee's for the Holidays, Merry Christmas from USPS. . . . .(we have to pay for all of those ballots being mailed, it's not free and someone has to pay)

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by: Picky Chicky This user has validated their user name.

Tue Sep 22 13:23:48 2020

I'll do what I have to do, but it's beyond ridiculous just how many are exploiting this pandemic for profit.

Perminate Link for Will Sellers Absorb the Higher Cost of Holiday Shipping?   Will Sellers Absorb the Higher Cost of Holiday Shipping?

by: Paul W This user has validated their user name.

Thu Sep 24 01:01:36 2020

Since I send most packages using stamps bought at discounts greater than online postage discounts, the price changes for me are mostly nonexistent.

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by: Actual Seller This user has validated their user name.

Thu Sep 24 01:47:14 2020

Of course the buyer is the one paying, not us.
Raised our prices as soon as I heard they were doing this.
If you know how to use Business Policies, it's a simple press of a few buttons to do it store wide.

Always charge shipping, nothing is "free".

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by: angryllama This user has validated their user name.

Thu Sep 24 06:40:05 2020

My answer took all of SIX MilliSeconds to arrive at.  No, I won't be absorbing even a PENNY.

I already have a SERVICE FEE included on ALL of my listings and especially on the POSTAGE / SHIPPING costs.  How YOUNG would one have to be to not be familiar with the way SHIPPING COSTS have always gone up Up UP every year with them NEVER EVER going DOWN?

Perminate Link for Will Sellers Absorb the Higher Cost of Holiday Shipping?   Will Sellers Absorb the Higher Cost of Holiday Shipping?

by: cvsharkey This user has validated their user name.

Thu Sep 24 08:03:21 2020

Temp rate increases are a small concern for me at this time. My bigger issue is that I am unable to get delivery of the Priority Mail Flat Rate Padded envelopes. I have placed 4 orders for these since August 25. USPS will deliver the Priority Mail Flat Rate boxes, but not the envelopes. Those are more crucial to my business than a temporary rate hike. When I approach my local post master I'm just told that they are also having DELAYS in receiving boxes. But those padded envelopes are not available locally anyway. Only by order from the USPS site. I have also tried calling the 3rd party vendor who is shipping the boxes & envelopes--they do not return calls.

And I don't know if there is anyone to turn to for help. I can't fit my products into Priority Mail Flat Rate Small boxes. I'm thinking that the PO is doing this on purpose as they know that MANY small businesses rely on those boxes & are trying to increase their revenue by not making them available.

Perminate Link for Will Sellers Absorb the Higher Cost of Holiday Shipping?   Will Sellers Absorb the Higher Cost of Holiday Shipping?

This user has validated their user name. by: Bidonmine

Thu Sep 24 13:18:11 2020

I already have enough profit in my items to adsorb the increase for a short time.

Perminate Link for Will Sellers Absorb the Higher Cost of Holiday Shipping?   Will Sellers Absorb the Higher Cost of Holiday Shipping?

by: postbuster This user has validated their user name.

Fri Sep 25 13:02:33 2020

Usually when something like this comes up, I try to split the difference between the buyer and myself.

But really, it's just as Picky Chicky said.
''I'll do what I have to do, but it's beyond ridiculous just how many are exploiting this pandemic for profit.''

Really, it applies to any ridiculous reason (excuse) they come up with to be more greedy.

Perminate Link for Will Sellers Absorb the Higher Cost of Holiday Shipping?   Will Sellers Absorb the Higher Cost of Holiday Shipping?

by: thriftyone This user has validated their user name.

Fri Sep 25 13:55:05 2020

No way!

Perminate Link for Will Sellers Absorb the Higher Cost of Holiday Shipping?   Will Sellers Absorb the Higher Cost of Holiday Shipping?

by: leavingNY This user has validated their user name.

Sat Sep 26 12:13:44 2020

If you are a managed payments seller, and accept returns, and you do not give the shipping money back to the buyer, it is considered a partial refund and you will get NO FVF back at all. Another reason eBay managed payments totally suck! Who can afford to offer free shipping then give all that shipping cost back to the buyer ? Ebay extorts the sellers into managed payments, then tries to extort managed payment sellers into giving full refunds including the shipping or they will give you NO FVF back at all.  A HUGE rip off on eBays part to keep all the FVF when the seller in good faith accepts returns, gives refunds promptly, and just wants the buyer to absorb the shipping cost on buyers remorse returns.  

Perminate Link for Will Sellers Absorb the Higher Cost of Holiday Shipping?   Will Sellers Absorb the Higher Cost of Holiday Shipping?

by: 4yourinfo This user has validated their user name.

Sun Sep 27 10:19:58 2020

I sell on eBay to make the most money out of the buyer. I'm not a charity! Whatever $ I can possibly extort from a buyer by making a sale is what I've been doing all along. If I can raise my prices today without a postage increase I would do so in a heartbeat. Obviously any shipping increase unless there's some kind of uniform increase by every seller is going to be swallowed by the seller. A large corporation can take chances on an increase and pray the others will follow - a small seller on eBay is just going to see their sales tank! Chances are over time you'll be able to raise your prices - as sellers run oos of the item and won't replenish due to the costs of shipping, there will be less competition and bingo - you get to raise your price on the product....

Perminate Link for Will Sellers Absorb the Higher Cost of Holiday Shipping?   Will Sellers Absorb the Higher Cost of Holiday Shipping?

This user has validated their user name. by: RKTOYS

Sun Sep 27 13:17:29 2020

"How hard is it to raise your shipping 50 cents to cover the cost."

How hard is it for customers to let go of an additional 50 cents?
How hard is to acquire inventory for 50 cents less per unit?

@Refxord
No joke, in 2019 I did roughly four times the sales in a couple of weekends offline than all year on eBay.  Practically nobody seems willing to pay $7 shipping on a $20 or $25 item.  Not when they can wait for clearance at Walmart _and_ get "free" shipping on $35.  I already switched inventory acquisition from distributors to retail clearance so it'd be arrogant to assume I was the only party that noticed that.

Part of the reason I can actually sell at shows is I don't have to charge shipping and marketplace fees on each and every single item.  I pay the $100 for my table and then I'm free to adjust prices to maximize throughput.  Online it's the same fixed costs on every single item and lowering prices only digs a deeper hole.

Perminate Link for Will Sellers Absorb the Higher Cost of Holiday Shipping?   Will Sellers Absorb the Higher Cost of Holiday Shipping?

by: TomH This user has validated their user name.

Mon Sep 28 13:36:15 2020

I've been a seller on eBay since near the beginning. I've had many different reactions and policies as eBay has changed over the years. Now, after many years and types of products; I sell mostly years old, but new unopened shelf worn games and puzzles, almost all in the 1-3 pounds shipping weight range.

All of it now is calculated shipping at 100 percent on the buyer. I am deaf to all pleas regarding shipping costs.



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