AuctionBytes Blog
Covering auctions, collectibles and marketplace selling.

AuctionBytes Blog The AuctionBytes Blog has been giving a voice to online merchants since its launch in 2005. Named one of the world's top 30 blogs in 2008 by "Blogging Heroes." Weigh in with your thoughts on the joys and pitfalls of selling online.
Thu Sept 11 2008 17:52:28

USPS May Introduce New Flat Rate Box

By: Ina Steiner

Sponsored Link

Sun Kim, owner of TekGems, wrote in with a tip about a new flat-rate box from the USPS. Sun met with a member of the USPS Business Development Team who told him the USPS is preparing for a release of a flat-rate box for $4.75.

"Dimensions will be about 9x7x3 - similar to UPS Small Security Box. It sounds like something slightly bigger than large video box," Sun said, who did not know the release date.

We asked the US Postal Service whether it was planning to release such a box. A spokesperson said, "There are no official plans right now for the box you describe below. Stay tuned though because there may be a new small Flat Rate box coming in the near future."

Thanks for the tip, looks like something to keep an eye on.




Comments (26) | Permalink

Readers Comments

USPS May Introduce New Flat Rate Box   USPS May Introduce New Flat Rate Box

by: quark

Thu Sep 11 19:23:28 2008

asked my postal employees aboth this yesterday they didnt have a clue but they said thats normal

USPS May Introduce New Flat Rate Box   USPS May Introduce New Flat Rate Box

by: eBuyer Feedback

Thu Sep 11 19:25:57 2008

Interesting, because quite a few things I sell would fit in this.  Normally I'd just put them in a flat rate envelope instead though.

USPS May Introduce New Flat Rate Box   USPS May Introduce New Flat Rate Box

by: Loops

Thu Sep 11 20:53:01 2008

I already use the video boxes and then put them in the Flat Rate Envelope for $4.75. This would save a step for sure.

USPS May Introduce New Flat Rate Box   USPS May Introduce New Flat Rate Box

by: BOWHUNTER

Thu Sep 11 21:52:17 2008

SINCE EBAY NOW REQUIRES SELLERS TO QUOTE A SHIPPING METHOD AND PRICE THEN WHEN YOU QUOTE A SHIPPING METHOD AND PRICE IN YOUR AUCTION BEFORE LISTING THEY WARN YOU THAT YOU ARE CHARGING EXCESSIVE SHIPPING COST AND YOUR LISTING CAN BE PULLED FOR YOUR SHIPPING QUOTE.FOR INSTANCE YOU LIVE IN THE SOUTHEASTERN US AND SOMEONE BUYS YOUR ITEM WHO IS IN ZONE 8 (washington state) FROM YOU AND YOUR PACKAGE WEIGHS LESS THAN TWO LBS.THE SHIPPING COST IS $8.20.YOU HAVE QUOTED A SHIPPING COST OF $8.20 AND EBAY SAYS THIS IS EXCESSIVE.MY QUESTION IS "HOW DOES EBAY KNOW WHO IS GOING TO BUY YOUR ITEM AND WHERE DO THEY LIVE".THIS IS JUST ANOTHER "NUT CASE" POLICY FROM EBAY.A SELLER ALSO HAS TO WATCH THE SIZE OF THEIR PACKAGE.YOU COULD WIND UP PAYING A BIG SHIPPING COST WITHOUT KNOWING THIS.
THE FLAT RATE BOX WOULD BE A GOOD IDEA IN MY OPINION.THIS WOULD TAKE A LOT OF GUESS WORK OUT OF SHIPPING SMALL ITEMS.

USPS May Introduce New Flat Rate Box   USPS May Introduce New Flat Rate Box

by: Dave

Thu Sep 11 23:34:56 2008

If Ebay would go after the Non Paying Buyers instead of telling us our shipping quotes are too high, they would be more helpful. I wish all the sellers would boycott Ebay for one week. We let them get away with poor sevice and high fees. Remember, Money talks and B.S. walks. Is anyone else having problems with non paying buyers?

USPS May Introduce New Flat Rate Box   USPS May Introduce New Flat Rate Box

by: Ken

Fri Sep 12 00:00:40 2008

Like a previous poster, I also stick the video box in a flat rate envelope for international shipments. The KEY is would that still be allowed if they introduced the new box, ie would they still keep the "regular" small video box or not???

USPS May Introduce New Flat Rate Box   USPS May Introduce New Flat Rate Box

This user has validated their user name. by: Bill

Fri Sep 12 00:41:57 2008

The large video box measures 91/4 x 61/4 x 21/4. This does no good at all for most items I sell if it is that size. It should be bigger than the large video box if it is going to be a success othe rwise it is useless since most items that fit into that box wiegh less than a pound and that now costs $4.75.

Bill

USPS May Introduce New Flat Rate Box   USPS May Introduce New Flat Rate Box

by: James Reid

Fri Sep 12 02:14:11 2008

Makes no difference unless you are selling type, which I am not. I play UPS off against USPS Priority/First Class. Generally, for up to 3 lbs. and in the same section of the country (Western US) USPS wins. Above three lbs., UPS almost always wins. But it does take time to compare the two.

USPS May Introduce New Flat Rate Box   USPS May Introduce New Flat Rate Box

by: annon

Fri Sep 12 03:37:20 2008

Dave,

"Is anyone else having problems with non paying buyers?"

Guess you haven't read any of ebay's boards the last few months? NPB numbers have skyrocketed since ebay changed the Neg policy. If sellers file NPB complaints they risk receiving Neg's and 30 day suspensions. Some sellers are afraid to even file them.
These new policies are running off a lot of good sellers. Sellers who are/were also buyers!  
What were they thinking?

USPS May Introduce New Flat Rate Box   USPS May Introduce New Flat Rate Box

This user has validated their user name. by: Ming the Merciless

Fri Sep 12 06:58:35 2008

Ebay doesn't care how much money sellers lose from non paying buyers.

What they do care about is how much ebay loses from non paying bidders.

PayPal only is one their genius solutions. Whatever they gain with this short sighted tactic will be lost many times over by the amount of business everyone loses when buyers who refuse to use PayPal go to Amazon to buy.

Why should any seller use ProPay and their exobitant fee structure whose annual maximums are grossly insuffient for many sellers?

USPS May Introduce New Flat Rate Box   USPS May Introduce New Flat Rate Box

by: careful of usps

Fri Sep 12 07:28:30 2008

They too are run crazy like ebay.
Getting rid of Bound Printed Matter? Media Mail may end next year, postage automatically goes up EVERY May. Disgruntled Postal clerks complain & frown upon large shippers, and A NEW FREE BOX WILL SOLVE EVERYTHING...
ebay way of thinking...

USPS May Introduce New Flat Rate Box   USPS May Introduce New Flat Rate Box

by: woody

Fri Sep 12 09:16:10 2008

Absolutely cool. We have shippers who send 69 lbs of metal via the flat rate priority mail boxes now.

Hopefully they will be able to remove those pesky weight restrictions soon..

For real. Actually mailing lead ingots and lead plates for bullet manufacture. Have had steel samples and concrete core samples packed solid in flat rate boxes.

Too bad about the other mail , but hey, someone got a deal.

USPS May Introduce New Flat Rate Box   USPS May Introduce New Flat Rate Box

by: Beth

Fri Sep 12 12:38:16 2008

"Ebay doesn't care how much money sellers lose from non paying buyers.
What they do care about is how much ebay loses from non paying bidders."

Actually, I think what eBay is concerned about is their lost FVF on the sellers who tuck their profits into the shipping costs.  

I do agree that their FB policy is increasing NBPs though.  
I got an email last week from another friend who is a power seller who is closing their store.  They are not staying for the holiday season - no need to. They have opened up their own webstore, which is outselling their eBay store, without all the endless fees.  Another power seller is gone, and I know it is a trend!

Now, back on the postage box subject -
Not sure if this would do any good really.  The small video boxes are not all that expensive, unless you ship extremely heavy small things!  

IMHO, they already made one of the flat rate boxes smaller, and the new PM boxes (the ones with the red stripes that are for both domestic and int'l) are made so poorly that it takes a load of extra tape to keep them together anyway!  It would be better to focus on fixing the problems with the ones they already have.  

But, like all the sizes, I'd certainly be willing to try it out and see if it fit our needs.  However, if it is made of as shoddy cardboard weight and construction as the other newer boxes, they might as well not bother - it would not survive an overseas mailing!  

USPS May Introduce New Flat Rate Box   USPS May Introduce New Flat Rate Box

by: isobel Krulik

Fri Sep 12 16:21:43 2008

this would be a very decent size box and the rate would be ideal.

USPS May Introduce New Flat Rate Box   USPS May Introduce New Flat Rate Box

by: Norma

Fri Sep 12 16:42:26 2008

This is for DAVE - I have a definite INCREASE in non-paying bidders with the new policy. I would estimate it at a 25% increase. I used to have maybe one every three months. Now I have a minimum of 4 and usually more EVERY MONTH! Ebay is just attempting to be like Amazon. A seller can leave feedback for a buyer but hardly anyone does and it makes no difference. No one looks at it. Only sellers receive feedback. This works for Amazon because payment is made IMMEDIATELY. The buyer does not have an option to be non-paying. I can see ebay attempting to head this direction requiring paypal payment. Soon it will require all auctions to be paid immediately with paypal and there will be no reason to leave feedback for buyers. Really there is not much reason now.

Comment on a new flat rate box - BIG DEAL - It will be too small to fit anything into just like the ones now. Usually can ship cheaper just putting in a regular box and shipping priority.

Thanks for letting me vent!!

USPS May Introduce New Flat Rate Box   USPS May Introduce New Flat Rate Box

by: Drew11

Fri Sep 12 17:17:30 2008

Getting back to USPS, the 9 x 7 x 3 size is a perfect fit for one regular hardcover book. That size will be a huge hit  if the postage is competitive with the flat rate envelope.

USPS May Introduce New Flat Rate Box   USPS May Introduce New Flat Rate Box

by: Postly Mostly

Fri Sep 12 18:51:02 2008

From a shipping/transport point of view, a smaller FRB would make sense.

Those who currently stuff flat-rate envelopes beyond their intended size (shape) may not realize how such a parcel is handled by the USPS and its contracted transporters (FedEx, UPS, etc.)  The flat surface (on all sides) of a box can make it easier to stack and pack into a shipment container.  It is only common sense that packages are consolidated into the smallest possible space needed for transport, thus maximizing efficiency and reducing costs.  As an example, shippers could fit 100 USPS Priority video boxes into a six square foot space, while 100 FR Priority envelopes with those video boxes inside would require nearly nine square feet of space.

I see it as an attempt by the USPS to maximize their shipping costs by using calculated logistics.  If they can send your packages for a price that is good for you and use less trucks, trains and planes to do it, then kudos to USPS.

This "change" may be viewed by some as unnecessary or impractical while others of us may enjoy another shipping option that could save us time and money in the long run.

USPS May Introduce New Flat Rate Box   USPS May Introduce New Flat Rate Box

by: BOWHUNTER

Fri Sep 12 21:19:59 2008

TO DAVE--YOU ARE CORRECT! SELLERS IN ALMOST ALL CATEGORYS ARE HAVING TROUBLE WITH NON PAYING BUYERS.IT SEEMS AS THOUGH EBAY WANTS TO BE AN ONLINE WAL-MART.IF YOU BUY AN ITEM JUST SEND IT BACK FOR A REFUND OR CHARGEBACK.IN ONE OF MY AUCTIONS I SOLD AN ITEM.AFTER ABOUT 1 1/2 WEEKS I EMAIL THE BUYER AND HE SAYS HE HAS BID ON TOO MANY AUCTIONS AND WON THEM ALL.IT WILL BE A COUPLE WEEKS BEFORE HE SENDS PAYMENT.A COUPLE WEEKS GO BY AND I SEND ANOTHER NON PAYMENT EMAIL.HE EMAILS BACK AND SAYS HE IS NOT GOING TO SEND PAYMENT.THIS IS ONLY ONE IN SEVERAL TIMES THAT SOMETHING OF THIS SORT HAS HAPPENED TO ME SINCE THE NEW FB POLICY WAS INACTED BY EBAY.I DO GET MY FVF BACK BUT MY LISTING FEE GOES TO EBAY.IF A PERSON CAN REMEMBER BACK SEVERAL YEARS IN THE LATE 90S AND EARLY 00'S THE ECONOMY WAS MUCH BETTER AND SO WAS EBAY.NOW OUR ECONOMY IS NUTTY AS A FRUIT CAKE AND MEG WILL PROBABLY RUN FOR OFFICE SOON OR BE APPOINTED TO SECETARY OF THE TREASURY IF THE REPUBLICANS WIN IN NOVEMBER SINCE MCCAIN THINKS SHE IS ONE OF THE THREE WISEST PEOPLE HE KNOWS.THIS FORM OF JUDGEMENT DOESN'T MAKE SENSE TO ME.A COUNTRY IS ONLY AS STRONG AS ITS ECONOMY AND A COMPANY IS ONLY AS STRONG AS ITS WORKERS OR MEMBERS.

MAYBE IF THE SELLERS GET SOME BUYERS TO SEND THEIR PAYMENT SOMEONE WILL SAVE SOME $$ WITH THE FLAT RATE BOXES AND THIS WOULD BE A GOOD THING----

USPS May Introduce New Flat Rate Box   USPS May Introduce New Flat Rate Box

by: randk

Sat Sep 13 10:04:07 2008

I look forward to a new smaller box from the usps. I use them as much as possible over ups. Any shipping options as far as boxes they give me the better I like it. Dave, I use the star method when posting feed back on buyers, 4 a's and 4 + =great all they dwon to 1a and no star indicate poor in all respects. If more sellers will start doing that we can check on our buyers with what other sellers are doing with them. Just an idea.

USPS May Introduce New Flat Rate Box   USPS May Introduce New Flat Rate Box

by: bizzy

Sat Sep 13 14:18:50 2008

@BOWHUNTER

Dude, typing in all-caps is considered YELLING!  

As for the box, I think flat-rate boxes can be a good deal, especially for smaller or international items, since postage can really escalate quickly for heavier things.  I will miss media mail, though, if they do away with it.  I understand why they need to make changes.  Fuel costs have been hurting them badly and they've been losing money in recent years, so they keep having to raise rates.  It sucks, but that's life.  It's just like buyers expecting us to foot the shipping bills.  Somebody has to pay for it somewhere.

Click to view more comments
1 2  [Next Page]


Login is required to post comments.
To sign in to leave a comment using your AB Verify User Name, fill in the form below. If you have not yet signed up for AB Verify, or if you'd like more information, go to the Registration Page
.

Login for AB Verify
Be sure and use your email address and password to log in.

 
Email:
Password:
 
 Forgot Your Password?
 Even though you are signed in with the AuctionBytes Blog, you will have to sign in to the EcommerceBytes blog. But you can sign in with your existing AB Verify info.