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 Feb 19 2009 14:19:48

Online Sellers Affected by May Postage Rate Hike

By: Ina Steiner

Sponsored Link

Multichannel Merchant published an article about the impact of May's postal rate increase will have on businesses sending small packages titled, "USPS Rate Hike Will Sock Small Parcel Shippers." "The average 16% increase for standard rate parcels will mostly affect mailers that send items weighing less than 1 lb., such as apparel, toiletries or CDs/DVDs. And mailers that sell a lot of smaller items aren't happy."

We covered the news of the May rate increase in this February 11th article. Any postage increase affects online sellers, especially given the pressure from eBay on sellers to offer free shipping, and the ability of eBay buyers to ding sellers for the cost of shipping.

Will the rate effect you, and if so, what are your strategies for coping with the increased cost of postage?




Comments (38) | Permalink

Readers Comments

Online Sellers Affected by May Postage Rate Hike   Online Sellers Affected by May Postage Rate Hike

by: ebay=penny stock

Thu Feb 19 14:28:25 2009

Nope won't effect me in the least. Quit selling on Feebay months ago.

Just watching the demise of it now.

Online Sellers Affected by May Postage Rate Hike   Online Sellers Affected by May Postage Rate Hike

by: Karma

Thu Feb 19 15:55:26 2009

Tried "free shipping" during October, to bring up my "shipping cost star", lost about $1000, got dinged anyway. Now I am back to charging fair shipping, stars are back up, shipping is being paid by customer and I still get a little extra for "supplies".



Online Sellers Affected by May Postage Rate Hike   Online Sellers Affected by May Postage Rate Hike

by: 949931

Thu Feb 19 16:07:47 2009

Won't affect me at all. I pass the cost along. I charge actual shipping, so fair is fair. This ''free shipping'' thing is bullshit - you have no idea how much you are being ''overcharged'' by the seller for ''free shipping''.

Online Sellers Affected by May Postage Rate Hike   Online Sellers Affected by May Postage Rate Hike

by: Joe

Thu Feb 19 16:17:36 2009

Worst recession since the great depression, so why not help the economy
recover by raising rates, hell wal-mart is doing it so it must be OK...they're NUMNUTS

Online Sellers Affected by May Postage Rate Hike   Online Sellers Affected by May Postage Rate Hike

by: unaware

Thu Feb 19 17:32:21 2009

As I recall, several years ago a ''junk mail'' industry trade group was semi-officially allowed to negotiate postage rates with the USPS for ALL shippers.... guess who came out OK (mass and junk mailers) and guess who came out on the short end of the stick (package shippers). And I believe that those industry trade groups continue to have undo influence on who gets price increases and by how much. The mom and pop businesses who rely on the USPS for package shipping just don't have any clout with vendors (USPS) or those who oversee them (the Government). Online sellers really need to have a trade organization that has a strong lobbying effort who can influence our lawmakers just as much as the more established, traditional users of the USPS (re: junk and mass mail businesses).    

Online Sellers Affected by May Postage Rate Hike   Online Sellers Affected by May Postage Rate Hike

by: who

Thu Feb 19 17:45:04 2009

@unaware

LOL

Online Sellers Affected by May Postage Rate Hike   Online Sellers Affected by May Postage Rate Hike

by: BOWHUNTER

Thu Feb 19 19:12:05 2009

The postal rate increase will not affect me because I no longer sell on feebay because of their policy on form of payment and all the other nonsense policys that have been implimented.At one time I would sell several items a week and guess what the post office got money for shipping-Ins.-and del.confrimation.Now the USPS gets nothing and feebay gets nothing and I get some sleep because I can go to bed without being upset because of something that feebay has done.

Feebay will and has lost sellers.There is no money for the USPS if nothing has been sold to ship.Yes there are a lot of sellers that still use feebay but there are a large number of sellers who have quit selling.

Now since there are less sales on feebay resulting in less items shipped by the USPS and all the other economic problems the postal service says they are not making money then they stop saturday delivery and raise rates to make up for the lost revenue.

This is typical--The USPS makes the ones who do pay--pay for the lost sellers who are not selling on feebay.Feebay seems to like this policy also.

The problems at the postal service are not all related to feebay but one thing for sure they have lost shipping charges from me.It would surprise most people to know how much the USPS makes in a year as a result of feebay sales--before and now.Feebay is still the largest site of its kind that I know of but remember ''NOTHING ON THIS EARTH LASTS FOREVER'' !!

Online Sellers Affected by May Postage Rate Hike   Online Sellers Affected by May Postage Rate Hike

by: Tired

Thu Feb 19 19:58:07 2009

Everyone on here hates eBay that posts here, me too!  that aside what's the big deal?

@ Bowhunter, First off the post office hasn't stopped delivery of mail on Saturday and if you looked a little closer the slowest day for the post office is Tuesday so that would be the most likely day they don't deliver should they go to a 5 day week.  

Everyone suffers a little bit but the post office is still the best game in town for small items.  I pass everything onto the customer and a couple of pennies is not going to kill anyones business anyhow and if it is your margins are to tight and you should stop selling.

The post office picks up my stuff at my house everyday except Sundays and they do not charge extra for that, hand the carrier the scan form and packages and off they go.

Lets not loose sight of the important things like eBays behavior and what they will pull next. Makes the rate hike small beans.

Online Sellers Affected by May Postage Rate Hike   Online Sellers Affected by May Postage Rate Hike

This user has validated their user name. by: Bob

Thu Feb 19 20:00:51 2009

Go Bonanzle!  

I WIN!

Now that I got that out of the way...  If USPS keeps increasing their prices, especially on the lower weight/volume parcels, and UPS can keep their prices down or even lower them, USPS could lose big time revenue.

With Amazon continuing growth, and should for decades if managed properly, could an Amazon parcel service be far away?

Online Sellers Affected by May Postage Rate Hike   Online Sellers Affected by May Postage Rate Hike

by: Loops

Thu Feb 19 23:42:33 2009

Tried the whole free shipping thing. What a waste or my margins. I went back to charging shipping and still have great ranking with Ebay.

What bothers me is the poor management at the USPS. The default answer to anything is to raise prices. The USPS needs to take a hard look at their operation and find savings in the way they currently run. Raising rates is so counterproductive to their problem that they don't even realize it.

Lack of innovation and vision is what is haunting the USPS. As long as they counter with the same tired responses such as rate hikes they will slowly lose and lose and lose. Guess what? The federal government will be their to bail them out.

No more bandaids. Fix the problems.

Online Sellers Affected by May Postage Rate Hike   Online Sellers Affected by May Postage Rate Hike

by: LegendsOfBatman

Fri Feb 20 02:23:32 2009

Insanity has been often defined as "doing the same thing over and over again, expecting different results".
The Post office has increased it's shipping rates more times than I care to count over the past several years.
It wasnt too long ago I could ship a 3 pound package from Ca. to NY priority, for around $5. Now it's $12.
Shippers are killing themselves by constantly increasing fees. Gas has gone down some, and while on the rise again, still a lot better than the almost $5 we were paying. Fortunately the PO has not fallen into the stupidity of fuel surcharges and residential fees and then rural area delivery fees, as the others have. But, the shipping industry as a whole needs to be fixed.
They are why people would rather send giftcards as opposed to gifts.
Tim
http://forums.delphiforums.com/boycottebay/start

Online Sellers Affected by May Postage Rate Hike   Online Sellers Affected by May Postage Rate Hike

by: eBay is scum

Fri Feb 20 06:59:11 2009

We no longer combine shipping & handling, state it on every listing yet almost every day some bozo asks how much is the discount on combining shipping. Also, if the so-called buyer asks too many questions we block them & tell them to go elsewhere. Many questions from a buyer for a simple magazine for instance is a negative waiting to happen.
Ebay has sunk to the crap that it is now.

Online Sellers Affected by May Postage Rate Hike   Online Sellers Affected by May Postage Rate Hike

by: usps crazy rules

Fri Feb 20 07:08:24 2009

you could try sending everything MEDIA MAIL. A  lot of sellers do. Just don't get caught like amazon did.
It is cheaper, alas slower, but you'll save $. Also, order lots of free USPS supplies for filler, cardboard, etc.

Online Sellers Affected by May Postage Rate Hike   Online Sellers Affected by May Postage Rate Hike

by: 122010

Fri Feb 20 09:31:21 2009

''you could try sending everything MEDIA MAIL. A  lot of sellers do. Just don't get caught like amazon did. It is cheaper, alas slower, but you'll save $.''

Oh, great idea, jerk. Aside from breaking federal laws, if enough of this goes on, then the PO will simply discontinue the rate class and force everything to go Priority, just as they did with international surface class. That sure helped us all, right?

Media class has it's purpose and is NEEDED. How else would you ship a carton of old books or magazines weighing 30 pounds to the other side of the country? This would INSTANTLY make this entire category of items un-salable. Who would buy a carton of old media if it cost $60 to ship it to them, vs. the $12 it does now?

Think twice before you improperly use Media Mail.

By the way, to the rest of you blaming the postal service for it's inefficiencies, and simply ''raising rates'', consider that ALL the other shipping services do the SAME THING. They are no better. They all simply play ''follow the leader'' and raise rates.

Online Sellers Affected by May Postage Rate Hike   Online Sellers Affected by May Postage Rate Hike

by: Kendall Carnes

Fri Feb 20 15:47:23 2009

122010 mentions properly using Media Mail - by shipping just books and magazines. Well, unless I've been really fooled - magazines DO NOT count as Media Mail.

Online Sellers Affected by May Postage Rate Hike   Online Sellers Affected by May Postage Rate Hike

by: ellen

Fri Feb 20 15:55:35 2009

What do you expect??
The post office is run by the government. There is Nothing that is run by the government that is efficient.

Online Sellers Affected by May Postage Rate Hike   Online Sellers Affected by May Postage Rate Hike

by: No change

Fri Feb 20 16:03:43 2009

I may lose a few cents on outgoing packets as most of my items go 1st class, but from the beginning of selling on line I have charged a fair postage and handling fee and have raised it as needed. Dues to ebay's need to have buyers grade us on everything, I have been using stealth postage just so those occassional nuts aren't going to blast me because they paid 4 cents more than actual postage or whatever. I don't sell at ebay anymore, so I may drop back to having the postage showing which will save me a few dollars a month (stealth postage costs extra). People buying on line understand (most of them) that sending an item is going to cost them something. They know that if postage goes up so will shipping--it is still cheaper than DRIVING to go buy an item.

Online Sellers Affected by May Postage Rate Hike   Online Sellers Affected by May Postage Rate Hike

by: William J kozersky

Fri Feb 20 16:05:25 2009

I have discontinued shipping 1st Class Mail. All items sold, both domestic and global, are now shipped via calculated USPS Flat Rate Priority Mail. By doing so, I am able to eliminate yearly price changes, ship faster, and provide a more professional appearance to my shipping. I have eliminated the concern about combining items, and there has been an increase in multiple sales per customer.

Online Sellers Affected by May Postage Rate Hike   Online Sellers Affected by May Postage Rate Hike

by: mindelec

Fri Feb 20 16:10:46 2009

so media mail for 2 & 3 lb packages is going up about 20 cents.  the real question for sellers is whether amazon and other sites will raise their shipping alotment to sellers.  they are already paying less than actual cost.

Online Sellers Affected by May Postage Rate Hike   Online Sellers Affected by May Postage Rate Hike

by: Spammers, shut up

Fri Feb 20 16:21:48 2009

Y'know, this is a really intelligent blog, and I wish more of the commenters were up to its level.  

Like Tired and many others here, I dislike several eBay policies, but as he/she said, it's ridiculous to spoil every attempt  -  _every attempt_  -  at a legitimate conversation by carpet-bombing the discussion with every grievance you've had against eBay to date.  You don't use eBay?  Fine.  Please don't spam the conversations that might be of use to us sellers who want to share information on how to adjust.

Also:

- Yes, of course a mass-mailer lobbying group would be allowed to negotiate rates for those it represents.  _That's what lobbyists do._  And of course the USPS is going to give discounts to its biggest customers; that's standard practice.  (Is anyone here seriously going to try to tell me that they've never given a discount, shipping or otherwise, to someone who wanted to buy a lot of stuff?)    

- Likewise, of course the USPS is going to offer a competitive price to customers who can take their business elsewhere (mass mailers) versus those who can't (small shipping mailing mainly 1 lb.-or-less shipments; ever priced these at UPS or FedEx?).  It's economic truth.  Don't blame the USPS.  Blame John Keynes.  

- Free shipping isn't worth it.  We all know that.  We all should know that if you're offering free shipping, you're going to have to adjust your price accordingly  -  you don't have to up it by the entire amount of lost shipping, but you do need to offset fees.

- As mentioned above, sweet Lord, don't abuse Media Mail.  They _do_ inspect the contents, you know; I've had it done on several Media Mailings sent to me.

- Also, please look up the term "penny stock".  Although it should be self-explanatory, I don't think the word means what at least one of the spammers think it means.

Meanwhile, it's a very small rate hike.  Just adjust your rates accordingly.  I'll probably finally boost mine by 25 cents, just to offset this hike and a couple other fee increases for which I haven't compensated.

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.