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Tue Dec 7 2021 11:30:02

USPS Rate Fluctuations Hit Sellers at Busiest Time of Year

By: Ina Steiner

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USPS Shipping rates will fluctuate in the coming months, a burden for online sellers who must adjust shipping rates on their product listings. Even sellers who offer "free shipping" must take into account higher (and lower, and then higher) costs when setting their product prices that absorb shipping costs.

The rate fluctuations are due in part to the holiday surcharge the USPS implemented during the 2021 holiday season, which it did for the first time last year under Postmaster General Louis DeJoy, who had just taken the helm after PMG Brennan retired.

Sellers are currently paying higher rates until December 26, when the holiday surcharge rates expire, but then jump right back up again on January 9 when new 2022 rates take effect.

Here's a breakdown of the USPS Shipping rate changes:

October 3, 2021: Higher holiday surcharge rates
December 26, 2021: Rates revert to pre-holiday surcharge rates
January 9, 2022: Higher 2022 rates take effect
April 3, 2022: New Nonstandard and Dimension Noncompliance fee take effect

Small businesses need stability and predictability. The fluctuations in shipping rates add an extra burden during the busiest time of the year for retailers and merchants.

In 2019 after Postmaster General Brennan announced her pending retirement, we asked readers if they thought her departure would have an impact on their business. How would you answer that question today?



Comments (8) | Permalink

Readers Comments

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

Tue Dec 7 13:53:14 2021

I never worry about it. I use calculated shipping on ebay and just put in the Dimensions and Weight and let ebay figure it out. Most of the time it works reasonably well.

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by: terry55 This user has validated their user name.

Tue Dec 7 16:32:53 2021

I raised shipping price for the seasonal increase and keeping it there, not going thru and adjusting shipping for a little over a week just to raise them back. Just glad they extend the "New Nonstandard and Dimension Noncompliance fee" until April, gives me a little more time to clean out large items and close up shop. That increase is a business killer for me.

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This user has validated their user name. by: The End

Tue Dec 7 17:15:18 2021

I don't have to adjust anything. That would STUPID.
I charge a ridiculous amount, and when it's time to ship :
VOILA ! !  What I charged, minus what it is, equals a Nice Refund for the customer.
Works well.
DO IT ! !

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by: Snapped This user has validated their user name.

Wed Dec 8 20:36:16 2021

“… charge a ridiculous amount…..minus what it is, equals a Nice Refund for the customer.”

Right.  And this approach is even better for eBay. To the tune of 10s of millions of dollars monthly site wide.  Because they don’t ‘refund’ their fees collected on the “ridiculous amount” of any refunded overage.  Or for the time it takes to do it, and keep the book’s straight.  

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by: Stone Cutter This user has validated their user name.

Thu Dec 9 00:32:24 2021

Whatever. I find it minimal. Ultimately, it's all about what the consumer is willing to pay...and according to recent economic data, the consumer is flushed with cash and is spending heavy for the holidays...so I just increase prices to compensate for inflation.

Sell items that skim along the "bottom" with little product is a bad business model that sellers choose. "Supply and demand" is what retail profits are all about. With little demand, sellers eventually fail, due to inflation.

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by: Stone Cutter This user has validated their user name.

Thu Dec 9 00:34:57 2021

Edit comments, above, to say...

"Sell items that skim along the "bottom" with little profit is a bad business model that sellers choose".

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by: Sierra This user has validated their user name.

Thu Dec 9 02:40:14 2021

I've been eating the holiday surcharge on Etsy. Stuff isn't selling there anyway. eBay is doing well for me, however!

I will be raising my shipping rates on Etsy when the new USPS rates go into effect in January.  

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by: JohnGermaine This user has validated their user name.

Thu Dec 9 10:46:54 2021

I went to calculated shipping for everything some time back. Until we get rid of DeJoy and the mandate at USPS, it's constantly changing rates are a pain to deal with.  I have better things to do with my time that change my listings all the time.



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