Ina Steiner EcommerceBytes Blog
News and insight focusing on ecommerce.
by Ina Steiner, Editor of EcommerceBytes.com
Thu Jan 26 2017 20:43:33

Could Trump Freeze Spell Bad News for Online Sellers?

By: Ina Steiner

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A move by President Trump in his first week in office could have an impact on online sellers. The President put a freeze on hiring of Federal workers (except for the military) and ordered the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) to recommend a long-term plan to reduce the size of the Federal Government's workforce through attrition.

Whatever your political views, if that extends to US Postal Service workers, it has the potential to impact service. While online sellers can choose to ship via UPS and FedEx, the USPS often offers the most value for micro sellers.

The memorandum states that no Federal agency can fill vacant positions, and no new positions may be created, except in limited circumstances.

After PostalNews raised the issue, we reached out to the USPS on Monday, but it hasn't yet provided an official response. But PostalNews ran a followup story and said the National Association of Postal Supervisors (NAPS) had received the following response from USPS on Tuesday:

"The Postal Service provides an essential service to the people and businesses of the United States, and is a critical part of our nation's infrastructure. In view of our independent status, past Executive Orders imposing hiring freezes on Executive Departments and Agencies have not applied to the Postal Service. We have reached out to the Administration to discuss this matter."

Another challenge ahead is legislation - postal reform may have a greater likelihood of passing this year. 

With shipping costs rising on the one hand, and consumers still believing in "free" shipping on the other, things could get very challenging for smalls sellers indeed.

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Readers Comments

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by: Chateau This user has validated their user name.

Fri Jan 27 07:24:54 2017

WOW! This tiny little article has shown just how divided this country has become. YOU brought politics into this, NOT Ina. Ina did nothing but report a possible (and she did state “Possible”) problem that may lie ahead for small sellers. She did not bring her political views into it. She did not accuse or blame anyone. She merely stated something that is of obvious concern, not only to small sellers but to the USPS who was concerned enough to put out a statement regarding it and continues to look into it. If the entity whom the article was written about is concerned enough to have to look into something, then there is an issue. Ina reported that issue. That’s it. It is you, the people, who brought politics and your hateful speech and blind lies into to this. Right on, Ina. Please continue what you do. This world is full of sheep that will eventually be eaten up by the wolf. I don’t want to be one of them.

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by: ItsOnlyMe This user has validated their user name.

Fri Jan 27 07:27:46 2017

I also never comment on these articles, but that is because normally ecommerce bytes provides factual useful information. This on the other hand is a political post and I never thought Ina would stoop to this. Get a grip.  

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by: MrEdsDeals This user has validated their user name.

Fri Jan 27 08:05:36 2017

WOW, is right I am shocked as this has turned politically against Trump by many obviously attacking him. GIVE THE MAN A CHANCE! No one is perfect which once again is obvious by many comments seen hear, and I one as well am not perfect, but I try to learn from my mistakes as I am sure he has.
But also, I am very disappointed that Ina has chosen to start this fiasco. After this comment I will be deleting her from my email. I will no longer listen to nor support things of this nature that attack our democracy.
There is so much waste in the government deadbeats.
I for one am very happy with most of his decisions so far, and I can see that he is out for we the people, not him or the corporations.
I am sorry, I will stop ranting, I am just fed up!

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by: ewegolf This user has validated their user name.

Fri Jan 27 08:12:49 2017

Obviously the USPS should have contacted ItsOnlyMe and MrEdsDeals for clarification on President Trump's hiring freeze order.  

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by: Windkissed This user has validated their user name.
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Fri Jan 27 08:23:01 2017

Why would that effect online sellers?  I fail to see any effect?  As long as government employees are employed and still drawing pay checks they will be working for the postal service.  They still have to do their jobs.  Not hiring new employees has nothing to do with ongoing business.

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by: Chateau This user has validated their user name.

Fri Jan 27 09:04:48 2017

Well, Ina. The votes are in. You will be labeled if you EVER post another topic that has, in ANY way, ANYTHING to do with SOMETHING that can revert back to Trump. It's truly sad that people can take a post about a topic, which may have true repercussions on small sellers, and turn it into a way to bash you. SHAME ON ALL OF YOU. YOU turned this into a political argument. Ina NEVER, EVER stated her thoughts or opinions; she just stated facts so that you could form your own opinion on the subject. How you can blame Ina for this is remarkable (and not in a good way).  And if you can't see that, then you are BLINDED by the idiocy. You are dividing this country and the world is watching. Division creates weakness.  

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This user has validated their user name. by: VV

Fri Jan 27 09:05:07 2017

Today's FEAR brought to you by....

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by: RAOTFLMAO This user has validated their user name.

Fri Jan 27 09:11:35 2017

About time the dead wood was trimmed from the USPS system. Many USPS workers just slog through the day waiting for 5 o'clock to  roll around with not much concern for customer service.  

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by: sanddogg This user has validated their user name.

Fri Jan 27 09:22:57 2017

RAOTFLMAO...not sure what your problem is with USPS or which PO you use. I have been using USPS for 40 years and they have a pretty good record as far as I am concerned. I have not spent too many hours in line over the years but have seen the USPS counter associates bombarded with idiotic, stubborn, time-wasting uninformed imbeciles and can only imagine the overall scope of that.  

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by: uppercutknives This user has validated their user name.

Fri Jan 27 09:25:50 2017

No a resounding NO. I will simply pass any costs on to the buyer. Its been this way for decades. Only the moaning has changed. This is a non issue.

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by: spooky This user has validated their user name.

Fri Jan 27 10:20:03 2017

post office is not under the federal umbrella, completely autonomous. I worked there 30 years and eBay seller for 20 so know both worlds well. post office is currently hiring like crazy as most older workers are retiring rapidly.

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by: Flying Childers This user has validated their user name.

Fri Jan 27 10:56:51 2017

I was very surprised to see such a politically biased article on my "go to" website, ECB.  Regardless of who you voted for in the last election, or what your political views are, Donald Trump will be our president for the next 4 years.

He has proven himself to be a consummate businessman and politician even though he never worked at politics until fairly recently.

As it turns out, he managed to outwit the entire political establishment of both parties to achieve what he did- becoming our President.

I have faith that Trump is not going to screw the little guys, the workers, the small business owners who are the backbone of this country.  Whatever happens is 1000 times better than what would have happened if HRC had been elected to continue the reign of her predecessor.

Let's wait and see what happens with the USPS which is indeed a vital service.  As others have pointed out, there is no doubt a lot of fat and waste that can be cut.

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by: cillianred This user has validated their user name.

Fri Jan 27 11:12:51 2017

First, I agree that this is a rather speculative article.

Second, this should NOT have degenerated into a political rant (regardless of which side you're on).

Third, I think most are missing the point of what *may* happen should USPS be impacted by the freeze. I don't think it's so much about possible higher costs as about possible SLOWER SHIPMENTS. And, as we all know, that WOULD affect eBay sellers.

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by: gizmo This user has validated their user name.

Fri Jan 27 11:19:52 2017

Attrition; the action or process of gradually reducing the strength or effectiveness of someone or something through sustained attack or pressure:

Are you sure this is how. Sounds like media inflated too me. The government needs to shrink. Overspending is out of line. The USPS is not owned by government. Its regulated , and protected ,since pony express . Who owns government?

The only comment to Trump , is I have to respect the institution of president. I did not like Obama , though he was my president , and would go to war to protect my country , from any of them. I believe in my countrys choices.
 Too many crybabys , whiners , and bigots here nowadays.

 The presidency is an institution in and of itself. Given a chance , good things may come.
Crying , and whining is just that.

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This user has validated their user name. by: FEEbay

Fri Jan 27 11:20:35 2017

whipnet writes: "Well I guess there is no question who the author of this lugubrious article voted for.  Pathetic"  God forbid that you dare question "Our Dear Leader" Adolf Chump Ina!!....lol
Trump is going to put us all out of business eventually, just give it a couple of years. This is just a start....this "savvy businessman" and "brilliant negotiator" has zero clue on what he is doing, and it already shows after SEVEN DAYS in office--God help us all

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by: gizmo This user has validated their user name.

Fri Jan 27 11:34:03 2017

Ina , rock on , report up girl. The decisions one makes, having a possible affect on ecommerce ,is reason for concern. Politics is the catalyst.

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by: Barbbie This user has validated their user name.

Fri Jan 27 12:07:40 2017

I highly doubt this will affect the post office, and even if it did I think it would fall under the special circumstances. I thought they already cut a lot already but my concerns are more to the internet taxes, even playing field on international postal charges, etc...
The hate speech needs to stop, this is not the place for it.

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by: dc This user has validated their user name.

Fri Jan 27 12:10:19 2017

Wow, I read this post in today's newsletter, and didn't read any agenda into it whatsoever. As always, I thought Ina was even-handed, and brought out a point that sellers should keep an eye on in the future.

Then I read the comments! Did the Trumpologists even bother reading this article or the link contained? very sad...I think any mention of Trump seems to brings out the hypersensitive attack dogs who over-compensate for our stubby-fingered POTUS.

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by: NetSellsIt This user has validated their user name.

Fri Jan 27 12:17:39 2017

Trump may be GOOD NEWS for online sellers.  About time somebody applied a little common sense to USPS.  Some direct intervention is clearly required.

Perhaps Trump will withdraw us from the UN's International ''Universal Postal Union'' that sets rates that allow China to send 1st Class to US for approx $1.50.  To send same package from US to China with Signature is close to $14.  To Chicago... $3.60+

Ending the China subsidy by USPS would HELP my business.

A hiring freeze encourages efficiency where waste is rampant.  Even better would be a change to Civil Service rules making it difficult to remove ineffective or malfeasant employees.

A USPS hiring freeze might encourage USPS to stop sending packages from Chicago to Philadelphia with a side trip through Denver or Houston.  Reliable delivery is more valuable than low cost delivery if it causes Customer Service problems.

A Civil Service change would allow compensation tied to performance objectives; just like the rest of us in the real world.

Anyone who objects to a fresh look at our current government policies clearly has clouded judgement.  Authors of vituperative hiperbole diminish their own credibility.

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by: Toledo Maude This user has validated their user name.

Fri Jan 27 12:36:52 2017

To all the small micro sellers who only see evil in the USPS, you just maybe wishing to shoot  yourself in the foot (and possibly both).

When I ship a small package and pay the USPS $6.50, I could be paying FedEx a minimum 16 buckos. If that were the case, my orders under $50 would be few and far between.

If you see glee in cutting the post office work force by 25%, I see an end to a major portion of micro sellers' business.  

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