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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by: Crafteme This user has validated their user name.

Fri Jan 27 12:44:27 2017

The United States Postal Service is 100% self-funded. It will not be affected.

Once again trying to make trouble where trouble does not exist.

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This user has validated their user name. by: eXtinctBay

Fri Jan 27 13:26:01 2017

DZT wrote:

''The USPS makes up whatever rules they want & there is zero oversight or accountability within their system.''

Sounds like a company we know very well on ECB.

The USPS did not sponsor the e-packet back door deal with China, our own government signed off on it, since we owe them a tremendous amount of money. Too many people here place the blame on the Postal Service.

And, no, there will not be a freeze on postal jobs. With the increase in shopping online (and effectively spelling the end to B&M stores and shipping malls), the USPS needs more carriers, not the same or less than they do now.

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by: RAOTFLMAO This user has validated their user name.

Fri Jan 27 13:48:16 2017

Ina, I thought it a good, news worthy subject.  I saw nothing political until the Demwits made it so. Oh my you have made yourself into a social pariah just by REPORTING the news...what is the old saying? "don't cut off the messengers head just because he (she) delivers bad news"!!  

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This user has validated their user name. by: Basset

Fri Jan 27 14:35:28 2017


Dare I enter…

What affects micro-sellers affects the micro-buying end, too.  

Online shopping is rising so shipping innovation and healthy competition should be a good thing. It would be nice to see UPS (good service in my area)  compete better with USPS on smaller packages.

Could be a Florida thing : This year UPS placed PODS in a neighborhood space (in our case a church parking lot) to get re-filled with packages in the morning and throughout the day. UPS guys then hustled their deliveries on golf carts with wagons attached. (I took pictures, it was too cool!)

This went on all day long in several neighborhoods, ending mid January. Maybe saved on fuel, too.
.

The USPS experience differs greatly depending on where you live.  When you have great service, be thankful. That is not always the case.

My USPS delivery guy has apparently  been with USPS a  LONG time as he takes lots and LOTS of vacations.  HIS service is great but the MANY subs are another story.  

Some subs already struggle. If  problematic USPS offices are already affected by volume, any freeze would make spotty delivery and accountability worse.  

I didn't include FedEx here because they are already having USPS do most of their delivery where we are.  Again with the volume!

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This user has validated their user name. by: bitbybit

Fri Jan 27 14:53:41 2017

''Don't shoot the messenger''
Geez people get a grip. Chill! Ina was simply getting a conversation going on a current topic, not inciting a riot. Yes she could have posted a different photo but I didn't like JD's smarmy pic either when it was posted. There really was nothing in Ina's article to incite such a backlash.

I know this would never happen but...if international postal rates were the same cost as USPS domestic rates, IMO, US income, jobs, especially ecommerce would soar. There would be no talks about a freeze, whether applicable or not, but actually an increase in USPS hiring due to the volume.  

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This user has validated their user name. by: Rexford

Fri Jan 27 15:26:52 2017

MrEdsDeals says "GIVE THE MAN A CHANCE"

Never. I saw enough in the campaign that assured me that I WILL NEVER hitch my wagon to this man's star.  Oh, and what a dark star it is.

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by: Bedding This user has validated their user name.

Fri Jan 27 17:08:00 2017

One can hope that he puts a stop to all the trash being sold and shipped to the US cheaply. US sellers are at a great disavantage as we are unable to export our product at a competive shipping rates

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by: Steve M This user has validated their user name.
Web Site

Fri Jan 27 20:42:05 2017

Hello All, I have been a reader of these blogs from many years past.  I am a small business seller, just like many others that post here.  This is my very first post ever to this blog Ina provides.  My top most concern with the USPS is that they have allowed China, Hong Kong and other Asian countries to have super-cheap postage for USA-inbound-international packages.  Yet, for USA-outbound-international packages, we the US taxpayers are slammed with HIGH-postage prices on international First Class Services.  

China, Hong Kong and other Asian Countries can send small packages to USA for less than $1.50.  The small packages normally are less than 4 oz in weight.  In the contrary, if a US-Based seller wants to send a small package of less than 4 oz, we are slammed with HIGH prices of anywhere from $9.50 (to Canada) to $13.75 (anywhere else in the world).

The USPS has been favoring too much Asian countries with their super low cost postage for them.  The USPS agreements approved back in 2010, 2011 and later in 2013 have only benefited the Asian countries.  Jet, we the US taxpayers are put on the death-postage-table charging us anywhere from 10-15 times higher prices than the Asian countries.

The current US Presidential Administration has made clear and loud that WE the US taxpayers are supposed to be first.  Therefore, can Ina or others here help to start a *** https://www.change.org/ *** movement so that WE the US-Based sellers that support the US-economy in one way or another can push the USPS to lower those HIGH International First Class postage prices for USA-outbound packages (specially those small packages of 4 oz or less).

*** THIS is a long-shot attempt, but if we never rise-up and never complain to the government, we will never get anything back ***

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This user has validated their user name. by: LasVagueness

Fri Jan 27 21:12:40 2017

Anything is possible (''things could get very challenging for smalls sellers'') but my money is on things getting BETTER for small sellers via a booming and more equitable US economy.

''Markets will never recover from a Trump victory.'' - Paul Krugman

...as the Dow hits 20,000.

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This user has validated their user name. by: Rexford

Fri Jan 27 21:53:17 2017

LasVagueness, and the Doomsday clocked moved 30 seconds closer to midnight.

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by: blrug This user has validated their user name.
Web Site

Fri Jan 27 22:48:40 2017

Thanks for providing insight to another attempt to destroy a government services that is one of the main tools use by small or midsize internet-based sellers. If we loose USPS services or have to move to private rip-off carrier many of us have to close our business. And only big ones survive.

It is ironic that some of the members of this froum do not mind multi-million $$$ salary of top managers and exuberant benefits of main stock holders private carriers. They are demanding firing hard working people in USPS that only make merely a living salary.  

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by: puppy This user has validated their user name.

Sat Jan 28 11:33:09 2017

To Steve M: this is a great idea. There is also interest in doing this on Amazon seller forums. I was involved in urging the PRC to fix this during the recent UPU congress. So was Ina, she wrote a great letter to PRC so I know she cares about this topic. Trump WILL CARE ABOUT THIS ISSUE VERY MUCH, it is in alignment with his platform and intentions. Whatever political labels you apply to yourself (which I personally think is a bad idea these days-I'm label free and a free thinker) we online sellers should unite in getting this done for the survival of our businesses. This administration could really help us. Let's start organizing on this.

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by: marksj64 This user has validated their user name.

Sat Jan 28 11:49:12 2017

I think you jumping to conclusions like the media does. The postal workers most likely will not be affected since they do not come under federal workers.

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by: puppy This user has validated their user name.

Sat Jan 28 14:42:12 2017

Just one more thing to add...Ina, fellow readers:

the people who have done their homework (people who have time to actually read wikileaks as they come out, research things we are told on main stream media) are tired of misinformation. We are tired of fake news. Ina, please don't be fake news.

We need responsible ethical journalism in this age. The people have caught on to how much misinformation we are being fed. This is really good thing.

To all my fellow human beings who are passionate about things, I say this: do your research. I was a volunteer for DNC in 2008. Have you read wikileaks? Have you really delved into some of this stuff? What I understand after 9 years of research has taught me that what some politicians talk about on the surface has nothing to do with their true allegiances or true intentions. There is THICK CORRUPTION afoot in our government (and most governments). Many of us are hoping Trump will be different. I am waiting to see.

A person's actions, well researched by us not quickly reviewed by MSM headlines, is what we should judge a person by. I care about gender equality, fair treatment of all in our society, concerns of immigrants now living in the US...I get that these are deeply important. Judge our president by his actions-the laws he enacts, the changes he brings about. Do your due diligence in your own research. Do not trust spoon fed information from media with corporate ties.

I wish the world was as simple and idealistic as I thought it was 10 years ago (if it was, I would still work on behalf of the democratic party on many issues). It is not. I have done enough work to say this with certainty. Our government is a mess of corruption- mafia like groups getting rich by breaking laws and hurting people. Today no group can define my political preferences or tell me my opinions on issues- I reject all labels and apply critical thinking to understand my world. And this approach really works. Try it! I appreciate every commentor here because we all have this in common: we are passionate about creating a good society and a better world. If we all can access correct truthful accurate information about the state of affairs, we will be less divided and can come together to achieve positive things.

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This user has validated their user name. by: LasVagueness

Sat Jan 28 17:20:46 2017

@Rexford

All the more reason to clear out my inventory. Since the inauguration I have had four high ticket sales that have been languishing for YEARS.  

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by: moto-science This user has validated their user name.

Thu Feb 2 15:23:21 2017

Republicans have been trying to hobble/kill USPS for years because they get re-election contributions from UPS/Fedex. Ever wonder what would happen to shipping rates if USPS was not competing with UPS/Fedex ?  
 

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This user has validated their user name. by: DZT

Thu Feb 9 18:15:00 2017

An interesting link to what is REALLY happening within the USPS system....

http://postalemployeenetwork.com/news/category/usps-
news/theftandfraud/

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