Ina Steiner EcommerceBytes Blog
News and insight focusing on ecommerce.
by Ina Steiner, Editor of EcommerceBytes.com
Mon Aug 18 2014 22:09:18

Will USPS Persuade Shippers to Switch to Priority Mail?

By: Ina Steiner

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The USPS is going after a bigger piece of package-shipping, a sector that's actually growing for the agency. It's counting on Priority Mail to get there, and the upcoming holiday shopping season could be a big test for the agency.

By aggressively lowering certain Priority Mail rates effective September 7th, it may be able to attract some business away from UPS and FedEx Ground. As I note in Tuesday's Newsflash, an extreme case is that of a 19-pound Priority Mail package going to Zone 4 with Commercial Base pricing. Currently it costs $25.26; under the new rates, it will cost $11.43 - 55% lower than the current rates.

But, as they say, be careful what you wish for. If the USPS finds itself with a spike in business, it won't have a lot of time to adjust, with holiday orders starting to ramp up in October and November. The USPS has been consolidating mail processing facilities and recently announced it would recommence closures in January.

On the other hand,...with memories of last year's shipping debacle when shoppers didn't get their presents in time for Christmas (UPS bore the brunt of the blame), merchants may take a wait-and-see attitude before making any decision about switching carriers, even with lower rates.

See the new USPS Priority Mail ad on Youtube, and weigh in on the USPS' push to promote Priority Mail.




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Perminate Link for Will USPS Persuade Shippers to Switch to Priority Mail?   Will USPS Persuade Shippers to Switch to Priority Mail?

by: expertbenefits This user has validated their user name.

Mon Aug 18 23:00:30 2014

Isn't Amaxon going to have its own shipping service & doesn't itundercut carriers with its UPS/FEDEX warehouse rate for volume sellers of $7.50 for up to $50 lbs? USPS has it's problems, mostly its district created rules and fiefdoms but if they centralize AND GIVE REVENUE CREDIT BY ZIP CODE FOR ONLINE shipping ( I was told that local post offices do not recieve credit for online shipments only retail shipments; this is why some treat us badly in management), we could all work together Sometimes FEDEX or UPS works better for large packages. Now if they don't scan these packages at the receiving point like UPS & FEDEX do it could be nightmare with huge increase volume by all the online players trying to reign in increasing shipping costs!  

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by: koonkat This user has validated their user name.

Mon Aug 18 23:03:48 2014

UPS and Fedex are quick with the fuel surcharges but awful slow to remove them!
I use USPS for 95% of my retail shipping.

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by: Xander This user has validated their user name.

Mon Aug 18 23:44:02 2014

UPS has been adding new more fuel efficient trucks to their fleets. Our local driver stated his new 4 cylinder diesel only uses 8/9 gallons of fuel per day while his previous ''larger'' truck used 13/14 gallons per day.

Meanwhile, UPS has not adjusted their fuel surcharge percentage to align itself with their lower fuel usage.

We used to ship UPS exclusively but grew increasingly tired of all the extra fees and annual rate increases. After calling them to negotiate a new discounted rate, we ended up closing our account instead as they were not able to meet our pricing needs.

We switched to 98% USPS priority mail flat rate and regional rate boxes which not only dropped our costs considerably, but also offers much faster domestic delivery times.

During a time where business operating costs were escalating, the lower USPS rates and faster delivery speeds really helped our business become more successful. Go USPS!

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by: comet This user has validated their user name.

Tue Aug 19 00:16:21 2014

I use USPS for virtually ALL shipping and find that they are---well--meh on a lot of things.

They do get things to their destinations most times.

However it is the spectacular FAILURES that you--and your BUYERS--remember.  

The package circling the SORT line for a solid MONTH.  
The several "Undeliverable" packages that turned up after USPS declared that they had NO knowledge of them.  Very late.

The damaged packages both in-and out-bound
The rude and ignorant postal clerks

The ever smaller number of HOURS they are even OPEN.  

The clerks that DO know what they are doing are few and FAR between--and always subject to being FORCED to retire.

The ever present threat of closures doesn't do ANYONE any good--the clerks are scared and the patrons are worried.

I like USPS for a lot of things but I DO wish they had the reliability of FEDEX.

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by: mindelec This user has validated their user name.

Tue Aug 19 00:27:07 2014

they may lower priority, but i predict they will keep raising international until they have completely killed any global shipping business.

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by: donald This user has validated their user name.

Tue Aug 19 00:28:32 2014





after 16 years in the mail order business and tried them all I believe USPS is the over all best ...


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by: Watching the Wheels This user has validated their user name.

Tue Aug 19 03:05:11 2014

IF the Post Office wants to dig itself out of debt, they should implement a money changing service akin to Paypal.

They already sell money orders, and used to perform some sort of financial service, back in the day.

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by: Bruce Hershenson This user has validated their user name.
Web Site

Tue Aug 19 04:31:37 2014

I auction vintage movie posters. Shipping costs have skyrocketed since 1999, mostly tripling since that time. It is about time someone recognized that rates are too high!

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by: Anteeker This user has validated their user name.

Tue Aug 19 05:52:12 2014

I read a few months ago that FedEx is raising its rates in January so that all packages are priced using dimensional weight.  I assumed this would make them similar in price to USPS for heavier items, instead of cheaper as they are now.  UPS was supposed to follow FedEx.  It was to cut down on shippers using large boxes containing small light weight items.  Any more news on that?

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This user has validated their user name. by: Rexford

Tue Aug 19 06:20:35 2014

Good for USPS.  We use USPS exclusively and for the most part they do a great job for us.  Sounds like a good business plan.  I am hoping they've hired the right folks to execute it.  This could give them the competitive edge and profits they are looking for.

I do agree with others here though.  USPS need to come up with better options for international that are more affordable.  That last hike on international fees really hurt sellers' businesses.

Didn't I read that USPS actually give the Chinese huge discounts?  And isn't there a Donahoe running USPS?  Please weigh in on this, but it seems like I remember reading this somewhere.

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This user has validated their user name. by: LDS Brother

Tue Aug 19 06:26:10 2014

I am strictly 100% USPS for my dwindling business !

USPS has always done it for me and UPS 2nd  Fed Ex 3rd when I used these other 2 carrier's

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This user has validated their user name. by: Ina

Tue Aug 19 06:35:14 2014

Anteeker, yes that's a go for both companies.

FedEx and UPS are implementing dim weight pricing.

http://tinyurl.com/k2ghfx4

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by: trader_chris This user has validated their user name.

Tue Aug 19 07:05:40 2014

I use USPS for probably 95% + of my shipping needs. I have found them to be very reliable on domestic shipments and somewhat reliable on international shipments. Sending packages abroad First Class Mail is always a guessing / waiting game (Will it get there? How long will it take). I've had packages send First Class Mail take 40+ days to arrive.

My experience with Priority Mail International and Priority Mail Express International has not been the best lately. Twice in the last few months, they have sent packages to the wrong country and it was a giant pain to get one of them back. I discovered that when the second package was lost (a Small Flat Rate Package destined for France but directed to Brazil) that small USPS Priority Mail flat rate boxes are shipped with First Class Mail international to save costs and receive a different type of bar code than other Priority Mail parcels sent abroad. Essentially, they aren't able to recall the package if it's small flat rate and sent to the wrong destination, so be careful how you ship small valuables abroad.

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by: Rampart This user has validated their user name.

Tue Aug 19 07:26:39 2014

I offer free shipping. The jump from Zone 5 to Zone 6+ is still steep. Over 5 lbs. I still have to use UPS. Good try USPS, maybe next time!

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by: Mary P This user has validated their user name.

Tue Aug 19 07:35:45 2014

I have been selling online for over 11 years.  I stay on top of shipping prices for my business.  I ship USPS 1st Class Package, USPS Priority Mail and FedEx Ground and FedEx Ground Home Delivery.  Over the last several years FedEx has priced themselves out of my business for FedEx Ground Home Delivery.  I love using FedEx but it is all about my bottom line!

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

Tue Aug 19 08:01:23 2014

I always ship via USPS and will continue to do so as most of my outgoing mail can go via 1st class mail in a #1 or 2 bubble envelope. I don't even bother checking UPX/Fedex rates as even if they are a tad cheaper currently, there is the hassle factor of having to carry things into town, deal with the bike shop that does the shippin for UPS, etc. Fedex is a lonely looking mail drop that you have to have an account to use. I also have a great PO with trained employees who VOLUNTEER to scan my packages the few times I drop them off in town!

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by: LadyAnne This user has validated their user name.

Tue Aug 19 08:24:20 2014

My business uses USPS for most of our small package items.  For Larger, heavier items we use UPS or FedEx.  We ship over 90% of our items by USPS First Class, however if USPS reduces the cost of Priority, that would be fabulous - no more purchasing boxes!

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This user has validated their user name. by: iheartjacksparrow

Tue Aug 19 09:44:47 2014

I use usps for 100% of my shipping. I just wish they would have another tier of pricing for packages over 13 ounces and under one pound since the pricing jumps from under $4 (First Class Package) to almost $10 (Priority Mail). I also wish they would give shippers a wider range of priority mail box sizes as I have many items that fit but don't allow for bubble wrap or "peanuts" to cushion the item.

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by: Mr. Me This user has validated their user name.

Tue Aug 19 10:01:37 2014

Priority mail is currently a GREAT deal for small (1-3 lbs) items with "free"(or should I say "included") pickup, boxes, tracking, insurance. If they do lower the rates for larger items, I'll use USPS exclusively .....now....... ,
all that they need to work on is economy international shipping !

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by: jewellsjust This user has validated their user name.

Tue Aug 19 11:00:16 2014

As for me, I will stay with UPS.  When an item is damaged with USPS, it takes 5-6 weeks to get a refund if you get one at all. Had a package shipped USPS, it had been opened and some of the contents removed...THE USPS had marked in red letters, damaged and contents missing.  I filed a claim...never did get reimbursed.  They required the received to take to PO for inspection...although I sent photos of the damaged product.
Had that been UPS, I would have had my refund within 10 days.  
USPS is like the rest of the Government and Ebay...they do not trust anyone.  

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