Ina Steiner EcommerceBytes Blog
News and insight focusing on ecommerce.
by Ina Steiner, Editor of EcommerceBytes.com
Sun Jan 27 2019 11:55:36

Online Sellers Transition to New 2019 Postal Rates

By: Ina Steiner

Sponsored Link

The USPS 2019 postal prices are now officially in effect today. But no matter how many postal rate changes online sellers go through, it always seems to be a painful transition. 

A typical question was posted by an eBay seller on the discussion boards on Saturday afternoon, "If something sells today and you don't print the shipping label until Monday will you have to pay the new rate? The buyer has paid postage based on the old rates."

Sellers continued discussing the changes on industry boards today, here's a sampling of eBay and Etsy threads:

"Is eBay keeping USPS shipping discounts instead of passing to sellers?" - Link to eBay thread

"New USPS rates" - Link to eBay thread

"USPS Rate increases start today" - Link to Etsy thread

Not only is it generally more expensive to ship packages with the January 27, 2019 update, it's also more complex. Stamps.com published this guide to help sellers make sense of the changes (look for the invaluable "When to use" tips next to each type of service), and you can find our guide published when the new rates were announced in October.

Let us know if you encounter any issues, or if it's smooth shipping!

Update 1/27/19: Save The Post Office published a post today written by self-professed postal watchdog Douglas Carlson who is appealing the Postal Regulatory Commission's approval of the postal changes. Note that his appeal was impacted by the government shutdown, read more on the SavethePostOffice.com website.



Comments (32) | Leave Comment | Permalink

Readers Comments

Perminate Link for Online Sellers Transition to New 2019 Postal Rates   Online Sellers Transition to New 2019 Postal Rates

This user has validated their user name. by: iheartjacksparrow

Sun Jan 27 12:04:58 2019

I started changing the postage amounts for the items in my eCrater store yesterday afternoon. Since my items have different weights and different values, I have to go through each listing to make the changes. Since I have thousands of listings, it generally takes me two to three weeks to complete the changes (during which time I keep my fingers crossed that I won't lose too much money on the items that sell before I can increase the postage amount).

Perminate Link for Online Sellers Transition to New 2019 Postal Rates   Online Sellers Transition to New 2019 Postal Rates

by: songe-d-automne This user has validated their user name.

Sun Jan 27 12:20:09 2019

I got slapped this morning with the new rates for first class. Thankfully the small discount I get for printing the shipping made it so that I broke even.

Perminate Link for Online Sellers Transition to New 2019 Postal Rates   Online Sellers Transition to New 2019 Postal Rates

by: Whatever This user has validated their user name.

Sun Jan 27 13:42:07 2019

all my listings are Free Shipping so I'm eating it - at this point in time I think I might just be in liquidation mode anyway to there you go.

Perminate Link for Online Sellers Transition to New 2019 Postal Rates   Online Sellers Transition to New 2019 Postal Rates

by: ebayout This user has validated their user name.

Sun Jan 27 17:23:00 2019

I put a note on all my listings that require Priority Mail (95%) that I DO NOT offer free shipping. I illustrate the wide cost range for the same weighted package for different zones.
I did $40K last year. If I lost sales by not offering free shipping, big whoop. I'm not gonna kiss ebay butt for a stupid badge and to save a buck ten cents a day.

Perminate Link for Online Sellers Transition to New 2019 Postal Rates   Online Sellers Transition to New 2019 Postal Rates

This user has validated their user name. by: Lightning

Sun Jan 27 17:32:33 2019

@iheartjacksparrow
Changing thousands of listings, one at a time?  Takes weeks? - OUCH!
You have to find a way to automate that.  Or set up your shipping as calculated so that if the rates change, there's just a new calculation, no updating needed.  If I had to change a thousand listings on eBay, it would take me about 15 minutes, if that.

Perminate Link for Online Sellers Transition to New 2019 Postal Rates   Online Sellers Transition to New 2019 Postal Rates

This user has validated their user name. by: RKTOYS

Sun Jan 27 18:06:04 2019

eCrater just doesn't care to offer any tools.

Perminate Link for Online Sellers Transition to New 2019 Postal Rates   Online Sellers Transition to New 2019 Postal Rates

by: TomH This user has validated their user name.

Sun Jan 27 19:30:42 2019

Ninety-five percent of our stuff weighs between 1 and 5 pounds. It is all calculated shipping. Mostly old new unopened stuff. Good prices. We are not stressed these days for the next sale. It comes or not, Our shipping calculator is fair. We make no money on it, BUT we are not going to pay a penny for shipping -- customer problem.

We use to do all the jumping through hoops, pricing, covering shipping and all the rest. A few years ago we just freaking got tired of all that stress and now have our "if you want it - good - don't want to pay the shipping - that's OK - thanks - have a good day" policy.  

Perminate Link for Online Sellers Transition to New 2019 Postal Rates   Online Sellers Transition to New 2019 Postal Rates

This user has validated their user name. by: cfrphoto

Mon Jan 28 00:18:55 2019

Sellers of stamps who print Endicia labels without postage were locked out starting late last week. Discount postage, available at 40 to 50 percent of face, is less expensive than the commercial base rate offered by eBay, stamps.com or Endicia, now part of stamps.com. Stamp collectors expect postage to be used and may leave negative feedback if it is not. Since most orders are less than $100, switching to First Class mail is less costly than the combination of First Class Package rates and the pitiful eBay Top Rated seller discount. The remaining volume of First Class Package labels will no longer justify an Endicia subscription. It is too bad that eBay and PayPal labels are too large to fit on small padded envelopes suitable for mailing postage stamps for collectors and other small light weight items. Finally, small differences in zone rates seem insufficient compared to the hassle factor they generate for shippers. Perhaps FedEx or UPS will find a way to offer a competitive flat rate product for small lightweight items.

Perminate Link for Online Sellers Transition to New 2019 Postal Rates   Online Sellers Transition to New 2019 Postal Rates

by: lalaland This user has validated their user name.

Mon Jan 28 01:01:52 2019

Just found that a package from Mo. to Ca. now costs $8.70, as opposed to the $4.94 it cost yesterday.  Bummer.
 Must go and finish changing the few free shipping listings I have.

Perminate Link for Online Sellers Transition to New 2019 Postal Rates   Online Sellers Transition to New 2019 Postal Rates

This user has validated their user name. by: Lightning

Mon Jan 28 03:34:21 2019

@lalaland
$4.94 to $8.70 sounds way off.  Whatever service/tool you are using is set incorrectly.  

To be $4.94, you must have been shipping First Class, at the top of the weight range.  All Priority rates are above that.  The largest First Class increase for any weight/zone combination is $1.43, and THAT is on a package going 8 zones away,  not just half the width of the country.  The highest fee on the entire chart is $5.53 (commercial pricing), so it can't get higher than that, unless you are paying retail price, where it can get to $6.27 as a max.  Nowhere near $8.70.

Here is the summary on First Class from Stamps.com:

First Class Package Service (Commercial Base Pricing)
Overall rates for First Class Package Service will increase by 11.9%.
Zone-based pricing is being added to First Class Package Service in 2019.
Any package going across the country (Zone 8) is seeing a significant rate increase going up from $0.43 (Zone 8 – 1 ounce = $3.09) to $1.43 (Zone 8 – 13 ounces = $5.53)
13 ounce packages in particular are rising across all zones, increasing $0.84 (Zone 1/2 = $4.94) to $1.43 (Zone 8 = $5.53)
Heavier items weighing 15 ounces to 15.999 ounces are seeing a smaller increase, going from no increase at all (Zone 1/2 = $4.94) to $0.59 (Zone 8 = $5.53)
===================

Here is the link to the comparison:
https://blog.stamps.com/2018/10/19/usps-announces-posta
ge-rate-increase-starts-january-27-2019/

Perminate Link for Online Sellers Transition to New 2019 Postal Rates   Online Sellers Transition to New 2019 Postal Rates

This user has validated their user name. by: Lightning

Mon Jan 28 03:52:42 2019

@cfrphoto
''Discount postage, available at 40 to 50 percent of face, is less expensive than the commercial base rate offered by eBay, stamps.com or Endicia, now part of stamps.com.''

Where does one find this discount postage you refer to, please?

Perminate Link for Online Sellers Transition to New 2019 Postal Rates   Online Sellers Transition to New 2019 Postal Rates

This user has validated their user name. by: Rexford

Mon Jan 28 06:16:27 2019

USPS raises prices substantially every year.  At what point does this price sellers out of business?  These don't appear to be modest rises, they are quite large.

Perminate Link for Online Sellers Transition to New 2019 Postal Rates   Online Sellers Transition to New 2019 Postal Rates

This user has validated their user name. by: VV

Mon Jan 28 08:50:35 2019

No more $9.99 free ship items. $14.99 is the new floor. Nothing that goes Priority is going for less than 21-24.99

Perminate Link for Online Sellers Transition to New 2019 Postal Rates   Online Sellers Transition to New 2019 Postal Rates

This user has validated their user name. by: cfrphoto

Mon Jan 28 09:03:51 2019

Discount postage is generally available on eBay at auction. Prices on eBay are between wholesale and retail and continue to slowly decline.

https://www.ebay.com/sch/i.html?_from=R40&_nkw=united+states+d
iscount+postage&_sacat=260&LH_Sold=1&LH_Complete=1&_sop=16


Some dealers wholesale quantities of postage to local buyers for less to minimize selling expenses.

Lists of stamp dealers are available on the web sites of the American Stamp Dealers Association, the American Philatelic Society or the National Stamp Dealers Association.

Perminate Link for Online Sellers Transition to New 2019 Postal Rates   Online Sellers Transition to New 2019 Postal Rates

by: Chicago48 This user has validated their user name.

Mon Jan 28 09:45:50 2019

@Rexford, agree.  Last year the stamps were 50c, now 55c.  

Perminate Link for Online Sellers Transition to New 2019 Postal Rates   Online Sellers Transition to New 2019 Postal Rates

This user has validated their user name. by: NoMoreEbay

Mon Jan 28 10:54:45 2019

Someone has to supplement the Chinese shipping items for 29 cents 7000 miles across the ocean while we pay upwards of $6 for the same weight. And that someone is us via regular price increases.

I stopped selling on ebay when the increase was announced. With all of the various fees and prices increases, online selling is no longer a viable option for my business.

Perminate Link for Online Sellers Transition to New 2019 Postal Rates   Online Sellers Transition to New 2019 Postal Rates

This user has validated their user name. by: Lightning

Mon Jan 28 13:09:31 2019

The Postmaster General is probably getting a kickback from Wenig.  USPS prices go up, eBay's income goes up.

People are funny, though.  Someone right now is probably complaining about the roughly 10% postal increase as they swing into Starbucks for their $7 coffee.

Perminate Link for Online Sellers Transition to New 2019 Postal Rates   Online Sellers Transition to New 2019 Postal Rates

This user has validated their user name. by: Lightning

Mon Jan 28 13:13:11 2019

@cfrphoto
Thanks for the tip.  I wish I had thought of that a few years back when I was sending a LOT of First Class packets.  I'm not sure I can make use of it these days, but will definitely check into it.  Were you using Endicia just to automate the labels, or did Endicia also provide the ability to track?

Perminate Link for Online Sellers Transition to New 2019 Postal Rates   Online Sellers Transition to New 2019 Postal Rates

by: Chicago48 This user has validated their user name.

Mon Jan 28 13:32:58 2019

I know one thing, this hike is going to equalize almost everything.  Very few "free shipping" from ecommerce sites....the threshold now is $35 and free shipping....it's going to rise to $50 + free shipping.  The cheapness of ecommerce is being killed single handedly by the PO.

Perminate Link for Online Sellers Transition to New 2019 Postal Rates   Online Sellers Transition to New 2019 Postal Rates

by: angryllama This user has validated their user name.

Mon Jan 28 15:17:24 2019

I dearly hope that the USPS and appropriate US Govt oversight gets an EARFUL over the way they mishandled THIS particular price increase.

I'm too rushed today and tomorrow to do the level of digging that this deserves, but they really seem to have had their very own "Let Them Eat Cake" moment with this one.  To raise the overall rates from one year to the next is NO BIG DEAL as this is one of the few times that "... a rising tide lifts ALL boats ..." has validity.
Instead what I see is that they basically disenfranchised AK HI PR USVI and GUAM while simultaneously WHACKING WA OR CA ME FL RI CN VT NH up side the head for "good" measure.  Being an eBay seller FROM HI AK GU USVI PR is now especially expensive for Light Weight Items Under one pound.

My very first shipment TODAY using the new calculation saw the cost to ship 5 oz FCP from Houston to Seattle ZING up basically 30 percent from ONE calendar day to the next.

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.