Ina Steiner EcommerceBytes Blog
News and insight focusing on ecommerce.
by Ina Steiner, Editor of EcommerceBytes.com
Fri Oct 2 2020 13:00:39

Online Sellers to Pass Surge Postal Pricing on to Holiday Buyers

By: Ina Steiner

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An informal survey shows small online sellers believe holiday shoppers will bear the brunt of USPS surge pricing, though even those who pass along the higher rates will still see higher costs.

A majority of EcommerceBytes readers (73%) said they would be impacted by the USPS holiday rate increase that goes into effect on October 18 and runs through December 27, 2020. (14% said they didn't know if they would be impacted.)

The survey asked respondents, "If you experience higher shipping costs over the holiday-shopping period, who will absorb the extra costs?" - the results are as follows:

I will pay the extra cost: 33%
Buyers will pay the extra cost: 63%
Does not apply: 4%

One seller said, "My "free shipping" will cost me more money," while another explained, "Etsy and eBay charge for shipping and handling based on weight and dimensions that I include in the listing information. So if the premium charges for the post office and FedEx it will be charged to the buyer."

Sellers who pass along the costs to buyers remain concerned about the impact: "The buyer pays shipping. Higher rates may discourage them from making an online purchase," wrote one respondent.

Some sellers expressed concern that the USPS will keep the increase in place in January 2021 - "they won't drop rates back to where they are today," one respondent wrote.

A seller who said they were concerned about changes at USPS said, "This increase is aimed at Amazon. The rest of us are collateral damage."

Some pointed out that an increase in shipping costs would also result in higher payment processing costs and marketplace commissions. "It's not just the postal increase but when you consider the fact that is compounded by the fees from credit card processors as well as selling sites are taking THEIR fees on the total amount of sales, you are also getting hit again."

While 100% of readers responding to the survey said they used USPS, some respondents said they used additional carriers as well; 18% used FedEx, 8% used UPS, and 3% used "other," including Estes Freight, AIT Worldwide.

41% of respondents said they typically had 250 or fewer listings running, another 41% typically ran between 251 - 1,000 listings, and 11% said they typically had between 1,001 - 5,000 listings running; the remaining had over 5,000 listings.

Some additional comments left by sellers follow below:

I moved most of my shipping business to Fedex and UPS already. USPS has priced themselves out of the market for a lot of my packages. They also sneakily changed the zoning associated to some places in the country (like Northern California from the central US) resulting in higher prices. I'm going to select the cheapest rate to ship, and if that means I never use USPS, so be it.

I'm not going to go through and raise each price and then change it back a couple of months later. My shipping is already high because I sell dishes and it would discourage buyers.

I will split the cost. With items at the lower end of cost factor and with all sites taking their fees, I can't absorb ALL the cost myself. I'm a retired limited income household. Seems everyone is making money except for us small sellers.

The USPS should NOT have decided to increase costs to consumers at this time. A lot of people are having trouble making ends meet because of the Covid virus. The holidays are going to be very bleak for many.

We have a huge repeat customer base as well as a reputation of fair postage prices and very quick and dependable service. Our expectations is that this will continue to be a very busy holiday season. 

I may go out of business.

I have concerns about USPS shipments this year due to issues they are having.



Comments (14) | Leave Comment | Permalink

Readers Comments

Perminate Link for Online Sellers to Pass Surge Postal Pricing on to Holiday Buyers   Online Sellers to Pass Surge Postal Pricing on to Holiday Buyers

by: FeelingFroggy This user has validated their user name.

Fri Oct 2 16:28:47 2020

Gesh and to think it took a survey to figure out this. Any seller with half a brain is upping their prices.

Perminate Link for Online Sellers to Pass Surge Postal Pricing on to Holiday Buyers   Online Sellers to Pass Surge Postal Pricing on to Holiday Buyers

by: Shanna This user has validated their user name.

Fri Oct 2 19:12:27 2020

Mercari is not increasing their shipping prices, because they have a contract with whoever provides their postage. I am sure big shippers like Amazon and eBay also have locked in contracts, but for eBay, passing along a cost increase means more money for them with their FVF on shipping.

Perminate Link for Online Sellers to Pass Surge Postal Pricing on to Holiday Buyers   Online Sellers to Pass Surge Postal Pricing on to Holiday Buyers

This user has validated their user name. by: toolguy

Sat Oct 3 11:05:02 2020

Off Topic:

As move forward into the 21st century there is more division than ever before.

Do I dare tell my customers that I sell to only those who support the RED and not the BLUE?

Will we get so divided that we only buy and sell to those that belong to our political party?

How divided will we get before war breaks out?

Tough times we live in and tougher times are coming!

Perminate Link for Online Sellers to Pass Surge Postal Pricing on to Holiday Buyers   Online Sellers to Pass Surge Postal Pricing on to Holiday Buyers

This user has validated their user name. by: CanBrit

Sat Oct 3 18:54:19 2020

@FeelingFroggy

I'm not sure if you intended to insult Ina and David. If you notice that the post said it was an informal survey that was done and the figures quoted are eCommercebytes members?

Tsk tsk

 

Perminate Link for Online Sellers to Pass Surge Postal Pricing on to Holiday Buyers   Online Sellers to Pass Surge Postal Pricing on to Holiday Buyers

by: toastedmutt This user has validated their user name.

Sat Oct 3 19:29:26 2020

Buyers are going to have to share in this wallet grab.  If the USPS was charging the actual cost of delivering offshore packages real Americans might not have to shoulder the burden.  

Perminate Link for Online Sellers to Pass Surge Postal Pricing on to Holiday Buyers   Online Sellers to Pass Surge Postal Pricing on to Holiday Buyers

This user has validated their user name. by: Marie

Mon Oct 5 02:08:55 2020

I'm not yet noticing any change in the USPS rates on Ebay or Amazon.  I have no idea if that will change, but as of now it hasn't.

Perminate Link for Online Sellers to Pass Surge Postal Pricing on to Holiday Buyers   Online Sellers to Pass Surge Postal Pricing on to Holiday Buyers

by: Chicago48 This user has validated their user name.

Mon Oct 5 02:31:24 2020

I would really like to know how AMZ and WM make money with "free" shipping.  I can't imagine they're profiting from the free shipping as the costs keep going up.  Are they taking a loss on shipping free?  

Perminate Link for Online Sellers to Pass Surge Postal Pricing on to Holiday Buyers   Online Sellers to Pass Surge Postal Pricing on to Holiday Buyers

This user has validated their user name. by: Marie

Mon Oct 5 02:37:38 2020

@chicago48

And the small sellers on Amazon too.  Ones that do less than 40 sales per month so they don't pay for a Professional account.  Those sellers can't control the shipping rate they can charge on an item.  Domestic or international.  And for Domestic rates they haven't raised the price the sellers can charge for YEARS.  Literally YEARS.  That doesn't affect me as I can set my shipping charges but for sellers that can't, it can be a real issue and they must make it up in the product price.

Perminate Link for Online Sellers to Pass Surge Postal Pricing on to Holiday Buyers   Online Sellers to Pass Surge Postal Pricing on to Holiday Buyers

by: wrslss1222 This user has validated their user name.
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Mon Oct 5 06:43:37 2020

All of my over 1,000 listings on eBay are FREE shipping.  No, I will not raise prices.  I will absorb any additional shipping fees.

Perminate Link for Online Sellers to Pass Surge Postal Pricing on to Holiday Buyers   Online Sellers to Pass Surge Postal Pricing on to Holiday Buyers

This user has validated their user name. by: Bidonmine

Mon Oct 5 09:48:51 2020

I have enough profit in most of my items across the various selling sites to surge shipping increase. I just won't run any sales.

Perminate Link for Online Sellers to Pass Surge Postal Pricing on to Holiday Buyers   Online Sellers to Pass Surge Postal Pricing on to Holiday Buyers

This user has validated their user name. by: toolguy

Mon Oct 5 11:52:59 2020

Off Topic:

Anyone else having problems seeing the "Manage Orders" page?

No "Payment" page from MP either!

WHERE'S MY MONEY?

Perminate Link for Online Sellers to Pass Surge Postal Pricing on to Holiday Buyers   Online Sellers to Pass Surge Postal Pricing on to Holiday Buyers

This user has validated their user name. by: David Steiner

Mon Oct 5 12:29:39 2020

"Anyone else having problems seeing the "Manage Orders" page?"

That issue is being reported on  EKG

Perminate Link for Online Sellers to Pass Surge Postal Pricing on to Holiday Buyers   Online Sellers to Pass Surge Postal Pricing on to Holiday Buyers

This user has validated their user name. by: RKTOYS

Mon Oct 5 13:54:45 2020

Can't really absorb higher fees to coddle the Chinese and Amazon.  That's the real reason they're putting the screws to individuals shipping stuff.  So I just don't really try that hard to sell online anymore.  Stop by my booth at a convention, though, and I'll give you a great deal.  The only way we can really fight this is opting out and starving all of them.

Perminate Link for Online Sellers to Pass Surge Postal Pricing on to Holiday Buyers   Online Sellers to Pass Surge Postal Pricing on to Holiday Buyers

by: Vox29 This user has validated their user name.
Web Site

Mon Oct 5 15:09:38 2020

I don't charge for shipping. I had already factored the cost of shipping into my prices years ago, and I don't anticipate having to increase my prices to absorb the difference. If I earn a slightly lower profit margin that's on me. In any case, I will have covered my costs of production and costs of sales. I wish you lot good luck with trying to keep up with the man.



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