Sellers, beware. Beginning in January, you will pay a steep price if you ship long skinny items. And sellers of items like movie posters may not know what hits them when January 9, 2022 comes around.
When we pointed out the nonstandard fees, sellers asked, does that include mailing tubes? USPS spokesperson David P. Coleman told us, yes, the fee will apply to tubes.
He added, "If the tube dimensions qualify it for dim weight, then the fee will be on top of the dim weight price."
That means sellers of movie posters will pay the new $4 nonstandard fee for a tube greater than 22" and the new $15 nonstandard fee for a tube greater than 30" - to be clear, that is in addition to the cost of postage.
We checked in with a seller of movie posters for a reality check - he found it hard to believe. "To me, this is insanity, and just one more way the USPS is imploding," he said.
One theory: the USPS doesn't want to deal with mailing tubes. In July, we had written about reports from sellers who said the post office was failing to deliver mailing tubes intact and on time, including this letter from a reader
He was probably correct when he wrote, "This probably points to a change in the USPS sorting processes and needs to be called put and fixed." It seems possible that mailing tubes may have been gumming up the works. The response from the USPS to the problem: charge exorbitant fees.
But it's not fair for the USPS to sneak the new fees into a filing in a PDF file on the PRC website where sellers won't see it.
If anyone responsible for shipping at online marketplaces where posters are sold is reading this, you may wish to inform your sellers immediately.
We predict many shippers will be surprised come January 9, 2022, when they go to print a shipping label for long skinny items. Don't let that be you!
Update 12/6/2021: The USPS will go forward with its regular Shipping rate hike on January 9th, but it will delay the $1.50 Dimension Noncompliance Fee and the $4 and $15 Nonstandard Fees until April, see more in this December 5th AuctionBytes Blog post.