EcommerceBytes-NewsFlash, Number 2968 - December 31, 2012     3 of 4

Higher Shipping Costs Impact Online Merchants

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Online merchants must remember to adjust their prices and shipping rates to account for carriers' rate hikes taking effect in 2013. The big-three shipping carriers - USPS, UPS and FedEx - are all raising rates for the New Year.

eBay issued a reminder to its sellers about increased shipping costs on Friday and said it would update its Shipping Calculator along with eBay Labels and PayPal Labels postage programs. eBay advised sellers to make sure their shipping costs reflected the new rates.

eBay encourages sellers to offer free shipping, giving them higher placement in search results and making them eligible for automatic 5-star ratings on the shipping and handling charges DSR. Those sellers who include the cost of shipping in the price of their goods in order to obtain free-shipping rewards from eBay must remember to adjust their product prices accordingly.

USPS Rates for 2013
Many sellers favor USPS, according to an EcommerceBytes survey, and the postal service is increasing rates effect January 27, 2013.

The popular Priority Mail service will increase overall an average of 6.3%. Retail prices will increase an average of 9%, but the approximately 3% of the increase is for free tracking visibility which will now be included at no charge.

The average price increase for Priority Mail Commercial Base will be 3.7%, available to those who use online postage services. The Commercial Plus price category, which offers even lower prices to large-volume customers, will see an average price increase of 3.8%.

The cost of a First-Class stamp will rise to 46 cents - more details are available here.

UPS Rates for 2013
UPS is increasing Ground services by 4.9 percent in 2013 - a 5.9 percent average increase in the base rate, less a one percentage point reduction to the Ground fuel surcharge table.

UPS is also increasing all UPS Air and U.S. origin international services by 4.5 percent - a 6.5 percent average increase in the base rate, less a two percentage point reduction to the Air and International fuel surcharge table.

Additionally, UPS Next Day Air Freight, UPS 2nd Day Air Freight and UPS 3 Day Freight rates for shipments within and between the U.S., Canada and Puerto Rico will increase 4.9 percent.

The new UPS pricing takes effect on December 31, 2012.

FedEx Rates for 2013

FedEx Ground and FedEx Home Delivery rates will increase an average of 5.9%. The shipping rate increase will be partially offset by adjusting the fuel price at which the fuel surcharge begins, reducing the fuel surcharge by 1 percentage point.

FedEx Express package and freight rates will increase an average of 5.9% for U.S., U.S. export and U.S. import services. The shipping rate increase will be partially offset by adjusting the fuel price at which the fuel surcharge begins, reducing the fuel surcharge by 2 percentage points. In addition, minimum rates for FedEx Express services will change

FedEx Retail Rates and FedEx SmartPost rates will also increase.

The new FedEx pricing takes effect on January 7, 2013.

Comment on the EcommerceBytes Blog, " eBay Nets More in Fees Thanks to Higher Shipping Costs.


About the author:

Ina Steiner is co-founder and Editor of EcommerceBytes and has been reporting on ecommerce since 1999. She's a widely cited authority on marketplace selling and is author of "Turn eBay Data Into Dollars" (McGraw-Hill 2006). Her blog was featured in the book, "Blogging Heroes" (Wiley 2008). Follow her on Twitter at @ecommercebytes and send news tips to ina@ecommercebytes.com.


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