If you sell products on eBay or via a website in your home business, you no doubt charge shipping charges to your customers. Or you might build them into the selling price and offer ‘free shipping’. Either way, you should note some of the changes that occurred on May 14th with the US Postal Service rates.
Everyone knows that the cost of a stamp went up. But what about some of the other changes? All package services (Parcel Post, Priority Mail, and Express Mail) went up fairly significantly. If you use a built-in shipping calculator, such as the one built into eBay, it should be updated by now. But if you use a banded average to charge shipping, you may want to revisit your average shipping charges.
Probably the two most significant changes beside the rates are a new restriction on First Class and some good news on Priority Mail Flat Rate boxes.
You used to be able to get away with sending some fairly ‘fat’ packages through First Class mail. Now there is a size limit on what can be classified as First Class – anything that exceeds that must be classified as a package and sent using one of the package services. If you were mostly using package services all along, you might not notice this change. But for those who were ‘pushing the envelope’ on First Class, you may have to adjust to package rates.
Another change has to do with Flat Rate Boxes. You know, those specially marked boxes you can stuff whatever you want in and as long as it fits, you pay a flat fee regardless of weight. These packages used to be restricted to domestic shipments only. Now they can be used for International Shipments and can provide some fairly significant savings. To give an example, we sent a package to Australia the other day that cost $44 to send. Had we been able to put the item in a Flat Rate box, it would have about $25 (the item was just a bit too large to fit but that gives you an idea of the savings).
Here is a USPS Detailed Rate Document showing the new rates (link here), where you can find complete information about the changes.
Tags: USPS Rates, Postal Rate Changes, USPS Shipping, Postal Shipping Changes