So, what is HipStamp to do about new USPS rates?

Clearly, the new postal rates will have a HUGE impact on international sales for US Sellers on sites like this. Per my understanding, to be compliant with the law, we must now mail ALL stamps to non-US addresses as First Class Package International, and we must use customs forms on all international shipments.

I just had to jack my postage rates to $15 for non-US buyers. That REALLY stinks!

What can HipStamp do to not lose international buyers? What new features can be offered? Allow for shopping carts to add up over time until critical mass is reached to finally check out?

Lord have mercy...



  • 482 Comments sorted by Votes Date Added
  • I think that you can put anything in your shopping cart and it stays there until someone else buys it, or you check out to pay for it. I have had some things in my cart for months.

    Regarding the use of the customs form for only first class parcels and no longer on first class letter or large envelope, I stated that here several weeks ago, and was told by most that I was mis-informed. Believe me now?
  • Doug, that $15.00 will work for less than 8 ounces. You'll need to charge $25.00 for first class parcels weighing over 8 ounces, but less than 32 ounces. Charge $35.00 for up to 48 ounces, and charge $60.00 for up to 64 ounces. More than that, and you have to use one of the Priority Mail International services $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$.

    I would suspect that most people are going to chance it with the first class letter (weighs not over 3.5 ounces) or large envelope, at least for a while. Note that a First Class International Large Envelope can weigh up to 64 ounces. That is a long letter!

    USPS will have to figure this one out when the mailer's associations start complaining.
  • edited January 2018 0 LikesVote Down
    Just to be clear on whom the blame falls, this is a UPU requirement:
    "however, we are unable to continue to permit “goods of nominal value” sent by known mailers in First-Class Mail International items because, to be consistent with the UPU requirements, we must eliminate goods of any kind from First-Class Mail International letters and flats."

    Even disguising a stamp shipment as a letter to friend, in which you have included some stamps as a gift to him, is against the UPU rules. 1st class international letters may contain "only documents."
  • I wish Trump would direct some of his Fire and Fury at the UPU. These regulations go totally beyond the pale.
  • Well, I've reluctantly gone ahead and upped my international shipping fee also. As someone once said, "That REALLY stinks!"

    As far as stockpiling shopping cart items, one does not have to leave them in the shopping cart and risk having the items purchased by someone else. Customers can use the "Pay by Check or Money Order" Pre-Approval process with individual dealers, to lock in their purchase, but be allowed to pay later. When the customer adds more items on another day, and chooses Pay Later, the contents of the cart will be added to the the invoice previously created that is awaiting payment.
  • Wow, I was just all over the USPS site and I can no longer ask for a letter postage rate being sent to Canada or UK. Just flat out not there! Yet on another area they say it is $1.15 to mail international.

    Needless to say I'm very confused as to what the cost will be to mail used stamps internationally.

    Did they have to make this such a confusing thing?
  • edited January 2018 0 LikesVote Down
    On the site, you need to click on the blue square that says, "Calculate price based on Shape and Size". You will get the first class options.
  • edited January 2018 0 LikesVote Down
    I did that and the reply is:

    Mail Services
    No Mail Services were found.

    Is that the strangest? Are you having that same problem or is the wizard of USPS playing with me?

    I can get to the US calculate a price, but any thing going international comes back with No Mail Services were found. IDK, maybe they are still updating the data? Just a wild guess. I'm on the site for all sales for checking delivery times so I'm rather familiar with the site. very strange.
  • Well there goes any chance to sell a stamp outside the US. Who is te brain dead idiot who comes up with this nonsense?
  • Wayne, I'm thinking the same thing. Would anybody International for the US really want to pay an additional $15 for a 12 cent stamp? I don't think they would, but I'm not seeing any other way to work around this.

    Now, what about all the people who live in the US with family in a different country, what would their Birthday cards and letters be costing them to mail them? I'm a little brain dead with it comes to a big change like this.

    Thinking maybe we all will have to drop the International selling unless someone can share a trick or two. hint hint, PM me please and thank you :wink:
  • And why can Canada send a small packet to the US for $7 while it costs us $14? Go to Canada Post and look up a small packet to the US. Good grief. Has this world gone totally insane?
  • Luree, if you have ANY value for an international letter it will give you "No Mail Services" If you put in a zero dollar value it will calculate it for a letter.
  • Really? It was that simple! I feel like a real do-do. I've always put in a value for International so this will help just a little bit.

    Thanks Wayne
  • Except that you would be breaking the rules. You would be shipping a nominal value item which is supposed to go as a package.
  • Yeah, I know. And then the guilt would set in. It just really get me that a 5 ounce envelope needs to be sent as a package. That is just over my head.
  • The UPU rule states, NOTHING of value, NO goods of any kind, ONLY documents can be sent as a letter. So, the only way around this is, as "the other Michael" stated in another thread, break the law, slip it into a letter, ignore the customs declaration requirement, and hope you don't get caught.
    (Maybe you could write a short note on the back of the stamps. :wink: )
  • Nothing is foolproof because fools are so ingenious!
  • Ted, would that be the invoice with a fine tipped sharpie????? :smiley:
  • This is beyond insane!!!
    4 days ago:

    1. Send a handful of stamps to Canada in a letter size envelope ( no customs form depending on your State PO opinion) for $1.15
    2. Send a handful of stamps to Canada in a 6 x 9 envelope to accommodate customs forms using Paypal for $2.50 because weight with larger envelope is now 2 oz.


    It will cost us $9.50 to Canada for the same transaction because now that same 6 x 9 envelope is considered a package?? Why - it's the same service that has been provided in the past - same envelope, same contents basically but huge price increase. OK, UPU wants customs forms on all mailings, that's fine, but why does USPS consider everything mailed internationally a package? Makes no sense to me unless they're using the Martin Shkreli business plan.

    And, I just received two orders from Canada. I need more aspirin and coffee!
  • edited January 2018 0 LikesVote Down
    Can't really blame the USPS. Postage rates in the USA have been among the lowest in the world. On international mailings, the sending postal service has to pay the receiving postal service a portion of the postage for delivery in the receiving country. Many countries in the world have complained that they are getting cheated by the USPS, because of the low postage rates, the receiving countries can't get as much money as they want. It's all about the money. This has been going on for a long time. This new UPU rule started to be discussed back in 2015 or 2016. Linn's, I believe, had an article about it. The US negotiating team did little to stop it from happening, but then the US would have been out-voted anyway.
  • I do understand that, Michael. But this is really a dramatic increase. I was aware this was happening and did voice my opinion on the matter. My "b**ch is that there could have been some middle ground here. Some type of International flat rate envelope for $5.00 for example. Instead we get - "everything's a package" now.
  • Sorry everyone - but welcome to the real world. UK international postage charges have been high for years. But with your price increases they now seem competitive. Perhaps the result may be more sales on this site for UK sellers?
  • The Universal Postal Union seems finally to have created a "level playing field"?
  • Aren't stamps documents?
  • edited January 2018 0 LikesVote Down
    This is an item we're following closely, with regards to impact on Sellers, etc.

    Notwithstanding, with specific regards to the $9.50 First Class Package International USPS method noted, there are other options available (not specifically through the USPS) which are about half the price, such as:
  • I saw this from early this morning and called to speak with them. Later I was going to post about this and show the chart and could not find it. No matter what I typed in I could not get this info to show up. - strange.

    So now we have to decide if we do enough international selling to justify the $15.99 per month fee (basic program). Another monthly fee we would have to pay coupled with Hipstamps, Paypal, etc.
  • How about if I offer $50 face bundles of mint postage for half face? Would that soften the blow?
  • No, but thanks for the offer. I doubt we will be using $9.50 worth of postage on our shipments - easier to print out a label & customs form all at once via Paypal or other mailing entity. :)
  • Oh, that's just to Canada - other countries would be close to $15.00.
  • can you imagine the joy of the postal services dealing with envelops wallpapered with heavily overlapped 3c stamps? Kinda like the retaliation of paying an annoying bill in person with pennies. Maybe we could merely arrange a number of stamps on an envelop in the figure of a frown....or an Italian salute ;-)
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