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

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  • Wayne, the rates for first class international parcel are a little higher than you stated.

    Up to 8 ounces, the rates (depending on the price group ranges) from $10.00 to $14.00.

    Over 8 ounces up to 32 ounces the rates range from $16.00 to $23.50

    I just mention this in case you want to adjust your rates closer to what they really are.

    Yesterday, I received a small package from my uncle in Germany. It contained a flash stick, and weighed less than 8 ounces. It was shipped priority air mail. Postage paid was Euros $3.70 ($4.59 USD). If I had mailed this to my uncle, it would have cost me $14.00 USD (11.28 Euros).

    Today I received some stamps that I bought from a seller in Canada. They were shipped letter rate, with a "P" stamp and an older 35 cents CDN stamp. If I had mailed those stamps to the seller, it would have cost me $10.00 USD.
  • Michael,
    Not to beat a very dead horse, check out https://pe.usps.com/text/dmm300/Notice123.htm#_c391
    Showe First Class International Package prices for Commercial pricing - the same pricing that PayPal
    uses. You are right, if you go to the post office to mail, prices start at $10.00.

    Also if someone ordered more than half a pound of stamps from me, I would be more than happy to dig into my
    wallet and cover the $6 or $7 difference.
  • Just had one sale to Canada. Charged $15 S/H. Printed PayPal label for $9.50. I refunded $4.50 f the S/H charges. OK, so I get a partial refund on PayPal. I don't know if I should request one from HipStamp or not... But I have a feeling that most people are going to have a similar situation. That's why I think it would be better not not charge fees on S/H. Then no claimback would be required. As presented, I'm paying a fee for no additional service from this site. Now if they raised rates on normal sales to compensate, that would be one thing, but at least it would be appropriate.
  • I agree, Doug. Now that exorbitant shipping fees are a reality, I think it's time to reconsider the FVFs on them, at least for international shipments. But the 1st dealer who charges $15, and then sends the order by regular letter for $1.15, would send us right back to the current system, unless, perhaps, there was a harsh enough penalty (e.g. expulsion from the site for a 1st offense) for anyone caught doing that.
  • Well, the penalties that can be levied against them for getting caught with fraud may be worse than anything the site can dish out. Plus, the postage is evident on the envelope you get... if someone charged me $15 and there was only $1.15 on the envelope I got, the site would hear about it and that wouldn't last long. A seller would be stupid to do that.
  • Michael G said


    Yesterday, I received a small package from my uncle in Germany. It contained a flash stick, and weighed less than 8 ounces. It was shipped priority air mail. Postage paid was Euros $3.70 ($4.59 USD). If I had mailed this to my uncle, it would have cost me $14.00 USD (11.28 Euros).

    Today I received some stamps that I bought from a seller in Canada. They were shipped letter rate, with a "P" stamp and an older 35 cents CDN stamp. If I had mailed those stamps to the seller, it would have cost me $10.00 USD.


    You didn't state whether there was a customs form on either of them. Canada Post also states the very same thing on letters and flats. All merchandise at MINIMUM must be shipped in what they call a small packet with customs forms attached.

    The no merchandise in international flats and letters is NOT just a USPS thing only it's regulated by the UPU which plainly means it's under international regulation. And if the other countries start getting anal about it don't you think just maybe the US may just start cracking down a bit on this just on the principal of it all?
  • No customs forms on either. The piece from Germany would be considered a parcel in the US. The Canadian one would be considered a letter.

    I don't know if the US would start demanding that the other countries raise their international shipping rates so that the USPS could garner a larger amount of money for handling incoming international mail. How much longer can such international mail survive with exorbitant postal rates that escalate higher and higher, unless the objective is to push such mail from governmental carriers to the commercial ones?
  • edited February 2018 0 LikesVote Down
    As a Seller, you may want to check out ShippingEasy.com

    Similar to Stamps.com, they offer a new service, for International Flats - Merchandise, which starts at $4.79:
    https://support.shippingeasy.com/hc/en-us/articles/115005917963-USPS-discontinues-service-for-First-Class-Mail-Int-l-Flats-on-Jan-21-2018

    However, unlike Stamps.com, you can create a Basic Account for free, which allows you to create up to 50 shipments per month. I haven't use this service before personally, but it certainly looks worth checking out further.

    On a related note, keep in mind that you can set up a different rate for Canada then the rest of the world. Just go to the Members Area > Selling > Seller Tools > Postage Setup page, and create a Postage Zone called "Canada" (or whatever you want to call it), and add the country of Canada to it. Then when you create a listing (or in your default listing settings), you can add a separate rate for Canada.
  • The problem with those type of services is that they may have to collect enough volume of "flats" to be able to ship them on at those rates due to the fact that the commercial mailers MUST have enough volume to qualify for the commercial rates. And if so they may delay the next step of shipping before sending them on. If you choose to look into those services ask first before it becomes a problem.
  • Michael G said

    No customs forms on either. The piece from Germany would be considered a parcel in the US. The Canadian one would be considered a letter.

    I don't know if the US would start demanding that the other countries raise their international shipping rates so that the USPS could garner a larger amount of money for handling incoming international mail. How much longer can such international mail survive with exorbitant postal rates that escalate higher and higher, unless the objective is to push such mail from governmental carriers to the commercial ones?

    My point was that under Canad Post rules IT IS NOT SUPPOSE to be shipped from Canada as a letter. It is suppose to be shipped as a small packet (parcel from Canada) Two under US law any goods coming into the country through the USPS MUST have a customs form.

    If you think the USPS is bad you may want to ask FEDEX,UPS and DHL how they are able to charge the rates they do.

  • edited February 2018 0 LikesVote Down
    Michael - USPS commercial base pricing is not based on volume. It's available for specific use cases, such as to "Registered end-users of USPS-approved PC Postage products when using a qualifying shipping label managed by the PC Postage system used." Both Stamps.com and ShippingEasy.com are postage partners of the USPS.

    Commercial plus pricing on the other hand is based on volume. Which can be one of two options, the current volume of the specific mailing, or to individual shippers, or postage partners, who shipped more than ~50,000 pieces of mail in the previous calendar year (Stamps.com and ShippingEasy.com ship many millions).

    So as an end-user of these two services, there's no case where your mail would be waiting to hit a specific volume before it could qualify for the commercial plus rate - it's already qualified (through the services partnerships with the USPS and based on the service having sent more than 50,000 pieces of mail in the previous year).

    That being said, I believe both the above items are separate to how the International Flats - Merchandise service works, which appears to be through specific partnerships these companies have with USPS. ie: From ShippingEasy.com:
    When a First-Class Mail International Flat label is purchased for a parcel containing merchandise, it will be routed to a USPS shipping consolidator sorting facility first. The consolidator will sort, document, and forward your package on to your customer, via USPS. You can expect the same delivery times as for USPS First-Class International Mail Flats.
  • Just for kicks and giggles a 1 LB envelope from WI to Melbourne Australia residential address is $106.74 economy rate with no delivery date given. To ship via USPS via Priority Flat rate International is $35.25. (Just a bit of added info to make a decision)
  • edited February 2018 0 LikesVote Down
    Mark,

    I am not disagreeing with you that they can do it with the volume that they do. General rule of thumb is in order for them to get the commercial rates they have do the volume and 2 depending on how low they get the rates the mailer has to do more presorting of the mail pieces because the commercial mailer is doing more of the presorts into zip codes,routes and even down into route order and that is usually how they get the price breaks because the mailer is doing more of the work. So the question is are the items sent to a clearing house to do that sorting or does it just go
    directly into the mail stream? If it MUST go to a center where it MUST be put into zip codes that will slow the delivery of that mail.
  • edited February 2018 0 LikesVote Down
    For both the commercial base and commercial plus rates (offered through these services) - the mail you send goes directly into the mail stream - so there's no delay.

    For the new First-Class International Mail Flats service they offer, it does go to USPS shipping consolidator sorting facility first. However, both Stamps.com and ShippingEasy.com explicitly state that "You can expect the same delivery times as for USPS First-Class International Mail Flats."
  • When they say it goes to a USPS consolidator sorting facility is that actually part of the USPS or are they subcontractors and the mail actually leaves the control of the USPS?
  • I think I found it

    ShippingEasy will continue to offer First-Class Mail International service for Large Envelopes/Flats, thanks to our valued carrier partnerships.

    When a First-Class Mail International Flat label is purchased for a parcel containing merchandise, it will be routed to a USPS shipping consolidator sorting facility first. The consolidator will sort, document, and forward your package on to your customer, via USPS. You can expect the same delivery times as for USPS First-Class International Mail Flats.

    The label itself will be a domestic label without customs information. It will be addressed to the domestic Postal Processing Facility, as well as the international recipient address. ShippingEasy will see that all the required information is printed automatically. You'll notice that no Customs Forms print. These will be sent electronically instead. In addition, the shipment only requires one tracking number, with both domestic and international events linked to it.

    While this new service will cost more than First-Class Mail International, you can expect to see a cost savings up to 65% over First-Class Package International Service, depending on weight and country group.

    If you prefer not to use the consolidator service, be sure to use a different carrier service. Select either of these instead:

    USPS First-Class Package International Service
    USPS Priority Mail International


    https://support.shippingeasy.com/hc/en-us/articles/115005917963-USPS-discontinues-service-for-First-Class-Mail-Int-l-Flats-on-Jan-21-2018


    So from this it sounds like there would be a point where it does leave the USPS for a time with these services.
  • Anyone checking out these also need to check on their return policies. Different classifications of mail have different policies of how they handle mail that is refused due to customs or other reasons. Some classifications of mail can only go one way. First class parcels at the counter will be returned to you if the customer does not claim it or refuses it,commercial mail may be one classification that if the customer refuses it or it is or misaddressed etc.. you may get charged postage due to get it back or the company itself may have a policy that they do not accept returns on these items.
  • The problem is that terminal dues are so far out of date as to be useless.

    China sellers of merchandise ship from China to anywhere in the US for about 10-20% of what it costs to send the same package within the US. Oh, and they get tracking on their shipments also. And its basically a one-way sale - the reason? You get junk and want to return it? Ok, send it back - oh, it costs $25 to send it back with some sort of provable shipment!!!

    So they ignore IP laws, produce tons of counterfeits, and then our USPS subsidizes the shipment of these fake goods to US customers. Even worse has been the proliferation of illegal drugs being manufactured and shipped from China to the US (with the Chinese government turning a WILLING blind eye as long as the drugs aren't distributed in China).

    So when the most recent Congress convened the US and some other "advanced" countries prioritized identifying goods as a priority. Using bureaucratic stupidity they reasoned that then it would be easier to find these illegal shipments of drugs....... like drug dealers are going to follow the postal rules!!!!

    There is a huge problem between rates for registered mail and parcels for international sellers. And if your in the US - the true stupidity is that the USPS continues to subsidize illegal commerce from China. Its long past the time for the US to demand to negotiate a direct agreement with China (as we have an agreement with several EU countries). If they refuse then slap a tariff to make all rates equal (which ironically is one of the original goals of the UPU!). Its long past the time for the US government to stop supporting the Chinese communist party.
  • Hi,someone said aren't stamps a document,well no they are printed matter.
  • "they are printed matter"

    That is incorrect. They are proprietary governmental fiscal instruments.
  • "Hi , someone said aren't stamps a document,well no .......... "

    A document is "a paper or set of papers with written or printed information, esp. of an official type:" Special thanks to Cambridge Dictionary :smile:
  • Well, I just had my first international purchase. I bought the mailing label from PayPal. Got a 5% discount. The customs form prints out and is part of the shipping label. Don't forget to sign and date the customs form!

    It was easy to do, and the only data entry I had to do was to fill in the information about the contents, for which I entered, "postage stamp for collector", which is what I always wrote on customs forms in the past. For country of origin, I selected the country that issued the stamp as that is what it seemed to require. Still, it was a $15.00 flat rate fee for a one-stamp purchase that cost $0.80 to buy. Oh well. They (UPU and USPS) need to revisit this rule and the postage rates.
  • Michael,

    International package rates have been quite a bit higher for quite awhile. Just before this last rate change a 3oz package to Australia was $13.75. Package rates to Canada started at $9.00. Anyone who shipped larger or heavier items has already been aware of those package rates.

    What's hurting a lot of the sellers is NOW all merchandise MUST be shipped by first class package rate and NOT first class letter rate.
  • "MUST be shipped by first class package"

    That is exactly my beef.
  • If you don't like the USPS prices you can ALWAYS send it via Fedex or UPS and their MINIMUM weight charge is 1 lb.
    See above rates.
  • That's the other part of the problem. What other choice do we have besides trying to go around the rule by packing the stamp or a small number of stamps in a letter or flat?
  • edited February 2018 1 LikesVote Down
    Michael G - I would recommend you try using ShippingEasy.com. You can basically do the same thing you did with PayPal, but the cost should be around $5 instead of $15, as they offer an International First Class Flat service.

    The item would first be sorted at a USPS approved shipping consolidation facility, and then continues through the USPS and International post offices as it normally would. For most of the cases discussed here, this would appear to be an ideal solution, and ensure the applicable USPS regulations discussed are followed. Custom forms are also handled electronically, so there's nothing to sign or date.
  • I actually just signed up for an account myself, and went through the process to send an International flat. It was just as easy as PayPal (and no monthly fee). Here's a sample 1oz flat going to the UK...

    Merchandise Flat
  • Question: Was this a trial or did you print out label. Is it small enough to fit on a letter-sized envelope? I've never been able to get a 6 x 9 under 1 oz with packing and had to use these to fit Paypal label & form on a small order. Granted it would still be less than Paypal. My concern is the delivery time and the multiple handlers - easier to get lost? I guess delivery time could be addressed with buyer.
  • Mark said:

    "The item would first be sorted at a USPS approved shipping consolidation facility"

    Once you have the new label on the envelope, can you drop it off at the Post Office? I'm a little confused as to what an approved shipping consolidation facility would be.
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