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

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  • edited February 2018 0 LikesVote Down
    Doug said this at the beginning of the thread

    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...

    Doug

    Didn't catch this till this morning. The tool to allow buyers to purchase over a period of time is already in place. You can add the option to be able to pay by check or money order also. They can still pay by Paypal using that option. Over time they can make multiple purchases and the invoices can be combined where their is only 1 shipping fee. (Hipstamp only
    charges for the 1 shipping fee when those orders are combined into 1 invoice and not multiple fees on the shipping charges) If I remember correctly the down side to that is if you end up with non-paying bidder you would still pay the selling fees even if the buyer does not pay.
  • And I think if Mark was willing there may be a work around with that issue also. Say you did end up with a non-paying buyer in those cases Mark could offer a 1 time refund of the selling fees in those cases with the understanding that either the seller or Hipstamp REMOVES that person from using that service ever again with any seller. It's just idea to work through this all.

  • Thank you Jeri for doing so much of the leg-work !
  • edited February 2018 0 LikesVote Down
    Thanks Michael, but I thought in order to access this, the buyer had to request it first, and then I approve. Nobody had done that with me yet, though I wish they would. If I can set that in advance, I would. I'm going to scour the settings again to see if I can find it. I wasn't sure if that way of doing things would indeed allow the buyer to actually "buy" the items and take them off sale (reserve them) without checking out, and that it would avoid applying the S/H charges until the cart was actually checked out and noted as paid, whether by PayPal, check, or whatever.
  • edited February 2018 0 LikesVote Down
    OK, found it. Turns out I already had it flagged. So yes, I enable people to ask me for permission to "pay later". Nobody has ever done it. Maybe I need to advertise "Buy Now / Pay Later" with international buyers to promote sales over time and minimizing shipments (and S/H costs to them)... at a risk of non-payment, though.
  • Mailed my first shipment using this service today and thought i might provide some feedback. My label didn't print as 4X6 , but was full size with the bottom half of tracking numbers cut off. Apparently you need to change the settings at the top before you print. I attempted to do a reprint (one can be done at no charge on the same day) after I changed the settings, but it looked like I would again get a full size sheet so I didn't print it. Also the label showed I had paid postage for 4 oz, but I had entered just 1 oz which I was charged. It said that the item was mailed from Bat Cave, NC which I did, but found out that it's not necessary to mail it from the designated post office. It can be mailed from any post office where it is scanned into the system. I just checked the tracking number and it says a label was created and the PO is waiting on the item which was scanned by the PO shortly after 1:00 PM this afternoon. Don't understand why it doesn't show as having been received. Hopefully it's status will be updated this evening. As previously suggested, my parcel was sent to a NJ processing center rather than one on the west coast. The declared customs value on the form only showed 1 cent, although I had entered a total value of $11.80. I didn't see anywhere to change of value, so hopefully this won't cause a problem down the road. Unlike others, I didn't have any problem buying postage and only provide my credit card info on the shipping easy site. I never did receive a call back from their customer service department. Will let everyone know when the stamps are delivered to the Czech Republic
  • John, that might be my fault. I was prompted to download the Connect Easy printer software and I assumed everyone would be also. Sorry for that. It's a really quick download. It was so fast I wasn't sure I got it. Had to go check my computer programs. Perhaps that's the problem.

    I overrode the customs Form (Right hand side) because I had used Paypal store so the form had 14 items, wrong weight, etc. You can change everything on that screen. I had no problem changing everything.

    I will send you the name of the person to call. He's been waiting for you all :)



  • I don't have that warm fuzzy for mine. I shipped a package to Australia on 2/9 via the Postal Processing Facility. It is now 2/12 and the Tracking Number stlil says "Pre-Shipment: Shipping Label Created, USPS Awaiting Item".

    This can't be good.
  • Doug,

    Just to let you know I had one to Australia on Feb 5 that I shipped through the USPS and as of this morning this is what I get for the package i sent

    In-Transit
    February 11, 2018 at 3:15 pm

    Processed Through Facility

    AUSTRALIA

    Here is one that was sent to Russia on Feb 10th

    In-Transit
    February 12, 2018 at 12:53 pm

    Departed USPS Regional Facility

    CHICAGO IL INTERNATIONAL DISTRIBUTION CENTER

    This may be a way for us to see if there is a difference in how long it takes to get there using the different services. (I am still sending everything directly through the USPS. ) And Chicago has had 2 snow storms over the past 5 days so.....
  • Now for the $64,000 question

    How has the postal changes affected the sales?

    What I have found so far after 3 weeks and that includes 1 week of trying to figure out how I was going to handle this,(I am just going with the USPS package rate and not going to try using one of those services. I can't see how I can make using those services very practical for what I sell. Over half of my stock is in covers and heavier and larger items so most of those would end up parcels to begin with and from looking at those sites the price break for packages is only about a 5% discount over the USPS retail rate.)

    The smaller sized orders have taken a huge hit BUT what I am finding out so far is that it is NOT affecting the larger orders as much as I thought it would. Only a couple of questions about why the big increase on the postage. I have gone ahead and written a form letter that I can copy and past to let them know the why and that if they want to I can set them up the buy it now pay later option. (So far I got 1 person to sign up for it) Had a couple of small sales where the buyer paid the full postage rate (Under $5 but then they came back later and they ended up with orders over $35 before adding postage.) At this point it doesn't look like it's going to be as bad as I first thought it would be.
  • Thanks Jeri for the number. I will call latter today. One new question I have is about tracking numbers. The one listed on the site is NOT the one printed on the label. This morning I used the number scanned by the PO in Bat Cave and found a complete tracking history. My concern now is why they show Thursday as the expected delivery date. This would be great if that were the final destination, but my fear is they mean the processing facility in NJ. It also showed that I created the label 35 minutes latter than the time shown on the site. When I went to the shipping easy site, it still shows of PO is waiting for receipt of the item. If the buyer has received the number shown on the site and checked the status, he will think I haven't mailed it yet. Not good.

    Doug - Did you have a receipt when you mailed to Australia? If so, try using the tracking number on it.
    Note very goodHopefully I will get some answers that make sense.
  • Just a quick update. Spoke with Shipping Easy. He fixed my printer setting while on phone; however he had no explanation as to why different amount on label than requested or paid for and why there was a different tracking number on label than provided as link on site. Said he would research and email me.
  • I'm too old for these kind of headaches. Just going to price my foreign items so cheap, some dealers will buy and flip.
  • Ron it has nothing to do with foreign items. It's foreign sales. You can set you store to sell only to US buyers and eliminate international shipping hassles.
  • Of course you are correct, John. So far I have only listed US material for US delivery. I was anticipating when I put up my foreign items at prices that would have Brits exclaiming "be a good old chap and rescind that mailing restriction" , the Germans "ach, du lieber Gott", the French "Oh oui, s'il vous plait ! " --only to reluctantly decline due to the hassles of international mailing and give advantage to US dealers willing to take on the postal aggravations for a nifty profit.
  • Good News: My shipment arrived at US destination for distribution overseas today at 10:12 AM and not by 8:00 PM on Feb 15th as estimated from scan by post office.

    Bad News: My shipment still shows it is awaiting receipt at PO in Bat Cave on Shipping Easy site. Never did hear back from Shipping Easy. Will call again this afternoon for answers.
  • My fingers are crossed. Just had my first international shipment using ShippingEasy.

    I'm happy to report that I successfully purchased and printed the label, took it to the post office, and got an acceptance scan and receipt.

    I see that there are 2 different tracking codes. The standard one that's on the shipping label to the postal facility. I'll put this in and it should start showing up this evening.

    But there's also another one from ShippingEasy, beginning with a UM prefix and ending with a US suffix. It looks like it's also a USPS number. Is it correct to assume that it's an international tracking number?

    This package is going to Canada. Does anyone know if this will be door-to-door tracking, or just until it gets into the Canada Post mailstream?
  • Phil I have been trying to get an explanation from Shipping Easy since Tuesday as to why the scan the 22 digit number on the label is different than that shown on the website. They had no explanation and said he would bet back to me. The gentleman I spoke with has not returned two subsequent calls. I was able to track my envelope from my PO to Monday to their processing center on Wednesday. The 13 digit tracking number on their site still showed that I had not yet mailed it as of Wednesday PM when it was at their center in NJ. Today, the tracking number on their site shows it was received this morning, but had not yet been put back into the postal system as of 6:00 PM this evening Why the two tracking numbers show different results baffles me as well as why they may be sitting on it in NJ for more than 24 hours. I will let you know when I see some movement on my tracking number. Also I will try and call Shipping Easy again in the morning. Why this doesn't answer your question, it shows my frustration with the service this far.

    Did your postage print out correctly? My showed I had a 4 oz package. I only requested and paid for 1 oz. Mine is headed to the Czech Republic.
  • Does the guy have an accent from India?
  • Thanks, John, for that helpful response!

    I suspect that both the east and west coast shipping consolidation centers are simply deluged. These are the same consolidation facilities* that stamps.com uses, and stamps.com heavily promoted this service ahead of the USPS rate change, so I suspect the centers are slammed hard. (I know other online sellers (non-philatelic) who are using one company or the other, and it's slow for them too, right now.) It makes me a little nervous to see these delays, especially since I'm in Los Angeles and typically USPS international items get dispatched out of here quickly, often getting to their destinations in surprisingly short order. So my fingers are crossed.

    I did notice the same thing with the 4-oz paid to the USPS. I had entered my package as 3-oz, so was surprised to see that as well, but it must be part of the terms of their agreement with the USPS.

    Hopefully all will go well, and that we'll all get used to this soon!
  • Ron, I noticed when I looked at the ShippingEasy website before I signed up that they said their customer service support was based in the US. (Austin, TX, I think. That's where the company is based.)

    During my sign-up process, I ended speaking with one marketing representative to solve a problem I was having, and she was definitely a native English speaker.
  • Phil thanks for the explanation as to the delay, but still puzzled why my "tracking" provides two different results for the same item. Hopefully I can get some answers on Friday.
  • Well, I think the one on the label you printed out is just the domestic tracking, getting it from your place to the US consolidation center. I *think* the next one (which is the one shown on the ShippingEasy dashboard), is the tracking number they use once they gain possession of the item and send it on through the mailstream. (That's just my hypothesis at this point. We'll see how this all turns out.)

    Thanks for all your help, John!
  • Having listed a ton
    selling can be fun
    when the auction's won
    and the shippings done

    Burma Shave
  • For those shipping via a tracked method with a customs declaration from the US to Canada, this MAY attract attention and further delay from those wonderful people who collect GST ( Goods and Services TAX). I find that registered letters from the Baltics, for example, rarely attract GST attention but just about anything from the US will get dinged for GST or HST (Harmonized Sales Tax). My solution on US shipments is to have them shipped to my US address but that's not realistic for most collectors. Be prepared for a lot of wailing and tears if your Canadian customer gets dinged for GST or HST.
  • Dennis, when does that kick in? Is there GST or HST on, say, a $10 or $15 shipment? (not including shipping)
  • Supposedly anything over $20 Canadian is subject to tax, even though it costs more to collect on a $21 shipment than the tax paid. The GST has been around since the early 90's, and is still detested by many Canadians. I believe that the cost of shipping would be included. In actual practice low value shipments may not be taxed UNLESS they are shipped by UPS or Fedex where EVERYTHING will have GST assessed and a fee charged for UPS and /or FEDEX for collecting the tax. Canada Post also charge a fee of I believe $10 FOR Collecting the tax. On low value shipments I would just send them as normal mail.
  • Still unable to talk with gentleman at Shipping Easy, concerning different tracking numbers, but the tracking number posted on their dashboard showed movement this AM and this afternoon my envelop should be over the Atlantic. My non domestic sales have eroded with my increased shipping charges, so might have to consider reducing them and including them in first class mail as suggested. Does anyone know what the penalties are if caught violating the new policies?

    Mark, if I reduce shipping fees, on larger orders that can't be sent first class, can we request additional postage from buyer and/or have the option of canceling the order, if not cost effective to make a sale? If canceled, would HipStamp fees be
    reimbursed? Thanks.
  • Just to note, it's currently against our terms and conditions to request additional postage from a buyer (shipping costs must be set using the options we provide). Similarly, it's also against our terms and conditions to cancel a sale because it's not cost effective, or a minimum amount has not been met, etc.
  • Thanks. .... John
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