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



  • John

    That all depends on the customs agency that should open the envelope. If it's a low value item they may or may send it on. Usually one of 2 things will happen either they confiscate the merchandise if it was exported without a customs form.
    If the merchandise was shipped WITHOUT an invoice they can either confiscate the merchandise or they can send it on with estimated duties attached in which the customer must pay for in order to get the merchandise. If the customer does not pay the duties the goods will be seized and not returned to you. (They are then figured to be goods being smuggled into the country)

    As for penalties and jail time that is very complicated as to which agency has jurisdiction. Some of the information is included here.

    What Every Member of the
    Trade Community Should Know About:
    Customs Administrative
    Enforcement Process: Fines,
    Penalties, Forfeitures and
    Liquidated Damages

  • Thanks for the link and info.
  • John

    Here is part of what you are looking for

    Violations Involving Dutiable Articles:
    If first offense, where there is knowledge of the declaration requirements, the
    undeclared articles are discovered by the Customs officers, and there are no
    mitigating or aggravating factors: Three times duty (but not less than $50), or the
    domestic value, whichever is lower.
    If mitigating factors are present: From one and one-half to three times the duty,
    or the domestic value, whichever is lower.
    If extraordinary mitigating factors are present: Customs may reduce the mitigated
    amount to one times the duty.
    If aggravating factors are present: From three to six times the duty (but not less
    than $100), or the domestic value, whichever is lower.
    If extraordinary aggravating factors are present: From six to eight times the duty,
    (but not less than $250), or the domestic value, whichever is lower, in cases
    where the offense is a second or subsequent violation. Denial of relief or
    mitigation to no less than eight times the duty, or the domestic value, whichever
    is lower, in cases where the offense is a second or subsequent violation and
    there are aggravating factors.
  • what with HipStamp and PayPal fees and international shipping costs, pretty soon we might wind up having to pay for the privilege of someone taking stamps off our hands
  • Been watching this thread since its beginning and can certainly understand the frustrations expressed by many contributors. 35% of my sales come from international buyers on Feebay and Hip Stamp but also 90% of my problems with "lost" shipments also come from those sales. Firmly believe that registered mail and mail with customs forms are advertisements for "steal me". Since I made the decision about a week ago to abandon all international sales on both selling sites, my stress level has remarkably been reduced.
  • So, has anyone who's shipped using ShippingEasy seen any of their items leave the US yet through their shipping dashboard?

    Even better, does anyone's parcel show as having been placed in transit in another country yet?

    Does anyone have a shipment that shows tracking through the USPS based on the tracking number in the dashboard?

    (My parcel, mailed Thursday, does show tracking through USPS but for the label number on the package. According the USPS, it was delivered last night (Sat evening). And on the ShippingEasy dashboard, it also shows as having been received last night as well. (But the USPS number, the UM number, still shows as "on its way to USPS", and "Arrived Shipping Partner Facility, USPS Awaiting Item".))
  • I was under the impression my was on its way, but don't know for sure. It had left the Lyndhurst Processing Center and had also

    Departed USPS Regional Facility
    on February 16, 2018, 12:26 pm

    Subsequent updates are as follows and not very helpful.

    On February 17, 2018, 12:26 pm
    In Transit to Next Facility

    Currently it shows: February 18, 2018, 12:26 pm
    In Transit to Next Facility

    It appears the system is merely repeating itself every 24 hours.

    Not very encouraging.
  • Thanks, John. I'll take that as encouraging -- it shows that it re-entered the USPS' hands here in the US.

    Are the updates you've noted above directly from the ShippingEasy dashboard, or are they through the USPS? ... If you click on the tracking number in the SE dashboard, it should open up a pop-up window or new page that's from the USPS. Is that where the updates you showed are coming from?

    Thanks again for taking the time to share your experiences about this!
  • It's from the USPS. I'm glad you are encouraged, but why then are there discrepancies between the tracking scan on the label and the SE dashboard link, if both were provided by the USPS?
  • Just checked my shipment of February 7th:

    "Your item departed a transfer airport in BORISPOL, KIEV, UKRAINE on February 18, 2018 at 3:52 pm. The item is currently in transit to the destination."

    Actually, that's not a bad time frame - 12 days.
  • Great News Jeri ----
    I just received another order from the one I'm tracking and waiting until it arrives before I send the new order. I feel bad for charging my new shipping rate on the inexpensive stamps, but apparently the buyer is OK with it or hasn't check to see the cost.
  • My shipment to Australia shows it has already left Sydney utilizing the tracking number in ShippingEasy. I just printed a label to the UK today. Like yours, John, a small order with a large Shipping cost. I refund a good amount of S/H charges because one doesn't know what shipping costs are until the order is packaged. Again, too bad we have to pay fees here for shipping/handling, especially when it's refunded . Do I sound like a broken record yet? Snap snap wink wink nudge nudge grin grin... Hey asked him knowingly.... a nod's as good as a wink to a blind bat, eh?
  • edited February 2018 0 LikesVote Down

    If you sell mostly stamps it should be a fairly simple fix. What you may want to do is get the rate table from the site you are using. Then go and package up a very small basic flat to get your base line for your basic shipping charge. Then go and take some time and figure out an average of the number of items you can ship within the next oz rate. Within the shipping set up you should be able to set a base rate and then add what you need for each added oz.

    This is an example off of what you would see (This is from a seller on Hippostcard)

    $7.50 $1.50 for every 5th additional item Standard Shipping

    There should be no reason that you have to refund on your shipping and handling. (As long as your stock is mostly stamps and not over sized or heavier items you should be able to do it simply)
  • edited February 2018 1 LikesVote Down
    One thing that is concerning me is the competition. I have been doing a bunch of spot checking other sellers international rates. Most of them either A ) Don't know about the new rules/shipping rates or B ) are ignoring the new rules/shipping rates or C ) taking a serious loss on shipping (which I doubt). How am I going to compete for international business when I'm charging $8 for shipping and others are charging $3?

    I offered one of my good international buyers free shipping if they would volunteer to be my "guinea pig" so I can try the Easy Ship website. It took me about 3 hours to get a good label. I could not figure out how to get it to print landscape instead of portrait. Pretty crazy but I think I got it down. Hopefully, I will get another international order soon so I don't forget the steps.

  • You can forget me as competition. I set my new international shipping rates in late January at $10 for Canada, $12 for Mexico and $14 for all other countries. After taking a quick look at Easy Ship, I did not want the hassle of trying to figure out how to use them as a service.

    For me this is just a hobby, not means of financial support. I am retired and just started the process of selling off my accumulation as a new hobby. I will still have my collection, only now it will exist as a virtual collection on my computer hard drive as the pictures that have been scanned in of each of my stamps. Since this is a hobby, I want it to be an enjoyable consumption of time and not something to get upset about. So I set my international rates at an amount that will cover most of my shipping cost but not all. Since most of the stamps I am using as postage could be considered scrape postage and could only be sold in bulk at a deep discount from face, any infrequent sales that I do make will not cause me any financial hardship.

    I only started listing items for sale in mid-November of 2017. By mid-December I was recording a bit less than one sale each day, with about half coming from outside of the United States. When I put the new shipping fees into place in late January, my international sales completely stopped. I did have one inquiry today from someone in Poland if I could reduce my shipping fees for them since they only wanted one stamp with a sale price of $1.50. I declined.

    I may get a few international sales in the future once I get some of my better (higher value) material listed. Only when these higher shipping fees are relatively small percentage of the entire sale do I expect to see any international sales.
  • edited February 2018 0 LikesVote Down
    Sounds like we need some high profile collectors, sellers or celebrities to encourage the pro-business administration to get the USPS to give the stamp collecting industry a waiver. :smile:
    I don't suppose the US president collect stamps.....
  • Does USPS sell large quantities of its stamps to international customers?
    Ditto with the United Nations NY?
  • Dropped my envelope at the counter of my local post office yesterday morning. When I enter the tracking number I'm only getting:
    GLEN RIDGE, NJ 07028 on February 18, 2018 at 11:15 am

  • That tracking number won't change until it arrives at the processing center in Lyndhurst. The receipt your received at the PO will tract it to Lyndhurst.
  • Ok... Thanks for the clarification... Glen Ridge to Lyndhurst is about a 20 minute drive. Dropped off at 8am yesterday and it is still not scanned. If not scanned by tomorrow morning, will talk to my postal clerks.
  • Robert, if you do, talk real slowly
  • I'm seeing others had the same issue. I'll try to be patient.
  • Don't know how your mail is routed, but in my town, all mail goes to Greenville, SC which is 60 miles away, even if you are sending mail to a PO that is 5 miles away.
  • I just scanned a package I dropped off Feb 17th and this is what I am getting from the PO. (And that includes the weekend with a postal holiday on Monday)

    Your item departed a transfer airport in O'HARE INTERNATIONAL, CHICAGO, UNITED STATES on February 21, 2018 at 10:55 am. The item is currently in transit to the destination.

    February 21, 2018 at 10:55 am



    Just for kicks and giggles this one was dropped off at the PO yesterday morning

    Your item arrived at our USPS facility in CHICAGO IL INTERNATIONAL DISTRIBUTION CENTER on February 21, 2018 at 2:17 am. The item is currently in transit to the destination.

    February 21, 2018 at 2:17 am

    Arrived at USPS Regional Facility


    I live about 90 miles from Chicago so.....

    And both of these are going as retail first class parcels.

    It does look like going through those services are going to slow done the actual delivery time. (And how is this going to work during Nov and Dec?)
  • Just as an update on how quickly they are going through USPS directly as opposed to the time frame via Shipping Easy et al. Both parcels that were dropped off on Tuesday Feb 20th have left Chicago and are on their way overseas. (One to Germany and the other to the UK)
  • Received 3 international orders yesterday with my new shipping rate of $7.50. I have no problems with the buyer that purchased $20 plus in stamps, but the other orders were for 10 cents and 47 cents and I'm holding one for 90 cents waiting for their first shipment to arrive. The last tracking info on that order is still stuck at "In-Transit" since Feb 19th on a Feb 12th shipment. Personally I feel bad selling these stamps. I should probably assume these buyers are OK with it or they wouldn't have paid for it, but it still bothers me. Tempted to mail them the old fashion way and reimburse them some shipping costs, but then I'd be breaking the rules and subject to fine. Wish selling stamps wasn't becoming so complicated.

    Does anyone know if we as sellers are obligated to reimburse buyers should the stamps not arrive? I know in the past as a courtesy to buyers, I did so, but then I was only out $1.15 plus fees and the stamps. At these new rates it would not be so easy to swallow.
  • My 2 envelopes have not been scanned in yet (since Tuesday). I spoke to my postal clerk, after talking to her supervisor in the back , somehow they were able to determine that the envelopes are in customs. She is not sure why they have not scanned the envelopes, that they should have.
  • Both are now scanned into Lyndhurst... Whew...
  • Beginning to wonder if Shipping Easy is the way to go. Still don't know if my first shipment sent Feb 12th has arrived. The last tracking info was Feb 19th indicating it's in transit to next facility. A second shipment is apparently still at their sorting facility in Lyndhurst. It arrived there on Feb 26th. I cheated and mailed another order using USPS First Class letter on Feb 25th and my customer received it today in the Netherlands. Apparently the only great service is the one you shouldn't use. Hope others have had better success with SE.
  • My first package sent via SE made it to Australia, eventually... All was in good order, but I do think their claim that it takes the same amount of time is an outright lie. Not even close. I have decided to only drop packages off at the counter so I can get the domestic tracking number to the facility. Then when it gets to Chicago, it does seem to take forever for them to process it and get it going internationally. The savings are good, though (compared to the alternative). I just can't risk my kids' college funds and my family's well-being by being the lucky one to be selected to be the "example" that they decide to enforce the laws on. Too much for me to risk.
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