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2019 USPS Rate Increases - Is Philately Collateral Damage?

 
 
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Pillar Of The Community
United States
1062 Posts
Posted 10/11/2018   2:01 pm  Show Profile Check cfrphoto's eBay Listings Bookmark this topic Add cfrphoto to your friends list Get a Link to this Message
The proposed 2019 United States Postal Service rates have been published, or have they?



The USPS proposal to change First-Class Package Service in 2019 to a zone-based service could have profound impacts on stamp dealers selling on eBay and other web sites. Will the USPS continue to accept stamps for this service? While many stamp dealers continue to use Certified or Registered mail, First-Class package service provides an economical alternative with tracking acceptable to philatelic insurance providers.

Now, a First-Class Package with tracking can be mailed anywhere in the US for $3.50 retail. Stamps can be used. Negotiated rates are much lower, usually about $2.68. The extreme disparity between retail and negotiated rates opened in the last two years as rates were dramatically increased. Rates have nearly doubled in the last five years.

Published news reports tend to ignore First-Class Package service rates, leaving up to dealers to scramble in January to get information on new rates. If the structure of the service is changing, when will we find out?
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Valued Member
United States
184 Posts
Posted 10/11/2018   9:53 pm  Show Profile Check ggreve's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add ggreve to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
50 to 55 cents WOW! We have never had a 5 cent rate hike. Closest would be 4 cents back in 1981 from 25 to 29.

This requires special approve by congress, right? There is no way a 10% rate increase is in line with inflation.
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Pillar Of The Community
United States
1769 Posts
Posted 10/11/2018   10:33 pm  Show Profile Check eyeonwall's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add eyeonwall to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
"Will the USPS continue to accept stamps for this service?"

What makes you think this will change?
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Pillar Of The Community
United States
1062 Posts
Posted 10/12/2018   01:05 am  Show Profile Check cfrphoto's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add cfrphoto to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
USPS proposed retail rates for First-Class Package service continue to increase at a much faster pace than commercial rates. USPS Reginal Flat-Rate boxes, a relatively new product, have no retail rate. Introducing zone pricing will further discourage use of stamps.
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Pillar Of The Community
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United States
2021 Posts
Posted 10/12/2018   08:28 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add angore to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
I do not consider 55 outrageous but it does impact high volume users. If UPS/Fed Ex had their way, everything would be expensive. Given the USPS financial situation (some their own fault, some external) it is more a race to see how much they can raise vs continue to lose money.
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Al
Pillar Of The Community
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United States
4052 Posts
Posted 10/12/2018   11:23 am  Show Profile Check revenuecollector's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add revenuecollector to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Zone-based 1st class parcel rates are going to be a fustercluck, especially when determining what to charge for shipping on eBay, as you don't necessarily know where the buyer is located in advance. I've always used flat rate U.S. shipping when listing on eBay, but I may have to change that to calculated shipping which is added complexity that I don't trust eBay to not fark up. Ugh.

Or I might just charge based on the middle rate and leave it at that, hoping that as costs average out I'm covered.

With both PayPal and eBay taking their cut of shipping costs, it is becoming increasingly difficult to traffic in small light-weight items. Really, the only thing that makes it viable is buying discount postage. If not for that, it wouldn't work.
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Pillar Of The Community
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United States
2021 Posts
Posted 10/12/2018   12:26 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add angore to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Maybe the USPS noticed that they giveaway far more priority mail envelopes than actually get used as a mail item.
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Al
Edited by angore - 10/12/2018 12:26 pm
Valued Member
Israel
412 Posts
Posted 10/19/2018   03:39 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Rob Roy to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Maybe all this will change, now that the USA pulls out of the UPU?
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