USPS Changes Causing Stress for Ecommerce Sellers

Neither rain, sleet, nor snow will keep U.S. Postal Service mail carriers from making their appointed rounds, but proposed plans to cut expenses at the post office just might. As you already know, on January 27th, 2013 the United States Post Office implemented a hefty price increase that knocked online sellers for a loop. Not only did sellers see domestic shipping prices go up by as much as 58.6-percent, but the fallout really hit pocketbooks when sellers realized that International shipping prices had gone straight through the roof.

The fun from the U.S. Post Office isn’t over, however, as this week they made the announcement that as of August 2013, there will no longer be mail delivery on Saturdays. Well, no delivery of letters — that is. They do claim that they will still deliver packages, although only to PO boxes, but many people are wondering if continuing to do that will ultimately be practical or even cost effective.

Ironically, while the Internet is perhaps the primary reason for the decline of the United States Post Office’s revenue over the last several years, it is also their one saving grace. Not only is the package-delivery business steadily growing, but it is due in large part because of eBay and Amazon sellers who still find that using USPS is cheaper and more convenient than shipping with UPS or FedEx.

Meanwhile, Wired reported that the post office may actually get a boost of business from Amazon if the online giant goes through with plans to offer buyers more opportunities for same-day delivery service. While FedEx and UPS have kind of an advantage over the post office because they specialize in this type of service and already have the framework for overnight delivery in place, they are at a bit of a disadvantage for same-day service because packages that are picked up by FedEx and UPS must first go to a distribution center before it heads off to its final destination. Amazon has voiced that since the post office already has the infrastructure in place, all the post office would have to do is switch where its drivers go and when.

Although I’m not sure how the post office’s financial problems will ultimately play out, I do think there will be some more restructuring from them and probably in the not too distant future. Hopefully, the next time, however, it will work to the seller’s advantage and not against them, or at least, let’s hope it won’t be as painful to our pocketbooks.

While the changes seem sure to come, the details have yet to be decided so my advice is to lose the stress and just be ready to roll with the changes.

About our Guest Blogger
This guest post is by Kat Simpson. Kat is a trusted eCommerce author, speaker, educator, and entrepreneur. Kat Simpson has been a successful eCommerce merchant for over 10 years; is an eBay Education Specialist and Gold Level PowerSeller, as well as a successful Amazon merchant. Currently Kat is the hosts the popular weekly eCommerce Podcast That Kat Radio.

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