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# USPS rate hikes went into effect on Jan. 17th.

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For those of you who didn't know, major rate hikes went into effect on Jan. 17th.

Here's a rundown of the changes.

Priority Mail

Sees about a 9% increase across the board for both retail and commercial rates.

Also, for some time now, Priority mail shipments to zone 5-8 destinations that are greater than 1 cubic foot in volume (12"x12"x12") have been subject to dimensional weight pricing. I know this is confusing to a lot of people, myself included, so let me try to explain.

For any parcel with a volume greater than a cubic foot (1728 cubic inches), the dimensional weight rate may apply instead of the parcel's actual weight. Dimensional weight is calculated as follows.

(Length x Width x Height) ÷ 194 = Dimensional weight (round up). Parcels over 1 cubic foot in volume will be charged either this dimensional weight or their actual weight, whichever is greater.

As an example, a 12"x12"x14" parcel has a dimensional weight of 11 lbs. (12x12x14 = 2016 ÷ 194 = 10.39 = 11 lbs.) This means that even if the parcel's actual weight is less than 11 lbs., the parcel will still be charged the 11 lb. rate because of its volume. At 12 lbs. of actual weight or greater, the parcel would be priced according to its actual weight.

Dimensional weight pricing can significantly increase your shipping costs. A 3 lb. item in a 12"x12"x12" box would cost \$14.47 to ship to a zone 8 destination. That same 3 lb. item shipped in the 12"x12"x14" box used in the example would cost \$37.49 to ship to that same destination.

Standard Post (Previously retail-rate Parcel Post)

Standard Post has been renamed yet again. Now called Retail Ground, with rates jumping 10%.

Parcel Select Nonpresort (Previously commercial-rate Parcel Post)

Renamed yet again to Parcel Select Ground, but only sees about a 2% rate increase.

Available through Paypal shipping.

First Class

Commercial First Class Parcel rates increase ~13%. However, First Class Commercial Parcels can now weigh up to 16 oz. (15.999).

Retail First Class is still limited to 13 oz. and I don't know what kind of rate hikes it has seen. I haven't paid retail prices in a long time.

First Class Package International Service

Sees a whopping 21% increase on average, though there are some discounts in the 1.5 to 2 lb. weight range. I figured it would be harder for those outside the US to learn of these changes, so I made some graphs comparing the old and new prices for both Western Europe and Canada.

--Note the sweet-spots in the 24 to 32 oz. range--

______________________

Also, it appears as if USPS is no longer giving a discount when purchasing postage through their Click-N-Ship service. USPS's retail and online rates appear to be identical. Postage printed through Paypal still appears to be priced at commercial rates, thankfully.

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Welcome to Canada. We've had the stupid measurement weight thing for awhile.

One poster tube was 3 U.S. Dollars, coast to coast in the U.S.

Same poster tube in Canada, one province to the next, 14 bucks Canadian.

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Thanks for the alert on this. I now feel very fortunate that I shipped out some packages mere days before this happened. I might have to forego offering free shipping on certain packages from here on.

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Yeah just found out about this, flat rate small box was \$5.25 and then all the sudden its \$6.10 now. Was thinking i clicked something wrong lol.

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That explains the heart-attack inducing \$45 price quoted online when I was packing one item sold on eBay. I used correct size and weight and eBay charged the buyer only \$15 so they may not have updated the pricing yet.

After some checking, I shaved an inch off one end and the price dropped to 17 dollars. One fucking inch between 17 and 45 dollars!

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That explains the heart-attack inducing \$45 price quoted online when I was packing one item sold on eBay. I used correct size and weight and eBay charged the buyer only \$15 so they may not have updated the pricing yet.

eBay's shipping price calculator is not correctly accounting for the dimensional weights of certain package sizes to certain destinations. I called tech support and reported the problem, but who knows if it will ever get fixed.

After some checking, I shaved an inch off one end and the price dropped to 17 dollars. One fucking inch between 17 and 45 dollars!

Yup. One inch can make all the difference. A feather in a 12"x12"x13" box will cost more to ship than 10 lbs. of potatoes in a 12"x12"x12" box.

As another example of dimensional weight craziness, I just shipped a 4 lb. item in a 22"x15"x6" box to California. But because California is a zone 4 destination relative to me, the package was not subject to dimensional weight pricing, so it only cost me \$8.75 to ship it using Commercial Rate Priority. If that package had been going to the east coast (zone 8 relative to me), dimensional weight would have been applied to the package and it would have cost \$37.49 to ship.

Edited by Christophero Sly
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Nice post. Thanks.

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Are increases coming to Priority Mail Int'l as well as 1st Class??

Although the new prices are nasty, 1st Class Int'l still remains a relatively affordable shipping method between he US and Canada - until you get into heavier weights (glad I don't need a PEB right now!).

eBay now defaults to the GSP when sellers create auctions/ads, and most don't know how/don't want to change it to straight USPS. The GSP uses Priority Mail, then ads it's value-based brokerage fees (most often completely bogus for shipments to Canada where NAFTA negates duties on vintage/used soft/hardware). These inappropriate fees double the cost of shipping on any item over \$30, so if Priority Mail is going up too, Ebay gets taken off the table as a viable source for a vintage tech enthusiasts in Canada (who are already reeling from a reduced-commodity-price dollar)

Shipping + GSP fees for something as light as a single cartridge will cost \$30-\$50. Folks, at markets close on Friday that was \$45 to \$70 Canadian!! (if it's something like Espial or Arcturus where the bids always hit triple digits, you can double or triple the bogus GSP fees!!)

I never liked ebay or it's pseudo-auction model, but it is one of the few buy&sell sites where Canadian hobbyist can find a wide array of TI paraphernalia, and until now I've been willing to pay a premium for access to the large selection.

Bottom line is that while the increases in 1st Class Int'l are huge, they are still a bargain in comparison to the cost of shipping using eBay's now ubiquitous GSP!

ATTN: All Canadian 99ers (especially those east of Saskatchewan)!!!... You're bored with this hobby, your wives want their sewing rooms back, and you could use some extra beer money. It's time to grown up and get rid of your collections once and for all (and sell them to me).

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I seen the price hike, it was advertised on my local news. I generally ship majority First class. The price did not go up a whole lot. A 7oz package was \$2.53 it is now \$2.60 so it looks like First class packages went up between 2.6% to 2.9%. edited, in my next post.

I could probably get the exact % if I looked up my past packages 8oz, 9oz, and so on and compared, but not that important lol.

That dimensional weight is BS though and I never knew about that. That really sucks. Glad I don't ship much that requires big packages. Looks like UPS might be a valid shipping source now. They have always been better on the bigger packages anyhow, especially the ones that weigh a lot.

Edited by icemanxp300
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Looks like shipping anything First Class International between 12oz and 20oz really gets the shaft then. Like me ordering a couple of comic books then *face palm* not good... not good...

Yup. One inch can make all the difference.

That's what she said.

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Well I need to change my story. It appears it is \$2.54 until 4oz which is \$2.60 up to 8 oz and then 9 oz it goes up to \$3.30, and keeps going up \$.05 after that up to 15oz so the % is different now and can't be calculated that way.

A 6oz was like \$2.37 then 7oz was \$2.53 and 8oz was \$2.71 Seems like the only ones that didn't change much was 7oz and 8 oz. You actually save \$\$ now on 8oz packages from before but everything else went up I think.

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Christophero, this is avery informative post, and I appreciate your taking the time to summarize the package-related USPS rate changes that just went into effect. As someone who ships a fair number of packages, both domestically and internationally, these yearly rate changes directly affect me. USPS package rates have been climbing pretty steadily for the last several years, and two or three years ago the USPS International Rates nearly doubled for many countries. It is interesting to watch as it gets more and more expensive to use USPS.

Fortunately most of the packages I ship are smaller than one cubic foot, but I do sometimes run into the dimensional rates. And, yeah, it does seem pretty unfair when you have a package that's only slightly larger than one cubic foot and the rate jumps by what seems to be an obscene amount. That's when I'll ship a package via UPS instead (assuming it's a domestic package). International rates, though, are getting worse at what seems to be a much faster rate. I'd say about 20% of the packages I ship are outside the US, so it sucks to see a 21% average rate increase.

Thanks again for putting this together. I was aware of the changes (I have to keep on top of them), but it's nice to see them spelled out very cleanly.

..Al

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I just encountered the most irritating example of dimensional weight pricing. The maximum volume that a parcel can be before it is subject to dimensional weight pricing is 1728 cubic inches (12"x12"x12"). I was trying to send something in a box measuring 19"x13"x7". Its volume in cubic inches is 1729. One single cubic inch over the limit.

Well I need to change my story. It appears it is \$2.54 until 4oz which is \$2.60 up to 8 oz and then 9 oz it goes up to \$3.30, and keeps going up \$.05 after that up to 15oz so the % is different now and can't be calculated that way.

A 6oz was like \$2.37 then 7oz was \$2.53 and 8oz was \$2.71 Seems like the only ones that didn't change much was 7oz and 8 oz. You actually save \$\$ now on 8oz packages from before but everything else went up I think.

Here is a graph showing the rate changes for First Class Commercial Parcels. The new rates are \$2.60 from 1 to 8 oz., then it jumps to \$3.30 at 9 oz., and then it's an additional 5¢ for every ounce up to \$3.65 at 15.999 oz.

I don't have an old price file for First Class Retail Parcels, so I can't make a comparison graph, but here is the new price list for that service.

Are increases coming to Priority Mail Int'l as well as 1st Class??

Yup. Priority International rates have gone up ~10% on average. Edited by Christophero Sly
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And yet, when you go into the PO, to mail anything, your lucky if there is one "clerk". At my local PO there is always a line of people waiting .

There is even a large sign that says for Ebay and International mail with an arrow pointing to a empty counter. The one time I found a guy there I started walking towards him and he held his hand up and said no you have to go the other line. I pointed to the Ebay sign and he shrugged me off.

Customer service really stinks and I imagine the people who do work there are not happy about being understaffed.

Another company who raises rates, gets rid of help, and wonders why their business is tanking!

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Is parcel post safe from the 1728 rule?

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Is parcel post safe from the 1728 rule?

Dunno, I know for sure it is not safe from rule 34!

So shipping anything large or heavy outside USA can reach highway robbery level, is there still a practical way to ship something, say a nice laptop to a "long lost" relative to Nigeria? They still try to scam me with fake shit and try to get me to mail them cash, I mail them rock or brick valued at \$10,000 but I may have to stop as it's getting expensive to ship anything.

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Is parcel post safe from the 1728 rule?

Parcel Post been renamed Retail Ground/Parcel Select Ground, but, yes, it is safe. Dimensional weights do no apply to that service. Edited by Christophero Sly
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• 2 months later...

This came to me a few days ago in my eBay messages. I didn't read it until now.

LOWER USPS FIRST-CLASS RATES
COMING APRIL 10 Effective April 10, 2016, the US Postal Service plans to reverse a 4.3% surcharge previously applied to certain mailing rates and services, including its First-Class Mail Parcel rate at USPS retail locations, Media Mail rate, and extra services such as Domestic Insurance and Signature confirmation.

As a result of this price decrease, we plan to lower the eBay label rate for First-Class packages between 1 and 3 ounces to match the First-Class Mail Parcel retail rate. As always, be sure to calculate your shipping costs correctly—and check our Announcement Board in the weeks to come for more updates.
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It took eBay about 3 weeks to fix the postage calculator when the price was raised and eBay forgot to raise the price so sellers often got short changed.

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• 1 year later...

Well USPS increased prices again. The following are first class (online) rates. It use to be 5 oz to 8 oz was the same, not anymore.

https://pe.usps.com/text/dmm300/Notice123.htm

First-Class Package Service

Commercial­—Parcels

Weight Not Over (oz.)3,4

Single Piece

1oz \$2.66

2oz \$2.66

3oz \$2.66

4oz \$2.66

5oz \$2.79

6oz \$2.92

7oz \$3.05

8oz \$3.18

9oz \$3.34

10oz \$3.50

11oz \$3.66

12oz \$3.82

13oz \$4.10

14oz \$4.38

15oz \$4.66

15.999oz \$4.94

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Well USPS increased prices again. The following are first class (online) rates. It use to be 5 oz to 8 oz was the same, not anymore.

https://pe.usps.com/text/dmm300/Notice123.htm

First-Class Package Service

Commercial­—Parcels

Weight Not Over (oz.)3,4

Single Piece

1oz \$2.66

2oz \$2.66

3oz \$2.66

4oz \$2.66

5oz \$2.79

6oz \$2.92

7oz \$3.05

8oz \$3.18

9oz \$3.34

10oz \$3.50

11oz \$3.66

12oz \$3.82

13oz \$4.10

14oz \$4.38

15oz \$4.66

15.999oz \$4.94

Good to know- this could affect a few smaller things that I ship.

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The simple answer here is if you sell on ebay since they give a break if you're shipping through them.

They still are scum who charge fees on shipping all the same, so to not lose on shipping 1-5oz stuff that used to ship breaking even at \$2.50 is now \$3. At 6oz-9oz I believe 3.50 instead of 3, 10oz-12oz is now \$4, and 13oz-15.99oz is \$4.50-5. All of them jumping up .50 cents higher to the buyer whether you post it as a fee or rolling into a so called free shipping situation.

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The simple answer here is if you sell on ebay since they give a break if you're shipping through them.

They still are scum who charge fees on shipping all the same, so to not lose on shipping 1-5oz stuff that used to ship breaking even at \$2.50 is now \$3. At 6oz-9oz I believe 3.50 instead of 3, 10oz-12oz is now \$4, and 13oz-15.99oz is \$4.50-5. All of them jumping up .50 cents higher to the buyer whether you post it as a fee or rolling into a so called free shipping situation.

You lost me again.

Yes ebay sucks for charging fees on shipping but they did it because people would sell a \$100 item that cost \$5 to ship for \$5 and \$100 shipping. Then they would pay fees on \$5 instead of a \$100. It was too much of a hassle to keep up on everyone and if they closed their account, the person would just create a new one.

Those first class prices are the same whether eBay, PayPal, or Etsy and so on. If you walk into a post office you pay higher rates. Now eBay does give "real" discounts for priority mail packages and first class international packages over PayPal and Etsy.

I generally print all my labels directly via PayPal unless it is a bigger package or to Canada, then I will print through eBay since it is cheaper. The shipping savings eBay gives generally makes up for the fees they charge when shipping anything but first class. I only exclude first class because PayPal and Etsy and such all have that same exact discount.

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Canadapost just did their price hikes too. They totally did away with light packet from what I was told as well. That really sucks cause you could sent single carts in bubble mailers with light packet for \$4 cheaper. Now the cheapest way is \$8 without risking a return to sender

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Good to know, thanks for the heads up. I've been waiting until everyones' wallets recovered from holiday spending to sell anything, but now I will certainly look up prices ahead of time before posting a shipping included price.

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