The 2013 USPS postal rate increase will hurt 2013 global sales with large increases in international Priority Mail.
For instance, if you're company ships using the small flat rate Priority Mail boxes, that price jumps from $16.95 to $23.95, a 41% increase.
To Canada, expect a $7 increase.
Need to ship a large package via international priority? Expect a $17 increase.
That huge rate increase will hurt many small eCommerce operations. The flat rate boxes provided by the USPS have been a staple of free shipping offers and have helped build international sales for domestic companies. That's helped small eCommerce groups compete against Amazon's bigger buying power.
Those sales will fall when international buyers have to pay a premium to get packages from the US.
Postal Rate Increase will Cause Fraud
The postal rate increase will also push many other small business to ship via USPS International First Class which goes up $5 for all countries but is still a cheaper option. Fraud in this shipping class is much higher for international mail, so expect eCommerce firms that choose this route to see higher loss. For us, we've taken $200 write downs because of lost mail and buyer fraud, so we never ship via this option.
Domestic costs rise about 20 to 25 percent for Priority Mail, which is also an impact but less severe. The brunt of the postal rate increase is still being born by international shipping.
And Parcel Post? It will be replaced next week with Parcel Select. It includes free signature confirmation but don't expect lower prices. And don't expect cheaper online rates as it will only be available at the Post Office.
For a great chart on all the rate increases, don't bother going to USPS.com. It's easier to study Latin than read their rate increase charts.
Other Shipping Options
Instead, try stamps.com at http://www.stamps.com/usps/postage-rate-increase. They have a great postal rate increase chart that will help guide you to the best rates for your business.
And try out FedEx, if you haven't already tried them. We've been leaning to Fedex now that the USPS service and rates have started to suffer. Members get a 20% discount and that has made them cheaper than USPS in many categories. Plus, they pickup, which is a big bonus.