As many of you are probably aware, the US Postal service has decided to double the rate of International First Class Mail from $6.39 to $12.85. Most Etsy sellers knew well ahead of time that the usual postal rate increase was coming this January, however most of us were taken completely off guard by the magnitude of this postal increase. We were lucky to have found out a day ahead of the actual rate increase and adjusted our shipping costs appropriately, but for an unfortunate majority, purchasing that first international label on January 17th brought one ugly surprise as well as hitting many with some hefty losses in revenue.
We had absolutely no choice but to raise our shipping rates as well, however we absolutely disagree with this decision and are outraged to say the least. While few take the time to write letters or participate in any sort of democratic processes, we decided to compose a letter to express our discontent:
Date: January 22, 2016
Congressman Steve Pearce
570 N. Telshor Blvd.
Las Cruces, NM 88011
Ref: Postal Rate Increase
Dear Congressman Pearce,
As you aware, the US Postal Service has announced rate increases effective as of January 17, 2016 that average from 12% to as much as 100% in the case of International First Class Mail. We are homeowners in Las Cruces and a small e-commerce business specializing in custom handmade jewelry, accessories and guitar picks with international sales averaging approximately 30% of our gross annual revenue.
Most of our shipments are packaged in small lightweight envelopes and that have had postal charges to international customers in Europe, Australia and Canada averaging $6.39 per envelope, however as a result of the new rate structure, those prices now jump to an average of $12.85 per envelope which places us and many other similar small businesses in a non-competitive position with adverse impacts on international sales.
In the current economic conditions characterized by many as sluggish at best and with e-commerce performing better than traditional retail, this postal rate increase is counter productive to one of the few overall brighter areas the economy. Recent announcements of Walmart closing 154 stores, Macy’s closing 36 closing stores, and long-term store downsizing or closing plans by retail chains such as Office Depot, Sears, J.C.Penny, Chico’s, Walgreens, Aeropostale, American Eagle Outfitters, and The Gap further elucidate the this dramatic shift in focus and the importance of supporting e-commerce.
We encourage you to sponsor actions that would institute a waivers in this increase specifically targeted to small envelopes weighing less than 8 ounces and to re-examine HR6407 “Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act” of 2006 in light of current market conditions.
Not that much will ever come from a single letter, but millions of them certainly do hold power and might just influence the powers that be to institute change or at least reassess their stance. Hopefully, we can encourage our readers, customers, and the other sellers across all those e-commerce platforms to do the same.