USPS Sticker Shock
If you haven't heard yet, you will soon. The United States Postal Service (USPS) has once again raised the postage rates. Now don't get me wrong, if all you ever mail is the occasional letter, and/or the only country you ever mail to is the U.S., you won't be put out by much, just a few cents. However, if you send internationally, you're in for a nasty surprise.
I have a small, no, make that tiny, business. It's a sideline, mainly because it doesn't earn enough to be anything else, but none the less I'd like to eventually have it be bigger. What I sell is not important, but the fact that fully a third of my sales are international is important. As of now, my international shipping rates have doubled, at the least.
Why the huge increase for international? I have no idea. All that I know is that I can no longer offer my valued customers outside of the U.S. the good shipping rates I have been able to until now. Surely, many, many, many small sellers are facing the same sticker shock. And without doubt, every single one will have to raise their rates accordingly.
The assault on small business never seems to stop. This is simply one more nail in the coffin. And don't tell me that the USPS isn't technically a government agency. It's a government supported monopoly that prices small business out of any other market by undercutting other shippers. No one will pay $50 to ship $20 worth of product, as you will expect to pay with shippers other than USPS.
Perhaps it is time that the USPS is held to actual account. No one wants to lose Saturday delivery, and as a rural resident I know how much difficulty there would for rural peoples losing local post offices. But the artificial supports that prop up the USPS need to be removed, and the restrictions on delivery that other shippers must obey need to be lifted. Bloated salaries and union influence need to be addressed as well. All of the above would benefit everyone. Don't hold your breath on any of this though.
Meanwhile, small international shippers, take a deep breath, explain it to your valuable international clientele, and hope they keep buying anyway. May God have mercy on our sales.