The USPS is offering discounts of up to 10 percent for e-tailers using online shipping tools.
|» Don't Go Postal: Shipping Rate Primer|
With the new rates going into effect May 12, the good news for e-tailers is that the post office is offering discounts for those who use online shipping tools. Postal service shipping products are currently priced by a "one price fits all" approach customers pay the same price per piece regardless of the number of packages sent or the method of payment. Beginning May 12, customers will be able to take advantage of commercial volume pricing, minimum volume rebates, online price breaks and other pricing incentives. For example:
- Express Mail, a premium overnight delivery, is switching to an industry-standard, zone-based pricing system, resulting in lower prices for closer destinations. Customers will enjoy a three percent price reduction by purchasing Express Mail online or through corporate accounts. Up to an additional seven percent price reduction is available for customers who meet quarterly volume minimums.
- Priority Mail will be available at an average three-and-a-half percent savings to customers who use electronic postage or meet other requirements.
- Parcel Select, the Postal Service "last mile" advantage of delivery to every door, will feature pricing and volume incentives for large- and medium-sized shippers.
- Parcel Return Service, an easy and convenient way for customers to return items to businesses, will move entirely to a weight-based pricing system, resulting in significant price reductions for lighter packages.
In other shipping news, there's a new "Expedia-like" online tool at www.freightnshipping.com that can help people who sell large items streamline the process of finding freight services. After being assigned a "personal freight assistant" to help with their needs, says the company, sellers log onto the site and enter key information, such as destination and origin zip codes, and the weight of the shipment. They then get free quotes from more than 60 freight and shipping carriers. The company claims this saves on shipping costs by matching the best options to your needs, and also saves Web shop owners time because they don't have to track down viable sources. Finally, Shipping Sidekick, a Web site that lets you compare shipping rates and transit times, just announced it is offering a free shipping scale (after rebate) to anyone shipping through its discount shipping console. These digital shipping scales feature a 35 to 150 pound capacity and a lifetime warranty and are perfect for eBay sellers, small businesses and home-based businesses, according to the company. Michelle Megna is managing editor of ECommerce-Guide.com.
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