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USPS Rate Changes – DIM Weight Pricing

June 11th, 2019 Comments off

 

Beginning June 23rd, 2019 the USPS will enact rate changes that will affect Dimensional Weight Pricing for Priority Mail, Priority Mail Express and Parcel Select Ground. To ensure a smooth transition for your business be sure to review the upcoming changes listed below.

 

What Is Dimensional Weight?

Dimensional weight reflects package density, which is the amount of space a package occupies on a delivery truck in relation to its actual weight. Space is important for shipping carriers since they want to keep costs low by filling their delivery trucks with as many packages as possible.

 

Dimensional Weight can be calculated using the formula:

DIM Weight = (length x width x height)/DIM Divisor

 

Change #1: DIM Divisor Will Decrease

The DIM divisor will decrease from 194 to 166; this means packages greater than one cubic foot will have a higher billable weight. To illustrate this point, let’s look at a sample package with the dimensions 16” x 14” x 12” going to Zone 4 via Priority Mail:

 

Old DIM Divisor

Using the Dimensional Weight formula we can determine the package’s billable weight under the old Dim Divisor.

(16” x 14” x 12”)/194

(2688 cubic inches)/194 = 13.85 lbs.

 

The USPS Priority Mail Rate for this package would be $17.57

 

New DIM Divisor

Using the same formula, but with the new divisor, we see that billable weight is now higher.

(16” x 14” x 12”)/166

(2688 cubic inches)/166 = 16.19 lbs.

 

The USPS Priority Mail Rate for this package would be $20.35 ($2.78 increase)

 

Change #2: DIM Weight Pricing will be applied to New Zones

Currently, DIM Weight Pricing is only applied to zones 5-9 within select mail classes. Beginning June 23rd, 2019 the USPS will expand the list of zones in which DIM Weight Pricing is applied.

  • Priority Mail: DIM Weight Pricing will be expanded to include zones 1-4 for packages over 1 cubic foot. Currently, DIM Weight Pricing only applies to zones 5-9 for packages over 1 cubic foot*.
  • Priority Mail Express: DIM Weight Pricing will be applied to packages over 1 cubic foot for zones 1-9. Currently, DIM Weight Pricing is not applied to Priority Mail Express.
  • Parcel Select Ground: DIM Weight Pricing will be applied to packages over 1 cubic foot for zones 1-9. Currently, DIM Weight Pricing is not applied to Parcel Select Ground*.

*Prior to January 27, 2019, balloon pricing was used for Priority Mail (zones 1-4) and Parcel Select Ground (zones 1-9) packages under 20 lbs. if the combined length and girth measured more than 84 inches but 108 inches or less.

 

Stamps.com Makes Dimensional Weight Pricing Easy

Stamps.com software includes everything customers need to calculate current postage rates. For mail classes with Dimensional Weight Pricing all you need to do is weigh your mail piece, enter your package’s dimensions, enter your destination and Stamps.com will automatically calculate the required postage.

Categories: USPS News Tags:

Integration Spotlight: Shopify

May 31st, 2019 Comments off

Did you know that your Shopify store can easily connect to your Stamps.com account? Stamps.com makes it simple to import Shopify orders, print domestic and international shipping labels, and much more.

About Shopify

Shopify is an e-commerce platform that supports more than 100,000 online stores that sell over $4 billion in products in 100 different countries. With over 100+ professional themes and a full-featured Content Management system, creating the store of your dreams has never been easier. In addition to customization features, Shopify offers unlimited web hosting worldwide on an existing domain or a free myshopify.com podcast. Shopify doesn’t stop at website management—it also offers point of sale functionality along with full e-commerce reporting and order management.

 

How to Connect Your Shopify Store to Stamps.com

  1. Select the Orders Tab and click the Settings icon.
  2. In the Orders Setting Window select the Stores tab and click Add.
  3. The Stores Connect window will open. Select Shopify
  4. Enter your Shopify Domain, then Click Connect.
  5. Log in to Shopify and Visit the Shopify App Store
  6. Select com and click Get

With the Stamps.com integration, Shopify customers can batch print shipping labels for all USPS mail classes, and automatically import orders. Once the USPS label is printed, the order status details such as the USPS tracking number, shipping date, and mail class are automatically posted to your Shopify account. Shopify customers also get access to additional Stamps.com features such as hidden postage, discounts on USPS postage rates and insurance and return shipping labels.

Categories: Software Plug-ins Tags:

Reusing Boxes – 5 Tips To Help You Stay Out of Trouble

May 21st, 2019 Comments off

Reusing boxes can make you feel good.  You’re saving the environment!  You’re reducing waste!   You’re saving money!  But are you making a mistake?  Well, that depends.

Cover Unfamiliar Markings

First of all, it is extremely important to cover all markings and symbols with which you’re not familiar.  When I first started selling on eBay, I sent a pair of shoes in a box marked “ORM-D.”  Packages bearing this mark contain hazardous materials. The package didn’t get far.  It was held hostage in a city 45 minutes away.  The Postal Service wanted me to pick it up.  I drove to the agreed upon location—an out-of-the-way USPS warehouse. I was shipping shoes, I tell you. Shoes! What a nightmare.

Hide or Remove Old Address Labels

In addition, be sure to cover or remove any old address labels.  As an eBay newbie, I had several boxes returned to me because the USPS only saw the original address label which showed the destination address as being my own!

Avoid Alcohol Containers

Sending items via the USPS in boxes that once contained alcohol can also be a problem.  I would avoid using them.  According to the USPS website, beer, wine, and liquor may not be sent through the mail. If you want to reuse a box for shipping that has alcoholic beverage labels on it, remove all logos and labels, so your package will pass through the mail system.

Check the Stability of the Box

If you plan to reuse a box, make sure it hasn’t lost its strength.  For example, a box that has endured the process of traveling across the United States is often not strong enough to protect the products you are shipping.  If you’re sending a stuffed animal, you might be OK.  But don’t expect Grandma’s dishes to arrive safely if you‘re shipping them in a box that has already seen the other side of the country.

Make a Good Impression

Finally, think about the impression you are making on your customer.  If you are planning to recycle boxes, reuse those boxes that are clean and professional looking.  I belong to quite a few eBay-related Facebook groups.  Every once in a while someone will post a picture of a box they received from an eBay seller that originally contained adult diapers. Not good!

Reusing boxes is a good idea, as long as you’re smart about it.  Stick to professional-looking, clean, sturdy boxes, and you’ll stay out of trouble.  Follow these tips, and your shipping journey will be smooth sailing!

Don’t forget – the USPS provides sellers free boxes for products being shipped via Priority Mail or Priority Mail Express.  And they’ll ship these free shipping supplies to your work or home for free.

 

About the Author

Miriam Otto is an eBay blogger and credentialed teacher with 13 years’ experience selling on the site.  She was a frequent guest on eBay Radio and has participated in eBay seller panels and projects.  Her blog, The eBay Life, is an all-in-one resource for eBay sellers.

Categories: Ecommerce Shipping Tags:

Stamp Out Hunger Food Drive – May 11, 2019

May 8th, 2019 Comments off

On Saturday, May 11, USPS and the National Association of Letter Carriers (NALC) are hosting the 27th annual Stamp Out Hunger Food Drive. The USPS and NALC are asking communities across America to come together and tackle one of the nation’s biggest problems—hunger. This year the Stamp Out Hunger Food Drive hopes to surpass last year’s total of 71.6 million pounds of food collected. Food donations are distributed to food banks, pantries, shelters, and those in need all across America.

 

How to Participate in the Stamp Out Hunger Food Drive

To participate in the 27th Stamp Out Hunger food drive, residents are encouraged to leave a sturdy bag containing non-perishable foods, such as canned soup, canned vegetables, pasta, rice or cereal next to their mailbox before regular mail delivery on Saturday, May 11. Letter carriers will collect these food donations as they deliver the mail and take them to their local food bank or pantry, including many affiliated with Feeding America. Please note that expired products or products in glass containers will not be accepted.

 

What to Donate

Most-wanted foods include:

  • Canned meats and fish (tuna, chicken)
  • Canned and boxed meals (macaroni and cheese, soup, chili)
  • Pasta
  • Canned fruits and vegetables
  • Cooking oil
  • Canned or dried beans and peas (black, pinto, lentils)
  • Boxed cooking mixes
  • Fruit juice (canned, plastic or boxed)
Categories: USPS News Tags:

USPS Mailing Standards For Lithium Batteries

April 29th, 2019 Comments off

Shipping Regulations
When shipping lithium batteries, businesses must comply with U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) standards and Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) standards for preparing shipments that contain lithium batteries.  The standards are in place to ensure the safe transportation of shipments that include these batteries and cells.  Shippers are responsible to comply with these regulations or risk fines.

Luckily the USPS shipping regulations align with DOT and PHMSA regulations—so as long as your shipment follows USPS regulations, you are in the clear.

USPS Standards for Domestic Shipments Containing Lithium Batteries

  • Each cell cannot contain more than 1 gram of lithium
  • Each battery cannot contain more than 2 grams of lithium
  • All packages must contain a complete return address
  • For non-installed batteries, your package must have a DOT-approved lithium battery mark (UN3090)

Standards for Shipping Installed Batteries

  • Installed batteries must be protected from short circuit
  • Devices with batteries must have protection to prevent accidentally being powered-on
  • Equipment must be cushioned

Shipping Lithium Batteries to International Destinations?

Lithium batteries can only be shipped internationally if they are installed in the equipment they operate.  Shipping carriers are not allowed to ship packages containing only lithium batteries or cells to international locations – they must be included inside a product.  No markings or documentation are allowed on these international mailpieces.  This rule applies to all international as well as APO/FPO/DPO destinations.

More info on the U.S. Postal Service’s Lithium Battery mailing standards is available on the USPS.com site.

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