USPS Holiday Shipping Deadlines 2018

October 22nd, 2018 Comments off

The U.S. Postal Service recently announced their 2018 shipping deadlines to ensure delivery by December 25th.  Be sure to mail by these deadlines if you are planning to use the USPS to send any mail or packages this Holiday season.

If you live in Hawaii or Alaska, note that your shipping deadlines may be different than those for the contiguous United States.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Categories: Ecommerce Shipping, Shipping, USPS News Tags:

Shipping to Canada: Taxes, Duties & Tariffs

September 14th, 2018 Comments off

 

With over 20 million English-speaking digital buyers, it’s easy to see why Canada is an attractive place to sell for U.S. based e-commerce merchants. Canada even has one of the strongest e-commerce infrastructures in the Americas, including broadband internet access and widespread mobile phone usage for completing online transactions. Selling internationally doesn’t come without its challenges, however. Like any other country, Canada has duties, taxes and tariffs you will need to be aware of. If you haven’t gone through the process to become a Non-Resident Importer your Canadian buyer is responsible for duties, taxes, and tariffs that are imposed on imported goods.  It is important you communicate these additional fees to your customers at checkout so as to avoid unpleasant surprises at the time of package delivery.

 

Duties and Taxes

There are 3 kinds of duties and taxes for items being imported into Canada:

  1. Goods and Services Tax (GST): This is a 5% federal tax that applies to items being sold to Canadian customers for domestic consumption.
  2. Harmonized Tax (HST): A handful of Canadian provinces have opted to harmonize their provincial sales tax with the general sales tax and the total rate is known as Harmonized Tax.
  3. Provincial Sales Tax (PST): Provinces that do not participate in the HST collection process impose their own taxes at the local level. The tax rate varies by province and can range from 5% to 9.75%.

 

Tariffs

Along with duties and taxes, your Canadian customer may also need to pay tariffs. Tariffs depend on the country of manufacture, not the country from where the product is purchased.  NAFTA eliminates tariffs on all goods that are manufactured in the U.S. and shipped to Canada.  However, if your product includes components that were manufactured outside the U.S., then your Canadian customer will need to pay tariffs on those components.

 

Shipping to Canada

Over one-third of Canadian e-commerce sales are currently coming from U.S.-based websites. That’s nearly $50 billion dollars flowing in from north of the border. With annual growth predicted at over 12% for the next three years, now is the time to open your business to eager Canadian buyers. If you are looking to sell in Canada be sure to check out the Stamps.com Guide: How to Ship to Canada.

Managing Returns While Maximizing Profits for E-Commerce

May 11th, 2018 Comments off

We’ve all seen an infomercial that promises to let you return an item if you’re at all unhappy with your purchase. “If for any reason you’re no longer satisfied with your Snuggie, simply return it for a full refund. No questions asked.”

Many e-commerce return policies are based on this philosophy of risk-reversal. If you take away the risk of purchasing with a generously crafted return policy, people will be more likely to buy … But wait there’s more!

There’s much more to this story, as uncovered by a recent report from researchers at the University of Texas at Arlington (UTA). Published in The Journal of Retailing, the report looks at the effects of return policy leniency on purchases and returns in retail.

While the effects of return policy on retail sales are fairly well known, less is understood about the factors that influence people to return — or not to return — a product they’ve purchased. This report answers important questions for retailers about how they can use their return policy to achieve better business results.

The 5 Essential Elements of Return Rates

What are the ways to minimize returns and increase online sales? The report looked at the five most important elements of return policies and how each affects the rate of returns and overall profitability. These five elements are:

1) Time Leniency
This is the time period during in which a return is accepted by the retailer. Is it a 30-day return policy, 60-day return policy?

2) Money Leniency
This is how much money the retailer refunds for a return. Do you provide a 100 percent money-back guarantee, charge a restocking fee, etc.

3) Effort Leniency
The amount of hassle for the consumer to complete a return. Does it involve filling out a form or presenting identification to complete a return?

4) Scope Leniency
These are the products covered by the return policy. Are sale items included?

5) Exchange Leniency
What consumers get for returning the good. Are they given cash, store credit or replacement goods?
Report Results: Ways to Reduce Returns & Increase Sales
If you want to increase sales, the study shows that hassle-free returns (effort leniency) and money-back guarantees (money leniency) are the best incentives for buyers.
To decrease the dreaded returns, your policies should decrease the return options (exchange leniency) and increase the return periods (time leniency). Interestingly, people are actually less likely to return a product they’ve had for a longer period of time. It’s been theorized that this phenomena occurs because people often become more attached to items the longer they have them in their possession. That translates to longer return policies actually working to lower return rates and improve profitability.

 

Crafting the Right Return Policy
How will you use the findings to help reduce returns? As the report shows, crafting the right return policy can help drive more online sales for your e-commerce business. It can also help you avoid more returns in the mail. Look at each of the five return policy dimensions against your own policy to find new opportunities to grow and become more profitable.

Categories: Ecommerce Shipping Tags:

Stamps.com Launches International Large Envelope/Flat Service

January 18th, 2018 Comments off

 
Now the Most Affordable Way to Send Small/Flat Merchandise Internationally.  
Stamps.com has created an affordable replacement for the discontinued USPS First Class International Flat Service for Merchandise. If you haven’t heard,  starting January 21st, online retailers will NO LONGER be allowed to ship merchandise using First Class Mail International Large Envelopes/Flats – the USPS will ONLY ALLOW VALUELESS DOCUMENTS due to international Customs changes. Luckily, Stamps.com has the answer.

Starting, January 21st, Stamps.com will offer a new International Flat service for retailers.  This new service allows you to continue to ship merchandise in a Large Envelope/Flat to an International destination at a significant cost savings compared to First Class Package International Service. Best of all, this service continues to utilize the powerful USPS delivery network.

3 Great Reasons to Choose Stamps.com’s International Flat Service 

#1 Incredible cost savings – save up to 65% compared to First Class Package International Service

#2 Customs Forms will be sent electronically – no more forms to print

#3 Get better visibility with more tracking events

 

How Does It Work?
Stamps.com customers can immediately use the new service by simply selecting “First-Class Mail International Large Envelope/Flats” as the mail service inside the platform. The shipping label for this new service will differ from other international labels in two ways:

  1. The shipping label includes both the recipient’s international address as well as the domestic address of the Postal Processing Facility.
  2. The shipping label does not include any customs information – Customs Forms will be sent electronically.


Save Up to 65% Compared to First Class Package International Service
This new International Large Envelope/Flat service can provide huge cost savings compared to First Class Package International Service.  Savings can be over $15.00 per Large Envelope/Flat, depending on weight and country destination!

NOT A STAMPS.COM CUSTOMER? – SIGN UP TODAY TO TAKE ADVANTAGE OF THIS NEW, MONEY-SAVING SERVICE!  (Note: After sign-up, you must call into Stamps.com Customer Support (1-888-434-0055 to get your International Flats activated on your account.)

 Check out these unbeatable rates!

First Class Package
International Service
Stamps.com International Flats
Weight Zone 1
Canada
Zone 1
Canada
Savings with Stamps.com International Flats
1 $9.50 $4.79 $4.71
2 $9.50 $5.00 $4.50
3 $9.50 $5.21 $4.29
4 $9.50 $5.41 $4.09
5 $9.50 $5.62 $3.88
6 $9.50 $5.83 $3.67
7 $9.50 $6.04 $3.46
8 $9.50 $6.25 $3.25
12 $15.20 $7.29 $7.91
16 – 1 lb. $15.20 $8.33 $6.87
20 $15.20 $9.37 $5.83
24 $15.20 $10.41 $4.79
28 $15.20 $11.45 $3.75
32 – 2 lb. $15.20 $12.49 $2.71
36 $23.99 $13.53 $10.46
40 $23.99 $14.58 $9.41
44 $23.99 $15.62 $8.37
48 – 3 lb. $23.99 $16.66 $7.33
52 $35.39 $17.70 $17.69
56 $35.39 $18.74 $16.65
60 $35.39 $19.78 $15.61
64 – 4 lb. $35.39 $20.82 $14.57
Rates as of January 21, 2018

 

First Class Package
International Service
Stamps.com International Flats
Weight (oz) Zone 2
Mexico
Zone 2
Mexico
Savings with Stamps.com International Flats
1 $11.64 $4.79 $6.85
2 $11.64 $5.47 $6.17
3 $11.64 $6.14 $5.50
4 $11.64 $6.82 $4.82
5 $11.64 $7.50 $4.14
6 $11.64 $8.17 $3.47
7 $11.64 $8.85 $2.79
8 $11.64 $9.53 $2.11
12 $20.43 $10.98 $9.45
16 – 1 lb. $20.43 $12.44 $7.99
20 $20.43 $13.90 $6.53
24 $20.43 $15.36 $5.07
28 $20.43 $16.81 $3.62
32 – 2 lb. $20.43 $18.27 $2.16
36 $31.35 $19.73 $11.62
40 $31.35 $21.19 $10.16
44 $31.35 $22.64 $8.71
48 – 3 lb. $31.35 $24.10 $7.25
52 $45.13 $25.56 $19.57
56 $45.13 $27.02 $18.11
60 $45.13 $28.47 $16.66
64 – 4 lb. $45.13 $29.93 $15.20
Rates as of January 21, 2018

 

First Class Package
International Service
Stamps.com International Flats
Weight (oz) Zone 3
Australia/Asia
Zone 3
Australia/Asia
Savings with Stamps.com International Flats
1 $13.54 $4.79 $8.75
2 $13.54 $5.73 $7.81
3 $13.54 $6.66 $6.88
4 $13.54 $7.60 $5.94
5 $13.54 $8.54 $5.00
6 $13.54 $9.47 $4.07
7 $13.54 $10.41 $3.13
8 $13.54 $11.35 $2.19
12 $22.33 $13.22 $9.11
16 – 1 lb. $22.33 $15.10 $7.23
20 $22.33 $16.97 $5.36
24 $22.33 $18.84 $3.49
28 $22.33 $20.72 $1.61
32 – 2 lb. $22.33 $22.59 -$0.26
36 $33.25 $24.47 $8.78
40 $33.25 $26.34 $6.91
44 $33.25 $28.21 $5.04
48 – 3 lb. $33.25 $30.09 $3.16
52 $50.11 $31.96 $18.15
56 $50.11 $33.83 $16.28
60 $50.11 $35.71 $14.40
64 – 4 lb. $50.11 $37.58 $12.53
Rates as of January 21, 2018

 

First Class Package
International Service
Stamps.com International Flats
Weight (oz) Zone 4
Russia/Eastern Europe
Zone 4
Russia/Eastern Europe
Savings with Stamps.com International Flats
1 $13.06 $4.79 $8.27
2 $13.06 $5.73 $7.33
3 $13.06 $6.66 $6.40
4 $13.06 $7.60 $5.46
5 $13.06 $8.54 $4.52
6 $13.06 $9.47 $3.59
7 $13.06 $10.41 $2.65
8 $13.06 $11.35 $1.71
12 $21.85 $13.22 $8.63
16 – 1 lb. $21.85 $15.10 $6.75
20 $21.85 $16.97 $4.88
24 $21.85 $18.84 $3.01
28 $21.85 $20.72 $1.13
32 – 2 lb. $21.85 $22.59 -$0.74
36 $34.91 $24.47 $10.44
40 $34.91 $26.34 $8.57
44 $34.91 $28.21 $6.70
48 – 3 lb. $34.91 $30.09 $4.82
52 $56.53 $31.96 $24.57
56 $56.53 $33.83 $22.70
60 $56.53 $35.71 $20.82
64 – 4 lb. $56.53 $37.58 $18.95
Rates as of January 21, 2018

 

First Class Package
International Service
Stamps.com International Flats
Weight (oz) Zone 5 – UK/Western Europe Zone 5 – UK/Western Europe Savings with Stamps.com International Flats
1 $13.30 $4.79 $8.51
2 $13.30 $5.73 $7.57
3 $13.30 $6.66 $6.64
4 $13.30 $7.60 $5.70
5 $13.30 $8.54 $4.76
6 $13.30 $9.47 $3.83
7 $13.30 $10.41 $2.89
8 $13.30 $11.35 $1.95
12 $22.33 $13.22 $9.11
16 – 1 lb. $22.33 $15.10 $7.23
20 $22.33 $16.97 $5.36
24 $22.33 $18.84 $3.49
28 $22.33 $20.72 $1.61
32 – 2 lb. $22.33 $22.59 -$0.26
36 $33.96 $24.47 $9.49
40 $33.96 $26.34 $7.62
44 $33.96 $28.21 $5.75
48 – 3 lb. $33.96 $30.09 $3.87
52 $48.93 $31.96 $16.97
56 $48.93 $33.83 $15.10
60 $48.93 $35.71 $13.22
64 – 4 lb. $48.93 $37.58 $11.35
Rates as of January 21, 2018

 

First Class Package
International Service
Stamps.com International Flats
Weight (oz) Zone 6
Southeast Asia/India
Zone 6
Southeast Asia/India
Savings with Stamps.com International Flats
1 $13.06 $4.79 $8.27
2 $13.06 $5.68 $7.38
3 $13.06 $6.56 $6.50
4 $13.06 $7.44 $5.62
5 $13.06 $8.33 $4.73
6 $13.06 $9.21 $3.85
7 $13.06 $10.10 $2.96
8 $13.06 $10.98 $2.08
12 $22.09 $12.81 $9.28
16 – 1 lb. $22.09 $14.63 $7.46
20 $22.09 $16.45 $5.64
24 $22.09 $18.27 $3.82
28 $22.09 $20.09 $2.00
32 – 2 lb. $22.09 $21.91 $0.18
36 $32.78 $23.74 $9.04
40 $32.78 $25.56 $7.22
44 $32.78 $27.38 $5.40
48 – 3 lb. $32.78 $29.20 $3.58
52 $52.73 $31.02 $21.71
56 $52.73 $32.85 $19.88
60 $52.73 $34.67 $18.06
64 – 4 lb. $52.73 $36.49 $16.24
Rates as of January 21, 2018

 

First Class Package
International Service
Stamps.com International Flats
Weight (oz) Zone 7
Africa
Zone 7
Africa
Savings with Stamps.com International Flats
1 $13.06 $4.79 $8.27
2 $13.06 $5.68 $7.38
3 $13.06 $6.56 $6.50
4 $13.06 $7.44 $5.62
5 $13.06 $8.33 $4.73
6 $13.06 $9.21 $3.85
7 $13.06 $10.10 $2.96
8 $13.06 $10.98 $2.08
12 $22.09 $12.81 $9.28
16 – 1 lb. $22.09 $14.63 $7.46
20 $22.09 $16.45 $5.64
24 $22.09 $18.27 $3.82
28 $22.09 $20.09 $2.00
32 – 2 lb. $22.09 $21.91 $0.18
36 $33.01 $23.74 $9.27
40 $33.01 $25.56 $7.45
44 $33.01 $27.38 $5.63
48 – 3 lb. $33.01 $29.20 $3.81
52 $56.53 $31.02 $25.51
56 $56.53 $32.85 $23.68
60 $56.53 $34.67 $21.86
64 – 4 lb. $56.53 $36.49 $20.04
Rates as of January 21, 2018

 

First Class Package
International Service
Stamps.com International Flats
Weight (oz) Zone 8
Middle East
Zone 8
Middle East
Savings with Stamps.com International Flats
1 $12.83 $4.79 $8.04
2 $12.83 $5.68 $7.15
3 $12.83 $6.56 $6.27
4 $12.83 $7.44 $5.39
5 $12.83 $8.33 $4.50
6 $12.83 $9.21 $3.62
7 $12.83 $10.10 $2.73
8 $12.83 $10.98 $1.85
12 $21.61 $12.81 $8.80
16 – 1 lb. $21.61 $14.63 $6.98
20 $21.61 $16.45 $5.16
24 $21.61 $18.27 $3.34
28 $21.61 $20.09 $1.52
32 – 2 lb. $21.61 $21.91 -$0.30
36 $30.64 $23.74 $6.90
40 $30.64 $25.56 $5.08
44 $30.64 $27.38 $3.26
48 – 3 lb. $30.64 $29.20 $1.44
52 $50.35 $31.02 $19.33
56 $50.35 $32.85 $17.50
60 $50.35 $34.67 $15.68
64 – 4 lb. $50.35 $36.49 $13.86
Rates as of January 21, 2018

 

First Class Package
International Service
Stamps.com International Flats
Weight (oz) Zone 9
South America/ Caribbean
Zone 9
South America/ Caribbean
Savings with Stamps.com International Flats
1 $13.30 $4.79 $8.51
2 $13.30 $5.68 $7.62
3 $13.30 $6.56 $6.74
4 $13.30 $7.44 $5.86
5 $13.30 $8.33 $4.97
6 $13.30 $9.21 $4.09
7 $13.30 $10.10 $3.20
8 $13.30 $10.98 $2.32
12 $22.33 $12.81 $9.52
16 – 1 lb. $22.33 $14.63 $7.70
20 $22.33 $16.45 $5.88
24 $22.33 $18.27 $4.06
28 $22.33 $20.09 $2.24
32 – 2 lb. $22.33 $21.91 $0.42
36 $33.01 $23.74 $9.27
40 $33.01 $25.56 $7.45
44 $33.01 $27.38 $5.63
48 – 3 lb. $33.01 $29.20 $3.81
52 $48.93 $31.02 $17.91
56 $48.93 $32.85 $16.08
60 $48.93 $34.67 $14.26
64 – 4 lb. $48.93 $36.49 $12.44
Rates as of January 21, 2018

 

Categories: Ecommerce Shipping Tags:

5 Tips to Make Holiday Returns Easier

December 19th, 2017 Comments off

Returns are an inevitable part of ecommerce, and particularly during the holiday season when shoppers with good intentions buy gifts for their loved ones but might pick out the wrong size, style or color for their intended recipient.

One study released earlier this year by Narvar found that Millennials (under the age of 30) and affluent shoppers place a strong emphasis on the online return experience. The generous returns policies offered by companies such as Zappos (fast and free, with a 365-day window)  make it easy for shoppers of any demographic to view returns as a natural part of the ecommerce buying cycle. They’ve come to expect convenience and transparency during the process, and might take their business elsewhere if they aren’t offered free returns—84 percent of those surveyed by Narvar said restocking fees would prevent them from making a purchase, and 74 percent said return shipping fees would prevent them from making a purchase.

Here are five steps an ecommerce seller can take to make returns easier, both after the holidays and all year long:

  1. Create a returns portal

Consider creating an online returns portal for your customers where they can input information about their return and print out the shipping label and other necessary documents. This allows you to control the return shipping label and the cost associated with returning the item so you can avoid customers expecting you to pay when they opt for higher-cost shipping options. This returns portal also gives you the ability to monitor data and generate reports on your product returns. Having this information readily accessible can help save you money in the future—you might find patterns in these reports that draw your attention to problems on your site, such as inaccurate product specifications or poor photo quality.

  1. Use a return merchandise authorization system

The Return Merchandise Authorization, or RMA, system can be a part of your returns portal. Having an RMA number allows your inbound shipping team to easily pull up the return details of the order, and coding that RMA number or other return information on the label makes for easier processing once a returned product arrives. This way your inbound shipping team knows what the product is and why it’s coming back, and your warehouse team has a view of inventory due back to the warehouse.

  1. Provide good return tracking

Tracking of a returned item is imperative. Transparency and tracking capabilities are critical in the returns process, which is why it’s imperative to provide good return tracking information to your customer. As a retailer, you should keep shoppers informed of return package status—consider sending an email when their return enters the mailstream or when you receive the package, so customers aren’t worried that their packages could be lost. It’s also important to keep them informed regarding their refund status so they know when to expect to see a credit posted to their account. Transparency by way of quality return tracking communication can also help alleviate the amount of inquiries coming into your customer support team.

  1. Allow customers to return online purchases in person

Shoppers want the option to return online purchases to a brick-and-mortar store—sometimes it’s easier to drop in than it is to print out a label, package up a return and ship it. In addition to making the return more convenient for your customer, this gives the store the opportunity to immediately recapture a sale and possibly upsell or cross sell since the buyer is already on site. Plus, an immediate refund helps foster that positive customer experience.

#5 Create (or improve your) returned product review process

Develop a good product review process for your returns so the team knows how best to handle returned items. Can the product be returned back to stock as new/unused? Would it be better to repair or otherwise fix the item so it can go back into stock as reconditioned? Does the product need to be flat-out destroyed?

Other things to think about when developing your returned product review process:

  • Which team initiates a refund or exchange once you’ve received the returned item?
  • How long does it take to process an exchange or refund, and are you clearly communicating this process with the customer?
  • Do you have accounting processes in place to handle the product coming back into inventory, reversing the sales tax collected and tax liability?

Yes, returns take some work, but if done right, they can help you attract customers and build brand loyalty.

Categories: Ecommerce Shipping Tags:

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