Easy Guidelines To Follow For Effective USPS Shipping

April 4th, 2019 Comments off

A smooth shipping process not only helps streamline your operations as an e-commerce seller, but also ensures your products reach your customers without undue delays.  Moreover, you can focus your efforts on growing your business instead of dealing with customer complaints and questions around package delivery status or postage due at the time of delivery.

What can you do to ensure a seamless shipping experience from the time your package leaves your hands and reaches your customer?  Follow these five easy USPS shipping guidelines!

Pay Attention To Your Package

Guideline #1 – Round up on Weights:  Did you know that the USPS rounds up package weights to the nearest ounce or pound depending on the mail class used?  To avoid underpaying for postage or even worse having your customer pay postage at the time of delivery, always round up your package weight.  As an example, if your package weighs 10 lbs. and 5 oz., you should use the shipping rate for an 11 lb. package.

Guideline #2 – Check the Dimensions:  Your package size can make a difference in how much you pay shipping!  Dimensional (DIM) weight may apply to a USPS package that is larger than 1 cubic foot (12″ x 12″ x 12″).  Pay attention to the dimensions of your package and avoid unnecessary empty space to lower shipping costs.

Does Your Shipping Label Match Your Package?

Guideline #3 – Verify the Mail Class:  What mail class should you use to ship your package?  This depends on the weight of your package, how soon you need it to be at its destination and also how much you want to pay for shipping.  Remember, each mail class allows packages up to a certain weight limit only.  Choose First Class Package Service for packages weighing up to 13 ounces and Priority Mail for packages over that weight limit!

Guideline #4 – Double check the Shipping Zone:  USPS Shipping Zones are calculated based on the distance between the origin and destination addresses.  Stamps.com customers should verify that the origin zip code (the zip code for where you ship your packages from) is set up correctly.

Guideline #5 – Match the Label to the Packaging:  Your shipping label should match your package!  For example, based on the package weight, size and shipping zone of your package, if you have decided to use a Flat Rate Priority Mail Box for your package, make sure to choose the corresponding mail class while printing your label.  Also, your Flat Rate label must only be used on a Flat Rate box.

USPS Shipping Made Easy With Stamps.com

When you ship with Stamps.com, you don’t need to worry about underpaying for postage.  Use your Stamps.com digital scale to accurately weigh your package and the software will automatically use the rounded up weight and charge you the appropriate shipping rate.  Next, enter the package dimensions so Stamps.com can determine whether or not DIM weight applies to your package.  Select the correct package type or enter the dimensions of your package.  Also, make sure to set up your origin zip code correctly. When you enter the destination address, Stamps.com automatically calculates the correct shipping zone for your package.  Finally, choose your mail class and Stamps.com will print the appropriate USPS shipping label for your package.

 

 

USPS Priority Mail Rates 2019

March 8th, 2019 Comments off

USPS Priority Mail is an expedited service that provides delivery anywhere in the U.S. within two to three days. With a maximum allowable package weight for this mail class is 70 pounds, priority mail is an affordable solution for a wide range of packages.

Priority Mail Rates in 2019

Priority Mail rates have increased an average of 5.9 percent in 2019. A one-pound package traveling from Los Angeles to New York (Zone 8) costs $8.25 in 2019, up from $7.76 in 2018. Though there is an overall rate increase in 2019, many packages will actually be cheaper to send in 2019 than they were in 2018.

Priority Mail – 2019 Rates (Commercial Base Pricing)

INCREASE PER PACKAGE – 2019 rates vs. 2018 rates

Mailpiece Weight

2019

2018

Increase

1 lb. – Zone 8

$8.25

$7.76

$0.49

2 lbs. – Zone 8

$10.86

$10.80

$0.06

3 lbs. – Zone 8

$15.28

$15.34

-$0.06

4 lbs. – Zone 8

$17.61

$18.15

-$0.54

5 lbs. – Zone 8

$20.40

$21.03

-$0.63

6 lbs. – Zone 8

$23.81

$24.07

-$0.26

7 lbs. – Zone 8

$26.75

$27.04

-$0.29

8 lbs. – Zone 8

$30.04

$30.36

-$0.32

9 lbs. – Zone 8

$33.40

$33.75

-$0.35

10 lbs. – Zone 8

$36.32

$36.71

-$0.39

Rates for Priority Mail Flat Rate Boxes and Flat Rate Envelopes also increase in 2019. A Priority Mail Padded Flat Rate Envelope will cost $7.55 in 2019, up from $7.10 in 2018.

 

Priority Mail Flat Rate – 2019 Rates (Commercial Base Pricing)

INCREASE PER PACKAGE – 2019 rates vs. 2018 rates

Mailpiece

2019 2018

Increase

Flat Rate Envelope

$6.95 $6.55 $0.40

Legal Flat Rate Envelope

$7.25

$6.85

$0.40

Padded Flat Rate Envelope

$7.55

$7.10

$0.45

Small Flat Rate Box

$7.50

$7.05

$0.45

Medium Flat Rate Box

$12.80

$12.85

-$0.05

Large Flat Rate Box

$17.60

$17.65

-$0.05

APO/FPO Large Flat Rate Box $16.10 $16.15

-$0.05

 

Priority Mail Regional Rate Boxes provide great cost savings over regular Priority Mail when your parcel is over two pounds. For example, a Priority Mail Regional Rate Box A that weights five pounds for delivery to Zone 8 will cost $10.80 in 2018 compared to $21.03 for regular Priority Mail.

Priority Mail Regional Rate Boxes – 2019 Rates (Commercial Base Pricing)

INCREASE PER PACKAGE – 2019 rates vs. 2018 rates

Box A                
Period Zones
1 & 2
Zone
3
Zone
4
Zone
5
Zone
6
Zone
7
Zone
8
Zone
9
2018 $7.10 $7.25 $7.40 $8.15 $9.47 $10.29 $10.80 $15.33
2019 $7.65 $7.85 $8.12 $8.76 $10.00 $10.55 $11.20 $15.64
Change $0.55 $0.60 $0.72 $0.61 $0.53 $0.26 $0.40 $0.31
Box B
Period Zones
1 & 2
Zone
3
Zone
4
Zone
5
Zone
6
Zone
7
Zone
8
Zone
9
2018 $7.41 $8.42 $9.37 $10.65 $16.15 $18.47 $21.03 $29.15
2019 $8.05 $8.50 $9.40 $10.65 $16.15 $18.47 $21.03 $29.73
Change $0.64 $0.08 $0.03 $0.00 $0.00 $0.00 $0.00 $0.58

 

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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.

Becoming a Non-Resident Importer to Canada

August 17th, 2018 Comments off

Canada, our familiar neighbors to the north. When looking to grow globally, Canada is easily the first place to look for e-commerce merchants in the U.S. It’s only natural. We’re close to our Canadian neighbors in proximity, language and culture. Yet, exporting goods to Canada isn’t as easy as it may look.

U.S.-based retailers face a number of obstacles to selling in Canada. American retailers can’t collect Canadian sales tax at the time of purchase, only at the time of delivery. It can be a complicated process for Canadian buyers too. When Canadian customers buy from the U.S., they may be forced to go to their local customs office to pick up their purchase.

The result? A poor experience for the customer who may have to pay additional taxes or even visit a customs office just to pick up their online purchase. Luckily, there’s a way for U.S. online retailers to get around these issues in Canada: Become a non-resident importer.

What is a Non-Resident Importer?

A “non-resident importer” (or NRI) is defined as a business registered outside of Canada that assumes responsibility for customs clearance and other import-related requirements for bringing goods into Canada. Americans can register to become an NRI through the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA).

As a non-resident importer, you can pay Canadian duties and taxes before delivery. Saving customers the hassle of paying taxes after you deliver to them makes you more competitive in the Canadian market.

Competitive Advantages of Becoming a Non-Resident Importer

Once you become a non-resident importer, the process of buying becomes much more simple for your Canadian customers. The advantages of becoming an NRI for you and your customers are clear:

  • There’s no need for your Canadian customers to go all the way to a customs house to pick up a purchase, you can ship directly to their door
  • Tracking shipments to Canada from the U.S. becomes an entirely visible process, a package goes from the USPS to Canada Post
  • Your Canadian customers aren’t hit with additional taxes upon delivery
  • Because you can pay taxes to the Canadian government, you can give your customers clear product prices that include Canadian taxes

Responsibilities of Non-Resident Importers

When you become a non-resident importer, you must fulfill certain responsibilities. You also open yourself up to regulations and fines for not complying with those regulations. Plus, you’ll be dealing with more than one level of taxation. The Goods and Services Tax (GST) is charged throughout Canada, while Harmonized Sales Tax (HST) is charged in Quebec, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, Newfoundland/Labrador, New Brunswick, and Ontario.

Here are some of the issues you’ll need to navigate as a non-resident importer:

  • Canadian regulations require you to meet additional rules, such as having a Business Number and an Importer Number (or RM)
  • You’ll be responsible for collecting and paying both the Goods and Services Tax and Harmonized Sales Tax
  • File GST/HST sales tax returns on time, or be charged penalties
  • Provide customs documentation and pay customs duties to the correct Canadian government authorities
  • Make sure labeling and marketing follows Canadian laws
  • Once you get an income tax number, you’ll be subject to investigations of your books and records by Canadian tax authorities

Ready to Become a Non-Resident Importer?

Clearly, there are hurdles to becoming a non-resident importer. But the rewards are huge. You can be competitive with other Canada companies – without having a physical office, warehouse or retail location in Canada. Ready to get started? Learn more about the ins and outs of becoming a non-resident importer.

Categories: International Shipping, Shipping Tags:

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