With FedEx Home Delivery 2014 rates and the newly announced USPS increases, you need to seriously examine your shipping prices for your shop. In some cases, the percentage increases are enough to kill some or all of you profits on an item if you don’t adjust them properly.
Generally, FedEx Ground and UPS rates were increased by 4.5-6.5%, depending on zone and weight. One to seven pounds received the highest increases.
USPS kept the Priority Mail pricing fairly stable, generally keeping your increases under 1% for non-flat rate-packaged boxes.
The big thing to watch is the huge increases on Parcel Select for shipments. Over seven pounds, increases are double digits in all zones and gets over 50% for some zones when the weight is more than 40. The reason this happens is that large discounts for shipping labels purchased online has been all but eliminated for this service. For instance, the difference between a Standard Mail (Parcel Post) shipment paid for at the Post Office and a Parcel Select shipment paid for on line for a Zone 8, 7 pound shipment was about $2.50 with 2013 rates. With 2014 rates, it is five cents. For a 20 pound shipment, Zone 8 the discount was about $7.00 and now, again five cents. This will bite you if you don’t pay attention.
Let’s turn to international – if you are shipping items four pounds or less, the cost effective way to ship is International First Class Package. For packages five ounces to four pounds, the increase is a little over 11% – more than enough to make changes to your international pricing as well.
When setting your shipment pricing on sites like Esty, you will want to protect profit on an item so you need to set shipment pricing for a worse-case (shipped the furthest) scenario. This means pricing for a Zone 8 shipment in the US. For those who haven’t done so, you will need to review your prices for shipping, particularly for shipments over three pounds and, if applicable, for all international shipments.
I have a quick reference pricing sheet (PDF) for 2014 US Domestic shipments for Zone 8 shipments that I will send to you if you’d like one. It shows pricing for 0-25 pounds for USPS and FedEx Home Delivery discounted for Etsy shippers. Just request one at: