Author Topic: U.S. Postal Service rate increase on foreign orders  (Read 3712 times)

Numina

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U.S. Postal Service rate increase on foreign orders
« on: January 21, 2013, 09:41:02 PM »
Last week I read that the USPS is raising rates on foreign orders as much as 60% - in other words, 1 CD to Australia costs about $6 now, and could go up to about $10.00.  Can anyone confirm this yet? How are other artists dealing with this?  Will people in Europe, Australia, etc. reconsider buying a CD if we have to pass this cost on to them?  I mean, $10 Shipping for 1 CD is really high. This concerns me.  For the past few years I'd say 70% of all my CD sales are to Europe & Australia.   :(    >:( 

drone on

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Re: U.S. Postal Service rate increase on foreign orders
« Reply #1 on: January 21, 2013, 09:47:33 PM »
Just remove the cd first, you'll save money!  ;D

Numina

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Re: U.S. Postal Service rate increase on foreign orders
« Reply #2 on: January 21, 2013, 10:20:49 PM »
 ;D

Antdude

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Re: U.S. Postal Service rate increase on foreign orders
« Reply #3 on: January 22, 2013, 12:31:38 AM »
Sadly, overseas rates across the board appear to be going up. An e-mail from Dave at Ear Rational this morning confirmed that international shipping rates were going up a lot. The first CD seems to be the worst, but above that, the rates were a bit better. Best advice seems to be, buy in bulk and get more for your dollar/pound/euro.
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Re: U.S. Postal Service rate increase on foreign orders
« Reply #4 on: January 22, 2013, 08:09:05 AM »
This is a big issue here in canada, at least where I live.  I recently sent a single CD to russia and it something like $17.
I can't ask a fan to pay that much.
One more nail in the 'physical product coffin'?

Has anyone bought a CD from a Eurozone country in the last few years?  It's getting so bad that I'm considering just buying digital copies of music now to save myself sometimes $15-$25 per CD!

Scott Raymond

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Re: U.S. Postal Service rate increase on foreign orders
« Reply #5 on: January 22, 2013, 06:57:10 PM »
It's sad that rates are going up. Most of the promos I receive these days from foreign artists/labels are downloads now. Saves them on shipping, and I don't have to wait long periods to hear the music. If it helps the artist/label, I'm fine with that.

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drone on

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Re: U.S. Postal Service rate increase on foreign orders
« Reply #6 on: January 23, 2013, 12:23:00 AM »
Sending a cd to Russia should not be $17 unless it is registered.  I've shipped cds to Russia and it cost no more than other countries in Europe.  Registered packages are a flat $12 plus the cost of airmail which is $5-$6.

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Re: U.S. Postal Service rate increase on foreign orders
« Reply #7 on: January 23, 2013, 07:15:41 AM »
Sending a cd to Russia should not be $17 unless it is registered.  I've shipped cds to Russia and it cost no more than other countries in Europe.  Registered packages are a flat $12 plus the cost of airmail which is $5-$6.

'cuz Canada...

It seems that the province I live in, the post office charges more.  I know APK down in toronto pays lower rates than I do...

drone on

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Re: U.S. Postal Service rate increase on foreign orders
« Reply #8 on: January 23, 2013, 11:20:38 AM »
Sounds like you need to get an assistant in the US to mail your overseas packages for you.  That could be one way around it.

drone on

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Re: U.S. Postal Service rate increase on foreign orders
« Reply #9 on: January 23, 2013, 04:31:09 PM »
You know, this whole postal thing pisses me off, consumers are paying MORE and getting LESS.  These international packages are taking like THREE WEEKS to arrive, so when I'm paying for "priority airmail" it seems like they are sticking the package on a BOAT and steamshipping it by ocean instead of putting it on a plane.  But what's probably actually happening is the packages sit around in the post office of origin for a week or more because there aren't enough workers to process the mail, or when it arrives at its destination it sits there for a week until they get around to delivering it.  Also, how can an organization like USPS claim budget problems when they are charging customers through the roof?  (Same goes for toll booths, it goes up $1 every year and they still cry broke)

What a joke.  >:( 

mgriffin

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Re: U.S. Postal Service rate increase on foreign orders
« Reply #10 on: January 23, 2013, 05:37:06 PM »
The USPS is losing tons of money, because individuals and businesses don't use postal mail as much any more. We still mail plenty of stuff for Hypnos, but personal mail? I might send a piece of mail once every 2-3 months, maybe. Bills get paid online. Advertisements get sent via email. Most of the stuff I receive in the mail (aside from parcels meant for Hypnos) is books, movies or music I've ordered, and the occasional catalog.

Anyway, it's not like they're jacking up rates and ending up with record profits. We still want the service, but we're not utilizing it to a degree that is going to work, unless rates go way up.
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jdh

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Re: U.S. Postal Service rate increase on foreign orders
« Reply #11 on: January 23, 2013, 06:02:18 PM »
The USPS is going broke,or are broke due to the various reasons Mike mentioned and the future in shipping lies with Fex Ex,UPS,DHL,etc... Their rates are all over depending on if you are commercial,residential,if you have an account but what I get is a solid,never fail delivery system. I have had items shipped from California to New York and was charged $5, cannot figure it out but there you go. Never had a shipment lost and if they day 2 days or 5 days,it is that.
Or from Montreal to Vancouver for $12 by UPS.
I ship all my work related materials by courrier,rarely use Canada post except for local letters.
I can tell you I will not pay $10 or $15 to have 1 CD shipped. I have already gone the FLAC download route.It is just the way it is.Hard copy product of music,or even DVDs and books is on the way out.

drone on

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Re: U.S. Postal Service rate increase on foreign orders
« Reply #12 on: January 23, 2013, 06:11:19 PM »
Yes, but downloads are an inferior way to release music.  And that's "just the way it is."

jdh

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Re: U.S. Postal Service rate increase on foreign orders
« Reply #13 on: January 23, 2013, 10:26:28 PM »
I cannot comment that it an inferior way from the artist but from my point of view as a collector,it is now better,as long as it is in a lossless format.And I come from lps,tapes and CDs.I have no attachment to CDs and back up my music.But that is another thread.

Numina

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Re: U.S. Postal Service rate increase on foreign orders
« Reply #14 on: January 24, 2013, 10:32:50 AM »
While there is no doubt a drop in postal service due to the digital age, this article sums up exactly the problem right now:

http://thinkprogress.org/economy/2011/09/28/330524/postal-non-crisis-post-office-save-itself/?mobile=nc

"USPS was forced to prefund its future health care benefit payments to retirees for the next 75 years in an astonishing ten-year time span ó meaning that it had to put aside billions of dollars to pay for the health benefits of employees it hasnít even hired yet, something that no other government or private corporation is required to do."

Not to get political, but this request was a bit outrageous. It's likely that USPS' revenue would have continued to decline regardless but this was a huge blow to the USPS, just made the whole entity fall faster.

That said, I don't know how the USPS is suffering.  I get mail, I send mail, every time I'm at the post office there's a line and most days the little substation in my grocery store that I regularly use has boxes damn near up to the ceiling.  The volume of parcels I see is huge! I'm no expert on the whole system of mail service, but there sure does seem to be plenty of people mailing stuff.

I also agree with Drone On - digital files are not my thing. I've bought 3 digital albums ever and that was because they were only available that way.  Unless you're starved for space, I do not understand the lack of love for a real CD or LP.  I think there will always be demand for the physical product but, obviously, just not as much.  The record stores around here seem to still be doing pretty well... but the post office price hikes could absolutely devastate international commerce, if you ask me.

Edit: Well, in the very article I link to, Ralph Nader had this to say: "As consumer advocate Ralph Nader noted, if PAEA was never enacted, USPS would actually be facing a $1.5 billion surplus today."  So maybe USPS would have been in the black at this point.
« Last Edit: January 24, 2013, 10:38:12 AM by Numina »

drone on

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Re: U.S. Postal Service rate increase on foreign orders
« Reply #15 on: January 24, 2013, 02:07:53 PM »
Yes, I agree, there's always a line at my post office(s) and business seems to be booming.  While it may be true that BUSINESSES are using alternative shippers like FedX, UPS, DHL, etc., the average joe citizen is still relying on the system for personal use, bills, packages, etc. 

mgriffin

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Re: U.S. Postal Service rate increase on foreign orders
« Reply #16 on: January 25, 2013, 09:52:17 AM »
Thanks for the info, Jesse/Numina - I'm guilty of listening to the explanations offered by postal employees for the problem. Probably they're trying to downplay the fact that their own union's employee benefits are the bigger reason, even if the benefits are not for them personally, but some future employee!

Whatever the causes, this escalation in shipping costs is going to radically change the environment for everyone. A European customer can now order 2-3 CDs from Hypnos and pay $6 total shipping. We will now need to charge at least $10-11 for this.

In the past, the same European customer could order 10 or 20 CDs from us and pay $11 maximum shipping per order. We set it up this way to encourage people to order more CDs, even though it would cost us more to ship them than $11. We'll have to change this. Now, if someone in Europe ordered 20 CDs it would cost us $60 to send them! We can't charge only $11 for shipping, if it's going to cost us $49 more than that to ship!

I'm afraid the days of our "flat rate" or simple "split-rate" shipping are over. We'll probably have to change our overseas shipping rate to something not only more expensive, but more complicated.
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mgriffin

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Re: U.S. Postal Service rate increase on foreign orders
« Reply #17 on: January 25, 2013, 10:09:14 AM »
I have posted a note about our upcoming postage rate changes on the Hypnos Blog - and even copied a bit of my own example from my previous post:

http://hypnos.com/wordpress/2013/01/25/increased-shipping-charges-effective-jan-27-2013/
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Numina

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Re: U.S. Postal Service rate increase on foreign orders
« Reply #18 on: January 27, 2013, 12:29:01 AM »
Well... My worst fears on this are confirmed. After a discussion with a USPS employee yesterday and referencing this spreadsheet that USPS was using in quoting their new pricing to me: https://www.usps.com/2013/shipping/fcpis-retail.xls

a single CD will jump up to $12.15 to $12.75 (and according to the gal I spoke with this includes shipping to Canada). This is basically double what it cost and 3-times what it cost to ship to Canada.

Pardon my language but this is bullshit. This will, in my opinion, single handedly kill The CD market.

A real shame.

drone on

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Re: U.S. Postal Service rate increase on foreign orders
« Reply #19 on: January 27, 2013, 03:33:49 AM »
Total bullshit.  When does the price increase take effect?