08/05/2019 at 7:15 pm #65937JayKeymaster
- Location: Virginia
NOTE: I am starting a new thread because the title of my earlier one is
misleading. Sorry about that.
Parcel Select used to be the cheapest option for large (more than
12x12x12) lightweight packages. No more, apparently. I contacted Ebay
and got absolutely nowhere trying to get an answer to what the heck was
going on. Then I was referred to PirateShip by Timo, here on the forum
and I chatted with someone there (see below).
NOTE: RETAIL GROUND is a USPS option that CANNOT be purchased on line
through Ebay, Paypal or PirateShip. While a seller can make it an
available choice to buyers on Ebay listings, it is NOT available to
sellers when shipping. You must go to the USPS and purchase the postage
there if you want to ship Retail Ground — which is half the price of
Here is my Chat with PirateShip:
ME: Are you aware of any issues with Parcel Select Rates?
PIRATE SHIP: Only for large packages – back on June 23rd USPS updated
how they charge for packages over a cubic foot (12X12X12″), but that’s
the only recent change to Parcel Select rates
ME: Thank you. What I am noticing is that Parcel Select is now VERY
expensive. I can get better rates from RETAIL GROUND or FedEx Home. Is
that what you noticed as well?
PIRATE SHIP: Yup! In an effort to drive people to the Post Office, and
to keep their mail carriers from trying to pickup large packages during
their routes, USPS currently isn’t charging Dimensional Weight prices
(the extra charge for large packages) on retail ground. All other
services are still affected, but we’ve definitely been pointing people
towards the Post Office if they’re shipping large, light packages. The
FedEx one I wasn’t aware of though!
ME: Wow! That is crazy.
PIRATE SHIP: I know! And the worst part is that USPS didn’t advertise
how they were handling this at all, so we ended up with a lot of
ME: Wow! I am having to go through all my Ebay listings and changing
from Parcel Select to Retail Ground, what a PAIN IN THE BOOTY.
PIRATE SHIP: I’m so sorry about that, Captain! I wish we could help out
there 🙈 Took us a couple weeks to figure it out, and we had the whole
08/05/2019 at 7:31 pm #65938TimoParticipant
- Location: Metro Atlanta
Jay & Ryanne:
Thanks for a great forum that helps us keep up with all the changes.
And to repeat Sigilini’s comment,
ME: Wow! That is crazy.
08/05/2019 at 8:01 pm #65939
Thank you Jay!
08/05/2019 at 9:57 pm #65949gfd_622Participant
- Location: Indiana
Thanks for the info Jay. I was mad last week I feel because I had listed something as retail ground, as that was one of my sellers choices, due to the fact that the package was big and heavy. After somebody bought it and paid for shipping, I went to purchase and retail ground was not an option. What??? Why is that? They gave me the option as a seller, why can’t I buy that on eBay? As it was I didn’t know I could do it through USPS, so I just picked the next closest thing, lost $5 or so in shipping, and shipped it (prob via Fed-Ex Home Delivery).
That helps me to know that I can still offer retail ground as an option but I have to purchase shipping outside of eBay. A little annoying, but I do have a few items that are very heavy and bulky, so a good cheap shipping option is sometimes preferred.
08/05/2019 at 10:37 pm #65952
I have been going through my 1100 listings to change the shipping options for the larger items.
This is a real pain!!! It should have been made easier.
08/06/2019 at 8:55 am #65966
I’ve been wondering for years what “retail ground” was. Now I know!
08/06/2019 at 9:48 am #65967Old DadParticipant
- Location: Missouri
I’m wondering what the delivery speed is for Retail Ground compared to Parcel Select.
08/09/2019 at 9:24 am #66115Castle Rock EmporiumParticipant
- Location: Between Boston & Providence
I had an 8 pound package that measured 22″x15″x10″. The buyer paid about $30 shipping on a $60 item! Using a Zone Chart on USPS website, Retail Ground would have much much cheaper (can’t remember exact amount). I thought it odd that on the USPS website, I could not even calculate a Retail Ground price – thought might be some kind of note “This option is for purchase at Post Office only” or something. I discovered when I went to Post Office the package was ineligible for Retail Ground because destination (MA to NY) was a Zone 4 and that goes by truck anyway so Priority Rate applied. So the upshot is Retail Ground only is available: at the Post Office and if it is a Zone that would be flown.
Thanks for doing the Podcast! Elizabeth
08/09/2019 at 10:56 am #66133
I have discovered that FedEx Ground/Home is like Retail Ground in price and that I can print the label from my computer. The only bummer is I have to drop it off.
And I discovered that at some point in weight and size, Retail Ground catches up to Parcel Select in price. It is only the larger, LIGHT WEIGHT items that are cheaper Retail Ground.
08/12/2019 at 6:31 pm #66284
Jay, thank you for mentioning this issue on the podcast. I can see that I need to do a better job at making this make sense — hard to do since it is very confusing.
1. Parcel Select rates have DOUBLED for large, low weight packages. This is NEW.
2. Retail Ground is now the CHEAPEST way to ship though USPS.
3. Ebay provides Retail Ground Option on listings for the buyer but not to sellers for purchase.
4. Retail Ground can only be purchased at USPS in person.
5. FedEx home delivery is about the same as Retail Ground and can be purchased on line.
6. If you have items with Parcel Select as the primary option, zone 9 buyers (farthest away from you) will see a very expensive shipping rate.
I hope that helps.
08/12/2019 at 9:39 pm #66295RockiesFanParticipant
- Location: Colorado
Sigilini – thank you so much for bringing this up and explaining it so well. I had two items sell over the weekend where the buyers picked Retail Ground. When there was no option to purchase Retail Ground on the labels page, I couldn’t figure out what was going on. I purchased FedEx home delivery for one of them and the cost was comparable, but for the other, the difference makes it worth it for me to drive to the PO and buy a Retail Ground label there. What a pain.
So now I want to change my existing Retail Ground listings to another service. Is there a way to search for what shipping service is on each listing? I don’t have Business Policies. And I don’t want to use “change to” in the bulk editor because I usually have both Priority Mail and Retail Ground as choices, and I don’t want to lose the Priority Mail option. Ugh.
Love love love Scavenger Life and the information available here. Such a great resource. Thanks.
08/12/2019 at 10:00 pm #66296
RockiesFan: You are very welcome. So glad that was helpful.
I am in the same boat you are in. I don’t have business policies and I have no clue how to use them.
I too provide both Ground and Priority on my listings where the package is MORE than 12 x 12 x 12. Ground is my PRIMARY option that shows up first on my listings IF the size is over 12 x 12 x 12. Because that is what buyers see first, I want to put my best foot forward by offering RETAIL GROUND as a primary option.
Right now, I am going one by one on my 1100 listings and changing the oversized ones that I know are bigger than a 12 x 12 x 12 package from Parcel Select to RETAIL GROUND.
Just an extra note: the reason this came to my attention is that three times in the last few weeks buyers asked why the shipping was so high. Buyers are sensitive to high shipping costs and I believe that it could prevent a sale if they shipping fee looks stupidly high.
08/13/2019 at 11:41 am #66324gfd_622Participant
- Location: Indiana
I picked retail ground one time, because when eBay was showing me options for the heavy package I was sending, that was the cheapest by at least $8 or so. But I was mad when I went to purchase shipping and realized that I could not buy it online. I didn’t know at the time that I could buy it at the post office (and I could no longer see the rate to know what it would be), so I just switched to Fed-Ex family or whatever that’s called. I use priority for most everything as I’m in the Midwest and charges for priority are comparable to most others for most sized packages over 1 lb, but when they get bigger than 12x12x12 or heavy, I switch it to Fed-Ex ground. It’s just a pain because it charges my eBay account, not PayPal directly, and so when I pay my monthly ebay bill I have to remember that I had shipping included in my fees.
08/16/2019 at 1:38 am #66387Steves StuffParticipant
- Location: Lakeland, Florida
Well darn, this explains a situation I recently had. For the first time EVER, Retail Ground was the cheapest rate. So I listed an item with that as the only shipping option. Then someone at an APO address bought the item. I went to print the label and there was no Retail Ground option. So I thought it just wasn’t an option for APO.
Now I know what’s going on. Oh well, it cost me $12 out of pocket to use the next “cheapest” option. Ugh… Thanks for the information!
08/16/2019 at 6:44 am #66389
Steves Stuff: I recommend that next time this happens, check out FedEx Home Deliver and see if the shipping rate compares to Retail Ground. You still would have to drop it off at a FedEx drop off location, but you can purchase the shipping on Ebay.
08/18/2019 at 6:24 pm #66512Stuff4uParticipant
I mostly sell small items, but have one item that goes in a larger box; typically 18x12x10. The cost to ship this size box, DIM WEIGHT, went way way up. Sales dropped; so did a deep dive into various shipping costs / options. If I could lower my shipping cost, the item sell through rate would increase. Best option I found is this: If I pass my FED EX discount to the buyer (NOT the USPS discount), the shipping cost to the buyer dropped about 30-50%. Sales improved (using FED EX Smart Post). Also USPS Retail Ground (have to pay at the post office) is CHEAPER than online Parcel Select (when DIM rate applies). Apparently Retail Ground is not applying DIM rates. And the savings on this package is significant enough to improve sell through rate!!
08/19/2019 at 8:34 am #66541
How do you pass on your fedex discount only? I’d really like to do this.
USPS really shot themselves in the foot with this parcel change – Fed Ex just became MUCH more competitive and I’ll be using them alot more now.
08/18/2019 at 6:31 pm #66514
Thank you Jay and Ryanne for addressing this issue in the podcast.
I wish I WERE and Italian Pasta! Maybe I can invent one with my nickname and make my millions.
08/19/2019 at 4:30 pm #66583T-SattParticipant
Sigilini: Thank you so much for letting us all know about this!
For any SixBit users, you can quickly find out what items need to be changed. In your Check Listings, you can make sure that Shipping Preset, Wt. Maj, Wt Min, Length, Width, and Depth are showing for your listings. You will then be able to scroll through your listings seeing anything that is above 12x12x12 (if you want, you can use the QBE line and filter for anything >12) and then change your preset to one that has FedEx Ground as the primary. We created a new preset, and already changed a few.
We will keep this as a work project we can do in Montana by connecting remotely to our SixBit computer.
Thanks again Sigilini!!!
08/20/2019 at 6:52 am #66623MDC Galleries & Fine ArtParticipant
- Location: Atlanta
T-Satt: I will check our SixBit for the process you outline, but first to clarify a point.
isn’t the 12x12x12 just the USPS way of saying 1,728 cubic inches. In the past, and I will check this out today, that DIM WEIGHT always applied to items over 1,728 cubic inches, [lengthxwidthxheight] and the USPS just uses the 12x12x12 as a model.
To ship a long, folded up tri-pod or a fishing rod that both are 5 ft long [60″] x 4″ wide x 4″ high is only 960 cubic inches and would NOT be an oversized DIM WEIGHT package, at least in the past. So a box that is 18″ long x 16 x 10 is 2,880 cubic inches and IS OVERSIZED and priced with the DIM WEIGHT and the new ZONES. BUT that same object-item that would fit into an 18″ long x 9″ High [cut down to be a better fit] x 10″ wide is only 1,620 CUBIC INCHES and would not be an over sized package.
so the 12 x 12 x 12 I think is just their way of stating the 1,728 cubic inches, and not that all dimensions have all got to be less than 12″ period! At least that is the way it has been for years now.
So before I go changing every thing in SixBit on all of our items and then the fact we are cross listed on Etsy, I think I will call USPS today and verify this. If the 1,728 cubic inches is still the real bench mark they are going by, then most of our listings are safe except for a few.
And in those cases we always list 3 or 4 shipping choices and a buyer can easily see that FedEx Home delivery is their second line choice and it would show as much cheaper and they could select that. If the buyer will read and think, AND DO MATH which many don’t.
This whole thing is a good reason to gravitate toward free shipping, take our lowest seller cost to ship to Zone 8 and just build it in on top of our already high mark-ups. Due to the new forced Etsy policy of FREE SHIPPING we are having to seriously think about that anyway.
Will have to see what USPS says today.
mike at mdc galleries and fine art
08/20/2019 at 4:11 pm #66658MDC Galleries & Fine ArtParticipant
- Location: Atlanta
See if this is of any value to those thinking about the New Dim weight and how to figure if it applies to your items.
How is Dimensional Weight Calculated?
First, you need to find out if the package is larger than one cubic foot. The equation for that is:
(L x W x H)/1728
The 1,728 is because there are 1,728 inches in a cubic foot. If the result of the above equation is greater than 1, you need to find out the Dimensional Weight of a package. To do that, you need the Dimensional Weight divisor, which for USPS is now 166 (for FedEx and UPS the divisor is 139 for all sizes).
(L x W x H)/166 = Dimensional weight
If the result of the above equation yields a higher weight than the actual weight of the package you are shipping, you must pay the Dimensional Weight instead. It’s also important to note here that Dimensional Weight will replace what was formerly referred to as Balloon Rate on Priority Mail packages (Priority Mail pieces weighing less than 20 pounds and measuring more than 84 inches, but 108 inches or less, in combined length and girth, charged the price for a piece weighing 20 pounds.).
Let’s look at a couple of examples where this would and would not apply.
16 x 12 x 10 package, weight 15 lbs., shipping Zone 3
Is it larger than one cubic foot: (16 x 12 x 10)/1728 = Yes (1.11 cubic feet)
Dimensional weight: (16 x 12 x 10)/166 = 11.56 lbs. (round up to 12 lbs.)
dimensional weight calculator
In this case, you pay for the actual weight of 15 lbs. rather than the rounded up Dimensional Weight of 12 lbs.
14 x 12 x 14 package, weighing 12 lbs., shipping Zone 4
Is it larger than one cubic foot: (14 x 12 x 14)/1728 = Yes (1.36 cubic feet)
Dimensional weight: (14 x 12 x 14)/166 = 14.17 lbs. (round up to 15 lbs.)
2019 dimensional weight calculations
In this case, you’d pay the Dimensional Weight of 15 lbs. rather than the 12 lbs. actual weight. This can prove to be extremely costly. Looking at what a Priority Mail package would cost for Zone 4 at 12 lbs. versus 15 lbs. in 2019 increases the shipping cost from $15.93 to $18.42.
If that box were 14 x 14 x 14, the Dimensional Weight would increase to 16.53 lbs. (round up to 17 lbs.) and you’re looking at an increase to $20.35! A couple inches of box size could cost you $4.42 more to ship a single package.
As you can see, this can multiply quickly and drain any shipping margins you might have.
This change in calculating shipping for larger packages makes it crucial for merchants shipping larger packages that contain potentially lighter items to optimize packaging. If you can reasonably fit items into a smaller package, you’ll absolutely want to explore your options.
mike at mdcgfa
08/20/2019 at 5:01 pm #66664Stuff4uParticipant
To pass your Fed X discount: Site Preferences, Scroll and click link for Shipping preferences, Edit the line item “Offer carrier-specific discounts for buyers”, Check only the Fed X box (others if you choose to), Save your changes.
08/21/2019 at 10:35 am #66684
It appears I already had it turned on.
08/20/2019 at 8:48 pm #66673jumbleandclutterParticipant
I’ve been using FedEx lately…I love that I can use it as an option without having an account with them. I have several drop off locations near me…so it’s worth it for the savings. The increased shipping costs have definitely affected sales for me. I am trying to offer free shipping when it’s relatively cheap…like a piece of jewelry…but ironically, when I sell a piece of jewelry for $150, and it only weighs 2 oz…I still have to buy insurance, which negates any savings on the little package. A while ago, I went thru and added Parcel Select to all my listings over a pound. Now, it seems like that will have to be adjusted. I feel like I spend WAY too much time tweaking things like this, instead of listing new stuff!!
12/10/2019 at 1:08 pm #71506
And the drama continues!
This is complicated but hopefully I can make it simple:
1. USPS Retail Ground (cheapest rate) is only available for zones 5-9. (Note: You can only buy Retail Ground at the Post office — not on Ebay even though Ebay offers it as an option.)
2. BUT Ebay does NOT exclude zones 1-4 in retail ground shipping for buyers.
3. That means that anyone in zones 1-4 can purchase Retail Ground shipping but as a seller you don’t get those rates from USPS. You will have to purchase more expensive shipping for zones 1-4.
4. This means that buyers in zones 1-4 will underpay for shipping and you have to eat it.
5. So bottom line it means that I cannot offer Retail Ground to ANYONE! This really sucks big time because buyers in zones 5-9 will now see much higher shipping rates.
12/22/2019 at 9:10 am #71950Castle Rock EmporiumParticipant
- Location: Between Boston & Providence
I was told at the Post Office that Retail Ground is not available for any Zone (1-4) that goes by truck anyway. It is only available for Packages going to Zones that would normally be put on a plane for Priority Mail and are now going by truck.
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