eBay Sellers Concerned About New USPS Surcharges In April

Liz Morton
Liz Morton


New USPS rates and surcharges are set to take effect on April 3rd, causing some sellers to wonder why eBay doesn't do more to advocate for them with the post office or pass on additional discounts.

USPS rate changes effective April 3, 2022
As a part of 2022 rate increases announced by USPS late last year, new fees will take effect for some USPS products and services starting April 3, 2022. Below is an overview of the USPS shipping services increases. Non-standard fees Additional fees will apply when package dimensions exceed USPS so…

Non-standard fees

Additional fees will apply when package dimensions exceed USPS sortation specifications and require manual sorting. These fees will apply to Retail Ground, Priority Mail, Priority Mail Express, Parcel Select Ground, and First Class Package Service.

  • Packages that exceed 22 inches but are not greater than 30 inches in length: Add $4.00 per package
  • Packages that exceed 30 inches in length: Add $15.00 per package
  • Packages that exceed 2 cubic feet (3,456 cubic inches): Add $15.00 per package

A maximum of two non-standard fees may be assessed for a package.

Dimensional non-compliance fees

An additional $1.50 fee will apply to packages greater than 1 cubic foot (1,728 cubic inches) or 22 inches in length for Retail Ground, Priority Mail, Priority Mail Express, and Parcel Select Ground when:

  • Dimensions provided are inaccurate
  • Dimensions are not provided

Our shipping calculator will automatically factor in the non-standard fee changes to your shipping quote and the shipping charge a buyer sees.

While we recognize these fees may impact your shipping costs, remember that when you print your labels on eBay you can save up to 30% with pre-negotiated USPS rates.

While this rate increase will impact anyone who uses USPS services, eBay sellers in particular were concerned with whether or not eBay would be trying to negotiate a better deal with USPS on their behalf and/or passing on existing or additional discounts to help sellers offset these rising costs.

April 3rd what to Do?
The ebay shipping team---as far as I can see---has not yet posted about this ,although we’ve been promised they will, um, “soon” So, for those who may have missed it. USPS will be adding some new surcharges on April 3rd. The most important changes: for Priority, Priority Express and Parcel Select/…

So far, there is NO indication that ebay managed to strike a deal with USPS to exclude ebay or provide a reduced surcharge. Nor has ebay provided suggestions for sellers on how to reduce the impact of these new surcharges. (I use only USPS, but may have to consider UPS or FedEx going forward)

velvet@ebay Using ebay labels: When calculated shipping adds a non-standard shipping fee of $4 or $15 (or more, due to stacking), does ebay provide ANY reduction to that non-standard shipping fee amount?

Velvet responded:

We pass on the actual non-standard shipping fee to the seller with no discount for these fees.

Another seller asked whether Top Rated Seller discounts for priority mail would extend to the surcharges as well.

But secondary question, and one that can actually be answered by eBay because it's an eBay policy, is whether Top Rated Sellers will get their 3% discount on the entire price of their Priority label even when it includes one (or two!) of those surcharges.

Velvet confirmed the discounts are only applied on the base postage rate.

Shipping label discounts are given on base postage cost only excluding any additional fees e.g. non-standard fees or $1.50 <1 cubic foot/22 inches fee.

Back in 2019, it was revealed that eBay was the second-largest customer of the US Postal Service - a position which eBay can and should use to negotiate better discounted rates and (most importantly) pass more of those discounts on to sellers.

#2 USPS Customer revealed to be eBay - Tamebay
One of the reveals at eBay Open that hasn’t received the mainstream coverage is eBay’s announcement that eBay is USPS’s 2nd largest customer

Sellers on this thread also discussed the new surcharges, with one who is also a USPS carrier giving their side of how handling large packages negatively affects the efficiency of mail processing and why USPS is enacting these changes.

USPS has lost its mind
Its really going to happen ebay sellers. I saw the written card at my post office yesterday. Any packages over 22″ will have a flat 4.00 extra charge. Over 30″ will have a 15.00 extra charge. Also a 15.00 charge for a square footage i cant remember the details. I have never seen so many price increa…

They also discussed the new USPS Connect service, but many believe this service is geared more toward small to mid-size brick and mortar business and won't be a viable option for online sellers, at least not for some time.

USPS Expands USPS Connect Business Delivery Solutions
USPS announces official launch of USPS Connect offering new delivery solutions for businesses of all sizes.

It's also important to be aware these new surcharges go into effect on a Sunday - while eBay has said their systems will automatically update to add the surcharges and calculate correct rates when they take effect, sellers who normally wait until Monday to process and ship weekend orders could find themselves paying more than was originally calculated.

It wouldn't be the first time a weekend postage price change caused a shipping debacle on eBay.

Back in August, there was an increase in the price of eBay Standard Envelope service which was supposed take effect on Sunday 8/29, but instead started being applied a day early, causing mass confusion and concern.

eBay Overcharges for Standard Envelope Before Price Increase
Sellers report being charged increased prices for eBay Standard Envelope before the stated 8/29 effective date.

That was only a $0.20 increase - what's going to happen if eBay has a similar mis-execution on surcharges that could add $4-$15 more per package?

How are these new USPS surcharges going to impact your business? Do you believe eBay and other marketplaces can/should do more to help offset shipping costs or negotiate better rates for sellers? Let us know in the comments below!


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Liz Morton is a seasoned ecommerce pro with 17 years of online marketplace sales experience, providing commentary, analysis & news about eBay, Etsy, Amazon, Shopify & more at Value Added Resource!