USPS eBay 2016 January Rate Increase First Class Priority

Rate Increase – 2016 USPS – First Class Upgrade

Dollar Flipper eBay Tips 16 Comments

You may have noticed that some of your shipping prices have gone up in the past few days. It’s a bit frustrating, but USPS has increased their rates as of January 17, 2016. Even though there is a more expensive shipping rate, there have been some worthwhile upgrades to some of their services. It isn’t all bad!

USPS eBay 2016 January Rate Increase First Class Priority

I love the Post Office even with a rate increase. Free boxes rock!

I had first heard about the rate increase in October 2015 and quickly forget it near instantaneously. If you want to read about it directly from the source, check it out here. It’s about as dry as any government document could be expected.

There were some rumblings about the rate increase (and the typical angry “government” curses), but it didn’t end up being much more expensive for me.

Like most things in life, I think the anticipation of the event brings more gusto than the actual event itself.

Rate increases aren’t good, especially if you do free shipping. But, they aren’t the end of the world as long as you’ve been smart on the buying end.


To start out with, the regular mail (letters, postcards, and “flats”) were not impacted.

Things that were impacted: Priority and 1st Class – two of the services that I use most.

Before we look at the increases, remember that as an eBay seller, you already get a discount. By purchasing labels through eBay’s system, you get the Commercial Base pricing which is heavily discounted from buying the postage in the store. This applies to all eBay sellers.

On top of that, if you’re a top rated seller or sell a large quantity (300+ items per month), you have additional discounts called Commercial Plus pricing. This is the best benefit of being a top rated seller.

My point here is that although some of the shipping options have increased by a large percentage, the true price increase won’t be seen unless you’re paying for postage at the post office, and you really shouldn’t be. Purchasing a quality label printer and printing at home can be paid back very quickly just considering the savings (and that’s before deducting the printer on your taxes!). We’re talking about $0.50 in most cases. Not ideal but not breaking the bank either.

If you’re doing calculated shipping, then there’s no issue for you. eBay automatically updates the pricing through their calculator.

Let’s look at the actual rate increases.

Rate Changes

  • Priority Mail – Average increase of 9.8%.
  • First Class – Average increase of 12.8%
  • First Class Weight – up from 12.99 to 15.99
  • USPS website’s “Click n’ Ship” won’t let you get Commercial Base pricing. Most of the time, eBay has the best options for shipping. Sometimes, it’s nice to have a backup though if the website is being glitchy. You can still use PayPal’s ShipNow service, but it limits the types of flat rate options you.

That last one is a big one for me. As a (mostly) clothing seller, the extra 3 ounces is huge. There are a lot of shirts that come in right under the 16oz mark, and now I’m able to ship that out for under $4! This definitely helps assuage the sting of the rate increases.

In the end, you can do a few things if you want to keep the situation within your own control.

  • You can adjust your prices up by small amounts
  • You can switch to calculated shipping
  • You can ignore it (for now).

I’m going to ignore it for now. I don’t like to focus on $1 here or there if I don’t have to since I’m making $20+ profit on most of my items.

Have you noticed the rate increase? Did you make any changes?

Image Credit: Tony Webster

Comments 16

  1. I definitely hear you with the first class thing. That’s easily the best news of all this – now if something is under 1 lb, we can ship it first class, which is great! Hopefully next year they up it to 2 lbs. Ha! Wishful thinking 😉

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  2. Totally stoked by the 16 ounce first class adjustment. I have heard from others that regional flat rate boxes will be a $ saver, too 😛

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      Yeah, I love the Regional Rate A boxes. Smaller than the Medium Flat rate but I can normally fit jackets/bulky sweaters right in there!

  3. I too am happy about the first class weight change. I shop most stuff FC, so that’s great!

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      I love the expansion. I think that some sellers (like Endicia users) had it earlier since it was a business rate. This simplification will help us all.

  4. I officially hate it. I ship everything priority and a small flat rate box increasing from $5.25 to $6.80 is crazy.

    Question: what’s the best way to print first class labels at home? Will the post office pick them up too? I don’t live close to a post office so that’s why I just use click n ship and have my mail lady pick everything up. But $6.80 for a padded envelope or small box is just too much.

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      eBay labels are the best. I started out with a regular printer, printed the labels (first class, priority, media mail, international, anything!) through eBay. I use a Dymo label printer and labels now, but you can start with what you have.

      It’s so much easier to print from eBay than USPS though. All of the address information is right there and the system lets you compare all of the different options (based on the weight and the dimensions).

      Just for a point of reference, you mention that the small flat rate box is $6.80 on USPS. I get it for $5.90.

      eBay Label USPS Label Prices

  5. Anna – postal workers will pick up items that are first class. I print everything via ebay’s shipping.

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      Agreed. I rarely print outside of eBay unless they’re having a system issue and I’m in a time crunch.

  6. Inflation is inevitable..we all just have to adapt. I guess it’s no biggie for us that sell using calculated shipping. If not calculated, than you’ll have to adjust your listings for the increase. I just hope that the commercial savings won’t go away.

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      Yeah, I’m not worried about the commercial savings going away soon. That article says in 2017, so that’s far in the future. If that happens, I may be moving towards calculated shipping!

  7. Briane: thank you! Ill try to ship through ebay. Last I looked I thought they were the same price, but click n ship doesn’t have first class.

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