E-commerce News and Insights | Jul 25, 2022

What SMBs Need to Know About USPS Reseller Program and Rates

Shippo

Before we dig into the details, let’s get rid of the elephant in the room:

Shippo continues to maintain its published USPS prices for e-commerce merchants!

Again for those in the back: As an e-commerce merchant, nothing changes for you as the competitive rates historically offered by Shippo for USPS are not going away.

Why is that important? 

Earlier this month, news came out that the United States Postal Service (USPS) would be ending its decades long reseller program, beginning October 1, 2022.

TL;DR: USPS is prioritizing direct relationships with technology platforms like Shippo directly serving SMBs – a move that helps level the playing field amongst e-commerce merchants. Moreover, Shippo will continue to provide our competitive USPS rates to shippers now and ever after. 

Shippo was born out of the need to simplify complicated shipping technology and processes. This has been our goal from Day 0 and remains our focus to this day.

We make it as easy as possible for businesses to be successful selling online. To this end, we build world class technology and prioritize relationships with carriers and partners that help enable this mission.

Shippo maintains a strong and collaborative relationship with all carriers and have always shared a desire to democratize e-commerce at all levels.

As a merchant using Shippo, should I be concerned?

Thankfully, no. You have enough things to worry about running your business; what’s happening with USPS’ reseller program does not affect you. So you can cross this off your worries list.

This is a dynamic situation with ongoing updates expected over the next several weeks. Shippo will continue to transparently share new information as we have it. In the meantime, let’s dig into the announcement further to bring some more clarity to what’s going on.

What is the reseller program?

Created in 1992, the postage reseller program by USPS was developed to give small businesses access to discounts previously reserved for large shippers with high volumes. 

Through this program, third-party resellers could pass on commercial rates (read: lower than retail) via technology providers like Shippo.

While the reseller program opened USPS to a wider base of merchants, insiders questioned whether the program’s benefits were actually being realized by qualified shippers. USPS spokesperson David Partenheimer laid out the decision as follows:

“The Postal Service undertook an evaluation of its reseller program and has determined that the program as currently structured is not resulting in the customer benefits and efficiencies that were originally envisioned, has caused difficulties in monitoring compliance with pricing and other terms, and should be discontinued.”

Ending its reseller program gives USPS an opportunity to work with customers more directly, and more closely ensure that businesses are getting equal access to competitive pricing.

What happens next?

As the USPS continues to evaluate the logistical and administrative details of this transition, we expect to learn additional information about the implications of these program changes.

We will continue to keep you updated as we learn more over the coming weeks, and encourage you to return to this post for updates. 

Keep shipping!

Shippo Announcements, tips, and commentary from the team at Shippo.

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