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idfubar said:    The cost for shipping via USPS Flat Rate has *far* outstripped inflation (not to mention median wages)

True, but the cost of shipping UPS/FedEx has gone up even more, unless you have a great volume discount. Ever looked at their "retail" rates?

atikovi said:   Anyone run the numbers as to it's investment potential? Assuming the postal service will still be in business in 5, 10 or 30 years? Thinking about the small flat rate box for example at $5.35. Say you buy 10,000 of them for $53,500 and in 10 years they will cost $15.35 at the P.O. You would make a $100,000 profit, or more likely $80,000 since you couldn't ask the same price as at the P.O. Would that by a wise investment?
http://uspsstore.stamps.com/Store/catalog/sub_category.jsp?id=cat961410023&_requestid=20651&sslr=true said:
NOTE: Prepaid Forever Priority Mail Flat Rate™ Packaging is intended solely for use by the purchaser and cannot be resold.

tempting but my problem is I ship odd sizes so may not able to use these immediately. It becomes a cash flow issue for me waiting for it to be used. Good deal for those that can use them.

I am confused. I checked the rates on the link provided in the OP for the new prices starting on Jan 27th, and the two boxes I use the most are going down $.05 and $.15 (Medium and Large flat rate).

Medium is currently $11.35 and it will be $11.30
Large is currently $15.45 and it will be $15.30

I know postage is going up, but the OP is misleading to buy prepaid boxes when the rate is dropping, unless I misread.
Links here:
New Rates
Current Rates

alienjedi said:   I am confused. I checked the rates on the link provided in the OP for the new prices starting on Jan 27th, and the two boxes I use the most are going down $.05 and $.15 (Medium and Large flat rate).

Medium is currently $11.35 and it will be $11.30
Large is currently $15.45 and it will be $15.30

I know postage is going up, but the OP is misleading to buy prepaid boxes when the rate is dropping, unless I misread.
Links here:
New Rates
Current Rates
Maybe these are the discounted rates online..

deleted

atikovi said:   Anyone run the numbers as to it's investment potential? Assuming the postal service will still be in business in 5, 10 or 30 years? Thinking about the small flat rate box for example at $5.35. Say you buy 10,000 of them for $53,500 and in 10 years they will cost $15.35 at the P.O. You would make a $100,000 profit, or more likely $80,000 since you couldn't ask the same price as at the P.O. Would that by a wise investment?

Adjusted for inflation, prices of stamps has remained near constant since early 1980s.. so its not a good business investment IMO.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_United_States_postage_ra...
This plot shows that, despite the rise in the nominal cost of a first-class stamp, the adjusted cost of the stamp has stayed relatively stable

USPS Priority Mail Flat Rate envelopes are going up 45 cents, from $5.15 to $5.60. Preparing online saves 25 cents, adds Delivery Confirmation*, for a current price of $4.90. I'll assume the same online discount will apply after the increase, so instead of $5.60 it will be $5.35. So, buying Prepaid Forever Priority Mail Flat Rate envelopes @ $5.15 saves 20 cents.

*Delivery Confirmation in included with the Prepaid Forever Priority Mail Flat Rate envelopes

What about the boxes, is my assessment correct? I didn't check all the rates just the medium and large.

Canucklehead said:   atikovi said:   Anyone run the numbers as to it's investment potential? Assuming the postal service will still be in business in 5, 10 or 30 years? Thinking about the small flat rate box for example at $5.35. Say you buy 10,000 of them for $53,500 and in 10 years they will cost $15.35 at the P.O. You would make a $100,000 profit, or more likely $80,000 since you couldn't ask the same price as at the P.O. Would that by a wise investment?

The buying power of that $80K in 10 years will be diminished. Better to invest the $53K now and grow based on cost of living. Send it to me, and I'll send you $80K in 9 years. That's a 10% better deal... I promise I will... really...


Maybe not a bad deal for some, since your pay-back would be $26.5K tax free

Gpz1100 said:   Wonder how this increase will affect commercial prices - labels generated from paypal.

It's in the price list linked.

I agree with above, this isn't necessarily a good deal today, just looking at the current price list.
We do a lot of flat rate priority envelopes.
We pay, today $4.95 via paypal.
Today we pay: $4.95 (paypal)
We can buy 10 of these "forever" envelops for $5.30 each.

Prices are going up to $5.60... So we're probably looking at shipping (paypal) at the price that I can pay today...
The real savings is future increases.


Anyone know how these work? Is the envelope/box destroyed after shipping? We've got a labeler, but it really only works when paying for postage.
Shipping via paypal is nice as it works for notifying the customer as well as delivery tracking. I don't see how you can use paypal with these...


EDIT:
Apparently postage is somehow printed - maybe a label. USPS indicates that the purchasers return address will be added - probably to discourage sales/speculating. It also makes it harder to stock up if you or your business move.. I guess you could cross it out.

But man, the cost of shipping the boxes out is going to kill your resell profit margins on the backend. Too bad they didn't just sell the stamps.

alienjedi said:   I am confused. I checked the rates on the link provided in the OP for the new prices starting on Jan 27th, and the two boxes I use the most are going down $.05 and $.15 (Medium and Large flat rate).

Medium is currently $11.35 and it will be $11.30
Large is currently $15.45 and it will be $15.30

I know postage is going up, but the OP is misleading to buy prepaid boxes when the rate is dropping, unless I misread.
Links here:
New Rates
Current Rates


You are comparing the current Retail rate against the new Commercial Base rate.
You have to compare the same rate.

Currently the Retail rate is $11.35 for medium and $15.45 for large.
Currently the Commercial Base rate is $10.85 for medium and $14.65 for large.



The NEW rates will be:
Retail: $12.35 for medium and $16.85 for large.
Commercial Base: $11.30 for medium and $15.30 for large.

The easiest way to qualify for the Commercial Base rate is to print a prepaid label from the USPS web site or Paypal.

mattun said:   But man, the cost of shipping the boxes out is going to kill your resell profit margins on the backend. Too bad they didn't just sell the stamps.

I'm not sure that it's not a stamp/label....

The USPS needs to just roll over and die, they completely suck at what they do! All they do is stuff our mailboxes with junkmail.

EradicateSpam said:   As others have mentioned, REGIONAL FLAT RATE BOXES are MUCH CHEAPER...

Sometimes they are.

A Large Flat Rate box is currently $14.65 to all zones (Commercial Base rate).
A Regional Rate "B" box is currently $15.46 to zone 8.

The weight limit on a Flat Rate box is 70 lbs (domestic).
The weight limit on a Regional Rate box is 15 lbs for A, 20 lbs for B, and 25 lbs for C.

You can't make a blanket statement like that.

By the way, they are not "Regional FLAT Rate" boxes. They are just "Regional Rate" boxes.
The rate is not "flat."

And a bit of trivia: The price for the Regional Rate A boxes is the same as the Commercial Base rate for a 2 lb Priority Mail package. For a Regional Rate B, it's a 4 lb package. And for Regional Rate C it's a 17 lb package.

87pathfinder said:   USPS Priority Mail Flat Rate envelopes are going up 45 cents, from $5.15 to $5.60. Preparing online saves 25 cents, adds Delivery Confirmation*, for a current price of $4.90. I'll assume the same online discount will apply after the increase, so instead of $5.60 it will be $5.35. So, buying Prepaid Forever Priority Mail Flat Rate envelopes @ $5.15 saves 20 cents.

*Delivery Confirmation in included with the Prepaid Forever Priority Mail Flat Rate envelopes
The Commercial Base price for a Flat Rate envelope will be $5.05, not $5.35. The price you get by preparing online is called the "Commercial Base" rate. So you would actually lose 10 cents per envelope. You wouldn't make any money until the next time the rates go up.

By the way, Delivery Confirmation (which will be referred to as "Tracking") will be free for all Priority Mail after the price changes.

Shipping discounts via eBay for top rated sellers make the 'savings' from these forever priority pointless/worthless. - E

dkd711 said:   The USPS needs to just roll over and die, they completely suck at what they do! All they do is stuff our mailboxes with junkmail.

You are kidding, right?
Think about the logistics of getting a letter or envelope from your town across the country for any price less that $10 and within a week. Boggling.
I always figured the junk mail folks just pay for our daily delivery and not some twice or thrice a week service.

crhptic said:   idfubar said:    The cost for shipping via USPS Flat Rate has *far* outstripped inflation (not to mention median wages)

True, but the cost of shipping UPS/FedEx has gone up even more, unless you have a great volume discount. Ever looked at their "retail" rates?


I just did a quick check on some packages that I sent back in late 2003 and the rates (retail) for UPS in my sample indicated rates have since doubled or so (7lbs: $7.39->$14.76, 30lbs: $30->$55)... Assuming FedEx is similar (which I would venture to say it is) the rate of increase for USPS has actually been about the same (plus or minus 10%), at least for packages less than 30 lbs....

IMHO the shocking thing is that the doubling occurred for all of them in ten years... meaning that the average rate of increase was ~7% a year (far more than inflation - which, incidentally, was low for the last five years). Aside from high transportation fuel costs I can't think of anything which would account for the change (more package volume would, after all, imply lower costs).

PS: Anyone have a guess as to what the USPS would do if you bought a box but they later changes the terms of delivery (e.g. reduced service area or no Saturday delivery)?

atikovi said:   Anyone run the numbers as to it's investment potential? Assuming the postal service will still be in business in 5, 10 or 30 years? Thinking about the small flat rate box for example at $5.35. Say you buy 10,000 of them for $53,500 and in 10 years they will cost $15.35 at the P.O. You would make a $100,000 profit, or more likely $80,000 since you couldn't ask the same price as at the P.O. Would that by a wise investment?

Is that you Mr. Ponzi?

atikovi said:   Anyone run the numbers as to it's investment potential? Assuming the postal service will still be in business in 5, 10 or 30 years? Thinking about the small flat rate box for example at $5.35. Say you buy 10,000 of them for $53,500 and in 10 years they will cost $15.35 at the P.O. You would make a $100,000 profit, or more likely $80,000 since you couldn't ask the same price as at the P.O. Would that by a wise investment?

Sounds like a terrible idea, very risky and a lower rate of return than what you could get elsewhere.

idfubar said:   
PS: Anyone have a guess as to what the USPS would do if you bought a box but they later changes the terms of delivery (e.g. reduced service area or no Saturday delivery)?


They'd do nothing. Their website states "no refunds" on this stuff.

Again, we need the details from USPS. I can't tell if we're buying pre-printed labels or if the boxes are actually printed on. I think it's labels as USPS indicates that they're going to pre-print the return address.
And due to the difference in retail and commercial rates, pre-paying isn't attractive until the next price increase....

I use USPS priority a lot, but I'm not in on this deal.

NOT to mention. DONT move .. in next 10yrs OR WILL VOID YOUR POSTAGE
All address labels will contain the customer's return address in the upper left corner of the label.

Well I generally use flat rate for international shipping but this is domestic only.

Flat rate international to Canada/Mexico is $12.95 going up to $19.95 and everywhere else is $16.95 going up to $23.95. Last year I remember flat rate international going up like 37%, this is worse. Anyone have any other suggestions for shipping globally? I generally send items under 4 lbs. I'll probably be using First-class international more now. This increase is just brutal.

We're a wholesaler. Our retailer won't use USPS for international as they indicate that there is a much lower delivery rate and horrible tracking...
I don't ship international because of the customs forms, which dont seem to be handled by USPS / Paypal software.

BlackKnight85 said:   Well I generally use flat rate for international shipping but this is domestic only.

Flat rate international to Canada/Mexico is $12.95 going up to $19.95 and everywhere else is $16.95 going up to $23.95. Last year I remember flat rate international going up like 37%, this is worse. Anyone have any other suggestions for shipping globally? I generally send items under 4 lbs. I'll probably be using First-class international more now. This increase is just brutal.


First class international is having a large price increase as well.

Priority Mail - Retail Prices going up
Cost Today/ Cost on Jan 27 2013/ % increase

Flat Rate Envs - 5.15 /5.6 /8.7%
Flat Rate Padded Env - 5.3 /5.95 /12.3%
Legal Flat Rate Env - 5.3 /5.75 /8.5%
Small Flat Rate Box - 5.35 /5.8 /8.4%
Med Flat Rate Boxes - 11.35 /12.35 /8.8%
Large Flat Rate Boxes - 15.45 /16.85 /9.1%

How will new rates compare to FedEx or UPS for same size?

You know that's the first thought I had when I saw this thread as well.
I'm going to need someone here to produce a matrix before I can make a call on this one.
It needs to include UPS, FedEx, USPS and some local carriers too.
We need a break down by weight and package dimension and comparisons between online and retail pricing.
Once that is developed I'm going to need to see how this compares to Stamps.com, shipgooder and similar services.
Then ... and ONLY then ... will I make an assessment on this so called 'deal'.

Lets try to get this information up in the next 48hrs or I maybe forced to call shenanigans.

if don't mind waiting in line, media-mail(usps) is really inexpensive of course you need to be shipping books, albums, cds, etc

partybag said:   first class letter increased 1 cent. Stock up on those forever stamps!


A small fact:
Forever stamps were made for the Post Office benefit, not the customer. Every price increase, they would lose money on destroying the already printed stamps, on the old rate. They would lose money on printing more 1c, 2c, 3c, stamps, that cost more to print, then they make.



Good post OP

BTW for those planning to stock up on stamps - do it at a store where the credit card has category bonus - e.g. CVS since Chase has a 5% CashBack on Drugstore purchases.

1daylate said:   dkd711 said:   The USPS needs to just roll over and die, they completely suck at what they do! All they do is stuff our mailboxes with junkmail.

You are kidding, right?
Think about the logistics of getting a letter or envelope from your town across the country for any price less that $10 and within a week. Boggling.
I always figured the junk mail folks just pay for our daily delivery and not some twice or thrice a week service.


not to mention, that both FedEx and ups need the post office in order to have deliveries made to farmers in rural areas.

This would be a great tool I've never seen it out there Would be grateful for this analysis


nidude said:   How will new rates compare to FedEx or UPS for same size?

You know that's the first thought I had when I saw this thread as well.
I'm going to need someone here to produce a matrix before I can make a call on this one.
It needs to include UPS, FedEx, USPS and some local carriers too.
We need a break down by weight and package dimension and comparisons between online and retail pricing.
Once that is developed I'm going to need to see how this compares to Stamps.com, shipgooder and similar services.
Then ... and ONLY then ... will I make an assessment on this so called 'deal'.

Lets try to get this information up in the next 48hrs or I maybe forced to call shenanigans.

bilboninja said:   so typical .loose money because its so poorly run, so just keep raising rates so they can keep their bloated pensions and golden parachute reirement...unreal

Actually, retired postal service workers do not get "bloated pensions." Unlike most pension systems collectors, retired PO employees must give up their right to social security.

1) What's a regional flat rate box?

2) I di agree that USPS is much cheaper than any other service. I shipped an 8 oz item 2-day FedEx (from GA to WA) as a favor to a seller who accidentally shipped me the wrong item. FedEx considered it 2 lbs. It cost $34--I probably could have shipped it USPS for less than $5 and it would have gotten there just as quickly!

ttjbricker said:   1) What's a regional flat rate box?
Its a form of Priority Mail. Need a zone chart to figure out whether its cheaper than regular Priority. Cheaper than regular Priority if shipping to a nearby zone. Works best for small, dense item not going very far. Google is your friend.

desertdish said:   bilboninja said:   so typical .loose money because its so poorly run, so just keep raising rates so they can keep their bloated pensions and golden parachute reirement...unreal

Actually, retired postal service workers do not get "bloated pensions." Unlike most pension systems collectors, retired PO employees must give up their right to social security.
Only career employees hired prior to January 1, 1984 who have not opted into the Federal Employees Retirement System (FERS) are not covered by Social Security. All casual employees as well as career employees hired since January 1, 1984 have Social Security taxes deducted from their paychecks and are eligible to receive Social Security benefits.

atikovi said:   Anyone run the numbers as to it's investment potential? Assuming the postal service will still be in business in 5, 10 or 30 years? Thinking about the small flat rate box for example at $5.35. Say you buy 10,000 of them for $53,500 and in 10 years they will cost $15.35 at the P.O. You would make a $100,000 profit, or more likely $80,000 since you couldn't ask the same price as at the P.O. Would that by a wise investment?The post office will probably be around in 30 years, but it probably wouldn't be a wise investment because the post office is pretty much run at cost (which is why they'll be in the black for 3-5 years, then in the red for 3-5 years, rinse and repeat), so your investment will probably increase with whatever the inflation rate is.

Stamp price rises are capped at inflation rate I believe. Otherwise they should have just put them up 10c.



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