In January, the US postal service increased the portfolio that was available to all eRetailers under the 1st Class Package International service level. The changes included offering eDelcon services to 15 countries, but in many cases, the prices doubled in exchange for these additional services. In addition, USPS could once again assign the 1st Class Package International Service from the section on postal services to the Freight Services section.
How does this affect eRetailers? Well many eBay and Amazon third party sellers that Ive talked to throughout the year have mentioned that their international orders have fallen sharply during this year.
Well, if I told you there is a way to roll back the clock and take advantage of the portfolios available last year and do not pay extra money for eDelcon services? Many eRetailers selling products that are less valuable (less than $ 50) would jump on the opportunity. This option is available with the USPS International Priority Airmail Service.
Key Features of USPS International Priority Airmail (IPA)
Perfect for lightweight objects with low value, <2 Kilos & <$ 400 value
Shipped as first class international package services
Transit is 3-7 days globally
Postal Cutoms Clearance (Fees and Fees Paid by Recipients)
Free return on unreadable items
Discounted Porto prices
USPS Package Identification Number Provided
Integrates directly with Endicia.com, Shipstation, Shipworks, Teapplix, etc.
How to use an eRetailer USPS IPA Service
eRetailers would contact a USPS Postal Qualified Wholesaler (PQW) in their region and talk with an international expert who will help them manage through the service. Choosing the right PQW is crucial to your success when using the USPS IPA service. Select a PQW that has locations throughout the United States. This becomes extremely important during times of bad weather, airport closures or natural disasters. A PQW that has locations in New York, Chicago and Los Angeles ensures that your mail will move regardless of the circumstances we face in a particular region. eRetailers also want to choose a PQW that integrates directly with their current labeling system.
When you are done with the integration process, you generate your labels as usual. You will generate a zero postage consolidator label and the required customs information will automatically transfer to PQW. A download is ordered at your facility and the package is sent to one of PQWs locations.
Be sure that when your packages arrive at PQWs processing center, each package is scanned into their operation. At that time, packages are sorted by destination country, placed in corresponding bags and then delivered to the USPS International Service Center (ISC) in your area. Be sure to ask your PQW the following questions?
How often do you miss mail on USPS ISC during the week? Some smaller PQWs do not have enough mail volume to send your mail every day. In order to send your mail directly to an ISC, a PQW must have at least 500 pounds per mail drop.
How much mail do you need with direct bags? If your mail carrier does not have at least 3 pounds of mail for each country you send, your letter will be sent inside a mixed bag. Mixed bags are sent to ISC that serve that region in the world. For example, if you have a package that goes to Belize and your mailer places that item in a mixed bag. That bag will be sent to Miami ISC from any location in the country you send from. This can delay your packages significantly.
How many packages a week do they send via IPA every week? Some comapnies are very large but do not use IPA daily. It is important to know how much they deliver through the IPA service.
Has PQW recommended verbation for your shipping policy pages on eBay and Amazon? If a PQW has not recommended a verb for your shipping policy page, it indicates that they lack experience in managing the eRetail community. Whats good about saving your business rating ratings? Make sure you follow PQWs recommended shipping policy, so your customers are fully aware of the service you use to send their packages.
Which shippers should use the USPS International Priority Airmail Program?
If you send an average of 20 or more packages per day.
Is your average order value less than 400 USD?
Are you comfortable not getting a delivery scan on your packages?
Are you willing to change your shipping policy verbage? If the above criteria match your business model, I would immediately contact a USPS PQW to start saving mail immediately.