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May
31
May 2015 USPS Rate Increase
Posted on 31 May 15 08:28 PM

[May 31 2015]

USPS rates go up today for most USPS services and fees. Fortunately, for the most popular service our sellers use, Domestic Priority Mail, there is no increase this year (and prices were actually reduced last Sept). That goes for the domestic flat rate boxes as well. Domestic Priority Express also avioids the hike

Increases do include:

  • First Class Package Service will see an increase of 5% for domestic delivery, and 7% for international destinations.
  • Standard Post pricing will increase on average by 10%.
  • Priority Mail International to Canada goes from one rate from all US locations to Canada to a "zoned" pricing with seven tiers.
  • Priority Mail International increases overall about 5% (and 7% for Express), but to Canada the increases averages 12% overall.  However, the closer zones to our northern neighbor will enjoy a rate drop of about 4%.
  • USPS insurance rates are increasing by an average of 5% up to $200 coverage , but rates for $200-$500 coverage will decrease an average of 14%.

On the "plus" side, tracking is now free for all USPS services. And the cost of a First Class letter stamp holds at 49 cents!

The most important news, however, is that USPS continues to avoid moving, at least this year, to "dimensional" rates. This means a big savings for lighter, larger packages when compared to UPS and Fedex.


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Apr
2
Plug-In Module for WP eCommerce Released
Posted on 02 Apr 15 10:26 PM

In our continuing development of shipping calculator modules for popular carts, AuctionInc has released a plug-in module for the WP eCommerce cart, itself a very popular extension for the wordpress platform. Like our other modules, its "plug-and-play" technology makes it an excellent choice to instantly integrate accurate shipping rates from our four supported carriers to all domestic and international destinations. Based on our API platform, our module offers all the advanced features that our API and own ShopCart support.

You can learn more about our plug-in ShippingCalc module for WP eCommerce here.


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Jan
8
Magento Extension Module Released
Posted on 08 Jan 15 06:18 PM

AuctionInc is pleased to announce the release of our exension module for the Magento ecommerce platform. Our module integrates our Shipping Rates API into the Magento cart and allows Magento sellers to take advantage of our accurate cross-carrier calculated shipping rates. 

One of the most critical capabilities our module adds is the ability to collect item dimensions; with both UPS and Fedex moving this year to "dimensionally rating" all their services, this is the only way Magento sellers will have to generate accurate shipping rates for these carriers. 

Our extension has been accepted into the Magento Connect extension store and is available here


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Jan
5

AuctionInc has completed all the annual updates for 2015 to all our carrier rating engines and carrier APIs, including new rates, fees, and many other details that drive our accurate rates.

As usual, FedEx, UPS, and DHL are all raising all their rates and many of their (required) accessorial fees.  All three carriers claim their rate increase averages 4.9% (quite a coincidence!)

However, the more critical news this year is about how the rate is going to get calculated, rather than the hikes themsleves. Both UPS and Fedex are dramatically expanding their use of "dimensional weight", which compares a weight figure derived from the package volume to the physical weight, and uses the higher of the two to determine the rate.

While both carriers have applied dimensional weight to their air services for quite a while, most Ground packages have been exempt. This year, all Ground services from the two carriers will use the same formula to determine the rated weight.  

An example:  if you have a box weighing 1 lb, with dimensions of 12 x 12 x 12, this box will actually be rated as if it weighed 11 lbs. (12*12*12/166).  For a package going from Boston to L.A., this is the difference between a $14 and a $28 rate for UPS Ground. 

What is means to you is that it is more important than ever that you carefully pack your orders so that you dont "ship air" and stock enough box sizes so you can avoid this.  That air has just become very expensive!  And in terms of your shipping calculator, it is critical that you use a technology such as ours that collects your item dimensions and is able to generate accurate packaging data from it.

As always, AuctionInc is your partner in managing your shipping costs as effectively as possible.

 


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Sep
5
USPS Priority Rates Update: Good News!
Posted on 05 Sep 14 03:41 PM

[dateline 09-05-2014]

AuctionInc is pleased to pass on some good news! USPS is implementing a rate update this weekend, mostly affecting Priority Mail, and AuctionInc will be ready with new rates for both the calculated services and the flat rate boxes. 

And, for a change, the rate update will include a price decrease for some weights and zones, mostly for heavier items, as the USPS seeks to exploit its pricing advantages for package services.  Commercial Base customers will particularly see benefits. 

Commercial Base pricing, for example, will reflect:

  • 25% average savings over FedEx/UPS Ground for Priority Mail packages weighing 5-10 lbs sent to zones 1-5
  • 39% average savings over current rates for Priority Mail packages weighing 10-15 lbs sent to zones 1-5
Retail customers wont be left out, though; overall rates will decrease an average of a 5% drop for packages from 10-20 lbs across all zones. (But under 5 lb, Retail customers will be seeing an average increase of about 2.6%.  The flat rate box retail pricing is also going up slightly.)
 

Here is an article from USPS explaining their strategy and summarizing the rate changes.

 

 

 


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Aug
21

AuctionInc is pleased to announce the release of our API Shipping Plug-In Module for the WooCommerce Cart.  WooCommerce has quickly become the first choice of sellers using the wordpress platform.

Our Plug-In offers WooCommerce sellers all of the functionality of our "SS" Single Seller Shipping Rates API, without any of the time and expense of coding the integration.  Thru our single module sellers can offer shopping accurate comparative rates from all our supported carriers, along with advanced features such as support for multiple drop-shipping locations, package "splits" based on available seller maximum carton size, currency conversion, support for all carrier accessorial fees, and advanced capabilities for determining fit into USPS flat rate boxes.

Our WooCommerce plug-in joins our existing Zen Cart plug-in as AuctionInc works on developing methods to quickly and easily deploy the power of our API.  More modules are in the works!

 


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