Posted by Alex Jackson on November 11, 2016
In case you are not aware the United States Postal Service is basically a money black hole. Want some examples? 2012 $15.9 Billion in losses, 2013 $4.8 Billion, 2014 $5.3 Billion it’s a fairly consistent pattern of being in the red year after year. What’s causing this continual hemorrhaging of money? Lots of factors loss of revenue from a decline in first class mail (can you remember the last time you paid a bill by mail). Six day a week delivery the USPS has pushed hard since 2010 to cut Saturday delivery’s estimating that it would save approximately $2 Billion from the cut. Bad trade agreements? Absolutely a contributing factor check out our recent blog on terminal dues and how the USPS is hurt financially on every shipment. With little to no chance of the issue being fixed anytime soon by Washington the USPS is taking drastic measures to stop the bleeding. Enter the USPS revenue assurance program what is its purpose? To assure that the postal service reduces the loss of revenue from inadequate postage fees being paid. How are they going to determine if there was an underpayment? Better technology that far more accurately determines the weight and the dimensions of your package. Where it starts to get scary is how they plan to collect these unpaid fees. Do you purchase postage from eBay, Stamps.com or another similar postal provider? Well in future expect to get a bill from them each time the USPS determines that your postage payment was insufficient. What this potentially means is that you could soon start to receive a bill for a package you sent days or weeks ago and since you are no longer in possession of the package no way to determine the accuracy of their finding. While reports say there will be a dispute process it’s still very vague how this will work. How do you dispute a charge? What sort of documentation is required? What documentation could a seller actually provide? Unfortunately, this program is still in its early stages of implementation details are very vague but expect more soon. Don’t be shocked when that first charge appears on your eBay or stamps.com statement. In the meantime be prepared by doing your due diligence accurately weigh and measure each item. Standardize your packing materials, have a box size or padded envelope for each type of merchandise you sell. To minimize errors regarding package dimensions switch to flat rate priority boxes when it is financially feasible. Most important of all make sure you are using an accurate scale. No one likes a surprise bill particularly if there is little to no way to know if it’s accurate or not.