ON-LINE SERVICE DISAPPEARS FOR AMERICANS.
Ebay officials worked to bring China and the USA together for little-publicized trilateral (eBay, China, USA) negotiations that opened the floodgates to about 100 million eBay items from China
each year. Ebay collects a sellers fee for each one. The
USA cannot collect what Americans pay for a China-USA shipment if an
item's total cost is less than shipping alone for Americans. Hundreds of thousands of items are even less than a dollar
each, yet our Postal Service carries them to my door. Tell the
postman to turn around and walk the other way, and the cost of postage
alone goes up to five times the item's entire cost. Ebay collects
a seller's fee. Profits climb and executive salaries are
high. What does the American Postal System collect from China
Post? It won't matter that the USPS collects little provided you
and I make up the difference. It won't even matter if the
American tax payer does not make up the difference, because red ink losses will eventually drive the USPS into the arms of UPS, DHL, FedEx.
ePacket Svc from China created April 2011. I don't know when
trilateral negotiations began, but their completion was announced in
June of 2010. After information
technology contractors had completed the integration of US and Chinese
data networks, first class ePacket service from China was announced the
following year, in April of 2011. After little growth for three years, eBay's revenues jumped that year.
As a guy maintaining this
little postage chart site, it had always puzzled me that
2011 was the year when, for no reason that I could see, the USPS
stopped allowing Americans to buy First Class Small Package mailing
labels online. We couldn't ship anything electronically.
The timing never made sense. Why make a change out of the blue
all by itself and not wait as usual for the next cycle when all
changes to the service structure are printed up and publicized?
The last rate change had been years
earlier on 11May2009 and there was no rate
change at all that year, none until 22Jan2012, so why take away on-line
service now? Looking for the answer was how I stumbled across the
little-publicized trilateral shipping negotiations in the first place.
Meanwhile, the information technology contractors were done modifying
our networks, databases and software protocols to fit China's.
China got our 1st class delivery system with tracking right to the
door. Americans got online purchase of 1st class small package
service taken away from them. (As of 2018, it's still gone.)
We worked to get China Post's information technology systems
integrated with ours, then took tracking away from Americans. (It came back four years later.)
The out-of-the-blue timing made no sense. The restrictive moves
made no economic or business sense either because
shipping volumes were rising with e-commerce and the USPS needed to
that revenue stream, not be forced out of it. At the post office, eCommerce revenues
had nearly doubled between 2008 and 2013. The explosion in
eCommerce and parcel delivery even flipped the USPS from thinking it
had to drop Saturday deliveries to adding Sunday parcel service
instead. eCommerce on the Internet is the gift that lasts,
after the damage of email, on-line bill payment, and the collapse of
print subscriptions for news. The inability of anyone to buy USPS shipping for a
small package online except eBay customers also struck a competitive blow
against competing Internet auction companies (e.g. bonanza.com) until PayPal changed its business practices and eventually separated from eBay (2015).
Whoever saw the USPS success in online package shipping and took it way
intended to hurt the USPS by cutting off revenue sources.
A NICE PERK FOR EBAY PEOPLE. Someone using my rate page noted
that eBay customers buy the 1st Class Small Pkg mailing labels on a
site controlled by eBay, and told me how to direct users here to go around the USPS ban and buy shipping labels themselves
using the PayPal-eBay connection. Media mail (book rate) and
discounted parcel post services are also available to corporate
customers online. US citizens can only buy Priority Mail service online.
J. I. Nelson