eBay’s government relations office has started an online petition to ask Congress to support the US Postal Service. A statement on the petition page says “eBay supports financial relief for the USPS and forward-thinking policies to restructure the postal service and keep shipping rates affordable. It is imperative that eBay small businesses have access to low-cost, reliable shipping alternatives.”
Please take swift action to provide relief to the United States Postal Service (USPS). It’s very important that U.S. postal operations remain strong and solvent to ensure small Internet-enabled businesses have access to affordable shipping rates.
Small businesses depend on the affordable and reliable services provided by the USPS to get their products to customers. Together, e-commerce retailers constitute a USPS “super user,” and have helped offset some of the decline in traditional mail by generating increasing numbers of products for delivery. In fact, the Census Bureau has noted that e-commerce retail sales to consumers reached an all-time high in 2009, with total sales of $145 billion. And that number continues to grow as more and more businesses use the Internet to reach a new consumer base.
As online retail grows, affordable and competitive shipping rates are more and more important to the industry. Affordable shipping rates are particularly important to small e-commerce retailers that compete with large online and multi-channel retailers. Already, small businesses do not enjoy the same volume-based shipping rates that larger retailers command. This price difference is a challenge for small business retailers competing in a world of big retailers. Increases to USPS shipping rates would further jeopardize small retailers’ competitiveness.
It is essential that any restructuring of the USPS preserve competition in the marketplace, while ensuring affordable and timely shipping options. I urge you to support small online businesses by passing legislation that would provide relief to the USPS and retain competitive, affordable shipping rates for small businesses.