The Webretailer News Digest for September 16, 2022

Etsy and PirateShip undercut the USPS with lower shipping rates

About a month ago, we reported the USPS is raising their rates for the holiday season — three years running. But it looks like Etsy and PirateShip sellers are catching a break this year. Both platforms announced they’re passing on their preferred postal rates in a move that will take away some of the burdens.

Etsy’s undercut

Etsy’s announcement stated that they’ve been working with the USPS to help sellers get cheaper rates through the platform. That means their base will need to purchase shipping labels through the platform. But when they do, they’ll receive a “discounted commercial rate that’s less expensive than the post office.”

The announcement goes further and claims sellers will save 5% on average on Etsy’s current discount rates. The discounts only apply to specific zones and weights, and sellers must send orders via:

  • Priority Mail
  • Priority Mail Flat Rate
  • Priority Mail Regional Rate

PirateShip’s push

PirateShip announced they’re also passing on their pricing perks to customers stating “there will be no holiday increase for any shipments in the lower 48 states where you’re currently getting BELOW Commercial Pricing rates 👍” And specified that there will be no holiday increases for:

  • All Priority Mail Flat Rate Envelopes & Boxes
  • Most Priority Mail Regional Rate Boxes up to Zone 6
  • Most Priority Mail Cubic & Weight-Based shipments up to Zone 6, 10 lb

Last take

Remember, the USPS surcharges begin on October 2nd and will continue through January 22, 2023. However, that’s when the USPS starts their Market Dominate price adjustment schedule. So web retailers should expect more rate hikes coming early next year.

Top Retailer News

Pier 1 Imports owner Retail Ecommerce buys Tuesday Morning

Those of us in the eCommerce world should already be familiar with Retail Ecommerce Ventures. But if you’re not, the company’s motto is “We transform well-Known undervalued retail Brands into eCommerce success stories.” Their holdings include previously ‘about-to-go-bankrupt’ brands like:

  • RadioShack
  • Linens ‘N Things
  • Stein Mart
  • Dressbarn
  • Pier 1 Imports

Who did they bail out now?

This week, they agreed to lend closeout retailer Tuesday Morning $32 million in convertible debt. The company was about to file for bankruptcy again after filing back in 2020. 

What does this mean for Tuesday morning?

According to an announcement on Tuesday Morning, the deal will lead to control changes and board replacements. Tuesday Morning will also begin selling their products online, and they’ll add products from Pier 1 Imports to their inventory.

Why weren’t they selling online already?

According to the Dallas Morning News, Tuesday Morning had held off on selling online because of two factors:

  • Frequent inventory changes
  • Limited quantities because of their business model

Will the buyout save a sinking ship?

Whether the buyout will pay off is yet to be seen. The company was doing better than most analysts expected them to do after its first bankruptcy filing. But like many retailers, they cited supply chain and inflation as the reason for posting a series of quarterly losses. Perhaps an eCommerce model can help turn things around. posts 4% revenue growth citing interactive ads as a solid booster ended its fiscal year 2022 back on July 3, but their report just dropped this week. And things are looking up for the online flower retailer. They boosted their net revenue by 4% up to 2.21 billion from $2.12 billion last year. But CEO Chris McCann stated that’s “up more than 75% compared with our fiscal 2019, prior to the pandemic.”

Interactive ads to the rescue

McCann stated in the fiscal report call that the company has had issues with digital marketing costs in the past year. He stated that it’s one of many spending challenges facing the company. 

However, Chief Marketing Officer Jason John stated that the company has gained insights from its interactive ads that display on a wide range of social networks. The ads route customers to AI chatbots that answer questions and direct customers to products based on their responses. 

Responding to questions from Digital Commerce 360, John stated, “On some platforms, interactive ads are our best performing ads.” 

Also in the News:

  • Japanese clothing retailer Uniqlo is using China’s TikTok, Douyin, to market to Chinese customers. South China Morning Post.
  • New Descartes survey claims that 54% of consumers would wait longer for sustainable deliveries. GlobeNewswire

Amazon Roundup

There was a ton of news this week regarding the world’s largest retailer. Here’s a roundup of the top stories circulating through news outlets. 

Amazon approves a boatload of third-party applications

Amazon recently converted its Amazon Seller Central Partner Network and is now calling it the Selling Partner Appstore. And this week, the company announced on its Seller Central board that there are now over 2,500 apps in the store. The apps come from third-party developers that hail from 20 countries. 

What do the apps do?

According to the post, the apps can “help you automate, manage, and grow your business.” But they also get into some specifics:

“Now discover solutions to optimize a listing, pricing, and shipping, or to automate other essential selling operations, from our selection of carefully-vetted and continuously-monitored third-party apps.”

If you’re an Amazon seller, it’s probably in your best interest to investigate and see how some of these apps could boost your business.

Amazon expands benefits and raises pay for DSPs

In a press release on Tuesday, Amazon announced they’re raising pay and broadening their benefits for their Delivery Service Partners (DSPs) in the US. 

What are they offering?

  1. Beginning in January, DSP drivers can enroll in Amazon’s Next Mile program that offers up to $5,250 per year to help with college, skill certifications, or high school completion courses. 
  1. Drivers will also now have access to a 401k plan with Amazon investing $60 million in the first year to help DSPs match contributions. 
  1. Last, the company stated it will offer “additional rate increases for DSPs to offer competitive pay to their drivers.”

Will there really be a pay raise?

The total investments from Amazon amount to $450 million and include rate increases to DSPs. But whether they pass that on to their drivers is up to them. 

Also in the News – Amazon Edition

  • Amazon FBA sellers win a tax victory in Pennsylvania. Chamberlain Law.
  • Amazon shuts down a North Carolina warehouse. WSOC-TV 
  • Union election at an Amazon warehouse near Albany, NY happening in October. CNBC.
  • Amazon is building a data center South of Dallas. Dallas Morning News.
  • Amazon launches a new Kindle with a better screen. CNBC.


For everyone

Various dates: Amazon advertising’s global webinar program continues with 20+ webinars scheduled, covering Prime Day Preparation, Sponsored Products, Sponsored Brands, reporting, optimization, and other tips. Amazon.

For US sellers

September 22: Walmart’s last-minute holiday strategies for the eCommerce marketplace seller! DigitalCommerce360.

For UK sellers

Various dates: Amazon advertising’s global webinar program continues with 20+ webinars scheduled, covering Prime Day Preparation, Sponsored Products, Sponsored Brands, reporting, optimization, and other tips. Amazon.


Jake Pool

Jake Pool

A content writer in the SaaS, FinTech, and eCommerce spaces, Jake Pool has written hundreds of articles and reviews for dozens of corporate blogs and online publications. With four years under his wing, readers can expect many more informative articles in the future.

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