Small record labels struggling with new postage rates

We all get our vinyl by any means necessary, don’t we? We visit our local shops, we trade with friends, and of course we do plenty of mail-ordering. Whether it be from one of our favorite small independent labels or from eBay or Discogs, mail-order is a big part of our vinyl consumption, allowing us to reach out to all corners of the world to score just the record we were looking for.

Well, new postal rates went into effect on January 27th, and though they don’t change much for domestic shipping, rates have sky-rocketed for overseas shipping. And as co-owner of a small record label, which has plenty of overseas orders, I’m definitely feeling the strain. For example, before January 27th, shipping a record and vinyl tote bag to Finland cost approximately 13 dollars. Now it costs over 18 dollars!

Anyway, dig this story NPR just did on the rising postal costs and their effects on small labels. Read the comments section too if you’re at all interested in this story. Runs the full gamut. Here’s the audio from the NPR piece:

I guess what it really translates to is that customers will have to pay really high shipping fees for records shipped overseas, which could dissuade them from purchasing that way in the future.

I found it interesting what one friend of a friend on Facebook said about it:

“Oh I know this pain, and how tedious it is to figure out shipping costs for multiple destinations and multiple types of products and revise a couple hundred etsy listings… Luckily, in my experience at least, Americans are the only ones who get uptight about high shipping costs… International buyers seem more than happy to spend as much on shipping as on the product…”

Interesting take. What are your thoughts on all this? Let us know below.

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