Holiday Shipping Surcharges Threaten Your Holiday Budget

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The Holiday Surcharges Are Coming

Have you heard the news?  Shipping surcharges are threatening your 2020 holiday budget!  This may not be shocking news to you.  After all, 2020 has been full of unforeseen challenges.

For the first time ever, the US Postal Service is applying a holiday surcharge on commercial packages.  The price increases began on October 18th and run through December 27, 2020.  UPS states its holiday surcharges may total as much as $3 per package on ground shipments and up to $4 per package on air shipments.  The increased charge will start on November 15th and remain in effect until January 16, 2021.  Large packages began incurring a $50 surcharge on October 4th.  This surcharge will continue until January 16, 2021.  Additionally, FedEx will charge as much as $5 per package on its premium express service for large volume shippers.

How Will Surcharges Impact You?

These surcharges are primarily aimed at large volume shippers.  But the cost will certainly be passed on to you.  Thus far, no major merchant has announced an end to free shipping.  Merchants will increase the price of their products.  This allows them to pass on the increased cost while still being able to advertise “free” shipping.  The alternative is to offer slower delivery options resulting in your gifts arriving after the holidays.  Regardless of the surcharges, on-time delivery is already doubtful due to the increased shipping volume related to the COVID-19 pandemic.

How to Combat Surcharges and Delays?

Complete your online shopping as soon as possible.  Black Friday is November 27th and Cyber Monday is on November 30th.  These should be the last days you consider an online purchase.  Even then you risk popular items being out of stock.  Expedited shipping will be costly and you risk delays with traditional “free” shipping.

If you still have gifts to buy after December 1st, consider other options.  Large retail chain stores remain open for in-person shopping.  Some stores, such as Target, even offer reservations for in-store shopping.  This reduces crowding and increases your personal safety.

Another option with large retailers is buy online, pick up in-store (BOPIS).  Over 40% of shoppers use BOPIS during the holidays.  And 48% of surveyed shoppers indicate they use BOPIS to eliminate shipping fees.  An additional benefit is the rapid service.  Your items are often available in hours instead of days or weeks when you opt for home delivery.  Walmart, Target, and Petco are a few of the leaders in offering BOPIS service.

Just Another 2020 Challenge

2020 has presented us with many challenges.  Now we can add increased holiday shipping costs and delays to the list.  Be proactive in completing your shopping early this year.  You can lessen the chance that shipping surcharges will threaten your holiday budget.

For help with not only your holiday budgeting, but all facets of your financial health, consider contacting a non-profit consumer credit agency, like Apprisen. The greatest gift you can give yourself is the peace of mind knowing you are making sound financial decisions year-round.  And there is no charge for shipping.

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