Swappa sellers have long-favored USPS when it comes to shipping and it was easy to understand why – flat-rate Priority Mail shipments offer quick delivery times, and they are relatively inexpensive. That combination has been a win-win for buyers and sellers, but the United States Postal Service has announced some changes to Publication 52.
These changes touch on many of the items being sold on Swappa, such as smartphones, wearables, tablets, laptops, cameras, and more. The specific portion of the changes, as they relate to Swappa is as follows:
“The Postal Service is revising Pub 52 to reflect new Postal Service requirements that pre-owned, damaged, or defective electronic devices packaged with or containing lithium batteries be mailed only via surface transportation and bear specified markings.”
Basically, if you are shipping pre-owned (used) electronics with USPS you’ll need to mark the package and use ground shipping.
- Packages must be marked with the text “Restricted Electronic Device” and “Surface Transportation Only” on the address side of the package.
- USPS surface (ground) shipping options include USPS Retail Ground, Parcel Select, Parcel Return Service, or Ground Return Service.
A few other points to consider when shipping with USPS Retail Ground:
- Shipping to “domestic” locations outside the continental United States, such as Puerto Rico, Hawaii, and Alaska, may take longer for delivery because these shipments will need to travel via ground (water), rather than via air.
- USPS no longer permits any pre-owned electronics with lithium batteries to be shipped to an APO, FPO, or DPO location.
Damaged, defective, or recalled lithium batteries and pre-owned, damaged, or defective electronic devices containing or packaged with lithium batteries are prohibited and must not be mailed internationally or to and from APO, FPO, or DPO locations under any circumstances.
USPS Retail Ground shipping generally takes 2-5 business days, but the actual delivery time depends on the distance the package needs to travel. Shipping costs for USPS Retail Ground begin at $8.50, and the final cost varies based on the weight, size, and shape of the package. You can use the USPS Retail Postage Price Calculator to determine the shipping cost based on the size and weight of your packaging.
Here on Swappa, we allow sellers to pick their preferred shipping provider. USPS has been the favorite, but UPS and FedEx are also great options to consider. Outside of these new USPS requirements for shipping used electronics, the shipping requirements on Swappa remain the same.
Read more: Swappa: Shipping FAQ