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USPS rates higher through PayPal?


USPS rates higher through PayPal?

Has it occurred to anyone that the USPS rates through PayPal can be much higher than those applied directly through the USPS website?

I had calculated the postage through which gave me a total price of $12.96 if shipping an 8 lb box via Parcel Post at the post office. However, when trying to purchase the postage online through Paypal, I was asked to pay $20.16!!


Am I missing something here? I thought ebay sellers were getting a break if using paypal to ship.

Does anyone have an answer to this mysterious discrepancy?





Re: USPS rates higher through PayPal?

First class mail is doing the same thing. Paypal responded that they download directly from USPS.

New Community Member

Re: USPS rates higher through PayPal?

My first class parcel just cost double what the USPS site said. As PP said, I'm sure PayPal is just using the USPS site, but on one side or another, maybe some programmer has **bleep**ed up, and the the transfer isn't correct. Maybe some horrible rounding error, like "and add one pound."


The folks at my local post office don't care. They're too busy dealing with, and I quote, "our real customers." They sneer at eBay/PayPal packages.


How long would it take PayPal to chase down this problem, or just confirm it? Try a few packages, gee, that's a few minutes. Meh. Doesn't matter, because they won't.



Re: USPS rates higher through PayPal?

Interesting as we have not experienced any pricing differences.  Makes no difference if we use PayPal's USPS shipping or going directly to USPS.   Prices are the same.






Re: USPS rates higher through PayPal?

I had the same experience.  A 12 lb package costs $13.66 on and $16.84 on PayPal...Whazzup?  VERY dishonest and I see a class action lawsuit coming!!!!  I think I'll get in on the gig so I can get a big settlement!!!!!

Tags (3)

Re: USPS rates higher through PayPal?

You have to make sure that you're selecting the right package type.  When I checked a package on, I came up w/ $15.90 for parcel post but when I went thru paypal, it was like $25!  I played w/ the package size option a bit and got it to the $15.90 price.  The site lets you put in the exact package dimensions and figures out for you which package size to charge you for.  You need to know that info already when you try it from paypal b/c they don't have you put in dimensions and they don't provide definitions for how each pacakage size is determined.  So you gotta' kinda' know already in advance how the post office works before trying paypal.  At least that's my experience...


Re: USPS rates higher through PayPal?

I just had a similar experience Feb. 18, 2010.  Ebay correctly calculated $15.90 shipping for my Large Parcel Post package but Paypal was asking me to pay $25.51 (plus .19 delivery confirm, total $25.70) - nearly $10 more!


I stood in line at the post office and paid $15.90 cash.  It was worth it to me to pay the clerk 80 cents for delivery confirm rather than the 19 cents Paypal would have charged.


I since manually marked the item as shipped in my paypal account and added the tracking number.


I wonder if there is an issue with paypal's calculator program.  My dimensions were 20 x 20 x 6 inches.

Maybe I should try (20 x 6 x 20) or (6 x 20 x 20) and see if it gives  me a different result?

Package was 8lb. 11oz., shipping Zone-8


My message to customer service

Help+Contact+Us+Next+Gen > Shipping options

Message: My item just sold on ebay.  Buyer paid $15.90 as per the ebay 
shipping calculator: USPS Parcel Post, from zip 432xx to 956xx, large 
package, 8lb. 11oz. Dimensions (20x20x6). I verified on that 
$15.90 is correct amount.  However when I go to paypal to confirm & 
purchase my shipping label, paypal says the cost is $25.51 plus 0.19 
delivery confirmation total $25.70 - why is paypal charging nearly $10 
more!?  Thank you


Paypal response


In review the shipping calculator is an estimate and is not the full 
cost for the item and shipping.
Their can be a few variables but as the seller you will need to 
understand that the cost can change and to make sure you have 
concessions in place if it is over.



Re: USPS rates higher through PayPal?

Hi Bill_56,


Paypal just gave you an impersonal and a no resolution boilerplate answer that can stick up the bottom of their desktop.


I found the previous answer from Aireamme to be the most useful. As he says, play around with the options.


However, to cut it short, what you should have done to match the pricing was to NOT choose "Large" package as your option.


Try it out next time.


Take it easy.





Chicagobay,  you're on the right track.  I played around with the USPS site's calculator and looked up their Price List and finally figured out what is going on.  There is indeed an error in PayPal's calculator!


I unchecked the Large Package and found that the price is still $15.90 for my package.  Checking the USPS price list, that is the regular price for a 9 lb. package shipped to Zone 8 (the highest price zone, i.e. long-distance cross country).


So just because the length (longest dimension) of a package is over 12" doesn't by itself mean the price will be higher.  It is just the (arbitrary?) trigger to ask for the package dimensions to check this special price specification:


1. For parcels that measure in combined length and girth:

More than 84 inches but not more than 108 inches, and the piece weighs less than 20 pounds, use the 20-pound price (balloon price) based on the applicable zone.


Length is the longest dimension.

Girth is the distance around the thickest part.  i.e. to calculate girth take the two shorter dimensions, double each then add them together.


Parcel Post "Balloon Price"
Items that weigh less than 20 pounds and measure more than 84 inches but not more than 108 inches in combined length and girth (distance around the thickest part) pay the 20-pound Parcel Post® zoned price.


PayPal's calculator quoted me $25.51 which is indeed the 20-pound price for Zone 8!  My 9 pound package "ballooned" up to 20 pounds!


This should not have happened with a 20 x 20 x 6 package.  The combined length and girth is:

20 + (20 x 2 + 6 x 2) = 20 + 52 = 72 inches, which is less than the 84 inch threshold for balloon pricing.


So how did PayPal get over the 84 inch threshold?  Probably by using the two biggest dimensions for the girth calculation, relegating length to the shortest dimension!


6 + (20 x 2 + 20 x 2) = 6 + 80 = 86 inches which is over 84 inches, voila!



PayPal needs to burst some bubbles and pop some balloons in their shipping charges!





Hey Bill_56!


Now that's a professional and highly skillful explanation! Too bad Paypal does not want to pay for bright minds...

Thanks a lot for your free technical consultation and contribution to this forum.