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Postage stamp rises in US threaten small labels

Tom Pakinkis
US Postal Service

The price of a first-class stamp in the US has risen by a penny to 46 cents – but much more significant costs for overseas shipping could hurt independent record labels.

Speaking to Nantucket public radio network WCAI Dischord Records’ Brian Lowit said that, while postage rate increases were common, he’d “never seen one this drastic.”

While the postage hike might not be too significant domestically, Dischord – which sells CD albums for around $10 and vinyl LPS for $11 – will now see shipping costs to the UK for $18.60 where it would have previously cost $13.17.

Jeremy Bible, who runs label, retailer and distributor Experimedia, aired similar concerns. "The domestic [increase] is really minimal, but I am concerned about the international," he said.   

"In some of these cases, the shipping is becoming more expensive than what the people are actually buying," he said. "I'm really not sure what the Postal Service is thinking, because they're making people look into other options."

To make shipping costs to the UK more manageable. Bible posts to a middle-man: “I send him a large box, so then they'd hold onto the stock and then when they need to fulfil an order for that country, they'd fulfil that."

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Tags: indies, US, postage stamp

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