For some mail, increased rates are barely noticeable, but for small packages, rates hikes are heavy. For indie labels that still rely heavily on direct-to-fan distribution, this means that new solutions are needed to alleviate the stress from an already-trying business model. Via Billboard Biz:
Different labels are responding to the rate increases in different ways. Katsumbas says that The End has started offering specialty packages of its releases that include bonus items like t-shirts— the thinking being that customers will be more willing to pay higher shipping costs if they can get more in the bargain. In some instances, he’s even lowered the prices of records themselves as a response to rising delivery rates.