The US Postal Service is now offering its new USPS Connect Local service in New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Maryland, and Delaware as part of a nationwide rollout that began last month, it announced today. EcommerceBytes confirmed that eventually, the USPS will expand Connect Local and Regional to online marketplaces.
USPS Connect comes in four flavors: Local, Regional, National and Returns and is painted as a crown jewel in Postmaster General Louis DeJoy’s Delivering for America 10-year plan.
With USPS Connect advertised as giving smaller businesses big-business rates, we asked if it was going to be integrated with online marketplaces and if USPS Connect rates were cheaper than what was offered from the USPS through sites like eBay and Etsy.
A spokesperson provided the following response:
“USPS Connect Local and Regional are not yet available on marketplaces at this time, however, we are working to expand access in the future.
“Connect Local utilizes our Parcel Select product which is priced lower than Priority Mail or First Class Package Service. Shippers who qualify would either bring the package to the receiving dock of the Post Office serving the destination zip code or hand to their carrier if in the same zip code. There are no minimum package requirements.
“Connect Regional utilizes Parcel Select or Parcel Select Lightweight and can be dropped off at one of 164 locations throughout the country for next day delivery at a majority of zip codes served. Shippers are required to meet certain entry requirements including a 50 piece minimum per mailing for Parcel Select or for Parcel Select Lightweight 200 pieces or 50 pounds.”
USPS Connect Local in particular (with no minimum requirements) strikes us as being more beneficial to small indie brick-and-mortar retailers than eBay or Etsy sellers. (And as it states above, Connect Regional requires a minimum 200 pieces.) We’re eager to hear from any reader who researches USPS Connect for their marketplace business to see if there’s a fit.