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Thu Apr 26 2012 11:50:13

How Would Five-Day USPS Service Affect Your Business?

By: Julia Wilkinson

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The U.S. Senate has just passed the 21st Century Postal Service Act, which would enable cost-cutting measures for the money-losing U.S.P.S., among them a switch to five-day delivery from six.

Although the bill now moves to the House, where it may undergo changes, the proposed change to five-day delivery leaves online sellers and other businesses wondering how it would affect them.

Personally, I think I could live without Saturday delivery, if it means saving the embattled postal service, although I would miss it. I still use USPS for most of my eBay and Amazon shipping, and of course the low "media mail" (aka "book rate") prices are part of what makes selling certain books and other media items so viable.

Under the Senate's plan, however, the postal service could not implement the five-day delivery, as well as some changes to its employee benefits program, for two years from the enactment of the bill into law. The USPS's Board of Govermors disagrees with this timing, saying in a statement that it is "...inappropriate to delay the implementation of 5-day delivery when the vast majority of the American people support this change."

There are several other controversies surrounding the postal service's reform, such as the closing of certain post offices and how that would impact communities, and the cutting back of employees' benefits; including proposed limitations on the unions' collective bargaining and how far that should go. Kentucky Republican Rand Paul noted that about 80 percent of the Postal Service's costs are connected to its workforce.

However, most sellers probably have the five-day delivery on their minds the most. How, for example, would that fit in to new criteria for things such as a one-day handling turnaround to maintain a Top-Rated Seller status? Would eBay, Amazon, and other companies take that into account?

How do you feel about the proposed five-day postal delivery: would it be good or bad for your business, or do you feel it would not have much of an effect? Post a comment here!




Comments (28) | Permalink

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How Would Five-Day USPS Service Affect Your Business?   How Would Five-Day USPS Service Affect Your Business?

by: Dan Tole This user has validated their user name.
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Thu Apr 26 12:33:02 2012

USPS reminds me of my grandfather. Just stuck in his old ways and reluctant to change. It's not what they can change over the next few years, it's all the things they haven't done in the last 20 years to keep them relevant with UPS and FedEx in regards to shipping packages. We find using them for eBay as it is now provides a sub par experience compared to FedEx. Tracking updates are un reliable and if there's a loss or problem there's almost no recourse other then filing a claim and hoping for the best. The country needs a letter service but USPS as a long term package shipper is a stretch unless they make serious changes to the way they handle packages.  

How Would Five-Day USPS Service Affect Your Business?   How Would Five-Day USPS Service Affect Your Business?

This user has validated their user name. by: Roger Rabbit

Thu Apr 26 14:02:34 2012

It's tough dealing with two Doughnutholes every day.

How Would Five-Day USPS Service Affect Your Business?   How Would Five-Day USPS Service Affect Your Business?

by: Tarae923 This user has validated their user name.

Thu Apr 26 14:11:04 2012

As a resident, I could EASILY go to 5 days (or less) as long as Priority Mail was delivered every day. If someone needs it quickly, they can pay for the upgrade. Also, businesses should continue to receive their mail 5 days a week.
I would also want the ability to send OUTGOING mail 5-6 days a week. I don’t need bills, magazines, political, and junk mail delivered daily. Just MHO.

How Would Five-Day USPS Service Affect Your Business?   How Would Five-Day USPS Service Affect Your Business?

by: pace306 This user has validated their user name.

Thu Apr 26 16:10:04 2012

''it's all the things they haven't done in the last 20 years to keep them relevant with UPS and FedEx in regards to shipping packages''

UPS and Fed Ex are 2-3x more expensive!!!

USPS doesnt really loose money on daily deliveries, its pension obligations, bad workers aka ''going postal'', old equipment (the trucks are circa 1970) and more.

Imagine is USPS was like other postal systems in other countries - they handle payments, deal with customs issues, actually processed passports instead of running from it - they WOULD make money!

Its piss poor management, lazy workers (come see my post office with its long lines, rude staff, no rules on how to ship posted anywhere, passport office closed 80% of the time and MORE) that causes the issues.

I only use the Post Office 5 days a week anyway so it wouldnt matter - but its NOT the extra day thats causing loss.

How Would Five-Day USPS Service Affect Your Business?   How Would Five-Day USPS Service Affect Your Business?

This user has validated their user name. by: Ming the Merciless

Thu Apr 26 18:46:10 2012

Let's be very, very clear why the Postal Service is in trouble.

It's NOT because of labor costs.

It's NOT because USPS is behind the times.

It IS because the Republican Congress during the last Bush administration, in an effort to ultimately corporatize the Postal Service (Fed-X wanted to buy it), requires the Postal Service to fund their pension program 65 years into the future.

This means that every year USPS starts with a 5 billion dollar mountain to climb.

No other private or public entity is required by law nor do they in fact come any where near funding their pension program 65 years into the future.

Such a requirement was a Republican administered poison pill so that big business could get their greedy, grubby hands on the Postal Service and destroy a hated union in the process.

Do your homework! You'll discover that if USPS didn't have this ridiculous pension funding requirement, it would be profitable.

How Would Five-Day USPS Service Affect Your Business?   How Would Five-Day USPS Service Affect Your Business?

by: Susan Averello This user has validated their user name.
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Thu Apr 26 19:54:06 2012

I could easily deal with 5 day delievery. Our post office closes at 12:30 on saturdays anyway so if they close that Saurdays, I wouldn't notice.
Businesses need their daily mail but 5 days would do me fine, even every other day - make business pay extra for 5 day delivery. WTF if it keeps the USPS from going bankrupt, no problem. Only real mail I get now is packages from shopping online anyway

How Would Five-Day USPS Service Affect Your Business?   How Would Five-Day USPS Service Affect Your Business?

by: BookBrowzers This user has validated their user name.
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Thu Apr 26 22:54:25 2012

"It IS because the Republican Congress during the last Bush administration, in an effort to ultimately corporatize the Postal Service (Fed-X wanted to buy it), requires the Postal Service to fund their pension program 65 years into the future."

Very true, Ming.  This new bill fixes that...USPS will no longer be required to put back 5.5 billion a year to fund retirements. They can pay into the fund in smaller increments, which will free up some cash.

How Would Five-Day USPS Service Affect Your Business?   How Would Five-Day USPS Service Affect Your Business?

by: BookBrowzers This user has validated their user name.
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Thu Apr 26 22:58:14 2012

Oh, and I could totally live without Saturday mail delivery.  It won't affect my business at all because the post offices in my neck of the woods don't work on Saturday anyway.  I ship 5 days a week, including packing up Monday's shipment on Sunday...not shipping on Saturday makes it feel like a real weekend :)

How Would Five-Day USPS Service Affect Your Business?   How Would Five-Day USPS Service Affect Your Business?

by: punky This user has validated their user name.

Thu Apr 26 23:33:55 2012

In as far as keeping a Top-Rated Seller Status with a one-day handling turnaround with the proposed 5-day delivery week will have no impact.  eBay's policy states that purchases made on a Friday a delivery confirmation number must be uploaded by the following Monday at 11:59pm.  They consider this a one-day handling turnaround.  

Also, it would not bother me one bit not to have a Saturday delivery.  I personally do not ship on Saturdays anyway unless a customer requests it which is very rare.  I think most sellers would agree that it's nice to have one day a week that you don't have to run to the post office.

How Would Five-Day USPS Service Affect Your Business?   How Would Five-Day USPS Service Affect Your Business?

by: 1189 This user has validated their user name.

Thu Apr 26 23:45:53 2012

Everyone should read Mings submission. This the essence and the only truth. Thanks Ming.

How Would Five-Day USPS Service Affect Your Business?   How Would Five-Day USPS Service Affect Your Business?

This user has validated their user name. by: iheartjacksparrow

Thu Apr 26 23:46:04 2012

I have no problem with dropping Saturday delivery. There is only one post office in my area that is open on Saturday, and I only go there if someone needs something fast. And I'm so old, I remember back when we used to get two deliveries of mail every day, once in the morning, and again in the afternoon.  

How Would Five-Day USPS Service Affect Your Business?   How Would Five-Day USPS Service Affect Your Business?

by: queenrob This user has validated their user name.

Fri Apr 27 01:15:25 2012

Seriously if you want to bring politics into it why is the government into everyone's business and bailing everyone out? They shouldn't be.
Having said that it wouldn't affect my business nor do I care if I receive mail on Saturdays.

How Would Five-Day USPS Service Affect Your Business?   How Would Five-Day USPS Service Affect Your Business?

by: Moonwishes This user has validated their user name.
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Fri Apr 27 01:34:47 2012

We ship 6 days a week from our mailbox (rural route). Going down to 5 days a week would mean one extra day to sleep in and not have to play the contest of can I get the sales that came in during the night packaged and to the mailbox before the mailman shows up. Gernally just about any mail I get on Saturdays is junk. Let's be truthful, except for occasional magazines and packages from on line purchases, birthday cards or special occasion cards, and the inevitable bills, most of the mail is junk anyhow that immediately goes into the garbage. I would have my bills go on line but that would mean for my bookkeeping records I would have to use MY paper to print out copies of them to put with taxes since I don't trust any of the utilities to be able to produce what I need 2-5 years from now in case of an audit. Of course, most bills are paid on line to save a stamp. I figure with purchasing between $2-300 in postage each month for our business I'm doing my share for the USPS. But I really would like that extra day of sleeping in!

How Would Five-Day USPS Service Affect Your Business?   How Would Five-Day USPS Service Affect Your Business?

by: Digmen1 This user has validated their user name.
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Fri Apr 27 01:45:20 2012

Here in NZ we have only one postal service.
It is profitable at the moment just.
But mail is dropping here as well of course.
So they want to cut back to 3 days a week.
Why not.
Mail every other day would be OK for everyone except ebay.
You can always use couriers for urgent mail and parcels etc.

How Would Five-Day USPS Service Affect Your Business?   How Would Five-Day USPS Service Affect Your Business?

by: Tiffee Jasso This user has validated their user name.

Fri Apr 27 02:52:18 2012

I think a full investigation into where the revenue taken in is being diverted and to who.  I used to spend $10 a year on stamps and now spend thousands on postage and so do millions of other Americans around the Country. If the Post Office has farmed out their services to others than  they need to take back their business. If you listen, they talk budget, not revenue. According to the New York Times, when the Postal auditors were asked to supply revenue figures for separate Post Offices, they were told those figures were not available. Why? Not any other business would allow such sloppy accounting methods.  

How Would Five-Day USPS Service Affect Your Business?   How Would Five-Day USPS Service Affect Your Business?

by: Tiffee Jasso This user has validated their user name.

Fri Apr 27 02:55:47 2012

And one other very important items is the current Postmaster Donahoe granted Ebay, a 50% cut in the cost of shipping items from China to United States and gave the Chinese free tracking. In the meantime, Americans pay more. I think the shoe is on the wrong foot and maybe the Postmaster General is a big part of the problem.  

How Would Five-Day USPS Service Affect Your Business?   How Would Five-Day USPS Service Affect Your Business?

This user has validated their user name. by: Stockmiser

Fri Apr 27 06:30:58 2012

@Punky - you are correct about Ebay.  Ebay only counts "business days" - which is Mon-Fri.  Saturday is already treated as a non-postal day, so no deliveries on Sat would have no effect on handling times.

How Would Five-Day USPS Service Affect Your Business?   How Would Five-Day USPS Service Affect Your Business?

by: msquezal This user has validated their user name.

Fri Apr 27 07:18:37 2012

First.....
A nod to Roger Rabbit and Ming The Merciless both for their brilliant comments!
The only problem i see with eliminating Saturday post office hours is that MANY eBay sellers do work other jobs as i did a few years back. The post office hours here used to be great....7:30 am to 6:00 pm, so i could mail my eBay packages before work or after without a problem.
Slowly these hours were shaved back and are now 9:00 to 4:30. If you work a 9-5 job, there is no way you can go to the post office to mail packages unless you use the lunch hour, which for me was not possible due to the distance i had to drive.
I think many sellers do ship on weekends and even here where the post office window closes at 12:00 it still gives you time to get your packages out.
People have come to expect LONGER HOURS for just about everything....24 hour grocery stores, department stores open until 9-10 in the evening and hardly anything is closed on Sundays! Many bidders expect their packages to ''magically arrive'' within hours of their payment being made. They leave low DSR's due to their unreasonable expectations that have been created by the idoits at the helm of eBay. One less day of possible delivery will only make this worse!
I think that there are probably better ways to solve this issue other than cutting Saturday business out completely!

How Would Five-Day USPS Service Affect Your Business?   How Would Five-Day USPS Service Affect Your Business?

by: rstpete This user has validated their user name.

Fri Apr 27 09:59:17 2012

Stopping Saturday delivery is only part of the issue.  The bigger issue is that Monday they will be another full day behind and will not want to work harder for less hours of pay to maintain the normal delivery times and it will cascade into longer and longer delivery times. We see this after every of the many holidays the USPS enjoys and this will build such a delay into every week, compounded even more when Monday is a holiday for them.  

How Would Five-Day USPS Service Affect Your Business?   How Would Five-Day USPS Service Affect Your Business?

by: edwatt This user has validated their user name.

Fri Apr 27 10:01:15 2012

Net sellers can easily live with 5 day a week delivery for most of the year. But................when we get to Thanksgiving and the launch on the holiday season, I think 5 day a week delivery will cost me orders. One less day a week for orders to arrive will be a problem for buyers considering a purchase close to the holidays.
Ed W

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