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Wed Feb 6 2013 12:03:34

Sellers React to Package-Only Saturday USPS Mail Delivery

By: Julia Wilkinson

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It's official: the United States Postal Service (USPS), long under pressure to cut costs, has announced it is making changes to save money including moving to a Monday-through-Friday mail delivery schedule, but continuing to deliver packages on Saturday. Package pickup from residences, however, which is how many sellers ship out their goods on Saturdays, will also be discontinued. However those Post Offices who are still running will remain open and, according to the USPS FAQ, "all other products and services will be available to customers doing business at a Post Office on Saturday," except there will be "no processing of outgoing mail on Saturday, except Express Mail." The changes will take affect in August 2013.

Sellers for the most part seemed to take the news in stride, even seeing the demise of Saturday pickup as a break for their packing and shipping workload, which usually extends into the weekend. One seller called it the "Best of both worlds!" Posting to an eBay-related Facebook group, she said, "Package delivery on Sat. will continue and offices will still be open. I don't go to the PO so I will have weekends off from shipping, but customers will still receive orders on Sat."

Although a couple sellers wondered about expectations of customers and selling platforms such as eBay, another predicted, "I think we'll see more people move to FedEx because of Saturday delivery. They will be the only service that does it."

In a thread on the eBay Packaging & Shipping Board, "The P.O. Will no longer deliver on Sat.'s Good Luck Sellers," one seller wrote, "Anything that was supposed to be delivered on Saturday will instead be delivered on Monday. The sky is not falling." A couple sellers seemed confused as to whether first-class packages would still be delivered on Saturday.

What do you think about this change to Saturday delivery? Will it be a good thing or bad thing for your business, or do you think it won't matter much? Post a comment here!

Note: See Thursday's news story for an update, "USPS Addresses Online Seller Concerns over Five-Day Delivery."




Comments (58) | Permalink

Readers Comments

Sellers React to Package-Only Saturday USPS Mail Delivery   Sellers React to Package-Only Saturday USPS Mail Delivery

This user has validated their user name. by: Philip Cohen
Web Site

Wed Feb 6 14:23:40 2013

We have never had weekend deliveries of mail in Australia ...

Sellers React to Package-Only Saturday USPS Mail Delivery   Sellers React to Package-Only Saturday USPS Mail Delivery

by: tb This user has validated their user name.

Wed Feb 6 14:40:16 2013

The news is out that effective August 1st they are going to 5 day with packages still on a 6 day schedule. The question is, what about 1st class packages? That is the bulk of what we ship. Or will it be only Priority/Express on Saturday?

Sellers React to Package-Only Saturday USPS Mail Delivery   Sellers React to Package-Only Saturday USPS Mail Delivery

This user has validated their user name. by: juliawww

Wed Feb 6 14:48:09 2013

Hi tb. I am checking into the 1st class packages thing and will post an update here as soon as I get it confirmed..thanks! - Julia

Sellers React to Package-Only Saturday USPS Mail Delivery   Sellers React to Package-Only Saturday USPS Mail Delivery

This user has validated their user name. by: WOODJUNGLE! ON EBAY

Wed Feb 6 16:37:43 2013

I would be more concerned with PICKING UP my packages rather than delivery. I wonder if they still will be picking up on Saturdays by scheduling pick ups.

Sellers React to Package-Only Saturday USPS Mail Delivery   Sellers React to Package-Only Saturday USPS Mail Delivery

This user has validated their user name. by: Philip Cohen
Web Site

Wed Feb 6 16:57:23 2013

We've never had pick up of mail by the post office in Australia; we have always had to take letters to a local post box, and parcels to a local post office ...

Sellers React to Package-Only Saturday USPS Mail Delivery   Sellers React to Package-Only Saturday USPS Mail Delivery

by: Ed This user has validated their user name.

Wed Feb 6 17:12:22 2013

WOW great news! Now we can get more low DSR for shipping time. It was bad enough that they had a rate increase and now more buyer think that shipping cost is not very reasonable on cross country shipping.
Ding..Ding and more Dings

Sellers React to Package-Only Saturday USPS Mail Delivery   Sellers React to Package-Only Saturday USPS Mail Delivery

by: Digmen1 This user has validated their user name.
Web Site

Wed Feb 6 17:24:07 2013

Wake up USPS and USA
Here in New Zealand our Post Office has asked the government if they can cut back mail deliveries from 6 days a week to 3.
Most people seem to accept it and think it is a good idea if it will stop continued losses and price increases. It just means you letter will be one day later.
Get over it!

Sellers React to Package-Only Saturday USPS Mail Delivery   Sellers React to Package-Only Saturday USPS Mail Delivery

by: mjr55 This user has validated their user name.

Wed Feb 6 17:35:54 2013

This isn't New Zealand...we have thousands of times more the amount of mail going through the postal system here in the USA.

Sellers React to Package-Only Saturday USPS Mail Delivery   Sellers React to Package-Only Saturday USPS Mail Delivery

This user has validated their user name. by: WOODJUNGLE! ON EBAY

Wed Feb 6 17:37:34 2013

3 days for mail delivery?  That would just be great for commerce.  That may work in NZ but not here.  I think dropping Saturdays here is also a detriment but the effects hopefully will be negligible.  

Sellers React to Package-Only Saturday USPS Mail Delivery   Sellers React to Package-Only Saturday USPS Mail Delivery

This user has validated their user name. by: Basset

Wed Feb 6 17:37:48 2013

After all the YEARS of hinting at doing away with Saturday delivery - all I can say is Finally????  I'll believe it when I see it.

I'm old enough to remember when a normal workweek WAS a five-day workweek. We all survived somehow. I doubt it affects how I carry out my business very much at all.

I can see where it might be bad for rural areas and sellers who have jobs during the week and only ship on Saturdays. But if you print out your own labels, you should be able to still do that fairly easily. The USPS just needs to provide enough receptacles for the packages .

Sellers React to Package-Only Saturday USPS Mail Delivery   Sellers React to Package-Only Saturday USPS Mail Delivery

This user has validated their user name. by: juliawww

Wed Feb 6 18:02:43 2013

Philip the horror!  To have to go to the po for all your packages etc..well are the lines long usually? (Ok so color me impatient). ;)

Sellers React to Package-Only Saturday USPS Mail Delivery   Sellers React to Package-Only Saturday USPS Mail Delivery

This user has validated their user name. by: Anonymous Annie

Wed Feb 6 18:16:54 2013

Worth reading: http://bit.ly/zlglWM

Link redirects to: http://thinkprogress.org/economy/2011/09/28/330524/postal-non-crisis-p
ost-office-save-itself/

HEADLINE:
A Manufactured ‘Crisis’: Congress Can Let The Post Office Save Itself Without Mass Layoffs Or Service Reductions

[snip]

But what has been lost in the political debate over the Post Office is why it is losing this money. Major media coverage points to the rise of email or Internet services and the inefficiency of the post model as the major culprits. While these factors may cause some fiscal pain, almost all of the postal service’s losses over the last four years can be traced back to a single, artificial restriction forced onto the Post Office by the Republican-led Congress in 2006.

At the very end of that year, Congress passed the Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act of 2006 (PAEA). Under PAEA, USPS was forced to “prefund its future health care benefit payments to retirees for the next 75 years in an astonishing ten-year time span” — meaning that it had to put aside billions of dollars to pay for the health benefits of employees it hasn’t even hired yet, something “that no other government or private corporation is required to do.”

[snip] Full story at http://bit.ly/zlglWM

Sellers React to Package-Only Saturday USPS Mail Delivery   Sellers React to Package-Only Saturday USPS Mail Delivery

This user has validated their user name. by: juliawww

Wed Feb 6 19:02:57 2013

Annie, great post. I was also under the impression it was the workers' retirement benefits that was the big money-bleeding culprit.

But I will read that article..I hadn't realized they had to pre fund the benefits so far ahead..that just seems silly. Not that I begrudge anyone retirement benefits, but 75 years?  

Sellers React to Package-Only Saturday USPS Mail Delivery   Sellers React to Package-Only Saturday USPS Mail Delivery

This user has validated their user name. by: juliawww

Wed Feb 6 19:04:09 2013

Digmen.. U are in New Zealand? Philip in Australia, now u in Nz.. will I learn next? Lol.

Sellers React to Package-Only Saturday USPS Mail Delivery   Sellers React to Package-Only Saturday USPS Mail Delivery

This user has validated their user name. by: Ina

Wed Feb 6 19:24:14 2013

Kenneth is working on a followup news story and asked the USPS about the FAQs Julia linked to as it was inconsistent with today's messaging from the USPS. Turns out it was related to a previous proposal about 5-day delivery. I notice since Kenneth's inquiry the USPS has taken the page down. I'd say the USPS raised a lot of questions today with this announcement. Stay tuned for Kenneth's article in tomorrows EcommerceBytes Newsflash.

Sellers React to Package-Only Saturday USPS Mail Delivery   Sellers React to Package-Only Saturday USPS Mail Delivery

This user has validated their user name. by: Philip Cohen
Web Site

Wed Feb 6 20:11:52 2013

@juliawww,

Yes, there usually are queues; but ultimately you have to pay for the service you want; Australia Post is profitable as far as I know, whereas, for whatever reason, USPS appears to be in dire financial straights; therefore, USPS has to either cut services or charge more for those services … take your pick … you guys have apparently been too long getting “pick up from your door” UPS-type service for USPS prices … and the chicken are finally coming home to roost …

PS: Besides the now franchised local post offices, in commercial hubs, Australia Post does have “business centres” that better cater for receiving bulk parcels mailings, but you still have to go to them.

Sellers React to Package-Only Saturday USPS Mail Delivery   Sellers React to Package-Only Saturday USPS Mail Delivery

This user has validated their user name. by: Ina

Wed Feb 6 20:57:13 2013

Any scale back of package delivery would have a bigger impact on smaller sellers, since they can't afford the high-volume discounts offered by FedEx and UPS, which offer weekend deliveries. But today's proposal says there will be no scaling back of package delivery. (Yet?)

Sellers React to Package-Only Saturday USPS Mail Delivery   Sellers React to Package-Only Saturday USPS Mail Delivery

by: mjr55 This user has validated their user name.

Wed Feb 6 23:19:46 2013

The postal service's financial situation has zero to do with them picking up packages from a seller's home as opposed to the seller going to the post office.

Their financial situation has zero to do with how many packages are being sent overall (sales are at an all-time high for USPS).

The sole reason is due to the pre-funding of pensions...

Comparing the USPS to Australia Post or any other country's postal service is not a valid comparison.

Sellers React to Package-Only Saturday USPS Mail Delivery   Sellers React to Package-Only Saturday USPS Mail Delivery

This user has validated their user name. by: Philip Cohen
Web Site

Thu Feb 7 03:12:54 2013

@mjr55,

So, what do you suggest the USPS do about the problem? Simply ignore it?

They either cut unprofitable services or they increase the charges therefor ...

Sellers React to Package-Only Saturday USPS Mail Delivery   Sellers React to Package-Only Saturday USPS Mail Delivery

by: pace306 This user has validated their user name.

Thu Feb 7 11:37:58 2013

Both idiot Donahoes run thier operations the same way - poorly.

Just like eBays Donahoe loves disruptive innovation, so does the Post Offices .. they MUST BE RELATED.

Im in the 11230 Post Office area in Brooklyn NY.

When you walk in:

1) its dirty
2) the clerks are rude
3) there are NO supplies .. ''go order them from the 800# or usps.com, stop bothering us''
4) they make it virtually impossible to get passport forms and documents
5) theres no signage telling people how each service works.
6) the clearks barely speak english (mostly Chinese)
7) theres no seating for the elderly or people with large items or large amounts of items
8) business accounts are treated with distain
9) business accounts are not seperated from the genral populace
10) the clerks are lazy and routinly ask why you ''just wont do all these things online and not come here''
11) theres no AC in the summertime
12) there are HUGE lines due the station managers refusal or request additional employees

Those are the issues that my post office faces - and - Ive seen them in many others as well.

They are exactly like eBay - and thier refusal to deal with reality.

Changing the amount of mail delivery days isnt the problem - lack of vision, lack of leadership and common sence are!

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