|Sun July 14 2013 17:24:52|
USPS Wants to Help Dispose of Obsolete Personal Materials
By: Ina Steiner
The USPS is seeking proposals for a new program in which it would partner with third-parties to collect unwanted goods from people's homes. "The USPS conceives of a partnership with one or more qualified companies to co-market a national program that collects household items for recycling or humanitarian donations from consumers and businesses," the organization explains in its "Request for Information for Household Items Recycling" (RFI).
The idea behind the RFI is that the USPS could generate revenue for the Postal Service through delivery services (charging its partners or consumers, or a hybrid approach), while at the same time meeting its objectives toward "corporate citizenship."
It envisions collecting such items as used eyeglasses, hearing aids, shoes, clothing, or other household items, and using post office lobbies to promote the program, as a collection point for product returns, and/or for distribution of packaging and labels to facilitate return shipments.
Companies have been doing similar projects without the aid of the postal service for some time thanks in great part to the existence of eBay as a place to resell unwanted items - particularly electronics.
In fact, the USPS already offers a recycling program through MaxBack as we outlined in this EcommerceBytes article.
If you're interested in the program, you have until the end of the month to submit a response that "outlines capabilities toward a co-marketing relationship with USPS." The Postal Service RFI explains:
"Responses should focus on a method through which consumers could safely and effectively dispose of their obsolete personal materials in the most convenient and cost-effective manner possible. Responses should address marketing and promotional methods to communicate potential solutions to the public and describe how the concept would support the financial and corporate citizenship objectives of the USPS."
However, the request is for planning purposes only and there is no guarantee a formal solicitation will be issued as a result of responses to the RFI.
What do you think of such a program from the post office, and how would it impact online sellers?