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Thu Feb 11 2016 11:58:02

How About Offering Self Scanning at the Post Office?

By: Reader

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Dear Ina,
Regarding eBay's new Package Tracking rules,...

In the spring of 2015 I talked to one of the USPS managers in Albuquerque, where I suggested to them to install a package scanner on one of the walls at the post office. This way the sellers or any of their customers can scan their own packages when they drop off the package at the post office. 

This would save the USPS time, but we get to show our customers that the package has been delivered to the post office. 

The manager loved the idea, and said that would help them tremendous because they would not have to do so many packages at the end of the day. But they told me it would take an act of congress for them to do that.   

I think this is a simple option. I go to the post office several times per day, and sometimes at night, but the packages do not get scanned until they process them when ever they get to it. There is no way that I can take 1 to 2 hours to stand in line to have them to scan the packages at the window.
 
Yes I am aware that some sellers will go crazy and complain about this option because they will feel they are helping the USPS for free. I am of the belief that we should help each other so that things run smoother and would not mind scanning my own packages when I drop them off at the post office.

Hopefully eBay can talk to the main person at the USPS and they could add this option at the post offices.
Thanks,
David




Comments (33) | Permalink

Readers Comments

How About Offering Self Scanning at the Post Offic   How About Offering Self Scanning at the Post Offic

by: exdwh This user has validated their user name.

Thu Feb 11 12:56:20 2016

What if you were to scan a label without shipping anything and then file an insurance claim? USPS needs to take possession of the package. Scan sheets pose the same problem. You may have handed over x packages (if they even bother to count), but they may not be the same barcodes as shown on the scan sheet. In the past, I've been able to void labels that were included on a scan sheet, but never placed in the mail stream. That tells me USPS doesn't consider them 'accepted'.

--David

How About Offering Self Scanning at the Post Offic   How About Offering Self Scanning at the Post Offic

by: exdwh This user has validated their user name.

Thu Feb 11 12:59:08 2016

How about a drop shoot or conveyor with a scanner mounted in the ceiling? Sort of like a pizza oven. :)

--David

How About Offering Self Scanning at the Post Offic   How About Offering Self Scanning at the Post Offic

by: FeelingFroggy This user has validated their user name.

Thu Feb 11 15:48:20 2016

Now why would anyone suggest an idea like that. The numb sculls behind the counter would have a heart attack.

How About Offering Self Scanning at the Post Offic   How About Offering Self Scanning at the Post Offic

This user has validated their user name. by: iheartjacksparrow

Thu Feb 11 15:48:27 2016

What if they had a scanner in the wall, with a chute underneath. You scan the bar code, then put the package down the chute. When the package goes in the chute, it trips a laser, and then prints out a paper receipt indicating scanned and received. If the package doesn't trip the laser within, say, 30 seconds, then the package is not considered as received and the scan is voided.

How About Offering Self Scanning at the Post Offic   How About Offering Self Scanning at the Post Offic

This user has validated their user name. by: Marie

Thu Feb 11 17:15:52 2016

These are some great ideas.  How about something similar to self check out at some grocery stores.  When you scan, you have to put it on the scale to make sure the weight matches the label, then it has to go down the shoot or box before it is accepted.

At a grocery store they work similarly.  You scan, then you have to put it in the bag that is sitting on a scale to verify the two [scan & product] match.

How About Offering Self Scanning at the Post Offic   How About Offering Self Scanning at the Post Offic

by: exdwh This user has validated their user name.

Thu Feb 11 21:17:14 2016

Again, this can't be an unattended process or people will cheat. Scan a barcode and put a rock on the scale. Self-checkout usually has dedicated people watching and there are tons of cameras with more dedicated people watching. USPS isn't going to have those resources.

I think the easiest way for USPS to save money is to scan, weigh, measure and bill packages while in transit. There are too many sellers shipping 4-pound boxes with 1-pound postage. Also, who wants to wait 2 weeks for a postage refund when a buyer changes their mind?

--David

How About Offering Self Scanning at the Post Offic   How About Offering Self Scanning at the Post Offic

This user has validated their user name. by: Marie

Thu Feb 11 21:22:05 2016

@exdwh

I apologize, I guess I should have been a little more specific.  Yes it would need to be monitored, just like at grocery stores.

And why wouldn't they have an available person to monitor the station?  Their workload in larger POs would be reduced enough to allow for this station.  Smaller POs may not be able to do it or have it open only during certain times.  

It's just a thought.  And it would address your concern about those that ship paying less postage than they should, as they'd get caught doing that with this method.

How About Offering Self Scanning at the Post Offic   How About Offering Self Scanning at the Post Offic

This user has validated their user name. by: iheartjacksparrow

Thu Feb 11 23:08:57 2016

With regard to monitoring, at my post office they have one of those self-service postage machines where you weigh, print out postage, and then put your packages in a collection bin. That machine has never been monitored, so you can also argue that people could print out labels and never mail, or have a separate box of a lighter weight to weigh and then put the label on the actual box you are mailing. I don't know if the packages from the machine are re-weighed and scanned before going to the sort facility, but the whole point of those machines is so people don't have to stand in lines waiting for a clerk (and free up postal employees for other jobs).

How About Offering Self Scanning at the Post Offic   How About Offering Self Scanning at the Post Offic

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

Fri Feb 12 00:28:24 2016

The only way to avoid the scammers would be to first drop the parcel down a PO chute and it then be automatically scanned; after all, how are these parcels otherwise thereafter tracked? But, methinks maybe there are too many variables involved for it to work to the PO's satisfaction without much upgrading of facilities ...

How About Offering Self Scanning at the Post Offic   How About Offering Self Scanning at the Post Offic

by: VINSBARGAINS This user has validated their user name.

Fri Feb 12 00:48:41 2016

The PO already has a solution, it is the USPS Shipment Confirmation Acceptance Notice (SCAN).If you print one your postal clerk will scan that instead of each of your packages and won't be able to b*tch about it.  Unfortunately if you use Ebay shipping labels as I do you can only print it if you use  ''create multiple shipping labels in My eBay'', not if you create them one at a time. Since this solution already exists I don't see any way they are going to install expensive self scanning equipment.

How About Offering Self Scanning at the Post Offic   How About Offering Self Scanning at the Post Offic

by: tb This user has validated their user name.

Fri Feb 12 00:49:08 2016

I just don't understand why postal workers can't just do their jobs. If they continually don't scan, get rid of them. Simple.

And like I said in an earlier comment, whether a branch is good at scanning or not can easily be monitored via reports. If an item shows up later in the mailstream without an acceptance scan, then the acceptance PO failed and can be reprimanded. Super simple. No act of congress required.

How About Offering Self Scanning at the Post Offic   How About Offering Self Scanning at the Post Offic

by: thebobman This user has validated their user name.

Fri Feb 12 01:59:33 2016

> one of those self-service postage machines where you weigh, print out postage, and then put your packages in a collection bin.

The had one of those here about 8 or 10 years ago. I think they pulled it out after 6 months or a year.

Seemed to be there was a scale like thing and a printer. You put the box on the scale, you typed in the address, it printed a label. You stuck it to the box, then lifted a door and slid it in. The door would lock, the package would get scanned, and you got a receipt. It would continue through a second door and then the first one would unlock, ready for the next package. I think you could get a 12x12x12 box through the door, 24 hours a day, but anything larger you would have to hand it over the counter during the time they were open.

How About Offering Self Scanning at the Post Offic   How About Offering Self Scanning at the Post Offic

by: PowerSeller2007 This user has validated their user name.

Fri Feb 12 07:05:23 2016

Correct. This is way much convenient to us. But terrorists / naughties / insanes / odd balls could drop unwanted / banned / illegal / offensive items as well. Way too dangerous.

How About Offering Self Scanning at the Post Offic   How About Offering Self Scanning at the Post Offic

by: ewegolf This user has validated their user name.

Fri Feb 12 08:06:25 2016

It's a shame that so many are held captive by eBay's asinine tracking standard.  It really is immaterial, to a packages movement, what time during the day it is scanned.  At my P.O. they are all scanned when the feeder loading process begins about 4:30 p.m. The USPS has enough problems without having to cater to some company's low-value tracking rating system.

How About Offering Self Scanning at the Post Offic   How About Offering Self Scanning at the Post Offic

by: quovadis12345 This user has validated their user name.

Fri Feb 12 08:44:17 2016

If USPS was a publicly traded company, believe me this would already exist. Sometimes in our local post office the number of dropped off packages is so high, that we have to leave parcels on the floor because there is no counter space. Some packages are never scanned until they are delivered. This is a huge problem for us sellers, not knowing if a parcel has been lost or not, and having to deal with customers thinking we did not ship their order.

How About Offering Self Scanning at the Post Offic   How About Offering Self Scanning at the Post Offic

by: unknown This user has validated their user name.

Fri Feb 12 08:55:05 2016

@exdwh, they've scanned a scan form for you with packaging that didn't match? And that tells you they don't consider it accepted? HUH?

The instructions say, if you remove a package from a scan form shipment, your form is invalid. Period. There ain't any more.  

How About Offering Self Scanning at the Post Offic   How About Offering Self Scanning at the Post Offic

This user has validated their user name. by: Al G

Fri Feb 12 10:08:13 2016

The biggest thing is that the USPS must educate its employees that they must scan each item. The various POs I use normally have no problems with that except when the scanning first started up. They are now into their 2nd generation scanners and software. As far as wait time & lines, 1 PO processes Passports & it ties up 1 clerk for 20min+ leaving the other two slots to Handel (sorry) the other tasks. OK, my wait is now 5 min, but I'm not catching a trolley car or anything like that.
The only minor gripe I have is that the acceptance scans are batch uploaded to the servers sometime later in the day or night. It appears to be a manual process and not by individual transaction (scan). Oh well, the scans show up the next day for the most part.

The other gripe I have is with the people with gripes about that the "Gumm-int" should privatise the USPS. Sure, then you'd pay UPS/Fedex rates, watch the chief cooks & bottle washers get "bonuses" and stock options (just like eBay - eh?) whist service degrades.

This version of USPS is just fine, works exceedingly well and is quite cost effective. Ask our Canadian sisters about their shipping costs, or the Royal Mail.

Smile, things could be a lot worse.

How About Offering Self Scanning at the Post Offic   How About Offering Self Scanning at the Post Offic

by: Volvo351 This user has validated their user name.

Fri Feb 12 10:42:11 2016

Seems to me 'self-scanning' could lead to self SCAMMING! You could scan the labels and just walk out with the parcel. Easier, you could skip the parcels entirely and just bring some bogus labels down to the PO. When clerk scans the parcels they go in the 'out' bin. How would your system work?

How About Offering Self Scanning at the Post Offic   How About Offering Self Scanning at the Post Offic

by: exdwh This user has validated their user name.

Fri Feb 12 10:59:43 2016

@unknown

You're confusing 'policy' with reality. The context of this conversation is mainly about how to enable self-reporting while preventing fraud.

Years ago, I needed to cancel an international label. I don't remember the exact circumstances. Somehow, I ended up with page 1 of the canceled label on top of pages 2-3 of the replacement label in the clear pocket. The new label was on the scan sheet. The old label was not. The associated SCAN sheet was processed and the tracking for the new label showed 'Accepted'. A few days later, I got a warning e-mail from USPS telling me to pay-up for the canceled label or bad things would happen. I did so. I was then able to cancel the new label instead.

So, at least in the past, it was possible to get an electronic refund for a label that showed  'Accepted' via SCAN form. It was NOT possible to get an electronic refund for a label that was physically scanned. Internally, there's a difference.

Questions:

1) Has anyone ever received an electronic postage refund for a label that was physically scanned?

2) Has anyone received USPS (or 3rd-party) insurance for a package that was never physically scanned? This one has always bothered me as I drop packages in the box.

--David

How About Offering Self Scanning at the Post Offic   How About Offering Self Scanning at the Post Offic

This user has validated their user name. by: Rexford

Fri Feb 12 11:11:45 2016

All it would take is a system that scans the package and does not alloy the shipper to retrieve it once scanned.

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