November 25, 2008, 10:57 AM — Small businesses tend to forget about the US Post Office for shipping once they get past a handful of packages per week. And if you deal with the Post Office as a consumer, or your particular Post Office treats consumers like annoyances, you run happily to FedEx or UPS and never look back. So I was surprised to hear from a company called Endicia that can make the Post Office a viable shipping option for businesses, including services like volume rebates, flat rate shipping, and Saturday delivery for no extra charge.
I haven't personally tested their products and services, but I do remember the old postage meter days way back when. What a pain. But Endicia, using special printers, makes big labels like those for UPS. They have another interesting feature: stealth postage. Your customer can't read the exact postage on the package because it's that weird bar code, not a typical stamp with an amount. Best of all, according to Endicia's information, you can send packages for half the rate (or less) using the Post Office than you can with UPS or FedEx. So you can give your customers a break, and still cover your handling expenses.
Those selling to consumers will be happy to hear about free Saturday delivery, In fact, the Post Office will deliver mail every day of the year, including Christmas, for an extra fee. I once had a Post Office person call me to find out where our house was for a Sunday delivery. I was so surprised they delivered on Sunday it wasn't until later I realized the Post Office should know where my house is better than anyone. But I did get a delivery on Sunday. Too bad I don't remember what it was that was so important..
Of course, the Post Office is your only option to mail to Post Office Boxes and military personnel. If you only use the Post Office a few times per year, and rely on UPS or FedEx for the rest of your deliveries, you may regard the PO as a giant PITA.
But Endicia wants to tell you how they can help make the Post Office palatable. Have your shipping manager check them out. Let me know if they make life easier and save you some money.