Special DeliveryPosted on Wednesday, March 30th, 2005 by Lauren Paige Kennedy
Success is in the mail.
Pick Me Up
The United States Post Office saves small-business owners time and money.
You know the scenario: You’ve marketed your product, reached a targeted demographic, racked up impressive sales figures…and now you have to fulfill dozens of orders. As in, get those packages in the mail.
If you have a small business that depends on shipping boxes to your customer base, you’ll be pleased to learn about a United States Postal Service (USPS) online program that takes the hassle out of mailing parcels. No more schlepping back and forth to the post office, spending hours lugging cargo or waiting in line. With www.usps.com (the official USPS Web site), everything you need is at your fingertips—labels, scales, shipping boxes and envelopes—all without ever having to leave your home.
“We bring the post office to your door so you can concentrate on what’s most important—growing your business,” says USPS Manager of Package Services Jim Cochrane. After all, small-business owners wear enough hats—customer service representative, boss, accountant—without having to add “mail carrier” to that list. And since the USPS online program is offered at no additional cost, it saves you money and time.
It’s easy, too. Just log on to www.usps.com and click on “Schedule a Pickup.” You’ll be offered the choice of two services: “Carrier Pickup” and “Pickup on Demand.” Select “Carrier Pickup,” and you’ll be directed to an electronic form requesting your name, address and designated pickup location. Just fill out the information by 2 a.m. the same day of your pickup, and that’s it. Your daily mail carrier will be notified and will retrieve your packages when you regular mail is delivered. The USPS invites small business owners to ship as many packages as they need to—there is no limit, as long as you indicate the expected number on the electronic form.
Better yet, you can file a standing order if you know you’ll be shipping orders, say, every Friday afternoon, or even every single mail-delivery day. This program is also available with domestic Express Mail and Priority Mail services.
“Pickup on Demand,” the other USPS online program, is ideal for time-sensitive situations when you need packages picked up on a specific date within a specific timeframe. This very convenient service costs $12.50 per pickup, regardless of the number of packages. To use this service, click on “Pickup on Demand” on the USPS home page and fill out the electronic order form.