Amazon and U.S. Postal Service

Reply Sun 19 Feb, 2017 07:10 am
I understand that Amazon is considered a very successful company while the U.S. Postal Service loses money.

If the U.S. Postal Service were to raise its prices for the delivery of packages, it would receive more revenue per item delivered.

Admittedly, it would lose some business to United Parcel Service and other carriers.

I think this would improve the U.S. Postal Service's financial performance and make retail stores more competitive versus Amazon.

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Type: Question • Score: 4 • Views: 740 • Replies: 8
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Reply Sun 19 Feb, 2017 09:47 am
Nope, sorry.

Plenty of retail stores offer shipping to remote locations, so a hike in postal rates would either hurt them or push them to UPS, etc.

Also, it's not the US Postal Service's job to prop up local economies.

Why is Amazon successful? It's not just cheap shipping; it's a wide selection. There are folks who need gluten-free foods, for example, and they can't find them in their small towns. Or they want to discreetly order LGBTQ literature or they want home health appliances or products (e. g. Depends or the like) and want to maintain their privacy. Amazon allows for that.

Amazon can also maintain cheaper prices for a lot of things (and rather expensive prices for others; it pays to check costs per unit) because they don't need to store too much stuff. Local stores need to stock multiple copies of items on their shelves so things don't look too bare. A big part of the American shopping experience in particular is a show of abundance. So they need 20 packages of toddler diapers, etc., whereas Amazon can technically just have one in stock.

Why is the US Postal Service failing? Being run by the government means their budgets are slashed in ways that UPS's and DHL's aren't, and there are political pressures of one kind or another to save or to move money around. The Post Office also kind of let UPS, etc. eat their lunch, by offering same-day service and other amenities which the USPS could not afford to do for quite a while. At the house where I grew up, they used to take the mail, but that was because it was an exurban kinda area and the mail truck driver would just deliver and then take at the same time. I have never lived anywhere else (in Boston, Wilmington, Philadelphia, or Providence) where that was done, and my folks moved one town over and they lost that service, too. I expect it won't survive much longer in my old home town, and home boxes might have to be switched to mailboxes either at the local post office itself or some sort of apartment-style box of boxes in one location. Why? Because there are massive hills there, and it's a pain when it snows. If the letter carrier doesn't have to make those hills, then their trip shortens and it's safer for them (hence maybe liability insurance rates for them go down).
Reply Sun 19 Feb, 2017 12:27 pm

Thank you.

Surely, there is merit in your answer.

I didn't follow your point about the house where you grew up. The U.S. Postal Service delivered and took at the same time. Hmm. When the letter carrier delivered to your house he also picked up any letters you wished to mail?

You says that the U.S. Postal Service doesn't deliver to individual houses in some areas. I don't know if there is a law or otherwise that prescribes when it must deliver to individual house and when it does not.
Reply Sun 19 Feb, 2017 02:31 pm
Yes, they really did pick up and deliver at the same time. Keep in mind, I grew up in a hilly Long Island town with about, maybe, 2000 people in it. You left the flag up on your mailbox, they would take your stuff (probably tossing it into a bin to be sorted later at the post office building itself), and then put a packet into your mailbox, often secured with a rubber band. The mail, not the mailbox. Wink

Some of the issue re whether they deliver to individual houses or not might be based on custom or local budget? I don't know.

Thank you for the question; I haven't lived there in years and had to recall how it was done. Smile
Reply Sun 19 Feb, 2017 02:44 pm
Every time I order from Amazon and have it delivered through their own currier service or UPS, it's on time. Is the package sent through US Postal Services, it's always delayed a few days, even though I check online and it should have been delivered sooner.

In the office, when we get a certified mail with return signature, the mailman will come up wit the certified mail, but leave all other mail in the box. Why not bring the entire mail if you're coming to my office anyway.

What I am trying to say is that service with USPS is never with a capital S.
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Reply Sun 19 Feb, 2017 03:45 pm
Sigh, I used to specify group mailboxes when we had a biggo (similar to bigly) construction company for a key client. Once in a while I could, on private jobs, pick mailboxes that I thought we wonderful. I no longer have kept the catalogs, but some of those were almost beautiful.

Chickens come home to roost. Now I'm part of a multi crapo mailbox place. Broken concrete on the sidewalk, slopes every which way around the sucker, roadway full of bumps and me, not totally feeble, but very careful, my long time eye thing combining with age. I carry a stick, only to the mailbox, not bad looking, something that got thrown on my roof when the neighbor pruned the illegal mulberry tree and that Michael, friend of a few of us here, tossed off to the yard; so far so good.

Next question - I remember Phoenix mentioning there was a site where you could cut off junk mail. I figure that is no longer possible, but don't know.
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Reply Mon 20 Feb, 2017 05:25 am
Amazon also avoids a **** ton of tax.
Reply Mon 20 Feb, 2017 07:19 pm
jespah wrote:
Why is the US Postal Service failing? Being run by the government means their budgets are slashed in ways that UPS's and DHL's aren't, and there are political pressures of one kind or another to save or to move money around.

The Post Office would likely have a profit right now if not for a law that requires them to set aside retirement funds for all employees that they will have over the next 75 years (a pot of money that will surely be raided by Congress once the Post Office finally succeeds in amassing it).
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Reply Mon 20 Feb, 2017 07:51 pm
They profit a good deal from selling personal data as well
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