Would the end of weekend mail cost you?
You might be tempted to pay for expedited shipping rather than wait longer for online orders.
This post comes from Kelli B. Grant at partner site SmartMoney.
Earlier this week, Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe told USA Today that a projected $8.3 billion loss in revenue this year could force the end of Saturday delivery. He told the paper that he thinks Congress might be more amenable to the strategy -- which could save $3.1 billion a year -- given the federal debt and budget problems.
Consumers are likely to find expedited shipping for online orders more attractive if there are fewer delivery day options, says L.J. Shrum, chair of the marketing department at the University of Texas, San Antonio. The extra cost seems more reasonable if it gets a purchase to you by Friday, instead of three days later on a Monday.
It also increases the attractiveness of free-shipping clubs like Amazon Prime, Barnes & Noble and ShopRunner.com, which include faster shipping options as a benefit to members who pay an annual fee. Retailers have already begun adding new services (and charges) for same-day home delivery. Post continues after video.
Another pitfall: the temptation to stock up. Consumers faced with the choice to return their Netflix or Blockbuster mail-in rentals by Wednesday or miss out on weekend movie watching might decide to increase their subscription instead, Shrum says.
Some added costs would come from retailers, too, if the lost day shifts order patterns enough to slow processing times or prompt a renegotiation with shippers, says Luke Knowles, founder of FreeShipping.org. "We might see online retailers promoting (Saturday delivery from) FedEx and UPS delivery a little more," he says, or programs that ship online orders to stores for free, as a way to cut costs.
Readers, how would a cutback in postal service affect your spending habits?
More on SmartMoney and MSN Money:
Companies that send junk mail and ads should pay full rates---no more discounts!
Junk mail accounts for most of the bulk of the mail and consumes most of the manpower to deal with.
Cutting out Saturday postal hours will have a huge impact on people. No Post Office on Saturday. I suspect this cut would affect rural routes more then urban postal customers. It was great when banks opened for Saturday business. It made sense for working people who didn't have access to banking or postal service mid week. .
Sometimes progress isn't all that progressive.
stop all the junk mail discounts. most of the junk mail and ads go straight into the recycle bin. I have started using bill pay and on-line billing more and more as prices go up. I also have many of my bills sent to me electrically.
What is missing in this debate is how much the postal union impacts the price of postage. How many billions would be saved by private and business consumers if union wages and benefits did not have to be paid?
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