I recently bought postage stamps from the USPS website. Shipping and handling cost me a buck but it was very convenient, and I know the USPS can use the cash. The USPS could have put my 2 oz. stamps in a nice 6×9 envelope as a 2 oz. letter for $.61 in postage and made a nice $0.39 profit. It didn’t.
Defying its own shape-based rates, the USPS put my 4×5 inch packet of stamps in a 9×12 envelope making it a flat, and included a heavy cardboard backer that pushed it up an ounce as well (to help it run through the flat-sorting equipment???). Grand total in postage? $1.22. So after collecting my dollar in S&H, the post office sold me stamps at a $0.22 loss.
Granted, the USPS probably doesn’t charge itself what it charges you and me to send that 9×12 envelope, though perhaps it should. And I’m sure there’s a very good reason why the USPS chose a mailing solution that that contradicts its own shape-based mandate and puts its image as a role model for the rest of us at risk. Um, right?
– Sari McConnell at firstname.lastname@example.org