Penguins and The Post Office

I don’t care what they say about the USPS, they are simply the best option out there. No question about it.  Price wise, you can’t beat flat rate shipping.  $4.75 to anywhere in the U.S.A. arriving in 2-3 days (including Saturday) for anything we can get into that flat rate envelope, and you’d be surprised what we can fit in there. It’s definitely not flat when we’re done with it.   Next Day Express Mail Flat Rate is $17.75, also to anywhere USA including Alaska and Hawaii. UPS won’t even offer ground rates there.  The post office will send a truck to pick up my shipments for free (UPS won’t), they also give me, (yes, they ship them to me for free) Priority Mail boxes in every shape and size, and if I ask nicely I can even get a roll or two of Priority Mail tape when I’m in a bind from my local P.O. clerks.   Plus, since I left Brooklyn where a trip to the  downtown Bklyn P. O. was akin to your worst Dept. Of Motor Vehicle nightmare, my present day Northampton Post Office is more like a visit to Floyd’s Barber Shop in Mayberry on the old Andy Griffith Show.  It’s friendly, stress free, even social, and there’s hardly ever a line.  But, if there is a line it’s never more than 5 or 10 minutes, everyone is polite, knows your name and if you’re in the mood there’s even time to shoot the breeze with the clerks.  In other words, it’s an actual pleasant experience. When there is an occasional line and I overhear cranky people around me whine about the service, I want teleport them to my old Brooklyn Post Office so they know what it’s like to have a nervous breakdown waiting on-line for 45 minutes while P.O. clerks do their jobs like slow motion zombies behind bullet proof glass (there for good reason).   It’s a shame these chronic complainers have no idea how good they have it.  The Post Office may be in financial trouble, but for my small penguin business they’re the no brainer way to go, and the reason why Penguin Placecan keep our shipping rates down.  Obviously as a relatively small operation it’s hard to keep up with the giant on-line retailers that offer free shipping, etc.  But, starting at $4.99 and only going up to $8.99 anywhere in the country with anything over $75 shipping for free we feel we’re more than fair and customer friendly.  With the post office now offering free pick-up and Click and Ship processing we’ve gone from doing 90% of our shipping via UPS and Fed Ex four years ago,  to 90% USPS.  People might think that UPS is the more reliable shipper, but my experience is that they’ve lost, misdirected and damaged more than their fair share of packages. Plus, UPS doesn’t count the day of pick-up, weekends or holidays towards their delivery timetable estimate.  In other words if you ship a package via UPS requesting 3 day service on the Friday before Memorial Day Weekend to the west coast, the package will unfortunately not arrive until the following Thursday.  I can’t tell you how many irate customers who’ve requested this type of service and received their penguins in 6 days rather than 3 I’ve experienced.   The bottom line is there’s simply no reason to use UPS 3 day service and pay triple the amount for shipping when the USPS will get it there 98% of the time (including Saturdays) faster.   Now starved for revenue, and bad press because the Post Office will deliver to every rural, middle of the nowhere address in the country for the same price as a major city, the USPS is raising their rates in a couple of weeks by about 10% (of course so is UPS and Fed Ex).

Holiday packages filled with penguins waiting for a pick up from the USPS

This makes them a little less of a bargain, but still a much better alternative for residential deliveries than UPS or Fed Ex.  So where does that leave Penguin Place and what we charge for shipping?  Right now our plan is to keep our shipping rates where they are and take advantage of 1st class shipping for smaller / lighter orders to save.  First class gets packages there almost as fast as Priority Mail for about half the cost, so the savings we incur by shipping about 20% of our orders this way will help keep shipping rates down for everyone across the board.  Of course in the big picture we can’t afford to lose money on shipping so we’ll see how it goes.  Until then, appreciate your mail person and post office and never forget they are the reason you’re paying $5 or $6  for shipping instead of $9 or $10


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One Response to “Penguins and The Post Office”

  1. romeldapatterson Says:

    Wood love to order stuff from the penguin post office

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