Post Office Marketing

 Yesterday’s post (about a private delivery service that operates at Airport TSA checkpoints to allow passengers to send back to themselves items of value that they unintentionally brought to a plane and are to be tossed as not acceptable boarding material) got me thinking about what is the major cause of the Post Offices budgetary problems. Sure, the United States Post Office is a large, slow bureaucracy, but also it is prohibited by law from entering new markets and offering new services without Postal Commission permission. This is terribly cumbersome and inefficient, and lobbying and competing business special interest groups attempt to curtail any Post Office changes that might impact on their business. The USPS rarely capitalizes on its most competitive advantage.  There is no other business that stops at virtually every address in the United States each day to make a delivery and an aggressive marketer could easily cash in on that fact. How about lottery tickets? Order them online, pay with your credit card or from a credit that is set up by a cash payment at the post office and the number of tickets you want can be delivered to your home the next day. This would work too for postal money orders and the Post Office could even operate as a postal bank as it does in many countries. Indeed, the Post Office could set itself up as a kind of Amazon for commonly used lighter weight items that could easily be delivered with your mail each day. There are scores of products and market niches that the USPS could exploit. When you constrain government, hem it in by rules and regulations so that all the profitable areas around the government agency are forbidden to the agency to compete in, and then complain that government can’t compete profitably you are being disingenuous. Government certainly has problems and inefficiencies but the attitude by some that government is the root of all evil is wrong.

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