Finances & Money

Warning: Post Office not offering First Class Mail

I usually don’t link over to The Consumerist because I figure everyone that reads my site already reads theirs, but I’m probably wrong about that. Therefore I wanted to point out an article where they learned from “an insider” that postal employees were ordered to stop offering First-Class mail. However, that doesn’t mean you can’t ship first-class. It just means they’re pushing higher-priced offerings first, and only offer first-class if you ask for it specifically (or ask “how can I ship a cheaper way?”.

Why do this? Because the USPS has lost over a billion dollars recently thanks to a number of factors. I, for one, would like to say I’m contributing to their loss in two ways:

1. I use online billpay. While some of the bills are sent via the mail if the recipient doesn’t accept eBills, it’s still significantly reduced the amount of postage I was paying each year.

2. I use media mail to ship books. I spend a fraction of regular shipping costs to send books this way compared to even first-class, but as I say in the linked article, there are restrictions and the book can take longer to arrive. In my experience of mailing books for my contests here, however, the books arrive in at most 4 days. Sometimes it takes only 1-2 days.

So USPS, I’m sorry I’m cheating you out of money. I just hope you don’t take it out on my mail. It didn’t do anything wrong so please make sure it gets in my mailbox safely!

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Clever Dude


  • They should come up with a more effective way to do business, just like you and I would have to, but I assume that as the USPS loses profits then the US gov will get our money another way, things that make you go hmmm.

  • @Tony, USPS is not run by the government anymore. It is now a private business.

    Honestly other than sending out regular envelopes it is pretty rare that I send anything USPS but I will certainly keep this in mind when I do.

  • The USPS is quasi-gov’t. The gov’t approves / disapproves their price increases. One has never been denied.

    If they were purely private they would have gone out of business. However, as having a mail system in place serves the public good, we don’t have much choice when it comes to day-to-day mail.

  • I have also stopped mailing bills and started using media mail for books.

    Warning I did have a book that was packaged in a rigid photo envelope and mailed media mail disappear. The envelope was delivered but the small paperback book was gone.

    I have though signed up for Netflix like many other Americans, I am sure on an individual level the money they make off of my Netflix mailings more than makes up for a couple of bills a month.

  • With respect to shipping via Media Mail, in my experience it sometimes takes more than two weeks, especially if it is shipped from the east to west coast and vice-versa. In addition, when I have purchased the the delivery confirmations in order to track the book, many times it is not tracked so you never know where the book is in transit. It is definitely the cheapest way to go when you can do it though.

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