Some collectors buy the new issues from the Stamp Fulfillment Center (SFC) in Kansas City, MO. Not all post offices stock new issues. The SFC provides a valuable service to the USPS. Many of the stamps sold go right into a collection and never see postal use. Itís pure profit for the USPS.
For years, the SFC charged a flat rate of $1 shipping on all orders. That the fee is increasing to $1.25 on orders of $50 or less. And a slightly higher fee for larger orders.
Why charge a shipping fee at all? The USPS is missing the boat. Iím sure there are some collectors who refuse to order the new stamps from the SFC because they have to go through the additional charge for shipping. Why pay more when I can press my local postmaster to order the stamps I want? How many collectors skip getting certain stamps because they arenít available at the local post office?
The SFC should ship the stamps to customers for free. Try a free service for 1 year and see how it goes. Did the number of orders increase? Stay the same?
Free shipping may drive more sales. Those who refused to use the SFC in the past may start using it. It increases sales and presumably increases profit. By charging a larger fee, the USPS may drive away existing customers.
There may be other savings too. For example, how many collectors need the stamps on the first day of issue? The FDC collectors do, but most collectors could wait a couple of days or so to get their stamps. As long as they get a copy, thatís all that matters. Instead of troubling local postmasters with trying to stock new issues, why not let the local postmaster tell the customer, ďSorry, but I donít stock that stamp. If you want it, you can order it from the SFC for free. Hereís how.Ē Let the local postmaster hand a brochure to the customer with ordering information.
Charging a higher shipping fee on something that is pure profit may drive some customers away. It further encourages the reluctant collectors to not use the SFC. The SFC should implement free shipping.