Are the USPS and the Internet Secretly Conspiring to Raise Your Catalog Costs?
If you don’t know it yet, the U.S. Postal Service, that wonderfully efficient government-sanctioned monopoly we all know and “love,” is planning to raise our postal rates again in 2008. Many still are trying to recover from the devastating blow it dealt us in May of this year. Now it wants to hit us again. To me, this is inconceivable and just plain deadly stupid. But then again, that’s what you get when you let big government run commerce.
I’m not here to bash our government, or even the USPS, but we need to scream, not whisper, for the next rate case to be killed.
For crying out loud, let us catch our breath. Does the USPS have a clue just how much work goes into figuring out how to revamp our mail plans? Does the USPS understand it’s driving us to use the Internet more and more (and spend less and less on postagage)? I really believe the postal bean counters do.
And I think there’s a reason behind it to which most of us catalog marketers aren’t privy. Consider this if you will: The federal government doesn’t profit from the USPS; it’s a losing proposition at best — inefficient, lumbering and not much better than the days of the pony express.
But the Internet, with its endless revenue-generating possibilities, is wide open. It’s wildly unregulated and prime “real estate” for our government to swoop in and impose all sorts of use taxes on.
So who wins and who loses? Ultimately we as catalogers lose. We won’t stop all of our catalog efforts. And in many cases we’ll just bite the bullet and figure out ways to absorb the extra postal costs. We’ll also have to move more budget dollars to the Internet.
E-mail, search, affiliate marketing, it’s all tax-ready! E-mail — postal taxes! Search — clickthrough taxes! etc.