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Jack Holloway

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Yes, but when it is a product they already have on hand (so they've had no further expense on their end)... and shipping/handling are charged separately, then I question their integrity. I'm quite conflicted over this.
I'm not surprised about this anymore. Businesses were doing this back in the mid 1990s. Their argument was "It is going to cost more to buy more products to sell." They didn't want to admit it didn't make sense.
 

Pulsegleaner

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There are a LOT of things that stores and companies can and do do that don't make a lot of sense to me.

For example when I find a product I like, and it is long term stable and easy to store, I tend to get as much of it as I can/can afford, in case there is an interruption in the supply chain. That means that it is not unusual for me to buy a place out of a product. As far as I can tell, this should be OK for a store since, as long as it is being SOLD it shouldn't matter to them who it is being sold TO (and they know they have a steady customer for it). However I was told by a store person that, if I did that, it was likely that the store would NEVER order that item again. Apparently, a lot of stores decide how much of things to buy not by the amount they sell, but by the number of people they sell it to. If there are only a few buyers, even if they are buying a lot, the store feels there isn't enough demand for the item among the public, and decides it isn't worth carrying.

Or places that don't grasp the stocking concept of FIFO (First in, First Out) and will just stack the new merchandise either in front of or on top of the old (thereby guaranteeing that the old stuff will NEVER be sold and will eventually have to be thrown out.)

But I agree that postal rates have gotten out of control. I just made a $70 order and the shipping was an additional $60 (granted, the stuff was in glass bottles, which are heavy, but still.....)

I have to parse out my online orders for my bacon and ham, simply because the shipping starts so high that it only becomes economically feasible if I am ordering a lot at once (thank God the stuff is shelf stable.)

And the USPS is not much help either, between basically raising the postal rates every chance they get and STILL complaining it isn't and can't ever, be enough (I remember one of the Postmaster Generals going on record saying that he thought $10 to mail a letter would be "Far too cheap".) and making it as hard as possible to use economy services in order to "upsell" everything ( I am, by now, convinced that the Post Office is deliberately going out of it's way to slow media, first class and parcel post to try and force everyone to use Priority and that, when the succeed in that, they'll start slowing Priority in order to force everyone to use Overnight Express.) As is, you can't pay for any postage rate below Priority on USPS.com (even though they already have an entry for weight and distance).
 

Ridgerunner

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If there are only a few buyers, even if they are buying a lot, the store feels there isn't enough demand for the item among the public, and decides it isn't worth carrying.
That actually makes sense when you consider inventory control. You want to receive new product as it is needed to go on the shelf instead of paying for warehousing. It's a way to reduce overall costs. I'll do the same thing as you though and buy a lot of a flavor or brand that I like when it is there as it sometimes isn't when I want it. Two specific examples, a certain brand/flavor of potato chips and a certain wine I like. It's hit or miss if they will be there when I want them.

Another one that I kind of understand but really aggravates me. Not the store, the manufacturers. They are constantly rebranding, revising, updating things. I can kind of understand "fashion", that's such a fickle market. "Oh, that's so last month". But if I find an everyday shoe that fits and I like I might buy an extra pair or two for when that brand or style is no longer made. The one that really gets me is when they change models on something like appliances. They advertise them as new and improved. They are not. They just change them enough that you can't get replacement parts to fix it and have to buy a new one.

But I agree that postal rates have gotten out of control.
I don't blame the people at the post office for that. I consider the post office a required government service. Our economy depends on us being able to drop a check in the mail and expect it to be delivered. Basic correspondence needs to be dependable. But times have changed. We are no longer writing letters to each other, we use social media. So they don't have the income from letters or the benefits of economy of mass from those. One mail carrier delivering a lot of letters per mailbox is more efficient than one that's probably just carrying low cost advertisements.

The first postmaster general was Benjamin Franklin. Can you imagine how important they thought the post was to the success of their government if someone of that stature was tasked with setting it up?

The post office is the only federal government entity that is required to pay its own way. But they don't set the rates, Congress does. The next time you're having lunch with your US Representative or US Senator you might discuss their philosophy on why the bulk advertisers get such favorable rates. If the Post office tries to become more efficient by closing or consolidating post offices whose clientele no longer lives there (they've moved away so they have very few to serve) Congressmen go on the warpath. The post office can't do that to their constituents. I saw that when I was in Arkansas and they made a proposal to close a few really small rural post offices.

They have direct competition from FedEx and UPS for certain things. If you think the post office rates are too high, us them. A smart business would if they thought it was less expensive or more competitive.

My complain with the post office is not the rates. We live in a changing world, what used to work doesn't. My complaint with the post office is that it is no longer highly dependable. Stuff just isn't being delivered with the surety it used to be. I noticed that about the middle of the previous administration when the top people at the post office appointed by that administration started trying to run it more like a business than a government service. I don't like government wasting money. Times have changed and continue to change. The post office has to get more efficient, in cost and dependability.

I don't feel they've kept the priority that it is a necessary government service, just purely looking at the money. With all this talk of privatizing, I wonder how that would work for rural America where it's not as cost effective to provide a service. Big cities are easy, small town America is not. Or what rates they would charge to serve remote areas?

A recent story. When my parents died my brother and niece collected their photos and sent them to me. I scanned them and put them on a flash drive. I mailed six flash drives to five different states, using the least expensive method but so I could get tracking. No priority, just basic mailing. Two of those six packages arrived the day before the estimated delivery. One was about a week late, another 2-1/2 weeks late. The last two were over two months late. That's what I'm talking about as far as dependability. That's the dramatic change I've noticed in the last four years. This used to be rare, now it's common.

I don't want to waste money but if I want a service I am willing to pay for it. Raising the rates enough to get that service without using tax money to subsidize the post office is going to hurt a lot of people. Raising taxes will hurt people. This is one of the many things I don't have a good answer for.
 

Pulsegleaner

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That actually makes sense when you consider inventory control. You want to receive new product as it is needed to go on the shelf instead of paying for warehousing. It's a way to reduce overall costs. I'll do the same thing as you though and buy a lot of a flavor or brand that I like when it is there as it sometimes isn't when I want it. Two specific examples, a certain brand/flavor of potato chips and a certain wine I like. It's hit or miss if they will be there when I want them.
This goes double for me, since a lot of the stuff I like I get from places that do clearances for other places (like Home Goods). So when I see something I don't know if I will EVER see it again. This can and will actually bite me in the butt a lot, since it ends up with me forgetting about the rule that goes "If you don't know if you like it or not, buy ONE", and a lot of wasted stuff that sounded good, but turned out not to be.

Another one that I kind of understand but really aggravates me. Not the store, the manufacturers. They are constantly rebranding, revising, updating things. I can kind of understand "fashion", that's such a fickle market. "Oh, that's so last month". But if I find an everyday shoe that fits and I like I might buy an extra pair or two for when that brand or style is no longer made. The one that really gets me is when they change models on something like appliances. They advertise them as new and improved. They are not. They just change them enough that you can't get replacement parts to fix it and have to buy a new one.
I agree. Whenever we throw out a broken appliance, we try and save any easily removable part that we might be able to use as a replacement should it break on the new on (like the ring and glass plate in the microwave). But the constant modifications make that difficult.

As for fashion, I may have mentioned one my fondness for a kind of cola called Madagascar Cola from the Fever Tree line of beverages. I used to be able to get all I wanted from one of the local supermarkets. Then they changed the name (though, as far as I can tell, not the formula) to Distillers Cola, and gave it a new color label (red instead of black) Suddenly the store wouldn't carry it anymore (it wouldn't even take the empties back for deposit). Now I have to get it mailed to me from upstate, and pay glass bottle shipping prices (The matter is complicated by the fact that, since Fever Tree considers itself a mixer company rather than soft drink company, most places that carry the cola are online wine and liquor companies, which means a lot of them CAN'T ship to me becuase my state doesn't allow out of state liquor sales.)

I don't blame the people at the post office for that. I consider the post office a required government service. Our economy depends on us being able to drop a check in the mail and expect it to be delivered. Basic correspondence needs to be dependable. But times have changed. We are no longer writing letters to each other, we use social media. So they don't have the income from letters or the benefits of economy of mass from those. One mail carrier delivering a lot of letters per mailbox is more efficient than one that's probably just carrying low cost advertisements.

The first postmaster general was Benjamin Franklin. Can you imagine how important they thought the post was to the success of their government if someone of that stature was tasked with setting it up?

The post office is the only federal government entity that is required to pay its own way. But they don't set the rates, Congress does. The next time you're having lunch with your US Representative or US Senator you might discuss their philosophy on why the bulk advertisers get such favorable rates. If the Post office tries to become more efficient by closing or consolidating post offices whose clientele no longer lives there (they've moved away so they have very few to serve) Congressmen go on the warpath. The post office can't do that to their constituents. I saw that when I was in Arkansas and they made a proposal to close a few really small rural post offices.

They have direct competition from FedEx and UPS for certain things. If you think the post office rates are too high, us them. A smart business would if they thought it was less expensive or more competitive.

My complain with the post office is not the rates. We live in a changing world, what used to work doesn't. My complaint with the post office is that it is no longer highly dependable. Stuff just isn't being delivered with the surety it used to be. I noticed that about the middle of the previous administration when the top people at the post office appointed by that administration started trying to run it more like a business than a government service. I don't like government wasting money. Times have changed and continue to change. The post office has to get more efficient, in cost and dependability.

I don't feel they've kept the priority that it is a necessary government service, just purely looking at the money. With all this talk of privatizing, I wonder how that would work for rural America where it's not as cost effective to provide a service. Big cities are easy, small town America is not. Or what rates they would charge to serve remote areas?

A recent story. When my parents died my brother and niece collected their photos and sent them to me. I scanned them and put them on a flash drive. I mailed six flash drives to five different states, using the least expensive method but so I could get tracking. No priority, just basic mailing. Two of those six packages arrived the day before the estimated delivery. One was about a week late, another 2-1/2 weeks late. The last two were over two months late. That's what I'm talking about as far as dependability. That's the dramatic change I've noticed in the last four years. This used to be rare, now it's common.

I don't want to waste money but if I want a service I am willing to pay for it. Raising the rates enough to get that service without using tax money to subsidize the post office is going to hurt a lot of people. Raising taxes will hurt people. This is one of the many things I don't have a good answer for.
I mostly agree. However, whatever the problems are, based on what I read in my Stamp collecting paper (which keeps a pretty close eye on what the Post Office does, the same way my Coin paper watches the US Mint.) they seem less interested in finding a way to correct them that would make them work again as with finding a way that they can reap as much money for themselves while doing as little work as possible. Basically, what DeJoy wants, as far as I can tell, is for the post office to become a vey special kind of legal private monopoly, one that can set it's own rates, decide it's own service areas (so that they could refuse to deliver to the unprofitable areas at all.) set their own delivery schedules (forget about the no Saturday delivery, they want each post office to have the right to decide what, if any mail they are delivering that day on a day by day basis, based on how much they have going to an area,) be re-awarded exclusive rights of transport (i.e. they want things like UPS and Fedex made illegal again) AND on top of that, want to retain their existence as a government branch in certain legal senses (particularly, the ability to be unsueable.) Oh and they also wanted the government to put a large tax on internet use to be paid to them as compensation for lost revenue.)
 

flowerbug

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the biggest costs are the people they have to pay and the benefits and insurane costs. it is pretty rare that the value of what you buy is actually worth more than those other expenses.

when someone asks you to do a job for them are you going to quote what it cost you last year or what it will cost you to do it now?
 

Zeedman

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Yes, but when it is a product they already have on hand (so they've had no further expense on their end)... and shipping/handling are charged separately, then I question their integrity. I'm quite conflicted over this.
It could be that they had to replace inventory at a higher cost, or that they were forced to increase prices due to increases in overhead or wages. Or... some less ethical companies simply respond to higher demand by price gouging. There does seem to be quite a bit of the latter going on, though not as much IMO as when the pandemic started.

Sad to say, but between high inflation & the ripple effects of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. I anticipate that we will be experiencing a lot more sticker shock in the near future. :(
 

Zeedman

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Another one that I kind of understand but really aggravates me. Not the store, the manufacturers. They are constantly rebranding, revising, updating things. I can kind of understand "fashion", that's such a fickle market. "Oh, that's so last month". But if I find an everyday shoe that fits and I like I might buy an extra pair or two for when that brand or style is no longer made. The one that really gets me is when they change models on something like appliances. They advertise them as new and improved. They are not. They just change them enough that you can't get replacement parts to fix it and have to buy a new one.
You can at least partially blame the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) for that, since it is their standards that often drive design & manufacturing.
 

Zeedman

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The post office is the only federal government entity that is required to pay its own way. But they don't set the rates, Congress does. The next time you're having lunch with your US Representative or US Senator you might discuss their philosophy on why the bulk advertisers get such favorable rates. If the Post office tries to become more efficient by closing or consolidating post offices whose clientele no longer lives there (they've moved away so they have very few to serve) Congressmen go on the warpath. The post office can't do that to their constituents. I saw that when I was in Arkansas and they made a proposal to close a few really small rural post offices.
I mostly agree with those comments. What I find offensive is that when the PO announces a rate increase, that is an average increase... and some classes are targeted much more than others. A "7% increase" might be a 3% increase for business & bulk mail, and a 15% increase on parcels. I remember a PO official openly stating several years ago that they were targeting online sellers like Amazon - which just prompted Amazon to start its own fleet. The skyrocketing parcel rates have made alternative delivery services competitive in urban areas, while disproportionately hurting those in rural areas who most need that service.

And since governments at all levels (federal, state, and local) choose to send legal correspondence via USPS mail, closing rural POs should, be default, be out of the question.

The reliability of mail getting through does not seem to be (thus far) a major issue; I've only had one loss in 20+ years. IMO most reports of "lost mail" just happen to be lost bill payments. :rolleyes: I still think that for the most part, we have the most reliable mail service we could ask for. Delivery times have definitely suffered though, and I & my family are seeing more damaged mail. DD just received a package today, clearly marked "FRAGILE", that had been crushed & the contents destroyed. :mad: With the increase in mail-order pharmacies, and possible health ramifications, that needs to change.

The PO could, and should, seek more efficient ways to operate, rather than just banking on a future taxpayer bail out. Maybe spend less on buying new "green" vehicles from defense contractors (who are accustomed to setting their own price). Maybe offer an electronic bill payment service at competitive rates, that might recapture some of the spending lost to e-commerce.
 

meadow

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I had to laugh with delight! I placed an order at Prairie Road Organics for some of their Dakota Black Pop corn, and of course a few other things, and noticed the order was placed at 11:43am and shipping notification came in at 11:49am. Now that is good service! 🥳
 

flowerbug

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I had to laugh with delight! I placed an order at Prairie Road Organics for some of their Dakota Black Pop corn, and of course a few other things, and noticed the order was placed at 11:43am and shipping notification came in at 11:49am. Now that is good service! 🥳

what that likely really meant was that the shipping label and pulling slip were printed or e-mailed at that time and not when the order actually went out the door... like many things words and meanings can have some wiggle room.

that said, glad you got a quick reply. :)
 

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