U.S Postal Service May Start Selling Magazines

The U.S Postal Service needs customers to keep checking their mailboxes. To do this, the U.S Postal Service may be weighing the decision of selling magazines directly to consumers as early as next month, according to Mailers Technical Advisory Committee. The committee, which is made up of representatives from the Postal service as well as various industries tied to it, drafted and forwarded a proposal on selling magazine subscriptions to consumers in post offices or on-line.

U.S Postal Service May Start Selling Magazines

Edward Mayhew, a member of the MTAC, is reported to have stated that the proposal was formulated back in May and could take effect as soon as next month. Although the proposal is not yet decisive, the current plan indicates that the Postal Service will put up posters that have QR codes, and consumers will be allowed to scan the QR codes with their phones, allowing them subscription to different magazines. Alternatively, consumers could also gain subscription to the magazines online through the postal service’s website, USPS.com.

Bearing in mind that the proposal has not yet been approved, Mayhew noted that the details could very well change. Nevertheless, he maintained that a wide array of publishers had voiced their interest in the program. Mayhew, who  served a 37 year tenure as a USPS employee, also added that a trial program involving between 25 and 50 post offices could kick off in January.

This Proposal Does Not Represent An Isolated Event

According to Mayhew, the idea of selling magazines in the USPS is not new. He notes that it has happened twice during his tenure as an employee. He explains the first case to be in the 80’s, when the Postal Service installed magazine racks in post offices. Customers would pick up their desired magazine, enter the required details in the subscription card inside and then mail the card. The program was however phased out shortly after. In the second case however, the Postal Service designed the magazine subscription service to exclusively serve employees through the organization’s intranet. “You could go on the website and sign up for 300 different periodicals,” said Mayhew. While Mayhew noted that the service is no longer available, he used it to demonstrate the availability of the mechanism to currently provide online subscription services.

Although the U.S Postal Service has not made any official remarks on the news, it could very well happen, considering the financial position that it is in. Back in November, it posted an unprecedented loss of $15.9 billion, marking a recurrent trend in its financial calendar. What’s worse is the fact that the struggling Postal Service anticipates bigger losses in 2013.


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