Love ‘em, hate ‘em or feel indifferent, stamps are certainly getting their 15 minutes of fame. Not only are the latest stamp releases creating major buzz (think Harry Potter and Jimi Hendrix) but alternatives to buying stamps at Post Office counters – such as online and retail partners – are gaining in popularity.

The Postal Service reports a growing number of direct-to-consumer stamp orders received from online channels, including eBay. With consumers buying stamps in new ways and a need to improve internal processes, the Postal Service recently announced it is borrowing some of the best practices of other large national retailers to create a world-class distribution network.

The new system will support the growing number of direct-to-consumer stamp orders while keeping postal retail outlets and partners, such as Costco, Walmart, and Staples, well-stocked. This improvement should reduce consumer frustration when preferred stamps are not easily available. The changes include consolidating its stamp distribution network, greater use of automated equipment to provide order processing 7 days a week and faster fulfillment and delivery times of 5 days or less. The streamlining also should improve inventory management and reduce destruction of stamps.

These changes address some of the recommendations made by the Office of Inspector General in an audit report issued late last year. The Postal Service is also beginning to implement some of our other recommended improvements, including better scanning compatibility, timely posting of transaction data, and status alerts sent to requesters.

The new system should be seamless to customers and post offices were told to order stamps as usual until further notice. We welcome your input on the changes and the stamp-ordering process. Customers, do you have trouble locating the stamps you prefer? Employees, are there other ways to improve stamp ordering and fulfillment? 

Comments (6)

  • anon

    I feel we have the best postal service on the planet but I do have one issue. I think that if I pay the list price for 1st class postage stamps and I don't use them before the postage price is increased the stamps I have should still be considered valid 1st class postage without adding to it.

    Oct 02, 2014
  • anon

    I'm concerned that the consolidation of SDNs will be an even greater mistake. The real issue on delays at post offices is that USPS limited the amount of stamp stock post offices can order to where the community is affected and the office can no longer provide enough stamp stock and quality stamp stock. Ask a Window clerk about the limitations put on them. There is only 5 SDNs left after continuously being consolidated since 1995. The two SFCs the USPS plans to move SDN to one is in Kansas City sometimes called "the cave". They are short staffed now and they already handle many businesses, individual orders on line as well as mailed in, and the philatelic stamp orders. To throw on them all the post offices around the country will not be providing better service but delayed service. The costs to add to the two SFCs will be enourmous. Please stop this move and do more research.

    Apr 08, 2014
  • anon

    So true!

    Oct 01, 2014
  • anon

    I have a problem with the streamlining move. I believe that the USPS is not ready to consolidate the SDNs and there will be worse delays. The USPS has already consolidated these SDNs many times since 1995( down to 5 around the country) and we have had more delays in getting the stamp stock that post offices order. The issue is that the USPS has limited the ability for a small and medium sized post offices to order the stamps that their communities want both in quanity and quality. This is what has caused the real problems. Ask a Window clerk how they feel about the stamp stock limitations they have. To consolidate the SDNs to SFCs (we only have two) would in fact cause more problems not less. The SFC in Kansas is underground, they call it the "cave". I'm concerned that they will be heavily burdened to handle all the post offices across the country as well as what they handle now individual orders and the businesses that sell stamps as well as the philatelic orders. Please do what you can to stop this move, and do a better study. Thanks Debby Szeredy

    Apr 08, 2014
  • anon

    As a disabled shut-in I rely on my postal carrier for purchasing stamps, postal supplies, delivering packages, sending letters and most importantly paying my bills. If I need anything special all I have to do is leave a note in my box and if ever I'm wrong on postage which very rarely happens the carriers have been kind enough to correct my error just so my mail will go through. I promptly repay them the next day. I appreciate their service by leaving small tokens which they sometimes find in my mailbox. :) Today however I am disgusted by the postal service. Not by my carrier but by the inspector who returned my letters accusing me of defacing postage and trying to send mail with used stamps? That's unheard of! It is evident by the outside of the envelopes that those were bills I was paying and those stamps were unused! If the inspector had any sense he would know people who pay bills [by mail] would not use defrauded stamps on their letters and risk getting them returned thus payments would not meet the due date and a late charge would apply! So to get this off my chest I needed to "stamp" on that inspector from Corpus Christ, Texas. and found this to be the perfect place. That's all. :)

    Apr 08, 2014
  • anon

    I use the Post Office for everything I can when it comes to packages, letters, & supplies...I think that if congress got out of the postal business you all would be doing much better...Hell they can't even do their jobs very well, how do they expect to do yours to?

    Apr 07, 2014

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