U.S. Post Office Provides Useful Services for Business

Most people are familiar with using the Post Office for mailing stamped and metered letters and packages. However, the federal mail service also offers additional services that can be of use to local businesses. Here's an overview of the few of the USPS's business-oriented offerings.

Netpost Mailing Online allows you to create and send Direct Mail from your desktop computer. It offers an array of printing and mailing options to meet your needs. You simply upload your documents and mailing lists electronically, and the post office does the rest. Netpost Mailing Online (at www.usps.com/netpost) allows you to create and send letters, postcards, flyers, self-mailers, newsletters, or postcards.

To give customers Internet access to shipping services, the Postal Service has also introduced the Click-N-Ship shipping label feature on its web site (www.usps.com/clicknship). Click-N-Ship allows customers to pay for PC Postage service and print shipping labels from their home or office.

Shipping via the Post Office's web site at www.usps.com is available for four USPS expedited domestic and international services: Priority Mail, Express Mail, Global Express Mail, and Global Express Guaranteed. Because of recent increases in the cost of commercial parcel services, it can be cheaper in many cases to use these services for rush deliveries. Delivery Confirmation service is included at no additional cost with Priority Mail service. Signature Confirmation service is also available at a reduced rate. Any major credit card is all that is needed to pay for labels with online postage. Labels can also be printed without postage, and can have either a meter strip or stamps affixed, or postage purchased at a Post Office. Mail pieces with PC Postage shipping labels can be handed to a delivery carrier, scheduled for pickup, or dropped off at a local Post Office.

The Post office also offers human resources to assist those interested in business mailing services. "Some of our customers will always be best served by our retail units. Some can be better served by our web site," says Lisa Eacret, small business specialist for the Oakland District - which includes the Pleasanton Post Office. "It's my job to educate and direct them to the right subject matter expert. I'm one phone call that you can make and I will make sure that I get you to the right information." In addition, the USPS has a small business marketing department. If your business needs help with mailing, a representative will be happy to visit you to help fulfill your needs.

To contact a USPS small business specialist call Lisa Eacret at (510) 251-3485. To speak with a local retail supervisor in Pleasanton or request a small business solutions pamphlet, contact Gloria Castanon at (925) 846-1190. Or, drop by the U.S. Post Office in Hacienda at 4682 Chabot Drive.

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