The USPS has announced it will offer a 20% discount on bulk rate First Class Mail between October 1, 2009 and December 31, 2009. This is similar to the “summer sale” on Standard Mail.

Per documents filed on the Postal Regulatory Commision website on August 11, this offer will only be open to mailers with a volume of 500,000 pieces of First Class Mail in the same period in 2007 and 2008. This only effects non-parcel (letter, flat and card) mailings. Furthermore, it will only apply to volume in excess of a “threshold” target. This threshold is calculated by determining the amount of growth (or shrinkage) in a mailer’s volume between 2007 and 2008, and applying the same percentage to their 2008 volume. The discount will thus reward any pieces in excess of  projected, normal volume.

At the end of the program period, a rebate will be posted to the mailer’s permit trust account. In order to detect mail being held over from September or pulled forward from January, the 2007 and 2008 mail voluimes from those periods will also be examined and any drop in volume in those periods will be deducted from the mailer’s credited volume.

While this may result in modest revenue and volume gains for the USPS, the practice of targeting only the largest mailers may miss the mark. If the program were applied to all mailers, small businesses would have more incentive to use the mail. These small volume mail producers are most often overlooked by the big mailing firms. Besides the fact there are more small mailers than large ones, there is almost always more USPS revenue in 100 mailings of 1.000 pieces than in one mailing of 100,000 pieces.

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