WASHINGTON, DC Hundreds of retail shipping service owners accepting letters and packages for their customers are finding that offering U.S. Postal Service products and services makes good business sense and pays off big. Since its inception two years ago, more than 2,000 retail shipping service operators have surpassed $40 million in sales by participating in the Postal Services Approved Shipper program.

The Approved Shipper Program enables the Postal Service to become more competitive in the retail package market while providing our customers with alternate access to postal products and services, said U.S. Postal Service Retail Vice President Kathy Ainsworth. Since our April 2006 program launch, more than 2,000 shipping retailers have realized the value of the program through nearly $42.5 million in sales. Retailers have the option of adding a surcharge while continuing to sell competitor products and services.

According to Gary Laing, owner of The Shipping Room, in Oneonta, NY, his walk-in business increased 50 percent since signing up two years ago, and Postal Service sales exceeded $500,000 last year.

The Ship Package Here signs bearing the U.S. Postal Service Eagle logo gives me an edge as it tells my customers I offer products and services my competitors dont, Laing explained. My revenue numbers make it clear that Postal Service offerings are in high demand.

Other benefits include the programs no-fee license agreement, free signs and other Postal Service materials.

To offer postal products and services, retail shippers must:

§       currently use a postage meter or PC Postage account
§       ensure physical security of the mail
§       properly display Postal Service signs
§       comply with aviation security and hazmat requirements
§       follow the Postal Service product guide for approved shippers
§       accept Click-N-Ship® and other prepaid packages
§       obtain approval of the Postal Services local district manager

To request a contact or additional information, e-mail HQ-USPSApprovedShipper@usps.gov.