Catalogers Unite on Cheaper Parcel Rates

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The ACMA is bringing catalogers together in an effort to secure a group Negotiated Service Agreement from the Postal Service.

The American Catalog Mailers Association (ACMA) has launched an effort to obtain a Negotiated Service Agreement (NSA) for a bloc of its members that would give them preferred rates on parcel shipping. NSAs are awarded only to customers with massive annual mail and package volumes. Potpourri Group, which owns more than a dozen catalog brands, is the only cataloger ever to have secured one.

ACMA VP of Industry Relations Lynn Noble, formerly product manager for catalogs at the U.S. Postal Service, believes sufficient precedent exists for a group of catalogers to come together on a deal. “If you look at companies like Etsy or Overstock, the big aggregator websites, they've been able to pull contract pricing together for their third-party vendors,” says Noble (left). “All of those wanting to take part in the deal will have to submit their individual numbers, but it's the baseline performance upon which the deal is predicated.”

ACMA members have long toyed with the notion of a group NSA deal. Now the ACMA has been spurred to action by an increase in competitive product rates that take effect on January 17, 2016. Parcel Select rates will go up an average of 9.4% and First Class packages by 5.1%. The ACMA board hopes an NSA would, at the least, win its membership Commercial Plus Pricing that is offered to customers shipping 5,000 First Class or 50,000 Priority Mail packages a year.

The more catalogers to participate, the deeper the discount can be, since rate decreases in NSAs are progressive based on volume. ACMA is encouraging all interested catalog companies to submit their volumes; non-members would have to join the organization to enjoy any of the benefits obtained from an NSA.

For more information, contact Lynn Noble at 513-608-4749 or lnoble@catalogmailers.org.

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