Amazon.com Customers Give 10-cent Promo Stamp of Approval

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Amazon.com has been receiving positive feedback from a promotional campaign begun in January in which 10 1-cent stamps were included in customers' order shipments, the company said.


The online retailer began the program Jan. 7, immediately after the U.S. Postal Service increased the rate of a First-Class letter to 34 cents from 33 cents.


Since then Amazon.com, Seattle, has bought and shipped millions of stamps to customers in an effort to "let our customers know we are constantly thinking about ways to improve their lives and make their lives easier for them, and also a way to say thanks for the order they have given us," said Patty Smith, an Amazon.com spokeswoman.


"We recognize that our customers have bills to send out and letters to mail, and they may have a drawer full of 33-cent stamps, but they will need to get an additional stamp to make those work."


The promotion comes in the form of a humorous letter signed by Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos with 10 1-cent stamps attached. It is included in all Amazon packages. The letter says that one of the primary goals at Amazon.com "has been to make the lives of its customers easier. For over five years, the sensibility has guided our growth, site design and the addition of new features and services."


The letter continues, "Recently, it struck me that despite all of our hard work, there are still many inconsistencies we haven't addressed. ... We can't wash your dishes. ... We can't pick up your dry cleaning. ... We can't change the little light bulb in your refrigerator. ... We can't make your tuna salad just the way you like it."


But there was one thing Amazon could do that it had never done before, the letter said: "Spare you the hassle of an extra trip to the post office! First-Class postal rates went up a penny to 34 cents on Jan. 7, so enclosed you'll find 10 1-cent stamps -- a necessity for using up your old 33-centers."


Finally, Bezos said, "Sure, we're only talking 10 cents in value, but hopefully the time you'll save will be worth much more."


Smith said the promotion has been a success.


"This is a very small-cost promotion for us -- only 10 cents per customer -- but the response we've gotten has been tremendous," Smith said. "It's really resonated with people as a unique way to demonstrate what Amazon has always thought to embody -- and that is being customer-centric."


In fact, Smith said, Amazon has "gotten letters from customers who are sending essentially 34 cents to thank us for something that only cost us 10 cents."


The promotion will continue "until we run out of stamps," Smith said.


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