Goodbye snail mail, hello US Postal Service same-day delivery

USPS tests same-day shipping

In an attempt to revitalize its withering hide, the U.S. Postal Service will soon begin testing same-day delivery service for purchases made online. The move comes just days after Walmart debuted a same-day delivery pilot program in some U.S. cities. Amazon also offers same-day delivery to select metropolitan areas.

Dubbed Metro Post, the new USPS test service will launch “on or around” November 12, exclusively in San Francisco, according to a filing with the Postal Regulatory Commission (PDF). At the outset, USPS will limit the number of same-day deliveries to 200 packages per day, but may change that limit “after the Postal Service has been able to further test its operational capabilities.”

The test period for Metro Post is currently scheduled to last one full year, “unless the Postal Service decides to request an extension for an additional year, establish Metro Post as a permanent product on a quicker timeline, or terminate the test early,” the filing reads.

In order for a retailer to qualify for the Metro Post service, it must have at least 10 physical stores within the U.S., and one within a service area. Customers will be able to take advantage of Metro Post by making purchases through certain e-commerce websites, directly through the website of a participating retailer, or at a store’s physical location. Only orders made before 2 p.m. local time will qualify for same-day delivery, which will take place that evening.

At the moment, the cost of Metro Post service remains a secret — the details are literally blacked out in the filing document.

Walmart’s same-day delivery option is currently available in the areas surrounding Washington D.C., Philadelphia, and Minneapolis, and is expected to expand to the San Jose and San Francisco areas next month. Walmart charges a $10 flat fee for all same-day deliveries.

Amazon currently offers same-day delivery to Baltimore, Boston, Chicago, Indianapolis, Las Vegas, New York City metro area, Philadelphia, Phoenix, Seattle, and Washington D.C. The cost of getting Amazon-purchased products the same day is roughly $4 for Amazon Prime members, or anyone who pays with an Amazon gift card. All other customers must pay about $9 for same-day service.

While all of this sounds good to the consumer inside us, some argue that same-day delivery service from major retailers could spell doom for local businesses whose only trump card over cheaper online retailers is their ability to provide instant satisfaction. However, it would appear as though the Postal Service’s requirement that participating retailers have physical locations within a service area is an attempt to stifle the blow.

That said, the USPS has problems of its own. The federal agency is estimated to have lost $15 billion so far this year, reports Bloomberg, and is currently working to cut $20 billion in operating costs through 2015.

Whether the launch of Metro Post can bandage the wound remains to be seen — but quicker service certainly can’t hurt.


Sign In with Apple sticks it to Google and Facebook, for the good of everyone

Apple wants you to use its new Sign In with Apple service, which promises to free you from password hell, without selling your soul to the advertising devil. Is it worth using when it launches this year?

Looking for free public domain images? Here are the best websites to find them

Wouldn't it be wonderful to freely download and use an image from the web without the looming fear of prosecution? Of course! That's why we've put together a list of the best places to download free public domain images.
Movies & TV

Save a few bucks with the best free feature-length movies on YouTube

Bank account emptier than you thought? Check out our curated list of the best full-length movies on YouTube to find flicks that are free, legally uploaded, and actually worth watching.

NSA warns about Windows exploit, ignores its own role in creation of malware

In a rare occurrence, the National Security Agency has published a statement urging people to update their Windows systems to protect against the BlueKeep vulnerability, a recently-detailed wormable exploit affecting Windows 7 and earlier.

Maker Media, the company behind MAKE magazine and Maker Faire events, shuts down

Sad news for DIY enthusiasts: Maker Media, the company which runs the Maker Faire events and which produces the magazine MAKE, is shutting down. The company has laid off all its staff and is ceasing operations.

Paid browsers are the future, and Firefox might offer a better deal than Chrome

Just like Google, Mozilla is planning on offering premium web-browsing services. Unlike Google, however, it seems like Mozilla might have a better strategy for encouraging users to subscribe to its future premium plans.

Opera GX is a browser for gamers, but the actual gaming is still to come

Every company seems to have a product line or two aimed squarely at gamers, so why not browsers too? Opera has a new branch of its main browser called Opera GX and it's designed specifically with gamers in mind.

Amazon Prime Day 2019 will likely be on July 15, according to leaked email

It looks like we now have an idea of when Amazon Prime Day 2019 will be, thanks to a leaked email that was sent out to promote a vacuum cleaner deal for Prime Day. According to the email, the massive shopping event will take place on July…
Social Media

Here's how to unblock someone on Facebook when you've had a change of heart

Maybe you were a little too hasty blocking that one person on Facebook ... or maybe you just want to do a little spying to see what they're up to. Either way, you can fix the situation easily. Here's how to unblock someone on Facebook.

The best free music download sites that are totally legal

Finding music that is both free and legal to download can be difficult. We've hand-picked a selection of the best free music download sites for you to legally download your next favorite album.

Dropbox’s all-new desktop app wants to be your one and only workspace

Dropbox has unveiled its most significant update yet as it continues to move away from its original core service as a place to store files in the cloud, toward a virtual workspace solution that offers all services in-app.
Social Media

Here's how to link your Instagram, Facebook accounts for social syncing

Instagram and Facebook go hand in hand. Here's how you can make the most of the superior integration offered by the two social media behemoths, which should help your pics gain more exposure in the long run.

For $5,000, Airbnb will take you around the world in 80 days. Airfare included

Airbnb's new Adventures allow travelers can book a mix of accommodations, food, and experiences in what Airbnb calls "bucket list" worthy trips, including a round-the-world trip for just $5,000
Home Theater

Netflix can drain your data in a hurry. Here's how to turn it down a notch

Ever wondered how much data you need to stream a show (or movie) on Netflix? You aren't alone. The answer could be anywhere from 1GB per hour to 7GB per hour, but there's more to it than that. Here's how to control your Netflix data.