Cover Story

USPS Offers Holiday Greeting Cards in 2,000 Offices and Holiday Gift Cards in 5,000 Offices

Image of Holiday Greeting Cards

“One Stop Shopping” convenience: Customers can do all of their holiday shopping in one location, just by pur­chasing greeting cards, gift cards, and stamps and then mailing them while at the Post Office™. Holiday cards are available for purchase in the 2,000 offices that also carry all-occasion greeting cards such as birthday and get-well cards. Holiday cards are available in a selection of styles and sentiments to meet customer sending needs, and range in price from $2.50 to $3.75. The assortment of holi­day cards includes general holiday wishes, humor, close relationship, and love.

In addition, cards for sending holiday gifts are available in Post Offices for the first time. The holiday gift card hold­ers look just like holiday cards, but have the added benefit of containing slots to hold a gift card. This allows custom­ers to both send their holiday wishes and a gift in one con­venient card.

Holiday stationery is a new product for this holiday sea­son. Stationery can be used for personal letters to include in cards, or even for letters to Santa.

Image of American Express Holiday Gift Cards

Gift cards take the guesswork out of gift giving. Ameri­can Express gift cards are now available for purchase at almost 5,000 select Post Offices for $25, $50, or any even dollar amount between $25 and $100. The price of a gift card includes the face value of the card plus a one-time standard industry purchase charge. Funds do not expire and there are no monthly fees. This year’s holiday theme, “Sending Warmest Wishes”, will include American Express blue and silver holiday cards and two unique designs fea­turing the Postal Service’s Holiday Baubles stamp art.

During the holiday season, there is a dramatic increase in the sale of gift cards industrywide. It is imperative to maintain the excellent customer service the Postal Service provides to customers every day by successfully activating a gift card. For this reason, during the sale of a gift card, the card must never be handed to the customer until the card is successfully activated.

For each gift card transaction, retail associates must carefully read the messages displayed on the POS ONE terminal. The messages will clearly state whether or not the card was successfully activated. A blue confirmation mes­sage will be displayed on the terminal for each successfully activated gift card, and a gift card “gift” receipt (an extra receipt) will print. A red error message will be displayed for the cards that failed to activate, and the gift card “gift” receipt will not print.

At the end of the visit, the regular customer visit receipt will always print listing all items included in the transaction. On this receipt, the word “Activated” will only appear under the serial numbers of activated gift cards. If an activation error occurs after the visit ends, the retail associate must proceed to clerk services to void the gift card via the <Void Gift Card> workflow and return the money to the customer.

Surveys show that most consumers plan to send or receive at least one gift card during the holiday season. This is a great opportunity to generate new revenue and enhance the customer experience by offering our custom­ers a convenient way to purchase and mail gift cards — all at their local Post Office.