What I Miss Most About the Post Office: How My E-commerce Business Got Shipping-Savvy

 By Adam Sheridan, Owner of The Purple Store

I miss Seattle’s Ballard Post Office. It might just be the friendliest place on Earth. Arrive with an armful of packages and people will hold the door for you. I’m not kidding – people will jump out of their way to hold the door for you.

And then we found Endicia. No more chatting with friendly neighbors as you wait in line. I don’t hear that Roy is shipping coffee to his daughter studying for college finals or that Eleanor is sending socks to her mom who always loses them.

Then again, we’re no longer making multiple trips to the post office, car bursting with The Purple Store’s orders.

I guess I can’t really complain.

We launched The Purple Store in 2004, selling everything purple for those who like the color (you have more friends who like purple than you might think). We committed to saying yes to our customers as often as possible; this means shipping internationally, while other online stores say no. Endicia makes the customs forms so easy that even new staff members can figure out how to ship international packages quickly. Plus, the developer for the Mac version writes back to us when we request new features, and he actually adds them.

Purple housewares and other knickknacks sold by the e-commerce business, The Purple Store

I don’t miss all those hours driving to the post office. We get to use that time to check in with our customers and listen to them rave about their new purple dress shirt, colander or chaise lounge.

I do, however, miss Ballard Station and hearing about Roy’s daughter and Eleanor’s mom. Once in a while I still drop off a rush package personally at USPS. Even though our packages are ready to go, maybe next time I’ll wait in line, just to catch up.

Adam Sheridan owns The Purple Store. He’s a writer, musician, launched an arts non-profit, and worked as an environmental and management consultant at Booz Allen Hamilton.

For more inspiring stories, check out our online business success stories page.

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