Between the holiday retail sales, Black Friday frenzy and a dutiful list to checkoff, purchasing presents can be the easy part of the holidays, but what about shipping those presents? Goin’ Postal takes the hassle out of shipping and helps reduce that stress, whether during the holidays or any time of the year.
Goin’ Postal, in Martinsburg, has been a shipping option for residents since 2007, however new management has led to significant changes to the business, all aimed at making shipping easier and faster for customers. Jason Barrett took over ownership of Goin’ Postal in June 2016 and has been working toward making the business more customer service based and a true community partner.
“It was something that was new to me. It’s not a business I’ve been involved with before, the shipping business, but I’m always up for a new challenge. And it certainly was in the very beginning,” Barrett said. “When I first bought the business I let it run for about 60 days or so because it was so new to me. I just wanted to see how things operated first.”
After the initial 60 days, however, the changes came fast. Barrett first decided to reduce the charges and pricing for shipping items in order to make the business more competitive. Additional changes included increasing the benefits and awareness of Goin’ Postal’s mail boxes available for rent by residents and businesses. Since the mail boxes have a physical address, residents or businesses renting a box can receive packages from FedEx, UPS and DHL – an international shipping service. Barrett lowered the rate of the mail boxes to match the price of postal boxes at the United States Postal Office as well as offers three free months rent with the purchase of a box for a year.
Barrett and the store’s staff have also worked toward making the store more of a community-based business by becoming involved with local philanthropic groups both during the holiday season and year-round.
“We are a drop off site for the Berkeley County Humane Society and a drop off site for Toys for Tots during the holidays. We do Cell Phones for Soliders, and we’re a drop off location for the Berkeley County BackPack Program. We also do pet photos with Santa in December. That has been an annual event since Goin’ Postal opened in 2007,” said Sherry Presley, manager for Goin’ Postal.
One of Barrett’s most significant changes though was not in policy or pricing but in personnel. After those initial 60 days, Barrett learned of the positive impact former employee Sherry had had on customers and the store with her caring and professional nature.
Sherry had been an employee with Goin’ Postal from 2009 to 2015, and Barrett knew her presence would be a welcome sight for customers. Fortunately, Sherry agreed and was brought back as a manager in December 2016.
Since coming back, Sherry said she and the staff have been dedicated to doing their best and serving customers as professionally and personally as possible. “The one thing that we do here, my staff and I greet everyone at the door. We really excel at customer service. We make sure to tell them to have a great day, and we answer all their questions. We handle everything very professionally. We offer complimentary coffee, and we do offer coupons and discount cards. We also have a frequent rewards card that we offer to customers that help them to keep coming back. Most importantly, we try and treat everyone like family,” Sherry said.
Being professional, efficient and personal are all goals Barrett wanted Goin’ Postal to achieve after he became owner and something the business could be known for. “One of the things that I really wanted to focus on when I took over was to be customer-friendly and really get folks in, get them taken care of, and then get them out the door because people’s lives are certainly busy, and they don’t have time to stand in line,” he said.
“Shipping is a service that everyone uses almost every day. Berkeley County now has a population around 120,000, and there are very few shipping locations. So, when you come here, you can find what service is best to ship your package, whether FedEx or the post office as opposed to going to one place and only having one option for shipping. We’re able to tailor the service around what the customer needs,” he said.
And those changes have paid off. Since Barrett took over ownership of Goin’ Postal, sales have increased by more than 50 percent a month. That increase in customers and business is never more evident than during the winter holiday season, when the store is already typically two or three times higher than a normal month.
One reason for that increased volume is, besides shipping services, Goin’ Postal also offers gift wrapping services. It is not unusual for someone to stop by the store directly after shopping to have their gifts wrapped and shipped, Barrett said.
Like gift wrapping, the store also has several services it provides beyond shipping to be a one-stop-shop for the community, including faxing, printing business cards and custom banners, document shredding, greeting cards, postcards, custom ink stamps and having a notary on staff Monday through Friday.
The store also offers local businesses the option of creating an account that will allow the business to be billed monthly for any shipping or services used during the month rather than paying at each trip in an effort to save the business time and enhance efficiency.
“We have a lot of business customers that will set up an account and then come in and ship things, and we just bill them every month. It’s a convenient way for them to operate because, for business owners, time is money, and they don’t have time to stand in line at the post office for an hour,” he said.
Goin’ Postal is located at 80 Retail Commons Parkway, Suite 3, in The Commons shopping plaza in Martinsburg. The store is open from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday and 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturdays. Goin’ Postal can be reached at 304-267-6600, via email at firstname.lastname@example.org, at goinpostal.com, or through its Facebook page, “Goin’ Postal Martinsburg WV.”