Dear “Guy in
I’ve lost too many jobs to you this year. Jobs I should have won. And I am pissed.
I won’t quibble about your printing prices. Maybe you ARE a little bit cheaper than I am.
I can’t argue about your list rental fees. We’re both getting our list from the same places, so we’re paying the same thing. Maybe I’m marking it up too much.
But all these jobs were local jobs to me. I should have won them. After all, they required local postage to be included in their costs. And you are beating me over and over again.
“Sorry” I heard way too many times this Spring. “There’s some guy in
One third my cost??? It couldn’t be! It just didn’t make sense. I can’t be that far off.
One job I lost to you had postage alone of $900; yet you said you’d do the entire mailing for $700. Another had postage of $3000; you said you’d do the entire project for $2100.
The end users wouldn’t listen to me. They went with you, the low bidder.
OK, Guy in
It isn’t right. It isn’t ethical. And it isn’t legal.
It’s dishonest, disingenuous, and damaging our entire industry.
I feel your pain, Guy in
Here’s what I finally figured out last week:
Last week we were both bidding on a 100,000-piece job that would bill for $18,200. Most of the money—$13,900 of it, in fact—was local
“Sorry,” the familiar plaint started. “Some guy in
“Sorry,” the erstwhile client came back lamely.
“Think about it” I demanded. “He’s willing to do the job—the list rental, printing, mailing AND postage—for less than the cost of the postage? It doesn’t make sense!”
She was silent, soaking in the implications.
My gears were spinning furiously. You—my own Moriarity, the unnamed Guy in
My anger at this repeated injustice spilled forth. Like a flash, the nefarious brilliance of your plan swept over me. It was truly genius. But it was also evil to the core. Moriarity indeed.
“There is no way that he is going to mail 100,000 pieces for you for $9300. It will cost him $13,900 in postage alone! He may swear he’ll mail 100,000 pieces for $9300. He even show you a doctored drop slip to ‘prove’ his point after the fact. But he is LYING to you!
“He probably intends to mail half the job, but tell you he’s mailing all of it.
“And when you don’t get the response you were expecting, he’ll tell you that the problem was with your art. He’ll blame YOU! You’ll be victimized twice by this guy!”
This had to be what you are doing. Over and over again. It was déjà vu at its very worst.
No wonder no ethical mailshop can beat you—you’re undercutting the postage which is the single most expensive line item on a mailing project. Since you come in with a quote at 75% of the postage cost, no one can beat you. Ever.
It’s genius. You probably close nearly 100% of your quotes, don’t you? But it’s patently unethical. And most certainly illegal. Doctoring postal drop slips is mail fraud. And that’s messing with Uncle Sam.
After all these people had one thing in common: They had never mailed before. They didn’t know postal rules or rates. And they were convinced that “the best price wins the job.” That’s Econ 101 logic, right?
It’s a hell of a “business model,” Guy in
But your victims don’t stop with the mailing naifs you are targeting.
You’re also victimizing ethical, legitimate mailing services like my own…and like the dozens of others you have probably bilked out of honestly won jobs in the last year.
That makes me furious. Our industry is already reeling because of a bad economy, crooks in Nigeria who are successfully scamming us into taking stolen credit cards for payment, and now we have you to contend with, our own home-grown Florida Bad Guy.
The barbarians are at the gates.
But back to the lady I had on the phone.
“He’s lying.” I said one more time. “If you don’t believe me, call the Post Office’s Department of Mailing Rates and Requirements. Here’s their number…..”
Call it a day, Guy in
What you’re doing now will land you in jail sooner or later.