How Much is a Stamp Worth?

Not the Post Office!
Why not offer pre-postaged tax return and payment envelopes to your clients?

If your answer is “It’s too expensive and takes extra processing,” maybe it’s time to reevaluate the actual value of that stamp.

I recently had the occasion to be a tax preparation client. As a client, my first impression of the return package was favorable – it was nicely packaged and well presented – then I pulled out the return mailing envelope and that impression was gone.

No postage, no address, nothing. Now, mailing this return just became one more aggravation as a trip to the Post Office loomed. It left me with a negative feeling about the return and, by extension, the service provider.

The preparation price was fair at close to a thousand dollars. A few dollars more to cover postage and additional processing wouldn’t have mattered and would have made a much better impression.

I know, you’re thinking it costs too much and then there’s the extra processing to determine postage for each return. Try this to streamline and implement the process.

  • Determine how much postage returns need based on the number of pages and set up a standard chart for processors to use.
  • Add an amount to cover the actual postage plus overhead when you increase fees (you do increase your fees periodically, right? We’ll talk more about that later.) Don’t forget the postage for the return payment envelopes as well.
  • Either scale the increase based on the billing with more being added to more expensive returns based on the premise that they cost more to mail or take an average and add it across all returns.

The value of that postage is much more than a few stamps. To your client, it’s exceptional service that few others offer and to you it’s an impression on your client you couldn’t buy for many times that amount. As for that return I had to mail, it’s a good thing I wasn’t the one who had to mail the check.

Have you done or are planning something similar? Share your thoughts!

Image:Creative Commons

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