Savings Opportunity for the United States Mint's Promotional Mailings

T-GGD-90-34: Published: Apr 18, 1990. Publicly Released: Apr 18, 1990.

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J. William Gadsby
(202) 512-8387


Office of Public Affairs
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GAO discussed the U.S. Mint's opportunities for reducing the costs of its numismatic sales promotional mailings. GAO noted that the Mint: (1) had about 2.8 million individuals on its numismatic sales promotions mailing list; (2) supplemented that mailing list with other lists targeted at audiences expected to be interested in the theme of a particular promotion; (3) spent $6.7 million in postage costs for its fiscal year 1988 numismatic program promotions; (4) improved some of its postal operations and decreased some postal costs by installing computer software to standardize addresses and by presorting promotional mailings; (5) sent its mailings by first-class mail, although it could save about $2.4 million annually by using third-class mail for its routine mailings; and (6) expressed such concerns over third-class mail as nondelivery of mail, forwarding charges, image, and timeliness of delivery. GAO also noted that: (1) a U.S. Postal Service (USPS) study yielded a large body of evidence that countered the Mint's concerns about using third-class mail; (2) use of third-class mail could further reduce promotional costs by increasing the potential for combining mailings without incurring additional weight surcharges; and (3) USPS proposed rate increases for first-class mail for 1991.

Recommendation for Executive Action

  1. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: The Mint has tested and now uses third-class mailings on a selected basis. Savings have been minor, but the Mint continues to use third class when appropriate.

    Recommendation: The Mint should budget for and use third-class mail for its promotional mailings.

    Agency Affected: Department of the Treasury: Center for Applied Financial Management


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