Leather mini tote bag | Crazy horse mini tote by KMM & Co.

As you've probably heard, packages delivered by the United States Postal Service are getting slowed down by big changes at the postal service. That includes packages that KMM & Co. sends from our studio in Atlanta.

The whole KMM & Co. team is in the studio (and following CDC guidelines on COVID-19). We're doing everything we can to get packages on their way quickly – handing them over to the USPS the same day they're shipped, paying extra for Priority Mail instead of a slower method like First Class – and we're tracking shipping delays so that we know exactly what's happening with our packages.

We're keeping this blog post updated on what we know so far and what you can expect when you place an order with us (or with any other small business that depends on the USPS to get orders to your door!).

Will my package be delayed?

The USPS is experiencing delays almost everywhere right now. Our mail carrier has told us that many post offices are still behind thanks to the huge quantities of mail shipped over the holidays. We always ship totes by Priority Mail, which is *supposed* to take about three business days to arrive. But some packages are taking a lot longer than that. They seem to be sitting at USPS facilities longer, or sometimes remaining "in transit" between facilities for a longer period of time than usual.

The good news is that you can always reach out to us (hello@kmmco.com) if you have questions about your order or shipment.  The bad news is that the only information we have on the location or delivery date for a specific package is the same tracking information that you're probably watching (and, if you're like us, checking multiple times a day)!

All of our totes and accessories are handmade and made to order. Typically, the waiting is almost over once your items are made and your order is shipped. We're not happy that the USPS is adding more waiting to that timeline, testing everybody's patience, and we don't take that lightly.

Why don't you switch to UPS or Fed-Ex?

KMM & Co. is sticking with the USPS right now for one big reason: It's the only carrier with prices that enable us to offer free shipping to our customers. We all love free shipping and free returns when we're shopping online. And we don't want to take that option away from you unless we absolutely have to.

Switching to an alternative like UPS or Fed-Ex would significantly increase the cost of shipping each tote bag. Depending on where you're located in the U.S., and how far you are from Atlanta, the price we would have to pay to ship a package to you could double or even triple. 

If we switch to UPS or Fed-Ex and our shipping costs increase dramatically, then we likely wouldn't be able to offer free shipping anymore. That's not an ideal situation for anybody. Because of pricing, the USPS is still the best option for us and for many other small American businesses. But we're watching the situation and will re-evaluate other carriers if or when that becomes necessary.

How quickly will my shipment get to the post office?

Unlike many other brands, KMM & Co. only prints a shipping label when your entire order is done and ready to go. We print the label and box up your order right away. Similarly, there's not a delay between packing up your order and getting it to the post office. 

All packages are picked up by the USPS or taken to the post office by KMM & Co. staff within a day of being packed. (Our mail carrier picks up our packages in the morning, and we make a post office run in the afternoon!) Unfortunately we have no control over how quickly the post office scans and processes the package. But we do everything within our power to get each package to the post office very quickly.

Why can't you tell me where my package is?

Like any other business, we have no control over a package once we hand it over to the carrier. It sounds obvious, because we all know that's how it works! But it means that we're just as disappointed about a delay as you are. And we're also just watching the tracking status, waiting for it to get moving.

We don't have any way to make the postal service move faster, and there's not a secret phone number we can call to find out information that's not on the tracking page. (Believe us, we've tried just about everything!)

Here's the reality: USPS handles about half of the world's mail and delivers more packages in 16 days than UPS and FedEx combined deliver in a year. That means that the vast majority of small businesses ship their online orders via USPS, and KMM & Co. isn't the only small business that's having this frustrating problem.

What if I don't want to deal with the USPS?

There's a short answer and a long answer to this question. The short answer is that KMM & Co. is currently only shipping packages with the U.S. Postal Service, primarily because of the costs that we talked a little bit about above. We aren't able to ship via a different carrier right now.

The longer answer is this: The majority of small and medium-sized businesses in this country rely on the postal service to deliver customers' orders to them. If you really want to avoid the postal service, you'll have to make a choice about how important (or unimportant) it is to you to support small businesses. 

Shopping small isn't for everybody, especially when something like widespread USPS delays gets thrown into the equation. If you really want to avoid the postal service and want to be sure that you won't run into USPS delays, then you might want to stick with big retailers like Amazon, which has its own delivery service in addition to contracts with the USPS, UPS, Fed-Ex, etc.

Please get in touch at hello@kmmco.com if you have questions or suggestions! We're all back in the studio and are always happy to hear from you, even if there's not much we can do except clicking "refresh" over and over on the tracking page for your package. Misery loves company, right?

July 30, 2020 — Jess Bolluyt