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USPS is a service and is essential: ScanMyPhotos.com CEO

ScanMyPhotos.com CEO Mitch Goldstone joins Yahoo Finance’s Kristin Myers to discuss his open letter to the USPS as it struggles to stay afloat amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Video Transcript

KRISTIN MYERS: Welcome back to Yahoo Finance. I want to chat now about the US Postal Service, because many say that the USPS is under attack, as Trump ally and Postmaster General Louis DeJoy has pushed through restructuring and policies that have caused delays in mail deliveries and states-- as states rush to mail ballots to voters. And we have one CEO that says that voting isn't going to be the only thing impacted, but that businesses also will be.

So joining us now is Mitch Goldstone, CEO of the company ScanMyPhotos.com. So Mitch, you wrote an open letter to the president criticizing what you described as intentional delays at the post office. Wondering if you can talk us through how some of those delays have been impacting your business?

MITCH GOLDSTONE: Sure, Kristin. You know, this has been such a tough, tough year. We have 163,000 people who died. Their families are trying to prepare memorial services, have all their photos scanned. And the last thing they need are these delays, whether it's my business or the millions of other businesses. So for my company, people are trying to get back to normalcy and revisit the nostalgia.

Problem, though, are the delays that are just devastating. If you imagine families who just lost someone, they need all of their lifetime of pictures digitized. And then it's delayed. We have measures on our side to speed it up with instant uploading, but it's-- it's been devastating. It's been so emotional hearing all the phone calls from people as well.

KRISTIN MYERS: And so for those that don't know how the business works, essentially, if I have, you know, photos, actual photographs, I can ship them to you, which is where USPS can come in. You scan them. You can send the photos back to me. And then, of course, I would have those digital copies of those photos.

So I have to ask, with these delays, as anyone can imagine, delays in shipping is not great for anyone that needs their photos to be scanned quickly or to get to you quickly to be scanned. So is it possible for you to use FedEx, UPS? I know that those options are more expensive, but is that a feasible or financial option available to you?

MITCH GOLDSTONE: Well, I've been in business for-- we've been here for 30 years now and faced lot of obstacles, from the transition from film to digital, 9/11, people stopped traveling, taking pictures. But the reason for our business success is loyalty. And when we have a partner like the US Postal Service, you can't break up, because they're the reason that we have this company.

And the other services, much more expensive. But it's a lot to do with-- with the loyalty. I have to say, the US Postal Service is named service, not business, just like fire and police are not a business. They're a service too, and it's a critical public service. It's constitutionally mandated.

And with so many people, it's essential that we trust and use them. Our customers love them. We've never had a problem with the 600 million pictures that we've digitized. So it goes back to trust, and that's why we're here now advocating on behalf of all the millions of businesses to stop these delays. They've been devastating.

And it's much more of a political game that-- you know, I have to say, if you imagine it's 2012, President Obama hires someone who's the postmaster general with no experience that has investments in the competition, UPS and a very large trucking company. And then this person donated $100-- was it, $1.2 million to his campaign, there'd be so much noise about it. But that's the case with Postmaster General DeJoy, and people are just not paying attention that the--

KRISTIN MYERS: Right.

MITCH GOLDSTONE: -person in charge has no experience.

KRISTIN MYERS: Right. I know a lot of people are charging that the moves here have been political. But I mean, you are a businessman, so I kind of do want to try to look at this from the other side. I mean, they lost over $2 billion in just one quarter.

I mean, at some point, doesn't something has to give? I mean, if your company started hemorrhaging money, wouldn't you also be considering some of the moves that DeJoy is making, from layoffs to reorganizing or restructuring the company? I know you said it's a service. It's not a business. But it's continuing to lose money.

MITCH GOLDSTONE: It is. They've also had a 50% increase in shipping and package-- packaging in the last quarter. And although they've lost money, the decline has been, I think it was $2.2 billion compared to $4.5. That's-- that's a lot of money, anyway.

But it's more important, it's about what it does, what it provides. It-- it, unlike ScanMyPhotos, is-- is a service that is essential, and that's part of what has always happened with it. And they have created all types of innovations.

Unfortunately, CES in January has been canceled. Been going there for 30 years, and the post office had a huge presence at CES, where each year they introduced all types of new innovations. One of them that we use is the Flat Rate Priority Mailbox, where people store up-- put in up to 2,000 photos into the box, and it ships. It's about $13, super economical. When President Trump says they should raise the prices, companies like us would be out of business.

KRISTIN MYERS: Right.

MITCH GOLDSTONE: And you can't do business if it's exponentially two, three, four times the cost of it.

KRISTIN MYERS: Right. Well, we'll obviously have to keep watching. And hopefully your business will be able to make it through this incredibly difficult time. Mitch Goldstone, CEO of ScanMyPhotos.com. Thanks for joining us.

MITCH GOLDSTONE: My pleasure.