I’m a rather young individual, and the lowest price that I can remember for stamps is 29 cents. In just over a decade, the price of stamps has increased nearly 25%. The price of postage appears to be ready for its next increase. In February, the Independent Postal Regulatory Commission recommended that the price of stamps increase to 41 cents. Last week the post office governing board agreed with the IPRC’s recommendation and starting in May, the price of stamps will be increasing once again.
Another much less discussed topic that was also approved by the Post Office governing board was a change in price for over-weight mail. Letters that weigh less than one ounce will cost 41 cents, however each additional ounce will only cost 17 cents, down from 24 cents which it currently is. This means that the price of a two ounce letter will actually decease by 5 cents.
Perhaps the most interesting decision coming out of the meeting was the approval of forever stamps. They are stamps that have no face value on them, however they will always be good to mail a letter.
The reasoning for this if that you buy a bunch of 39 cent stamps and the price goes up to 41 cents, you’ll have to buy a bunch of 2 cent stamps that the post office has to produce. Most of the time it’s not really worth it to produce these two cent stamps and they don’t make up that money after producing them, shipping them, and selling them to customers.
This way when you buy a forever stamp, it will always work in the mail, even if the price of postage increases. When the price of postage increases, the cost of a forever stamp will increase to the going rate.
This creates a unique situation for people before the price of stamps increases. We could choose to buy a lot of postage in forever stamps now, and then use them for a long time to come, paying far less than the going market rate for new stamps. You’ll only save 5% compared to the 41 cent price now, but it’s better than paying full price! If you use a lot of postage say for a business, this is definitely worth considering.
If you’re a typical person who just pays their bills and occasionally sends out a letter, you don’t pay enough in postage for it to really matter which price you pay.
A huge thank you to Matt @ GettingGreen for writing a guest post while I struggle with getting my internet back up.