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USPS Price Hike – Stamps to 42 Cents

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Looks like it’s about time to start buying those Forever Stamps now! The United States Post Office announced today that they’ve decided to current stamp price by a penny to forty-two cents, effective May 12th. Less than a year ago the USPS increased the price of a first class postage stamp by two cents to the price of 41 cents, all within its newly granted rights of being able to increase it within the rate of inflation.

With inflation at 2.9% last year, the USPS was allowed to increase the price of a stamp by a penny without any oversight as long as they give 45 days notice (they plan on giving 90 days). I don’t know why anyone (or even businesses) would need 90 days to react to a price hike but I guess that’s considerate of them.

Here are other notable increases (or unchanges):

  • Each additional ounce of a letter will remain an extra 17 cents (no change).
  • Cost to mail a postcard increases to 27 cents (+1 cent).
  • Large envelope of up to two ounces will now cost $1 (+3 cents).
  • Money orders up to $500 will remain $1.05 (no change).
  • Certified mail will now cost $2.70 (+5 cents).

If you haven’t picked up a few of those Forever Stamps, now’s a good time to buy some. I hardly mail any letters nowadays, mostly cards, and I probably won’t be getting any of Forever Stamps myself (too many leftover stamps from the wedding invitations and RSVP cards). I think that the USPS needs to rethink its strategy if it really wants to remain competitive in the shipping game. However, based on the behavior and performance of the staff at most post offices I visit, it’s clear that competitiveness is hardly a concern (government subsidies don’t hurt either!). :)

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10 Responses to “USPS Price Hike – Stamps to 42 Cents”

  1. Rob Carlson says:

    I did a thorough office cleaning last year and came up with dozens of wax paper strips and perforated stamps of various denominations from 21¢ to 37¢ that I lost or stopped using after the rates went up. I went to the post office and bought two sheets of 20 2¢ stamps to mix and match with them.

    One nice benefit of having all those random numbers is that I can almost always get exact postage without leaving the house. Even on large, bulky, and heavier envelopes by mixing 2¢, 24¢, 35¢ and 37¢ stamps together I can match whatever my little office scale and the USPS website say.

  2. Think yourself lucky. Here in overpriced UK they currently cost 34p+, depending on weight, equivalent to about 63 cents in US money.

  3. rocketc says:

    I just love the passion, drive, creativity and innovation of the government worker.

  4. Lord says:

    The subsidy actually runs in reverse. Your stamps go towards paying off some of the pension liabilities of government.

  5. RacerX says:

    The real issue is us…Thats right the emailing, direct depositing, wire-transfering, ebilling public!

    The volume of mail is much less then when it was at its peak. I thionk of my self and twice a month I would have a big stack of bills to send out.Not I probably mail 3-4 checks a month!

    It is actually the catlog and third class mailers that are going to get whacked…again!

  6. JIK says:

    Here’s an excerpt from a USPS announcement:

    “A First-Class Mail stamp will be 42¢. Customers can continue to use the Forever Stamps that they purchased prior to May 12 at 41¢, even after the price change. We will have 5 billion Forever Stamps in stock to meet increased demand before the price change.”

    Note the number of Forever Stamps they’re stocking up on. Five BILLION. With a “B.”

    At 42 cents a pop, that’s a windfall of $2.1 BILLION. All at once, into the coffers of the Postal Service.

    No real reason for people to buy that many stamps right now…except for the existence of the Forever Stamp and the convenient little 1-cent increase so soon after the hike from 39 to 41. Who’s going to complain about one more penny, right?

    The timing of all this seems just way too convenient.

  7. Richard Throop says:

    I think the cost of a stamp should be $1.00 each. How does the postal service operate? Answer: GASOLINE !! The use gas to ship your letter by plane, truck, boat, etc. The price of gasoline has gone up over 1 dollar in the past year, but people want to complain that the cost of a stamp rises 1 penny? Give me a break people………who are are you going to pay 42 cents to take something from LA to NY for you? Try fedex or ups and you will pay over 10 bucks easy. The cost of a stamp is easily the beat deal out there !

  8. Mary Beal says:

    I have some stamps with an American Flag, tan background and no price on them. What is their worth?

  9. Richard Throop says:

    41 cents

  10. G says:

    I agree with Richard Throop.

    “who are are you going to pay 42 cents to take something from LA to NY for you?”

    ;)


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