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View Full Version : Be prepared for another stamp price increase



savafan
02-27-2007, 08:42 PM
http://money.cnn.com/2007/02/26/news/postage_increase/index.htm?eref=rss_topstories

NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) -- Americans may want to start bracing for another postage increase.

The Postal Regulatory Commission, an independent advising agency to the U.S. Postal Service (USPS), recommended a 2-cent increase on postage for first-class letters and postcards, the agency said Monday.

The increase, which would bring the price to mail a letter first class to 41 cents and 26 cents for a postcard, was less than the 3-cent increase the USPS originally proposed last May.

The panel also backed the USPS' proposal to offer a "Forever Stamp", a stamp that would continue to cover the cost to mail a first-class, one-ounce letter even if the Postal Service instituted another rate hike.

Besides allowing consumers to hedge against future rate increases, the "Forever Stamp" would help eliminate the need to purchase 2-cent stamps and also help shrink lines at the post office, the Postal Regulatory Commission said.

"Adoption of this proposal is good for the Postal Service, postal customers and our postal system," Dan G. Blair, commission chairman, said in a prepared statement.

The earliest that consumers could see a rate increase for stamps would be in May, as the recommended rate increase and "Forever Stamp" still faces approval by the USPS' board members.

If the rate increase is approved, it would be the third time in five years that the Post Office has raised the price of a first-class stamp.

The proposed rate increase however goes beyond letters and postcards. The Postal Regulatory Commission also backed an increase in the price for packages and services like delivery confirmation, in addition to rates they charge non-profits and publishers of periodicals.

KronoRed
02-27-2007, 08:50 PM
I said it the last 3 price increases, just go to 50 cents and be done with it.

Reds4Life
02-27-2007, 08:52 PM
What else is new. I'm in the process of switching all my payments over to electronic with internet banking, price of postage goes up every 6 months.

GAC
02-27-2007, 08:53 PM
I said it the last 3 price increases, just go to 50 cents and be done with it.

Lets get to 50 cents incrementally. I have no problem with a two cent increase. If the government still fully ran the post office, and didn't allow it to go semi-private, it would have been 50 cents 10 years ago. :mooner:

vaticanplum
02-27-2007, 09:11 PM
I though the big story here was that little bit mentioned in the article, that the 41 cent price will remain eternally for a certain weight letter. I'm all for that.

RedFanAlways1966
02-27-2007, 09:34 PM
Not really that concerned. I still mail all my bills (old fashioned type, I guess). I look at a lot of items and what I (and possibly you) pay and think $0.41 is not that bad. Some are old enough to remember the $0.05 Hershey bar. Others have heard the saying "remember when a Hershey bar cost $0.05?" What is a Hershey bar these days... about $0.70? How about a can or bottle of soda... about $1.00 or so? Anyone here go for that "fancy" Starbucks brew (I don't)... what is the price?

Approximately a 5% increase and the first in 5 years. Do you have the same job you had five years ago? Do you make at least 5% more than you did 5 years ago? A 1% increase per year makes your yearly increase (7% per year for this Time Warner user) for your cable TV seem ridiculous.

Price increases are never liked by consumers. But this increase is not bad when compared to other things that we "enjoy". Perhaps b/c we do not "enjoy" sending mail it makes it easier to complain. But when put in perspective it is not that bad. And as R4L stated, we do have alternative methods. A better alternative than switching from Pepsi or Coke to Big K soda!

remdog
02-27-2007, 09:42 PM
I pay most everything electronically and I rarely send letters. I, litterally, still have remainders of stamps from before the last price hike plus the ones I had to go to the Post Office to buy in order to cover that increase. :laugh:

Rem

GAC
02-27-2007, 09:55 PM
"Stamps? We don't need no steenkin' stamps!"

I do a lot of internet banking transactions. I've been hooked for years. I even enrolled in a program with my employer's Credit Union, called a bill payment plan, where they deduct monies, on a weekly basis, and place them in various marked escrow accounts. They then send the bills out at the prescribed monthly dates. It's great, and I never have to worry about them. I am also able to go on-line and check their status, make sure they were paid, and print a statement.

HumnHilghtFreel
02-27-2007, 10:06 PM
It's crazy to see how in such a short time of about a decade how much the internet has changed the landscape of mail.

redsmetz
02-27-2007, 10:35 PM
Lets get to 50 cents incrementally. I have no problem with a two cent increase. If the government still fully ran the post office, and didn't allow it to go semi-private, it would have been 50 cents 10 years ago. :mooner:

I'll respectfully disagree. The "privatizers" are hell-bent on destroying a system that serves an incredibly widespread country for a still fairly affordable cost. They're intent on making the Postal Service useless so they can make it private and watch out if you're not in a major metropolitan area!

Blimpie
02-27-2007, 11:31 PM
Dang, I just finished going through all of my $ 0.02 stamps from when it was raised from $ 0.37 to $ 0.39...

That good-for-nuthin' Lance Armstrong and his fancy sponsorship....:bang:

remdog
02-27-2007, 11:32 PM
While I agree with you Redmetz about the importance of the the postal system I don't see this as any 'plot' by anyone. It's simply 'market forces' that people are chooseing to opt in to.

Rem

paintmered
02-27-2007, 11:32 PM
That good-for-nuthin' Lance Armstrong and his fancy sponsorship....:bang:

You mean the Discovery Channel?

macro
02-28-2007, 12:01 AM
We don't go through ten stamps a month, so the increase in those doesn't bother me. But I would assume that the cost of all the other USPS services will go up, as well. That means that those ebay purchases are going to cost more to ship.

The biggest problem I have with stamp prices is that they always seem to fall on odd cents (39 cents, 41 cents, etc.) When's the last time they fell on an even nickel, much less in an amount ending in zero?

Yachtzee
02-28-2007, 12:05 AM
We don't go through ten stamps a month, so the increase in those doesn't bother me. But I would assume that the cost of all the other USPS services will go up, as well. That means that those ebay purchases are going to cost more to ship.

The biggest problem I have with stamp prices is that they always seem to fall on odd cents (39 cents, 41 cents, etc.) When's the last time they fell on an even nickel, much less in an amount ending in zero?

No kidding. They keep talking about how expensive it is for the U.S. Mint to make pennies, but then the USPS makes sure we have to use more pennies.

macro
02-28-2007, 01:22 AM
Pennies should be completely abolished, but I guess that's another thread for another day. If every business would structure it's prices so that every item would end up on an even nickel after sales tax, there would be no more need for pennies. Or, we could just round all sales totals up or down to the nearest nickel. How has a society as advanced as ours not figured that out yet?

KronoRed
02-28-2007, 01:52 AM
Lets get to 50 cents incrementally. I have no problem with a two cent increase. If the government still fully ran the post office, and didn't allow it to go semi-private, it would have been 50 cents 10 years ago. :mooner:

But why waste time and money every few years changing stamps/signs ext, just go to .50 and stay at it for 10 years.

oneupper
02-28-2007, 07:59 AM
I though the big story here was that little bit mentioned in the article, that the 41 cent price will remain eternally for a certain weight letter. I'm all for that.

You read that wrong, VP. What you will buy is a "First Class Letter stamp", which will will now cost 41c but can cost more in the future.

The stamp won't have a price on it, it will just say First Class Letter. So you won't have to buy 2c stamps or whatever next time the price goes up. The stamp will always be good for a First Class Letter mailing.

Actually, you can ALREADY buy those (for 39c, I might add). Sounds like a good investment, IMO.

LoganBuck
02-28-2007, 08:58 AM
What if we eliminate Saturday mail service? What kind of savings would we see? Or would we just get less service with the same postage costs?

creek14
02-28-2007, 09:07 AM
I can't remember the last time I mailed anything.

I pay everything electronically.

I don't plan on ever sending out wedding invitations again.

And I'm too lazy to send Christmas cards.

zombie-a-go-go
02-28-2007, 09:26 AM
I can't remember the last time I mailed anything.

I pay everything electronically.

I don't plan on ever sending out wedding invitations again.

And I'm too lazy to send Christmas cards.


Thank you for typing everything so I wouldn't have to.

GIK
02-28-2007, 09:38 AM
Thank you for typing everything so I wouldn't have to.

X2. I *rarely* use stamps these days. Web Bill Pay for the win.

GIK
02-28-2007, 09:40 AM
The biggest problem I have with stamp prices is that they always seem to fall on odd cents (39 cents, 41 cents, etc.) When's the last time they fell on an even nickel, much less in an amount ending in zero?

Was there a 30c stamp? The last I remember was the 25c stamp, back around '90 or so.

GAC
02-28-2007, 10:54 AM
I'll respectfully disagree. The "privatizers" are hell-bent on destroying a system that serves an incredibly widespread country for a still fairly affordable cost. They're intent on making the Postal Service useless so they can make it private and watch out if you're not in a major metropolitan area!

My Dad was a postal clerk for over 40 years. When the government ran it it was the most inefficiently ran system with under paid workers, poor benefits, and was always running in the "red".

Semi-privatization saved the postal service IMHO.

vaticanplum
02-28-2007, 09:38 PM
Was there a 30c stamp? The last I remember was the 25c stamp, back around '90 or so.

It went from 29 to 32, I think.

texasdave
03-01-2007, 10:54 AM
I can't remember the last time I mailed anything.

I pay everything electronically.

I don't plan on ever sending out wedding invitations again.

And I'm too lazy to send Christmas cards.

And Creek delivers those Adam Dunn fan letters personally. :)

15fan
03-01-2007, 11:01 AM
I spend enough time at a computer. The last thing I need to do is to have yet another reason (paying bills) to sit in front of a monitor.

And paying bills by check gives me a reason to regularly visit the USPS guys in my building. They're a hoot. It's about a 5 minute walk to the drop box, so it also gives me an excuse to get up from my desk and stretch my legs a little bit.

Dom Heffner
03-01-2007, 11:25 AM
I have a business that lives and dies by the mail. While I always expect the increase, I say let them creep their way to .50. I'm in no hurry to cut to the chase.

It doesn't affect us too much, because most of our mailings we do in house with software that sorts and barcodes, giving me a huge discount. For most zip codes in my area it costs me 17.9 cents a letter.

We also have a nifty tri-fold inserter that folds, stuffs, and seals every piece. I can mail 1000 letters in about twenty minutes.

I just wonder if prices will one day be a buck a letter or more.

Roy Tucker
03-01-2007, 12:03 PM
Was there a 30c stamp? The last I remember was the 25c stamp, back around '90 or so.

http://www.prc.gov/rates/stamphistory.htm

Blimpie
03-01-2007, 07:19 PM
You mean the Discovery Channel?You mean The Discovery Channel is owned by the US Government?

Just kidding--I actually thought that USPS was still one of his main sponsors....

TeamDunn
05-14-2007, 08:23 AM
Posting this more as a reminder to myself to change the rate chips in our postage scales at work. :)

41 cents to mail a first class letter now.

RedFanAlways1966
05-14-2007, 08:57 AM
Thanks for getting your "2 cents in" and the reminder TeamDunn! :)

TeamDunn
05-14-2007, 09:39 AM
LOL Good one! :thumbup:

paintmered
05-14-2007, 09:46 AM
I'm still adjusting to the last rate increase.

redsmetz
05-14-2007, 09:55 AM
Actually, a greater impact is the changes in First Class viz the size of the envelope. This is the first time the postal service has calculated size in on lighter pieces. Anything exceeding 6 1/8 inches in height and 11 1/2 inches in length will go at an even higher rate. Basically it means the larger manila envelopes will be more expensive. You can see more at Pitney Bowes site

www.pb.com/ratechange

macro
02-12-2008, 10:05 AM
If the rate increase is approved, it would be the third time in five years that the Post Office has raised the price of a first-class stamp.

Well, let's make it the fourth time in six years, 'cause the rates are going up again.

http://ap.google.com/article/ALeqM5hjB4Dif5oP6LbcPH0zPJAIy37EugD8UOAH8O6

It was suggested when this thread was started last spring that they simply go to 50 cents and leave it there for a while. As long as the rates for packages and metered mail were increased incrementally and not all at once, I would see no problem in setting the price of just stamps at 50 cents. Stamps by definition are for occasional (or low-volume) use, so those extra pennies won't hurt most of those customers. Those doing volume mailings probably use a metering machine, so give them a "discount" for preventing the Postal Service from having to print stamps.

Packages and metered mail aren't paid for through vending machines like stamps are, so having the price end up on a round zero isn't important. But let's stop the insanity of the 37 cent stamp, 39 cent stamp, the 41 cent stamp, the 42 cent stamp...

At least the Postal Service is giving us a chance to avoid the 1-cent stamps after the increase. If you buy Forever stamps now for 41 cents, you can use them after the increase without having to have the pesky 1-cent stamps to go with them.


The price of the Forever stamp will go up at the same time, meaning those stamps can still be purchased for 41 cents but will remain good for first-class postage after the rate increase takes effect.

TeamBoone
02-12-2008, 01:51 PM
What if we eliminate Saturday mail service? What kind of savings would we see? Or would we just get less service with the same postage costs?

I've wondered this for a long time. I could certainly live without Saturday delivery.

In this day and age, if someone REALLY needs to get something from point A to point B on a Saturday, there are other alternatives. Yup, they'll pay more, but it will only be paid only by those who require it. Heck, they're already doing it (Fed Ex Saturday deliver, for one) because there's no way to guarantee that first-class mail will arrive on a Saturday anyway!

A few years ago, I remember the PO complaining that its losses were due to electronic mail and made it necessary to increase postage. While electronic mail may have an impact, IMHO, the increase in other services (packages because of multiple auction sites, internet ordering via online catalogs, etc.) has probably balanced the whole thing. If the truth were known, all this "extra" mailing of packages probably outweighs the need for increased postage rates.

Though I rarely mail anything these days, there are times when I find it necessary to mail something via first class mail. Those times are few and far between though.

macro
02-12-2009, 10:23 AM
It's February, so that means it's time to bump this thread to coincide with another Postal Service rate increase...

:)

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/02/11/us/11brfs-PRICEOFSTAMP_BRF.html

Dom Heffner
02-12-2009, 10:24 AM
At some point, their services cease to be a bargain.

If you could even call it "services."

15fan
02-12-2009, 11:05 AM
I want my mail on Saturday. Our Saturday Mailman is the best.

Maybe instead of getting rid of mail on Saturday, they should get rid of mail M-F and just do Saturday only delivery. I'd be ok with that.

*BaseClogger*
02-12-2009, 01:52 PM
Privatize it... :)

Dom Heffner
02-12-2009, 02:47 PM
Privatize it...


It is, I think, isn't it?

*BaseClogger*
02-12-2009, 03:04 PM
It is, I think, isn't it?

According to wikipedia it is an independent agency of the United States government...

Redsfaithful
02-12-2009, 04:13 PM
The US Postal Service gets no federal funding or subsidies, it's required to be self sufficient.

KronoRed
02-12-2009, 04:41 PM
They should dump Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays.

pahster
02-12-2009, 04:42 PM
What's a "stamp?"