Most people and businesses still use the postal services despite the availability of modern communication technologies. Documents and letters are still sent through the mail using stamps. It’s the small piece of self-adhesive paper with various denominations issued by the postal company. Stamp costs, however, have been fluctuating for the last few years.
Average Stamp Cost
Postage stamps come at different rates. It is dependent on the type. Basically, they are as follows:
- Definitive Stamps
These are regular stamps issued by the postal service annually and it comes in various designs and denominations. It costs from 2¢ to $5 with each rate printed on the front of the postage stamp. It somehow presents a clear idea on how much does a stamp cost on this type. It features different ranges of images including famous persons and animals, popular household items and revered national objects. These are available all year round.
- Forever Stamps
These are stamps introduced by the United States Postal Services (USPS) in 2007. Its prominent feature is postalusage effectivity even after a long time regardless of price increases. For example, if it was bought at 45¢ and by the time it was used, the price rose to 47¢, there is no need to add 2¢. It basically retains its original price hence it is forever.
The USPS has recently announced that beginning January 22, 2017, forever stamps will be selling at 49¢, a 2¢ jump from its previous price of 47¢.
- Semipostal Stamps
These kind of stamps are Postal Service exclusives which come with a premium. They are sold for fund-raising purposes with proceeds designed to fund special causes like The Breast Cancer Research semipostal which was issued on July 29, 1998, and The Save Vanishing Species semipostal on September 30, 2011. The former sells at 47¢ and a purchase price of 60¢. The 13 ¢ will go to the fund raising. The stamp price is a bit high but surprisingly, it has been selling well.
- Commemorative stamps
Priced at 49¢, these are limited-issue stamps which serve to commemorate particular historical or special events which have some significance. Despite its postal usability, these are collected and sold by stamp collectors.
- International stamps
These stamps retail at $1.15 and can be used to mail a one-ounce letter to any country.
Tips on Saving on Stamp Costs
- Use email when sending documents. Use email and attach documents to save on stamps.
- Weigh each letter. Weigh each piece of mail so that the correct amount of stamps can be used.
- Use standard sized envelopes and postcards. There’s an extra postage charge for envelopes which comes in different sizes.
- Send a postcard instead of a letter. Sending a standard size postcard first class saves about 30% over the cost of sending a first-class letter. Definitely, this is a great take on the rate of stamps.
- Reduce your correspondence. Reduce snail mail use. Email would be a friend on this instances. It costs less and can be read by the recipient in a matter of seconds from anywhere in the world as long as there is an internet connection.
- Pay bills online. Paying online can save you the expenses and hassle of paying bills by mail. No more trips to the post office and falling in line.
- Use your fax machine. For documents which need to be sent immediately, the office fax machine can always be an inexpensive option to go. This will save one on a trip to the post office.
- Buy stamps from local stamp collectors. Stamps are sold with up to 10% off discount at local stamp collectors.
- Buy Forever stamps. Buying these stamps can save you money. The new Forever stamps cost.49¢. The thing is it retain its postage price even when there is an increase in the future. So no need to add payment for the stamp if that will be the case. The question on how much does a stamp cost would be fixed if one has a forever stamp.
Collector’s Item Stamps
Philately, or stamp collection, have gathered a sizable number of enthusiasts from around the world. Hence, there’s always that possibility that the 49-cent stamp could cost more than a hundred dollars in the future.
Below are common categories of these collector item stamps:
- 19th Century Issues
These stamps are highly collectible due to its rarity especially if it is still in good condition. It can fetch for as low as $85.00 to as high as $1000.00. Another come on is the method of its cancellations which is also called as the ‘killer’. These stamps are hand-cancelled by local postmasters.
- Back of the Book Issues
These are uncommon stamps, for specific usage, usually found in the back of collector’s guides. A collector could buy these from $135.00 to $3600.00.
- 20th Century Regular Issues
The value of these stamps lies in the way that it tells about America through its presidents, technological achievements, prominent citizens, and natural wonders. Another thing is the cancellations which display the date and location somehow tell a story of its own. One can have one of these if he is willing to shell out a stamp price of $35.00 to $1395.00.
- 20th Century Commemorative Issues
These are stamps which celebrate significant events in the US during the 20th century. These include Pan-American, Louisiana Purchase, Jamestown, Panama-Pacific, Washington Bicentennial, National Parks, Farley, Famous Americans, Overrun Countries among others. They are priced from $20.00 to $1800.00
USPS posted a .6% decreased income in the mailing service due to some factors. People would still mail letters and documents despite the popularity online communication. Nothing could beat the feel of the old school penning a letter on an actual paper. More so in putting it on the mailbox or bringing it to the post office just like how it used to be before the conveniences of email became a hit.
Hence, with how things are going, definitely, mailing letters would still be around despite the fluctuating rate of stamps.