Postage for First Class mail increases by one penny Sunday, January 27th. GREAT NEWS – Effective on the 27th, FREE tracking service will be included on all Priority, Express and Standard Post (formerly called Parcel Post) as well. This year’s one-cent increase translates to only a few more dollars for the average residential customer. In fact, even if you mail a letter or card every single day, you’ll only pay $4 more for postage the entire year! At 46 cents, a postage stamp is still one of the best bargains in the United States. The Postal Service does not receive tax dollars to cover the cost of operations.
Here’s a brief history of first-class mail stamp prices, beginning with the $.02 stamp in 1885: 1917, $.03; 1919, $.02; 1932, $.03; 1958, $.04; 1963, $.05; 1968, $06; 1971, $08; 1974, $.10; 1975- $.13; 1978, $.15; 1981, $.18 and $.20; 1985, $.22; 1988, $.25; 1991, $.29; 1995, $.33; 2001, $.34; 2002, $.37; 2006, $.39; 2007, $.41; 2008, $.42; 2009, $.44; and 2012, $.45.
Since 2007 the Postal Service has issued Forever stamps, which are valid for First-Class postage regardless of any price changes. Forever stamps are purchased at the current First-Class postage rate and are valid Forever!
Now’s the time to sort through all those unused stamps that have been accumulating in a box or drawer. The amount indicated on those stamps is still valid. You can use them any time. And, if you have any one-cent stamps, you’re in luck because that’s the amount of the increase that became effective January 27. Any combination of stamps may be used in meeting the postage requirements. The Post Office encourages you to utilize all the stamps you have.
If you have any of those non-denominational A-H stamps that were issued, here’s the letter, the year it was issued, and its value: A, 1978, $.15; B, 1981, $.18; C, 1981, $.20; D, 1985, $.22; E, 1988, $.25; F, 1991, $.29, G, 1994, $.32; and H, 1998, $.33. A one-cent make-up stamp (a weathervane) was also issued in 1998.
February Is Love Month – Your local Post Office has a variety of Hallmark Valentines cards for that special someone. Nothing says “I Love You” better than a hand written card that you can keep forever. Another loving gesture would be to create a unique photo card using Cardstore.com, a partner vendor with the United States Postal Service. You can also select your card from an extensive gallery: say it in a card when whispering won’t do; say just the right romantic words; or make it funny with one of 53 Cupid’s valentines. And don’t forget to purchase Love stamps for your valentines!
Mr. Zip’s Tip: For downloadable files of the January 27 price change visit www.usps.com/new-prices.htm
A self-supporting government enterprise, the U.S. Postal Service is the only delivery service that reaches every address in the nation — 151 million residences, businesses and Post Office™ Boxes. The Postal Service™ receives no tax dollars for operating expenses, and relies on the sale of postage, products and services to fund its operations. With 32,000 retail locations and the most frequently visited website in the federal government, usps.com®, the Postal Service has annual revenue of more than $65 billion and delivers nearly 40 percent of the world’s mail. If it were a private sector company, the U.S. Postal Service would rank 35th in the 2011 Fortune 500. In 2011, Oxford Strategic Consulting ranked the U.S. Postal Service number one in overall service performance of the posts in the top 20 wealthiest nations in the world. Black Enterprise and Hispanic Business magazines ranked the Postal Service as a leader in workforce diversity. The Postal Service has been named the Most Trusted Government Agency for six years and the sixth Most Trusted Business in the nation by the Ponemon Institute. Follow the Postal Service on www.twitter.com/USPSstamps and at www.facebook.com/USPSSTAMPS.com