Where Can I Buy Stamps In The United States?

The simple answer would be at the post office, but today there are many more options available when it comes to purchasing stamps. This hub will give you a few options about where to buy stamps and will consider the pros and cons of each purchasing method. Do you value personal one-on-one interaction over a vending machine? Do you prefer to buy stamps online and perhaps make a customized stamp?  If you are getting married you might want to have your engagement picture on the stamps for the invitations you send to family and friends.  Large extended families might want to use stamps with the picture of their last family reunion when mailing out invitations.  Do you even have a need for stamps in this age of the computer with online banking and email? All these things must be taken into consideration when deciding the best place to buy your next book of stamps.

Buy Stamps At The Local Post Office

When I was a young girl in a small rural town the only place you could buy stamps was at the local post office. Things have changed and now you can buy stamps at grocery stores and online, but many still prefer to buy stamps from their friendly postal man or woman as opposed to using an automated device. So here are some of the pros and cons of buying stamps at the local post office.

Cons

  • Time spent waiting in line.
  • Service may not be as friendly at every post office, which is something I have experienced.
  • Often it takes longer to drive to the local post office than it would to order stamps online.
  • Not as many choices as online stamp services provide.

Pros

  • Familiar environment.
  • The ability to go to a post office and expect friendly and superior customer service.
  • Can buy stamps when mailing off bills/letters.
  • A wide variety of stamps to choose from.
  • One-one-one interaction with a live human being.

Buy Stamps From A Vending Machine

Stamp vending machines can be found in the post office lobby, at grocery stores, hotels, and many other locations. These machines have their pros and cons just like any other type of stamp provider.

Cons

  • Money can be stuck in the machine, which has happened to me several times.
  • The machine can dispense the wrong change, which I found out when it gave me Chinese coins shaped exactly like Sacajawea dollars.
  • The majority of these only accept cash, which is a drawback for people who primarily use their debit cards.

Pros

  • Buy stamps when the post office is closed.
  • Do not have to wait in line.
  • Do not have to deal with people (sometimes us introverts just prefer machines for this reason, not all the time, but sometimes).

The forever stamp is an all time favorite because people will never have to add additional postage with the rate increases.  This stamp will always be suitable for first class letters weighing less than one ounce.
The forever stamp is an all time favorite because people will never have to add additional postage with the rate increases. This stamp will always be suitable for first class letters weighing less than one ounce.

Buy Stamps From The Official USPS Website

If you love to shop online then buying stamps from the official website of the United States Postal Service may be the deal for you. Once again there are a few pros and cons to this method.

Cons

  • No one-on-one personal interaction with a human being.
  • Have to wait for stamps to arrive in the mail.
  • Customized stamps must be approved by the USPS, so they may not accept pictures from your last wild trip to Cancun.
  • USPS does not allow you to buy stamps other people create, which is a feature a few other websites offer.

Pros

  • Buy stamps at your leisure.
  • Pick from a large variety of stamps.
  • Create your own customized postage.
  • USPS is the official source, so you can buy with confidence.

A postmarked letter from a family or a friend is still as much a treat as it was the first time I received one.
A postmarked letter from a family or a friend is still as much a treat as it was the first time I received one.

Buy Stamps From Zazzle

Zazzle is an interactive website that allows the user to create their own stamps and sell these in their very own "Zazzle Store". There are a few pros and cons to using the Zazzle website for purchasing stamps.

Cons

  • Stamps must still be approved by the USPS, so no wild pictures of your indiscretions in Las Vegas if you know what I mean.
  • Customized stamps cost up to 15% more than buying traditional stamps.
  • I have not had this problem, but there are a few forums where people complain about Zazzle not shipping out products on time and other customer service issues.
  • Do not expect to make a living by selling stamps on Zazzle, and the people I have heard of doing well on this site do not make enough money to brag about.

Pros

  • Create your own collection of stamps for the world to see.
  • Receive a minimum fifteen-percent royalty payment each time someone buys one of your stamps.
  • Brag to family and friends about your photos and art work by creating stamps and other fun products on Zazzle.
  • It is easy to create a beautiful gallery of stamps to sell at Zazzle.

These are a few tips I have about buying stamps in the United States and anyone is welcome to share any tips they feel that would be helpful for others.

Comments 18 comments

PetMemorialWorld profile image

PetMemorialWorld 8 years ago from New Zealand

Well set out Hub... I won't look at stamps the same way again lol


SweetiePie profile image

SweetiePie 8 years ago from Southern California, USA Author

Thanks for the comments PetMemorialWorld.


zylla3philippines profile image

zylla3philippines 8 years ago from Anaheim, CA

I am a frequent visitor of the post office, so I have not really changed my habit of getting stamps when I'm there. Old habits....


SweetiePie profile image

SweetiePie 8 years ago from Southern California, USA Author

Thanks for the comments zylla3philippines. I still like to buy stamps at the post office myself, but I was offering all these options for those who might like them.


weblog profile image

weblog 8 years ago from 1India

First of all, LOL @ that hub request. But, such a good, detailed answer you have provided.

"Do you even have a need for stamps in this age of the computer with online banking and email?" - That is really sad to think about, atleast in my case. After few years of computer addiction, I can see I struggle to write something with pen on paper. It's true. I can see writing habit vanishing because of emails and sms. My handwriting has become poor, the only thing I can do perfect with use of pen is...You can guess easilly, my signature ha ha!


SweetiePie profile image

SweetiePie 8 years ago from Southern California, USA Author

Weblog,

I have been using computers and online banking for so long that the only thing I use stamps for are letters to my friends, so I can see how people come to rely on the computer alone. Stamps are fun for some people to collect even if they do not write many letters and I belong to a group where people collect stamps from the small island country of Pitcairn. I have not thought about buying these stamps myself, but there is quite a market in it for those who are interested. Perhaps I might write a hub about that next. Thanks for commenting :).


Paul Felix 8 years ago

Hi sweetiepie Im your biggest fan but do you remember when we were kids the only place we got stamps was the post office they were 3 cents and they acted like you really had something special your folks everybody but like weblong said there isn't much use for them just like you said collectors item when we was teenagers we had another use for them but that's a different story hahaha nice hub I allways like coming too see ya ~cool~cya


SweetiePie profile image

SweetiePie 8 years ago from Southern California, USA Author

When I was young I remember stamps being 22 cents and I think the only reason we could not buy them in other places was because we lived in a smaller town :). I am glad you enjoyed this hub and to me I do have a use for stamps when I write my friends because that is much more enjoyable than email. Thanks for stopping by.


johnr54 profile image

johnr54 7 years ago from Texas

I guess you can also just buy them through the mail from the post office, but I never have the form around when I need stamps.


SweetiePie profile image

SweetiePie 7 years ago from Southern California, USA Author

Good point John about buying stamps through the mail.


SweetiePie profile image

SweetiePie 7 years ago from Southern California, USA Author

I recommend going to the post office when in doubt. I am not sure what you are shipping, but you can check usps.com.


martyjay 6 years ago

You can still buy stamps at a post office? In Canada it has been privatized. You can only purchase stamps at a conveinence store or drug store. I bet you can still pick up mail at a post office in the U.S.


SweetiePie profile image

SweetiePie 6 years ago from Southern California, USA Author

Martyjay,

Well if you read the hub you would see that Americans can still buy stamps at the post office. These are simply other methods for people to buy stamps as suggested in the hub.


justom profile image

justom 6 years ago from 41042

Pros and cons of stamp buying? Really? Amazing!!


SweetiePie profile image

SweetiePie 6 years ago from Southern California, USA Author

Okay, interesting comment.


Fluffy77 profile image

Fluffy77 5 years ago from Enterprise, OR

Stamps are a growing expense issue now, informative and useful hub. Thanks.


jessicab profile image

jessicab 5 years ago from Alabama

Very interesting.


SweetiePie profile image

SweetiePie 5 years ago from Southern California, USA Author

Glad this hub was helpful.

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