Postage Stamp Increases from 50 Cents to 55 Cents
People are not very surprised that first-class postage stamps have increased after 38 years. The thing that surprised consumers is that the stamp increase was the highest since 1991 and caught a lot of people off guard.
The cost of mailing a first-class letter went up from 50 cents to 55 cents on Sunday, January 27, 2019. That was a 5-cent increase. Back in 199l, postage stamps increased from 25 to 29 cents. That was only a 4-cents difference.
Reason for the High Stamp Rate
The current price increase is the biggest in the history of the United States Postal Service. The high stamp rate increase was implemented because the Postal Service is still losing money after 12 consecutive years.
Last year, the company lost $3.9 billion in revenue, according to its November 2018 report. The growth in its shipping and packaging business did not help the agency get out of the financial hole.
When the first Forever stamp was issued in 2007, one stamp cost was 41 cents. A book of Forever stamps cost was only $4.10. One stamp today costs 55 cents. A book of Forever stamps now costs $11.
If you have Forever stamps, you will be able to use them no matter how much the rate increase in the future. For the millions of people who did not stock up on Forever stamps before the latest increase, they will be paying much more for first-class postage.
The postcard rate at the agency is the only item that remains the same. It is still 35 cents each. Even though first-class postages went up when purchased directly from the Postal Services, drug stores, grocery stores and other outlets that send stamps. However, the rate is only 50 cents when postage is buy online through Stamps.com
Priority Mail Express rates also increased to an average of 3.9 percent per mailing. Priority Mail flat rate envelopes increased from 70 to 72 cents.
Shipping prices for flat rate boxes also went up from $7.20 to $7.90.
With all these higher prices in place, the United States Postal Service's Board of Governors believes the Postal Service will be able to stay competitive.
Why the Postal Service Is Still Losing Money
The Postal Service has been in the red for a dozen years because the public is finding other ways to get their information from one person to another. Personal letters are not mailed as they have been decades ago.
That's because many Americans no long write friendly letters. They text or send messages through their e-mail or social media accounts. For them, it is quicker, more convenient and saves customers the cost of postage.
Most businesses are using the same reasons for not sending letters and bills through the mail. Customers can opt out of a paper copy and pay their bills online. Not only does it save time, money and postages. It also saves paper.
Today, job applications are no longer completed and mailed to a prospective employer. If so, by the time a hard copy of the application reaches its destination, the job will already have been filled by someone who applied online. There are also sites online where people can post their applications for companies to review.
Some people still mail greeting cards, but not as many people mail Christmas cards as they used to do. Birthday cards, wedding invitations, and graduation notices are still been mailed by some people but not all people. Technology is still the way a lot of people like to communicate because there are so many services available online. One such service is evite.com where consumers can invite people to parties and other events without spending a penny.
With the high price increase this year, perhaps it will be a while before there is another increase. If so, it might not be as high as this one was. In the meantime, customers can stock up on Forever stamps while they are at the current rate.