Possible USPS 'Forever' Stamp Cost Increase Would Mark Agency’s Largest Bump
Times being what they are, stamps do not receive enough press, much to the dismay of philatelists everywhere. However, come January, the affixers could become a sticky subject, as the board of governors for the United States Postal Service (USPS) yesterday sought permission from the Postal Regulatory Commission to up the cost of a First-Class Mail Forever stamp from 50 to 55 cents. If the body’s request meets approval, the hike would, according to a CNN account of the petition, mark the biggest stamp cost increase in the agency’s annals.
Stamps have proven a relatively popular topic for us at Promo Marketing, so this news struck us as compelling both as another chance to cover consumer reliance on the goods and to explore how the potential escalation could have an effect on the print and/or promo worlds. It is no secret that the USPS is struggling, so a call for a bump in stamps’ price tag should not stun too many, but we can understand if the proposed five-cent ascension strikes anyone or everyone as extreme, especially since we are accustomed to one- or two-cent gains.
Santa stamps are now available for pre-order today! ✉️ 🎅
— U.S. Postal Service (@USPS) October 10, 2018
“The Governors believe these new rates will keep the Postal Service competitive while providing the agency with needed revenue,” USPS explained in a statement.
The aforementioned elevation could cause the most gasps among the general public, but the Forever stamps, whose existence dates back to 2007, will not likely be the worst offender in the overall conveyance of mail and goods. Next year’s holiday season would certainly become a tad costlier if the Forever stamps do rise, but other services, like Priority Mail options, would have the sending of Christmas cards beaten by months. Price alterations for the latter could make print and promotional products industry figures feel the sting, so even though the Postal Service boasts that it has “some of the lowest letter mail postage rates in the industrialized world and also continues to offer a great value in shipping,” the increases that would take effect Jan. 27 might not prove the Band-Aid that the debt-ridden agency is facing.
With calls from the Trump administration to privatize the Post Office also causing dismay among the powers that be, the impending verdict from the Postal Regulatory Commission could signal either the formation of a new direction for the USPS or the further decline of its identity. Based on your business interactions with the USPS, what do you feel the commission should decide, and how do you feel the proposed changes could affect your bottom line, too?