We’ve been buying stamps forever, well since 1847 when they were introduced and immediately embraced with sales hovering around 3,700,000 for the 5¢ (for distances under 300 miles) and about 865,000 for the 10¢ variety which went the, uh, distance.
Today we pay by weight and time delivery, not distance, and now, the purchase of postage is comparable to a stock market gamble with more reliable returns. With the introduction of the Forever Stamp on May 14th, snail-mail users can hedge their bets against future postal rates by stocking up on Forever Stamps for months, years or forever.
This is how it works. On sale since April 12th, but only valid since Monday, the Forever Stamp price is 41¢, coinciding with the most recent hike in price of a first-class postage stamp from 39¢. If, when the price trickles up again by a cent or two, the Forever Stamp will spare you the cost increase ? and the frustration of hunting down those 2¢ stamps. So ten years from now, when a stamp costs a buck, if you stock piled Forever Stamps today, you’ll save 59¢ on every holiday card you send out. The price of the Forever stamp increases each time the cost of a first class stamp goes up; but the premise stays the same.
Do you care? According to an independent federal agency, the U.S. Postal Service has annual revenues of $73 billion and delivers nearly half the world’s mail. It’s income doesn’t come from taxes and its expenses fluctuate: if the price of gas goes up just one cent, the annual nut for USPS goes up $8 million. Maybe we should keep our own future expenses down by stocking up on the Forever Stamp ? today.
Do you plan to buy the forever stamp? Are there other products you'd like to see with a "forever" version?