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Postal regulators want 2-cent stamp hike - new 'forever stamp' plan

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Postal regulators want 2-cent stamp hike - new 'forever stamp' plan

Old 02-26-07, 06:31 PM
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I thought we already had forever stamps. The booklet I just bought just says "first class USA" on all the stamps.
Old 02-26-07, 09:24 PM
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Just make postage $.50 and swear not to raise prices for the next 20 years.
Old 02-26-07, 10:28 PM
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Originally Posted by Cusm
I am sure they will use crappy adhesive on a forever stamp making sure it's shelf life is only a year or two.
Twart the USPS with scotch tape! It'll be a double whammy that pisses them off on a couple counts.
Old 02-26-07, 11:38 PM
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Originally Posted by General Zod
Just make postage $.50 and swear not to raise prices for the next 20 years.
A promise from the Government is good enough for me!
Old 02-27-07, 11:17 AM
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So… what would be the advantage of buying “normal” stamps again?

I’m not saying that people should stock up on these forever stamps since the money would do better in savings, but when you are buying stamps what is the advantage of buying a stamp that says 39 cents vs the forever stamp?

My prediction is this – these “forever stamps” will become so popular that in a couple years *all* first class postage stamps will be "forever" stamps. When postage changes happen the only difference will be in how much you spend for the stamps but the stamps themselves would not change.

On a side rant - whatever happened to the "lick them" stamps? The adhesive ones certainly have their advantages, but it is hard to take one or two stamps off of an adhesive sheet for later use. The stamps that needed to be licked could easily be seperated.
Old 02-27-07, 11:38 AM
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Originally Posted by ernestrp
WHY?

Because I basically said the same thing!

Chris
Old 02-27-07, 11:40 AM
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Originally Posted by Numanoid


"What's all this, then?"
You've got pretty fists, dear ...

I never buy stamps. I pay my bills online and if I actually have to mail something, I take it to the post office.
Old 02-27-07, 11:45 AM
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Originally Posted by mrpayroll
I don't know. A friend brought up a good point at work. How much of these that are purchased do you think will actually be used in their lifetime? It's kind of the same with gift cards. Billions of $$$ are spent on gift cards, but I bet the actual usage rate of these cards is not even close to 100% in their lifetime.

People can forget, lose or destroy them and it would be pure profit (after expenses) for the USPS. Plus, they are getting the income right now with just the posibility of having to 'pay' these out in the future.

Chris
Then there's the cost of having to design and print new types of stamps when the rates increase. They're saving that cost, too.
Old 02-27-07, 06:47 PM
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Originally Posted by mrpayroll
Because I basically said the same thing!

Chris
Well, you talked about gift cards and posted to someone else other than the OP and then you deleted some of my message.

Old 03-19-07, 08:57 PM
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New rates approved, take effect May 14,
"Forever" stamp approved, but will be sold at new $0.41 rate.

ALso, the surcharge for "flats" that don't meet the dimensional requirements for machinable letters are increased quite a bit.

http://www.dmnews.com/cms/dm-news/di...ail/40443.html
USPS Governors approve most PRC rates
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Print this article
Reprints By Melissa Campanelli
March 19th, 2007
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James C. Miller IIIThe Governors of the U.S. Postal Service today approved the Postal Regulatory Commission’s proposed 7.6 percent rate increase, including an increase in the price of a First-Class stamp to 41 cents, authorizing the issuance of the Forever Stamp, approving shape-based pricing and set May 14 — 75 days from today — as the date for implementation of these changes.

However, the Governors requested reconsideration of the PRC’s rate recommendations for Standard mail flats, the Non-Machinable Surcharge for First-Class mail letters and the Priority Mail Flat-Rate Box.

“We are asking the PRC to reconsider certain issues that we believe [need their attention],” said James C. Miller III, chairman of the USPS Board of Governors, in a teleconference earlier today. “It’s possible that the commission could change the rates … that you could have a different set of rates than that are presently going into effect.”

However, he said that the Board of Governors might be too optimistic with this idea.

“The PRC might say, ‘Thank You. I know you have concerns, but we chose not to make any changes,’” he said.

When asked why the Board of Governors chose May 14, Mr. Miller said the board thought the date “offers sufficient advanced warning while making sure that we are not affected by the revenue shortfall [of not implementing the increase].”

The Postal Service proposed new rates May 3, 2006, and the PRC issued its recommendation Feb. 26. The Governors spent considerable time deliberating the PRC’s recommendations — meeting six times and rewriting several drafts of their decision over the past 22 days — before voting earlier today. The Board is made up of many new members, five of whom have been sitting less than two years.

The Governors also approved the Forever Stamp, which will sell at the new 41-cent First-Class mail one-ounce letter rate. The value on these stamps will always be the one-ounce letter rate and can be used for any future one-ounce letter mailing without extra postage.

The new prices also reflect differences in the costs of handling letters, large envelopes (flats) and packages, the Governors said. Mailers are encouraged to consider options available to reduce postage costs. For example, if the contents of a First-Class large envelope are folded and placed in a letter-sized envelope, mailers can reduce postage by as much as 39 cents per piece.

Although the following rates will officially go into effect May 14, they have been sent back to the PRC in protest.

—Standard Mail Flats — The Governors are concerned that price increases recommended by the PRC may impose an unnecessary degree of “rate shock” on the catalog industry and small businesses particularly. The recommended increase for some catalog mailers is as much as 40 percent, which is more than double what the Postal Service had proposed.

—Non-Machinable Surcharge — The PRC decision on First-Class two- and three-once letters does not differentiate between machinable and non-machinable. The Governors believe this warrants further analysis to ensure there are incentives for mailers to provide letters that can be processed at lower cost on efficient sorting equipment.

—Priority Mail Flat-Rate Box — The PRC recommended a rate of $9.15 for the Priority Mail Flat-Rate Box, which is $1.05 above the current rate and 35 cents higher than the Postal Service’s proposal of $8.80. The Governors believe a rate below $9 would be more appropriate for this popular consumer and business product and would be cost-justified.

The Board of Governors also delayed until July 15 the implementation of the new prices for Periodicals (magazines and newspapers) to allow time for the publishing industry to update computer software and adjust to the complexity of the PRC-recommended rate structure for periodicals. The USPS had proposed a single container charge for periodicals to encourage efficiency, but the PRC recommended 55 different prices based on container type, entry point and level of sortation.

Mike Plunkett, the USPS’ acting vice president for pricing and classification, said that the cost to the USPS for such a delay is “$15 million per month.”

Whether a new rate case will be field under the current regime was also discussed. Mr. Miller said he “would like to see one more rate case before the new regime begins” mainly because he believes the new regime may limit the USPS’ ability to propose rates to better reflect cost.
Old 03-20-07, 09:56 PM
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Originally Posted by asabase
I thought we already had forever stamps. The booklet I just bought just says "first class USA" on all the stamps.
Agreed, these have been around forever.
Not sure why the 'forever' stamp is news.
Old 03-20-07, 11:31 PM
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I think I am just gonna start to use the automatic billpay. I remember when I got direct deposit, have rarely been back to the bank soon.
Old 03-21-07, 04:58 AM
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Other than holiday cards, I haven't mailed anything in a couple of years. I don't see that changing any time soon. I'm also considering not buying any more checks, since I never use those either.
Old 03-21-07, 05:46 AM
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Originally Posted by Vibiana
I pay my bills online and if I actually have to mail something, I take it to the post office.
Well, that's a good idea if you have to mail something, you take it to the post office.
Old 03-21-07, 01:01 PM
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I can't remember the last time I actually mailed something like a letter. All my bills are paid on the respective companies website, and any communication I want is done by e-mail.
Old 04-13-07, 10:20 AM
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http://www.latimes.com/business/la-f...track=ntothtml

These stamps really will be good forever

A new 41-cent stamp is always valid for first class in the future, but few seem to want it.

By Alana Semuels, Times Staff Writer
April 13, 2007

It's called the "forever stamp" — and it might just take that long for customers to catch on to it.

Unveiled Thursday, the 41-cent stamp is eternally valid for first-class postage, regardless of how far rates climb in the future.

The American Postal Workers Union has called it "a major victory for the American people," but few folks in the line at the post office at the Federal Building in Westwood had heard of their "victory" — and even fewer were planning to buy the stamp.

"I heard about those 'Star Wars' ones," said Devern Fleming, gesturing toward the posters featuring actor Ewan McGregor wielding a light saber in honor of the stamps that will be released in May.

Fleming goes to the post office every day for his job but felt a bit out of the loop: He didn't know that the rate of first-class postage would be rising May 14 from 39 to 41 cents.

No ads for the forever stamp graced the walls of the post office. Even those who had heard of the new product seemed unsure of how it works.

"You can use them forever?" asked Madeleine Drake, a San Pedro resident who was mailing fliers promoting a play. "Even if the rate goes up a dollar?"

Drake bought three books of forever stamps and promptly used them on her mailing, wasting 2 cents per flier because the postage rate has not yet gone up. The forever stamps are valid now, but since they cost 41 cents, customers won't get their full value on first-class letters until May 14, when rates rise.

Drake didn't seem to mind: "People will be impressed when they get these. They look good."


The stamps feature the Liberty Bell, which last appeared on a stamp issued Oct. 13, 1975, said Ken Martin, deputy director of the American Philatelic Society. That was a few months before the first-class rate rose from a dime to 13 cents an ounce.

Martin said the Postal Service was a little bit behind the times with its forever stamp because Britain has had one for more than two decades.

"Customer convenience is the No. 1 reason we're doing this," said Mark Saunders, a Postal Service spokesman.

The rate of postage rises along with inflation, and customers who buy the forever stamp won't have to buy 2-cent stamps to add to their postage the next time rates rise.

Disgruntled patrons often leave pennies on post office counters to protest the inconvenience of buying 1- and 2-cent stamps, said postal clerk Nora Chester.

The price of a forever stamp will rise as postage rates do, so penny pinchers could buy a bundle now and save money when rates go up again. A law signed in December will tie rates to the consumer price index, which could lead to annual hikes.

The stamps may seem like a good investment, because rates are certain to rise, but Saunders said: "There are better places to invest your child's college fund."

No matter when they're bought, forever stamps can be used, even 100 years from now.

The Postal Service has printed more than 5 billion of the new stamps, although Saunders anticipates no big rush to buy them.

For many, forever can wait till later.

"I don't think it's worth it to buy it now," said Vladimir Tsikman, a rabbi waiting with his son to get a passport at a post office on Beverly Boulevard in the Fairfax District.

Tsikman likened the stamp to cheap gasoline — few people will rush out and buy additional cans of gas to use just in case the prices go up, he said.

And in an age of e-mails, online bill payments and text messaging, stamps might just become as relevant as the Pony Express.

"I have too many stamps already," said Clarence C. Saunders, a retired Westside resident who was waiting to get a passport. He says he has "drawers full" of 25- and 37-cent stamps that he doesn't use because he e-mails everything now. "I wish I could sell them back to the post office."


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Last edited by mrpayroll; 04-13-07 at 10:23 AM.
Old 04-13-07, 12:50 PM
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Probably there will be a run on them in a couple of years just before rates go up again. Since these are sold at the new rate, no point buying them now.
Old 04-13-07, 03:08 PM
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Again, this is not new. Why is the article above acting like it is?

Old 05-05-07, 11:02 AM
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Originally Posted by OldDude
New rates approved, take effect May 14,
"Forever" stamp approved, but will be sold at new $0.41 rate.
Bumping this as a helpful reminder to other Otters who, like me, knew the change was coming but couldn't remember when.
Old 05-05-07, 11:32 AM
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Good bump. I was thinking of hitting their website to see when this happens.
Old 05-05-07, 12:48 PM
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Originally Posted by porieux
Again, this is not new. Why is the article above acting like it is?

It is new. That stamp is not valid after May 13. Try and mail something with it and see what happens.
Old 05-05-07, 01:02 PM
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Originally Posted by Quake1028
I can't remember the last time I actually mailed something like a letter. All my bills are paid on the respective companies website, and any communication I want is done by e-mail.
I still mail a few bills, as we had problems with Comcast and Pepco not getting electronic payments from my roommates online bill payment thing on her bank. I'm not sure why she doesn't want to try the company website?

Also have to mail some stuff every once in a while that requires signatures, or bills that can't be paid online like my insurance bill etc.
Old 05-05-07, 01:03 PM
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Originally Posted by Tracer Bullet
It is new. That stamp is not valid after May 13. Try and mail something with it and see what happens.
Seriously, I hadn't heard of this and just mailed a bill with it yesterday as that was the stamps the ATM gave me.

Guess I'll have to wait and see if it bounces back.

Pretty shitty if it does, as they shouldn't have put out the stamps if they're not going to honor them until a certain date.

Edit

Just noticed that I've already used 3 of those stamps prior to this one, and all were for bills and all have cleared. So I guess they aren't returning anything.
Old 05-05-07, 01:08 PM
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I think you misunderstood - the old stamps are still good through the 13th, so what you mailed is fine. If you use the new "forever" stamp now, it'll work but you're wasting two cents.
Old 05-05-07, 01:09 PM
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I went to the Post Office the other day for stamps and they sold me two packs of $0.39 stamps. I asked the lady behind the counter when the prices were increasing. She said, "next week." My response was, "well, maybe I should get the $0.41/stamps." Anyone who mails 40 letters in a week wouldn't use stamps.


Originally Posted by porieux
Again, this is not new. Why is the article above acting like it is?


Those "First Class" stamps have a year on the side, which corresponds to the rate year. So "First Class" 2003 stamps cannot be used in 2007 (found that out the hard way).

Last edited by matta; 05-05-07 at 01:11 PM.

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