- The U.S. Postal Service is raising the price of “forever” stamps by 10 percent on Jan. 27.
- A “forever” stamp never expires and can be used regardless of price changes.
- The digital transformation hasn’t been kind to the postal service; last year, it operated at a loss of $3.9 billion.
The U.S. Postal Service announced a 10 percent price increase on “forever” stamps from 50 cents to 55 cents starting Jan. 27.
USPS “forever” stamps can be used until forever, and despite fluctuating prices, the stamps will never expire. Technological stalwarts and snail-mail purists can stock up before Sunday’s 10 percent postage rate increase. Here’s what you need to know about the rate hike.
More USPS Price Hikes
Along with the increase to postage rates, the USPS is also raising its prices for mailing services. For example, Priority Mail Express will increase 3.9 percent and Priority Mail will increase 5.9 percent.
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USPS Lost $3.9B in 2018
The digital world brought with it services such as online bill pay and electronic magazines that have erased a considerable dent in the number of letters and packages the USPS processes. The service reported an overall volume decline of 3.2 billion pieces in 2018. The USPS-wide price jump is a direct response to its operating costs outweighing its revenue.
Even though postal volume is down, the cash-strapped USPS still has to pay its mail carriers and employees the same wages, as well as expenses for workers’ compensation and retiree health benefits. The agency reported a net loss of $3.9 billion last year.
USPS Isn’t Funded by Taxpayers
Contrary to public belief, the USPS is not funded by U.S. taxpayers and doesn’t receive federal government funding. Although Congress has authority over the Postal Service, USPS is categorized as a retailer just like Walmart, Target and even Sears. During the revolution of the so-called retail apocalypse, it’s becoming increasingly difficult for retailers to stay afloat. Although the “forever” stamp cost increase might seem insignificant to the individual buyer, it could potentially have a huge impact on the Postal Service’s revenue.
Keep reading about the retailers that went bankrupt in 2018.
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