If you’re a family who still enjoys the charm of mailing letters or a small business owner who relies on the postal service, make plans to adjust to the latest stamp price increase. The price of a stamp is going up by 3 cents Sunday, marking the third price hike in the last 12 months. This is the 17th rate change since 2000 and the shortest time between stamp increases in the Postal Service’s history.
The Postal Service has justified the stamp price increase as a necessary measure to “offset the rise in inflation” and to address “continued elevated inflation and prior years defective pricing model.” However, critics argue that these hikes are causing a rapid decline in mail volumes, a phenomenon they’ve dubbed ‘stampflation.’
Kevin Yoder, executive director of the advocacy group Keep US Posted, points out that each time the price of a stamp goes up, mail volumes decrease at a faster rate than projected. After January’s stamp price increase, mail volume immediately decreased nearly 9% year-over-year, while expenses increased by 16%.
The number of pieces of mail handled by the post office has been on the decline in recent years as more people pay bills online, email Evites for parties and send fewer physical thank you cards. In 2022, USPS handled 127.3 billion pieces of mail compared to the high of 213.1 billion in 2006.
So, what does this mean for you? Starting Sunday, July 9, the price of a stamp for a 1-ounce letter will be 66 cents, up from 63 cents. The first-class stamp will be double the 1999 rate of 33 cents. Other increases include metered 1-ounce letters, which will cost 63 cents, up from 60 cents, and postcards sent domestically, which will be 51 cents, up from 48 cents. International postcards and 1-ounce letters will be $1.50, a 5-cent increase.
But it’s not just the stamps. The cost for Certified Mail, Post Office Box rental fees, money order fees, and insurance are also increasing.
If you’re feeling a bit overwhelmed by this stamp price increase, here’s a tip for you: stock up on Forever Stamps. The Postal Service first started selling Forever stamps in 2007, when they cost 41 cents. Since 2011, all first-class commemorative stamps have been issued as Forever stamps. These stamps will always be valid for the first-class mail postage rate, no matter how much the price of a stamp increases in the future.
Unfortunately, this may not be the end of the price hikes. More stamp price increases are expected as part of Postmaster General Louis DeJoy’s 10-year Delivering for America plan “to achieve financial sustainability.”
So, whether you’re a family sending out holiday cards or a small business shipping products, it’s time to strategize. Consider investing in Forever stamps, explore digital alternatives, or adjust your budget to accommodate the stamp price increase. The postal service is still a vital part of our communication infrastructure and with a little planning, you won’t even notice the stamp price increase today.