The price of stamps in 2016 is set to decrease for the first time in nearly a century. According to CNN Money, the United States Postal Service has announced that they will lower the cost of stamps from $0.49 to $0.47 on Sunday, April 10. The USPS is not happy about this rate change, however, as it will cost them $2 billion.
The Postal Regulatory Commission is the agency that ultimately makes the pricing decisions for the USPS and while the company has been content with the ever-rising price of stamps, this surprising decrease has had an adverse effect. Since the USPS is already hurting financially (to say the least), losing more money could be detrimental.
“Given our precarious financial condition and ongoing business needs, the price reduction… exacerbates our losses. This unfortunate decision heightens the importance of the review of our rate-making system,” explained Postmaster General Megan Brennan.
Of course, the price of stamps in 2016 could increase again by year’s end. Regardless of which way the Postal Regulatory Commission decides to go with pricing, Americans are fairly happy to see this price decrease as it is the first time the price of stamps has gone down since 1919. At that time, the price of stamps dropped from three cents to two cents, which was a really big deal.
“This is only the third price decrease on record going back to the Civil War.”
The 2016 stamp price decrease may be good news to stamp buyers, but it’s not too much of a surprise to those that pay attention to what the USPS has been doing. You may or may not recall that the last stamp price hike was only meant as a temporary fix.
“USPS losses got worse during the Great Recession, as businesses cut back on mailing. To help make up for the shortfall it got permission to increase rates in 2014, raising the price of a stamp by 3 cents to its current 49 cents. But that increase was only meant to be temporary, and it has to give up 2 cents of that increase this year,” reports CNN Money.
The price of a stamp for a First Class Mail Letter (1 oz.) today is $0.49 which makes a book of 10 stamps cost $4.90, a book of 20 $9.80, and a coil of 100 $49. After Sunday’s price decrease, one stamp will cost $0.47, bringing the price of a book of 10 stamps to $4.70, a book of 20 stamps to $9.40, and a coil of 100 stamps to $47.00.
If you have previously purchased stamps, you can still use them, even if you paid more for them than the new price. Some people may opt to buy new stamps at the lower price and save their “Forever” stamps for when the price goes up again, which it inevitably will.
According to CBS News, those who choose to use their “Forever” stamps will end up losing money, even if it’s just loose change. While it would have worked in your favor if you purchased the stamps for a lower price than what the new price was going to be, that won’t be the case starting tomorrow.
“It turns out that if you’re holding Forever stamps in the expectation of saving some change, you’re on the losing end of the bet.”
Many Americans don’t really count pennies (unless it’s at the gas pump), but every little bit matters. What do you make of the stamp price decrease?
[Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images]