Public Service Announcement:
January 5, 2001 8:57 AM   Subscribe

Public Service Announcement: starting Sunday, first-class postage goes up a penny. So if you've got a pile of 33-cent stamps leftover from holiday card season, either use 'em up now, or stock up on 1-cent stamps.
posted by sandor (15 comments total)
Dammit! I just bought stamps YESTERDAY!
posted by jpoulos at 9:13 AM on January 5, 2001

I had a tip from my mailman that the stamps would cost more in January of 2001 so I bought up three thousand bucks worth of stamps (32 cents per stamp) and figure to save a lot of money over the next ten years.
posted by Postroad at 9:30 AM on January 5, 2001

Three thousand dollars worth? Nearly ten thousand stamps? In ten years will you even be sending letters? Or are you joking? If so, I don't get it.
posted by daveadams at 10:12 AM on January 5, 2001

I'm presuming it's a joke, as stocking up wouldn't help anyway, what with letters being shipped based on whether they have enough postage for current rates, not whether they have a stamp or not.
posted by youhas at 10:24 AM on January 5, 2001

daveadams, he's joking. He had me for a second, too... It's a possible response of someone uninformed.

The deal is that you can't save money that way. It's not "there is a stamp on this letter" that gets it sent, it's the total value of the stamps... Thus, you have to get 1-cent stamps to complement your old stamps when the cost changes.

Stamps don't necessarily cost more, now, sending letters does.
posted by whatnotever at 10:25 AM on January 5, 2001

Unless of course you get the ones that say "First Class Rate" without a denomination.
posted by kindall at 10:25 AM on January 5, 2001

I was reading January's issue of MAXIM, and they had a recommendation on what to do on Jan. 1 to plan for the year. One item was to go to the post office and buy a year's worth of stamps.....glad I didn't try that one.

Can I have a year's worth of 1c stamps now?
posted by pnevares at 10:33 AM on January 5, 2001

Why don't they just get it over with and make all the stamps a buck from now on? I mean bumping it up a cent or two every eight months is getting annoying. Just bump all first class mail to a buck, everyone will avoid the postal service and fax everything via the 'Net, and the situation would resolve itself. Why torture us a penny at a time?
posted by ZachsMind at 11:27 AM on January 5, 2001

Sheesh. For many years now the USPS board of governors has run on a rough three-year schedule.

The first year of a rate increase, the USPS has a surplus; the second year they break even; the third year they request an increase. That it's only a penny is supposed to be a blessing.

First class postage has changed 9 times in 25 years. [pdf] Pretty good, considering that most of us gladly waste more than that on lattes every other day or so.
posted by dhartung at 7:52 PM on January 5, 2001

Oh, my recommendation is to buy stamps at a lobby machine now, and wait until later in the month to get the 1c make-up stamps.
posted by dhartung at 7:53 PM on January 5, 2001

I think the U.S. pays the least amount for postage of any Western industrialized nation. Maybe that's related to their efficiency; maybe it's all about keeping their employees disgruntled. Either way, when I suggested that the P.O. ought to raise prices to a standard like $.50, my wife told me to kill that noise because not everyone is spending their money on lattes as regularly as other folks. I wanted to be all cavalier and say that e-mail is still free, but she wasn't having it -- and I was perfectly willing to concede her point.
posted by allaboutgeorge at 8:31 PM on January 5, 2001

Gad, I'm getting old. I remember the 5 cent first class stamp. Postcards were 3 cents. Gasoline was 30 cents a gallon. I even remember "gas wars". I bet a lot of you young punks don't even know what that is.
posted by Steven Den Beste at 8:32 PM on January 5, 2001

To me, "gas wars" usually means my grandmother made her special meatloaf again.
posted by aaron at 11:54 PM on January 5, 2001

Were they anything like "cola wars"? I remember those. :-p
posted by youhas at 3:15 AM on January 6, 2001

The chart I saw graphed the price of stamps versus the inflation rate over the past 30 years. The cost of stamps in 1970 was something like 7 cents. With inflation factored in, the 33/4 cent stamp is pretty darn close to the exact same price. Try it with this calculator.
posted by daveadams at 2:35 PM on January 6, 2001

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