Service of It’s Only Five Cents More: Impact of Another USPS Price Increase

April 29th, 2024

Categories: Greeting Cards, Holiday Memories, Holidays, Mail, Post Office, Prices, Stamp

Mostly older people mail traditional letters or pay bills by mail and mostly older people enjoy receiving traditional cards. One of the recipients of my Halloween, Valentine, holiday and birthday cards was a dear friend who died recently at 99. After she retired, she told me how much receiving the cards meant. I will miss her especially as I address those envelopes.

How long will I keep up the tradition of sending cards? I shared the news of the July 14 five cent price increase for a Forever Stamp—on top of two cents in January–with folks who use the mails. We will be paying 73 cents for one. I’ll no longer fork over chump change to mail 100+ Christmas/Hannukah greetings. I’ve pretty much stopped sending cards to younger people as I suspect they languish in unopened mailboxes for months and are an annoyance considered wasteful.

Cousin Deb responded to my stamp price increase news: “I will buy quite a few before that date. What a large leap in price!  As a senior, I feel that they are not so subtly telling us to go everything electronic. I am stubbornly still paying some bills by check, and I also like to communicate by cards and letters.

“But even though I never had any problems with leaving my mail out for the mailman to pick up, I now will be mailing them inside the post office. AARP has convinced me to do that.  And, making sure that I use a pen that is permanent black, like a fine point Sharpie. It is a major pain, as it is now too far to walk!”

For a while, after I read about the importance of using the right ink for writing a check, I was giving Sharpie pens to friends who mail checks.

Like Deb, I’m careful about where I put mail to be sent. I haven’t put a letter in a blue street mailbox in months. I am lucky that in my apartment building the trusty mail people pick up our letters from a box inside the building. Post offices near me aren’t convenient.

I have reasons for wanting the microfiche check images I get from my bank. The memo section on one in which my husband had written “downpayment,” was proof needed in a disagreement with a vendor. And I dislike the concept that a company or organization can suck out of my account any amount of money it cares to for as long as it wants. I also use the tiny check facsimiles as proof of charitable donations. Some less sophisticated yet needy organizations–such as local food banks–have no staff to send online or physical acknowledgements for donations.

Will you change your mailing habits as the cost of a first-class stamp gallops towards a dollar? Have you already done so?

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14 Responses to “Service of It’s Only Five Cents More: Impact of Another USPS Price Increase”

  1. B.C. Said:

    First time in my life, I will not be sending 70 to 80 Christmas cards. Folks will be getting an email card! I am old enough to remember when a stamp cost 3 cents!

  2. Jeanne Byington Said:

    B.C.,

    As I respond I think of businesses like Hallmark that to survive are in other industries–like movies and franchise stores–or they would be up the creek given your reaction to the cost of a stamp and mine too. I’ve always loved paper and stationery. And I display cards I receive in my living room. Sigh.

  3. Hank Goldman Said:

    It’s still a great bargain… The post office has always been underfunded by Congress. Despite the problems with mailing checks, it’s still amazing that for a dollar you are able to send something from coast to coast in a matter of days… Have to look on the bright side…

  4. Jeanne Byington Said:

    Hank,

    I appreciate your optimism and positive reaction. I send a few cards to California–that’s true. Far too complicated if we were charged according to distance for a first-class stamp as we are when sending packages.

    I have ignored what I pay for a stamp in order to feed my habit of sending as many cards as I do for various holidays in addition to the December ones. It becomes increasingly hard to do so.

  5. Linda Levi Said:

    Linda on Facebook: No, and no. Then again, I don’t even know 100 people, much less mail that many holiday cards!

  6. Jeanne Byington Said:

    Linda,

    I have friends from most of the segments of my life from school and college to Air Force, various jobs, places I’ve lived, organizations I’ve belonged to. The list shrinks as people die, which while natural, is nonetheless sad.

  7. EAM Said:

    EAM on Facebook: 7.8% increase is nothing to sneeze at and will be the second increase this year

  8. Jeanne Byington Said:

    EAM,

    I am so impressed! I was never good at calculating percentage increases. In any case, I can’t think of many businesses that pay the slightest bit of attention to this crucial statistic.

  9. TC Said:

    JEANNE, WELL, AT THIS POINT EMAIL PREDOMINATES FOR MAILINGS. INCLUDING GREETINGS CARDS AND EVEN PAYING FOR GOODS BY CREDIT CARD. BUT COST OF SENDING PACKAGES NOW CLIMBING UP.

  10. Jeanne Byington Said:

    Tuck,

    It’s true that email has taken over most correspondence, but I know people who have refused to join in and the only way to reach them with holiday wishes is by mail. Amazing.

    I try to buy enough to meet the minimum online purchase required to be forgiven shipping charges. I wonder how long that option will last. I am not an Amazon shopper–probably the only one of my acquaintances who isn’t.

  11. Lucrezia Said:

    The worth of the nickel has plummeted to such a degree from when the stamp cost one or two cents, that the impact is negligible. The Forever Stamp pays, so basically all my stamps cost less than the going rate.

  12. Jeanne Byington Said:

    Lucrezia,

    I never bought enough to gain from the forever aspect and I use so many that when the price leaps to $1.00 I’ll be in the same boat. Spending $70+ to send holiday greetings smarts. I tried not to pay attention before but it’s getting harder to do!

  13. Martha Takyama Said:

    I think the price increases do make a difference and discourage using post. More disruptive is the abominable service that has resulted from Trump and his appointee to essentially ruin the Post Office. Many businesses and institutions pressure one to change to email communication only. The price increase combined with the knowledge that mailboxes are not safe, mail delivery personnel are being assaulted and robbed and checks being washed all certainly make me avoid using stamped mail.
    However nothing electronic can replace the charm of paper mail deliveries

  14. Jeanne Byington Said:

    Martha,

    I may be the last person I know who continues to send cards and pay bills by mail, which may be nuts, but I will continue until I decide to give up something I enjoy [not the bill paying!] because the budget won’t tolerate it anymore.

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