Why Your Snail Mail Costs A Tiny Fortune and Other Fun Facts from the USPS

usps stampWay, way, way back in ye olden days of yore (2011), Amie wrote about the United States Postal Service and the many terrible things that were happening to it. That particular article posited that most of the difficulties being faced by the Post Office were a direct result of its customer service policies that were – and still are – lacking. Although many things have changed in the world, one thing remains constant: the USPS is still pretty messed up.

Wait, You Want How Much for a Stamp?!

I feel as though I should preface everything by saying that I love snail mail and will always choose to send a letter or postcard if it is an option. Still, even I am a little put off by the latest in postal news.

Beginning on January 26, 2014, the cost of sending a letter first class will rise to $.49. Yes, you read that correctly. Forty-nine cents. For a stamp.

Apparently, this small act of hostile highway robbery will generate some $2 billion in revenue for the ailing institution.

Why Would You Do This to Me, USPS?!

Of course, the USPS has its reasons for raising the cost of stamp. For example, it currently loses some $25 million per day under current circumstances. That factoid alone would seem to justify the need for a different sales model. Additionally, the USPS is currently investigating whether stamps will continue to be a viable product and for how long they can be expected to last. In order to do this, the higher ups at the post office paid more than $500,000 to a futurist in order to provide “analysis and recommendation on the future of stamps.”

Whatever the analysis and recommendations reveal, it is clear that the USPS is learning a hard lesson about the need to respond to environmental changes if it would like to remain a powerful product.

In case you are actually concerned, the futurists will reveal their findings in October.

What do you think about the increase in stamp prices? Do you care? Will it affect the way you conduct business?

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A teacher by trade, Elizabeth LaBelle graduated with honors from the University of Michigan in 2011. After specializing in Political Science and Francophone Studies with a minor in Korean, the only tangible skill she can show for it is the ability to write in all three languages. Elizabeth never thought she would get paid to write in any language – but after four years washing dishes in an industrial kitchen and a year selling office supplies door-to-door, nothing surprises her. When she’s not writing or teaching, Elizabeth coaches high school debate and forensics. Her hobbies include thoroughbred racing, competitive pool playing and hunting for the perfect Chicago apartment.

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