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Stamp Prices Will Increase in 2013

The U.S. Postal Service is raising the cost of stamps for first class letters by one cent.

It's going to cost a little bit more to mail that letter the next time you go to the post office.

The cost of a standard, first class stamp will rise by one penny, from $.45 to $.46, on Jan. 27, 2013, the U.S. Postal Service reports. This will be the second year in a row that the cost of stamps have risen by one cent.

The Postal Service urges its customers to purchase Forever Stamps at $.45 cents per stamp before the price change. They will also rise to $.46 on January 27. Once bought, the Forever Stamps can be used indefintely and will remain applicable for one-ounce letters, even when postage rates rise.

A new, Global Forever Stamp will also be available for consumers. With these stamps, any letter can be shipped anywhere overseas for the flat rate of $1.10.

Other services that have also increased rates, according to stamps.com, include:

  • A one cent increase to $0.33 cents from $0.32 cents for postcards
  • Express Mail will increase an average of 5.9 percent
  • Priority Mail prices will increase an average of 6.3 percent. Online discounted rates will increase 3.7 percent
  • Rates for First Class Package Service will see an average increase of 3 percent
  • Parcel Post (renamed Standard Post) will increase an average of 6.3 percent
  • Parcel Select will increase an average of 9 percent
  • Certified Mail will increase by 5.1 percent

Since the national postal service does not receive funding from taxpayer money, the department relies on sales of its products and services to maintain its operating budget. Federal law says that the post office can raise prices based only on the inflation rate, which is 2.7 percent. Anything more has to be approved by Congress.

According to USA Today, the Postal Service reported an annual loss of $15.9 billion in November, tripling the $5.1 billion loss in 2011. Approximately $11 billion of the loss is tied to labor expenses, primarily from a law passed by Congress in 2006 that requires the Postal Service to fully prepay the retirement health care fund for the next 75 years by 2016. 

FedEx and UPS also announced rate increases for 2013. According to Reuters, the average cost for ground shipments and home deliveries will rise 4.9 percent for FedEx and 4.9 percent for UPS.

Guyrene January 07, 2013 at 10:11 PM
The postal service does an amazing job. Delivering a letter to any sparsely populated area in the USA for 45 cents is something no other organization could ever accomplished.
tchjjal January 08, 2013 at 12:45 AM
I beg to differ Guyrene: the post office was looking for a 41 Billion dollar bailout in March of 2012. It is not working.... I believe there is a government law that will not let private companies deliver mail 1 ounce and under which keeps the private companies out of the competition. If we could eliminate that law, delivery could be cheaper!
Guyrene January 08, 2013 at 02:08 AM
tchjjal, this supposed bailout was another one of the atrocious rules imposed by ultra-right politicians ably assisted by anti-worker and big business advocates. This $41 b alleged bailout is just a union-busting and bashing propaganda that has nothing to do with productivity. Congress changed the USP retirement rules and insisted that future retirement cost be immediately and totally prepaid. No American business ever had to comply with such an unfair and nutty ruling. No company requires the prepayment of all benefits. If the post office declares bankruptcy, or if the USP is taken over by a big corporation all workers who were promised retirement benefits will be shafted. As will the general population that finds out that no private company will agree to deliver mail under the same irrational rules set up by Congress.
Guyrene January 08, 2013 at 02:17 AM
Also the article notes that "FedEx and UPS also announced rate increases for 2013. According to Reuters, the average cost for ground shipments and home deliveries will rise 4.9 percent for FedEx and 4.9 percent for UPS." This is substantially more that the 3% increases the Post Office is requesting for its first class mail. Again, no private company can deliver first-class mail for the low price the PO charges. Maybe slave labor is in our future.
Albert Williams January 08, 2013 at 01:14 PM
Cripes, I think I get more of my neighbor's mail than my own...do I get a portion of his pention for doing the job they're supposed to do?

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