Don’t forget to load up on Forever Stamps this week!

by J. Money -

tropical mailboxes

The price of forever stamps rises to 55¢ this Sunday! An increase of 5 cents from the 50 cents it’s currently at!

There’s also a bunch of other price changes happening with postage – more info here: USPS Announces Postage Rate Increase – Starts January 27, 2019

If you still like – and remember – how to write letters, now would be a good time to load up on them before your nickels go running for the hills! ;)

I always thought it would make for a good side hustle too, flipping forever stamps and/or sitting on buckets of them waiting for them to go up?! But since I’ve never actually heard anyone doing this before (and I know I’m not the only one who had this idea!), me thinks maybe it’s not exactly legal to do so… And I’m too lazy right now to Google it and find out, haha…

Oh forget it – I just spent the 30 second researching and apparently you can sell stamps if you want to! And for higher prices at that, wow!

Here’s a clip from the FAQs of the USPS:

Can stamps be sold at a higher price?

The Postal Service™ sells stamps at face value to everyone. We have no control over the pricing policies of private entrepreneurs, companies or agencies who resell our products.

Customers may avoid paying more than the stated value for First-Class Mail® postage by purchasing stamps at a local Post Office™ location, through Stamps By Mail®, phone, online, self-service kiosks and retail outlets that are involved with our consignment programs or from one of the many postal stores.

Excellent! So why aren’t more people doing this?? Too costly to market or find customers? Not enough margin? I know storage can’t be an issue considering how small and lightweight they are, haha…

TRUE STORY: I once worked at a stamp factory over a summer, and we weren’t allowed to wear any clothing with pockets or bring in any bags that weren’t completely see-through in order to thwart thievery. We even had to go through security check points every time we entered or left the building! I also remember one guy pointing to a load of pallets on my first day and saying that each one of them was worth around a million dollars each – so wild…

But I digress…

And now because I went down this dang Google hole, you get to read the hundreds of facts I just uncovered while spending an additional 30 minutes on it (curse you!!).

They are pretty good though :)

  • The Post Office Department was founded in 1775, making it the second oldest federal department
  • Benjamin Franklin was appointed its first Postmaster General, and up until 1971 the Postmaster General was a Cabinet member
  • U.S. mail is protected by more than 200 federal laws enforced by the Postal Inspection Service, one of the nation’s oldest law enforcement agencies
  • The Postal Service receives NO tax dollars for operating expenses, and relies on the sale of postage, products and services to fund its operations
  • The Postal Service has the nation’s largest retail network – bigger than McDonald’s, Starbucks and Walmart combined (domestically)
  • The USPS employs more than 7.5 million people, including more than 105,000 military veterans – making it one of the largest employers of veterans in the country
  • There are 228,483 delivery routes, that go to over 157 million addresses in every state, city and town in the country
  • The most popular street name is “Main” (13,000 of them!), followed by “Maple” (8,000)
  • The longest rural delivery route is in Erie, KS, where the carrier travels 185.4 miles every day delivering to 174 boxes
  • The shortest rural delivery route is in Athens, GA with 0.18 miles traveled daily and 280 deliveries
  • The ZIP Code with the most possible street deliveries is Cathedral Station, NY (10025) with 45,742!
  • ZIP stands for “Zone Improvement Plan” which was introduced in 1963, and are important parts of the nation’s 911 emergency system.
  • The first number of ZIP codes represents a general geographic area of the nation, such as “0” in the East moving to “9” in the West. The next two numbers are for regional areas and the final two for specific Post Offices.
  • The Postal Service has the largest gantry robotic fleet in the world using 174 robotics systems to move 314,000 mail trays per day
  • They also have more than 230,000 vehicles, one of the largest civilian fleets in the world
  • The most unusual delivery method used by USPS is a mule train in Arizona, where the mules carry mail, food and supplies down an 8-mile trail to the Havasupai Indians at the bottom of the Grand Canyon
  • The USPS also employs planes, hovercraft, trains, trucks, cars, boats, ferries, helicopters, subways, bicycles and feet to deliver mail
  • And for the past 105 years, postal employees, charities and individual and corporate volunteers have helped spread the magic of the holiday season by answering letters to Santa :)

And in 2017 alone, the USPS…

  • Had an operating revenue of $69.6 BILLION
  • Delivered over 58.7 billion pieces of first class mail
  • Traveled over 1.5 billion miles to deliver this mail – equivalent to 61,217 laps around Earth, or 6,381 trips to the moon!
  • Printed 19 billion U.S. postage stamps
  • Processed 36.8 million address changes
  • Accepted 6.5 million passport applications
  • Got attacked by dogs 6,000 times (!!!)
  • And lastly, protected the lives of customers they serve, including older and disabled customers, 318 memorable times

More facts, and juicy details, here: Postal Facts 2018 Companion (PDF)

But yeah…

If you still use stamps, go out and buy as many as you can this week! The price increase goes into effect this SUNDAY so you still have time to make it happen!

And congrats to Gillehy who won last week’s Avid Investor Planner giveaway! Horrible transition, I know, but totally forgot to announce it yesterday ;)

Happy Tuesday.

*****
PS: After writing this I wondered if there were enterprising stampers on Ebay, and there sure were! You could snatch up all kinds and amounts of forever stamps there, as well as a bunch of other older school ones… Just gotta watch out for the *shipping* costs ;)

{ 17 comments… read them below or add one }

1 MK January 22, 2019 at 7:20 am

Thanks for the tip, J! I just went online & purchased more Forever stamps to use at work. Not only do we mail company letters, we “sell” stamps to our employees at cost so my folks will be able to continue buying stamps @ $.50 beyond Sunday. :)

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2 J. Money January 22, 2019 at 7:53 am

Well isn’t that nice of y’all!

Is there a particular place you buy them online that you like? Or is it through a work thing?

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3 Bryan January 22, 2019 at 7:41 am

55 cents…damn! Last time I paid attention they were 44 cents.

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4 J. Money January 22, 2019 at 7:49 am

we’re getting old ;)

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5 EL January 22, 2019 at 11:40 am

Hey thanks for the savings tip, even though its nominal the small amounts do add up. Yeah I remember they were at 44 cents too. Yes you got it right not enough margin to make money on from .50 to .55, resellers want to make at least double in profits to make it worth while.

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6 Adam January 22, 2019 at 1:10 pm

Good call! I made it a point to get this done last month when I was dropping off packages at our local post office. 100x spool for fifty bucks instead of fifty five? Heck yes. Now if only I could talk my wife into a prepaid phone plan…

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7 J. Money January 22, 2019 at 2:05 pm

Haha… can’t help you with that last one ;)

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8 Chris January 22, 2019 at 2:45 pm

Oh wow, I didn’t know that! Thanks for the advice.

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9 J. Money January 23, 2019 at 2:38 pm

I want 10% of the savings, please!

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10 B.C Kowalski January 22, 2019 at 5:15 pm

If my calculations are right, it wouldn’t be much of a side hustle, but more lucrative than I thought. Taking the rate from 2011, when stamps were $0.44, and 2019, when stamps will become $0.55, over the eight year period that translates to 3.1% a year. Assuming the general stock market index average of 7%, and considering that there is no compounding interest (your interest isn’t calculated and awarded to you every year, you don’t redeem value until you sell the stamps), it doesn’t seem like the best side hustle.

On the other hand, selling stamps at a premium for those cool collectible stamps (my hand shakes every time I have to part with another Captain Kirk stamp to pay my mortgage), might prove more lucrative.

Also I suck at math though the exception always seems to be in FIRE math, so I think I got it right! There is a reason I write for a living instead of accounting, though…

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11 J. Money January 23, 2019 at 2:43 pm

Haha… I’m just going to assume you’re right, and continue laughing for the fact you actually tried to annualize it like that (did I use that term right? :)). Something to note though would be that at least these are *guaranteed* returns for the near future vs the stock market (that 7% is better for longer-term), so me thinks this FSH would still yield excellent returns as a shorter term hustle (Forever Stamp Hack).

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12 Jason Butler January 22, 2019 at 9:10 pm

As someone who resells, the price increases kinda suck. I’ll adjust my pricing accordingly.

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13 J. Money January 23, 2019 at 2:43 pm

Ahh yes, it definitely doesn’t do you guys any favors! Or really any of us who aren’t turning this into a hustle.. ;)

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14 Revanche @ A Gai Shan Life January 24, 2019 at 1:12 am

I loaded up! Sadly I didn’t get all the designs I wanted but I got six sheets anyway.

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15 J. Money January 25, 2019 at 6:51 am

Six is > none :)

We only ever seem to have the Flag designs here… Didn’t even know there were other types of Forevers until a year ago, haha..

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16 DNN February 1, 2019 at 8:22 pm

Certain kinds of “forever stamps” are almost or sold out by the time you stand on that long post office line waiting to mail off big boxes and wanting those stamps. Some of this [forever stamps] are going to be worth some money in the future. Best now to buy and keep them in plastic wrap to perhaps sell at an auction 10 to 20 years from now.

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17 J. Money February 4, 2019 at 2:52 pm

Well, I wouldn’t go that far haha…

They’ll def. be *worth* more, but not as a “collectible” with how many billions they make every year!

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