USPS Is Raising Prices Again—Here's How to Avoid Paying More
The agency is planning another price hike for customers this summer.
From delivery delays to mail theft, frustrations with the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) seem to be a constant. Now, customers have another reason to complain, as they're likely going to have to pay more for their mail soon. Following a price hike at the beginning of 2023, the USPS recently announced plans to increase prices yet again this summer. But there may be a loophole to help you bypass these climbing costs. Read on to find out what you can do now to avoid paying more for your mail.
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The USPS has been steadily hiking mail prices.
We've seen the cost of postal services go up several times over the past few years, thanks in part to the introduction of the Delivering for America (DFA) initiative in March 2021. This 10-year plan was designed to help the USPS achieve financial sustainability again. In order to do this, the DFA has enacted a series of price hikes for customers, with more to come.
The price changes began in Aug. 2021, when the USPS raised the costs of its Forever stamp from 55 cents to 58 cents. The cost then rose to 60 cents in July 2022. Most recently, we saw stamps climb up to 63 cents in January—and now, that number is going up again.
The agency has announced plans to raise stamp prices again this summer.
Customers are expected to see costs go up again in a few months. In an April 10 press release, the USPS announced that it had filed notice with the Postal Regulatory Commission (PRC) of another proposed price hike.
With this planned change, the agency is looking to raise the price of its First-Class Mail Forever Stamp by three cents once again this summer. Instead of 63 cents, customers will have to pay 66 cents for each stamp.
The overall increase will raise First-Class Mail prices by approximately 5.4 percent in order "to offset the rise in inflation," according to the Postal Service. If "favorably reviewed" by the PRC, these higher prices will be implemented on July 9.
Approval is likely, as the PRC has not stopped any of the agency's recent price increases, and is only responsible for checking that the hike is within the allowed rate system, Government Executive explained.
You can avoid paying more by acting now.
A three-cent increase might not seem like much, but if you're someone who sends a lot of mail, the cost of stamps going from 55 cents to 66 cents in three years could really add up.
To avoid paying more down the line, the Krazy Coupon Lady is advising customers to stock up on the Postal Service's Forever stamps right now. According to the popular cost-saving website, buying stamps in bulk can save you up to 10 percent.
The USPS sells a variety of designs on its website in various bulk sizes such as booklets of 20, panes of 20, and coils of 100, 3,000, and 10,000. And if you buy them now before the price hike, it will only cost you 63 cents per stamp.
"As the name suggests, Forever stamps can be used to mail a one-ounce letter regardless of when the stamps are purchased or used and no matter how prices may change in the future," the Postal Service explains on its website.
Prices will likely continue rising over time.
Buying stamps now could save you even more money down the line, as more price hikes from the USPS are almost certain. According to the agency's website, customers should expect to see price adjustments occur twice each year from now on—once in January and again in July.
"As operating expenses fueled by inflation continue to rise and the effects of a previously defective pricing model are still being felt, these price adjustments are needed to provide the Postal Service with much needed revenue to achieve the financial stability sought by its Delivering for America 10-year plan," the USPS said in is April 10 press release. "The prices of the U.S. Postal Service remain among the most affordable in the world."
- Source: https://about.usps.com/what/strategic-plans/delivering-for-america/
- Source: https://about.usps.com/newsroom/national-releases/2021/0528-usps-proceeds-with-request-for-postal-rate-change.htm
- Source: https://about.usps.com/newsroom/national-releases/2022/0406-usps-new-prices-for-2022.htm
- Source: https://about.usps.com/newsroom/national-releases/2022/1007-usps-announces-new-prices-for-2023.htm
- Source: https://about.usps.com/newsroom/national-releases/2023/0410-usps-files-notice-with-prc-for-new-mailing-services-pricing.htm
- Source: https://about.usps.com/news/fact-sheets/forever-stamp-facts.htm
- Source: https://about.usps.com/newsroom/statements/091521-new-market-dominant-price-adjustment-schedule.htm