Price Of Postage Stamps Going Up In January

By: Tina Volpe - December 25, 2013

Just when we were getting used to the $.46 cent price tag for one postage stamp, things are going to change again. The new postage stamp as of January 26th will cost American’s $.49 cents. Imagine, nearly $.50 cents to mail a letter.

Due to the financial struggles the United States Postal Service (USPS) has endured since the beginning of the economic crisis, many small towns seeing their only post office either shut down entirely, or hours cut back dramatically. This hike is an effort to help them recover from their economic downturn.

The Postal Service has claimed that its financial problems are due to the lack of interest in paper mail, what many call snail mail. So along came staff reductions — about a quarter of its workforce, or 150,000 postal jobs being eliminated by 2016 and closing post offices as well as ending Saturday mail delivery, a measure currently pending in Congress, but we knew something was amiss.

“There is red ink — but the overwhelming share has nothing to do with mail volume, the Internet, or other factors related to the mail,” says Fredric Rolando, president of the National Association of Letter Carriers

Some expert’s claim the financial downfall is due to mismanaged funds and Congress not acting as quickly as required. As well as extensive retirement health payments, a cost that in the first 3 quarters of 2013 was a whopping $9.2 billion dollars.

“The prefunding of retiree health benefits for future retirees is a major cause of our financial crisis — but not the only cause,” says a USPS spokesman, citing decline in first-class mail as another major cause.

Usually stamp prices increase $.01 per year, however, supposedly – the higher rate is only going to continue for two years. This will allow the Postal Service to try and make the $2.8 billion dollars they have lost over the past few years. Perhaps this will bring them back to making a profit.

With a 2-1 vote, the independent Postal Regulatory Commission rejected a request to make the price hike permanent, although considering inflation over the next 24 months it just may make stick. It is too soon to determine.

The surcharge “will last just long enough to recover the loss,” Commission Chairman Ruth Y. Goldway said.

Of course, it’s not just the first class stamp that will increase. – the USPS website that sells their mailing essentials online gives you a full overview of what it is going to cost to do business with them in 2014.

Sounds like they need a major restructuring of funds, and congress needs to step up and get this issue dealt with.

Image via YouTube

Tina Volpe

About the Author

Tina VolpeTina Volpe is an author, freelance writer and a college student. She loves spending time with her rescued feathered and furry friends... cooking Italian food, reading, writing, hiking and dreams of a huge animal sanctuary. Follow her on Twitter, Facebook, Linkedin and Google+

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  • Ray

    I understand that the ‘forever stamps’ will be rebranded ‘forever and a day’ to distinguish between new and old stock.

    • Pat


      I’m confused. When you say forever stamps will be “rebranded”. Does that mean that the forever stamps purchased before January 26 will need to add 3 cents to them?

      I understood when I purchased them that they were going to be good “forever”.


      • Angelo

        No, “forever” means that is the value of the most current date. As long as it says “forever” you do not need to add any additional cents for first class. I do not know the rules if you want to use it for international mailing rate.

    • Angelo

      “forever” stamps assume the latest or most current value. I never heard of “forever and a day” stamps. forever is forever regardless of how much you pay for it. there is no need to distinguish the different issues of forever stamps. There is another set of stamps called “First Class” that or those with a letter printed on that have a value that was not printed but they have an specific value. I found a website that contains the real value and if you have them you still can use them, some are worth a penny, 2 or 3 cents or maybe more.

  • Ralphie1954

    It is always a good economic idea to raise prices when demand slumps. Only the post office would be smart enough to think of that. In my community I was forced to put my mailbox on MY side of the street so now the mailman has to go down the street, then turn around and go back the other way. What a way to conserve fuel and save time. Now my mail which used to arrive at 10am-Noon, now arrives between 4-6pm. Why not just charge $2.00 an ounce since I haven’t used a single stamp in nearly two years. Email, Efax, EGreeting cards and paying bills online have eliminated my stamp needs. Good work USPS.

  • Martha

    I don’t see any harm in reducing the amount of employees if USPS has a reduction of employees has happen. We should see cut in price of stamps

    • louis

      I’ll bet it’s really dark where you’ve parked your head

    • Patti

      Martha, I’m still laughing, reduce the price of a stamp? I don’t think that reducing the price ever appears in any government agency, however reducing servies appears way too many times.

    • Angelo

      the post office never reduces anything except the service. they have all new things (stamps, boxes, enevolpes, etc) to raise money because they have a big competition between emails and UPS and they are losing big time. Unfortunately they normally reduce the force and hire temps and give the new employees not so great benefits so they don’t even want to stay.

  • Snow

    Um, Canada’s regular postage is going up to $0.85 in March 2014.

  • Rev. D.

    I just don’t see how ELECTED OFFICIALS allowed the USPS to “fall by the wayside”. They (Congress)wants and gets privileges all the time, but hard working people like the USPS have to wait on Congress to “fix” their monies. Now we see some of the end result. The USPS have family just like other Americans. This is a shame and a disgrace.

  • myri

    Pay your bills online, send emails and e-cards. That’s what I do. But the problem by raising rates it hurts the small mom and pop businesses selling on ebay and other similar sites. A lot of unemployed folks that are selling there to survive. EBay’s fees include total amt. received including postage costs. Meaning raising prices and then bargain hunters are not buying. Bad move for USPS at the worst possible time.

  • Phil

    Ah …. the Pentagon lost 2.3 TRILLION dollars and the FED lost 9.0 TRILLION dollars and they want to raise my stamps?

    Find the money you lost. Our government is so corrupt. Do people realize that the money I mentioned above is over half our national debt —- and it was just “lost”?

    This isn’t made up either. Do online searches you will literally see congressional hearings on this!!!! When will America finally get outraged? Will it ever happen?

  • Edward

    Sending a letter from Maine to California costs 49 cents? Sounds like a bargain to me. Ask a neighborhood kid to deliver something across the street for forty-nine cents and see what he says.

    • http://snowless snowless

      Kid would not give you the time of day.

    • Angelo

      it is cheaper if you just walk across street and deliver the mail yourself.
      you need to multiple 49 cents for the millions and millions of letters mail daily to see how much money they make.
      also it is cheaper if you e-mail the letter.

  • http://yahoo Sturgeon’s Law

    A temporary increase in the cost of a stamp? Yeah, sure, that’s always the way things work, right?

    • Patti

      Go to a post office and see how many windows are unstaffed, in the meantime, people stand in line to pick up their packages or certified mail. In the back of the post office, postal employees are standing around and gabbing and I do mean “on an UNofficial break.” Right now I’m waiting on a package that shows up in the USPS system at Opa Locke, FL on December 21, mailed Priority Mail, and the tracking system shows me that this package is still at Opa Locke, FL and USPS wonders why the American people have lost faith in the system. I can remember penny postcards and 3-cent stamps. Back in the mid 1940s, my grandmother, who lived in a small town in northern Arkansas, would butcher a chicken on Friday morning, clean it and pack it in a shoebox and mail it, on Friday afternoon, to my house in Kansas City, KS. That shoebox would arrive in Saturday’s mail, delivered to our door. On Sunday we would have fried chicken and if my grandmother butchered an old hen, then we would have chicken ‘n dumplings. Overnight and no special price, it was just normal delivery. Over 50 years later, even if we paid extra postage, we couldn’t be guaaranteed of receiving the package on Saturday. It might lie in some post office for several days and would not be fit to eat once it did arrive. USPS employees, like most people, in this day and age have no pride in what they do, many don’t really care about doing their job, as long as they get a paycheck and a “fat retirement check.”

  • Jack Kuhnemund

    Just another glaring example of government waste and squandering of taxpayer funds! Why should you be surprised??

  • CJ

    I worked as a rural carrier from ’90 to 2012. Our work was brutal. It was heavy, dirty, many had to provide their own vehicle. Even in GA, riding in open old rag in rain and cold, storms, with little heat, or in blistering heat was awful. Sometimes you’d go in and be thrown onto an unknown route, which meant sorting and preparing tons of mail into tiny slots to collate, when you have know idea where the 600 stops are. It permanently damaged my body. Some of the best co-workers I’ve known, but we were treated with disdain and threatened with backlash if we complained. Since I left, it’s gone further downhill. We were overloaded with incompetent, unqualified management. One insisted on calling me by my last name, though I protested. She insisted she was addressed by her title. The most uneducated incompetent person yet. I’ve said for years they needed to leave carriers alone, and cut the management staff in half. They cow-towed to the race ratio demands, and it showed. After almost 12 years I still have regular nightmares.