Should You Shift Your Thinking about Postage?

Should You Shift Your Thinking about Postage?

I alerted you in 2022 that first-class postage would increase by at least two cents every January and July. Some increases in 2022 were actually 3 cents or more.

Our 75th U. S. Postmaster General, Louis DeJoy was a CEO with experience in supply chain logistics and initiated his Delivering for America strategy. This plan is working to avoid $160 billion in losses between 2020 and 2030. You may have noticed: the delivery window for first-class mail increased from three to five days, depending on locations. New sorting practices, better tracking, and simplifying transportation affect us indirectly.

Inflation and More

Since the 1980s, postage rates matched the increase in the consumer price index. So, with an adjustment for inflation, we were not “paying more” for stamps. That has changed.

According to don’ in April 2022, “The increase would raise First-Class Mail prices approximately 6.5%, which USPS points out is lower than the annual inflation rate of 7.9%, which is the highest single-year jump since 1982. However, the cost of stamps also increased last year, in August, from 55 cents to 58 cents. If the latest increase is approved, that will mark a 9% increase in less than a year.”

This means the increases we’re seeing now are more than the rate of inflation to help the U. S. Post Office reach its goal of being fiscally sound.

What You Can Do

The past three years, I switched some of our prayer letter mailings to MailChimp (if our ministry partners requested an emailed letter).

I still prefer to send a printed letter with an attractive commemorative stamp. We’ve received nice comments about these from our financial partners. One person looks forward to receiving our letters partly because of the stamps.

I order my stamps online. The handling fee is small. The stamps arrive in about a week. This also saves me a trip to the post office.

Stocking Up

In the past, I’ve done a little pre-buying before each rate increase. Last spring I decided to buy much more than usual.

According to USA Today, “Postmaster General Louis DeJoy said [on] May 5 [2022] he expected the Postal Service to continue to raise prices ‘at an uncomfortable rate’ until the agency becomes self-sufficient.”

That sounds like a good reason to me for stocking up. Remember most postage rates will increase every six months for the foreseeable future.

Here’s a few of our new prices since January 22, 2023:


A Year Ago

New Prices

Letters (1 oz.)

58 cents

63 cents

Letters additional ounce(s)

20 cents

24 cents

Domestic Postcards

40 cents

48 cents

International Letter (1 oz.)

$1.30 cents

$1.45 cents

The Pandemic Changed Shipping

Because so many people didn’t travel for the holidays in 2020, shippers added surcharges to handle the high volume of packages. This is now the new normal.

2022 was the third year for holiday surcharges. These were the rates:

  • Amazon – third-party sellers will have a peak season fee October 15 – January 14.
  • FedEx – September 5, 2022 and into January
  • UPS – announced on August 14. . . peak demand surcharges in effect until further notice
  • USPS –  October 2, 2022 through January 22, 20223

I’ve shifted my MPD gift-giving to February through September. That’s a win because it’s a less busy time for me to organize sending out gifts. Your ministry partners may also notice your gifts more during an off season.

I still mail a few things in December. I make a handful of homemade calendars from Shutterfly every year. I use their “free shipping” offers when I can.

What are you going to do about mailing gifts?

What You Shouldn’t Do

Don’t fall for deeply discounted stamps online. These scam offers have increased recently. They are counterfeits. Many are printed outside of the U. S. The U.S. Postal Inspection Service (the law enforcement arm of the postal service) advises you to ignore them.

(Did you know the government tags stamps with ink that glows neon under UV light? Did you know that knowingly using counterfeit stamps is a criminal offense?)

Your best protection from fake stamps is to buy from USPS or reputable businesses.

What changes will you make for buying postage and for shipping?


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