The Best Delivery Value

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Recently, the Postal Service increased the price of a stamp from 46 cents to 49 cents. With the 3 cent increase individuals now pay to send a First-Class letter from one location to another, is the service still a good value?

To send the same, physical piece of mail though an alternative carrier in the U.S., the cost to send that item could become prohibitively expensive. FedEx’s One Rate charges $9.50 to send an envelope from Los Angeles to New York City using their Express Saver option. UPS’s ground option for a letter travelling the same route will cost $10.44. While neither carrier currently has a network geared toward the efficient, cost effective delivery of letters, adopting such a network and delivering letters at a comparable rate to USPS is highly unlikely.

Recently, Australia Post requested a 10 cent increase in basic postage rates. If approved, the new rate will go into effect in March, bringing the cost of mailing a letter up to 61 cents (in US dollars). While the change represents a modest premium over U.S. postage, the price remains at the lower end of the spectrum when compared to other countries. Sending a First-Class equivalent letter will cost 99 cents in the United Kingdom, 81 cents in Germany, and 58 cents in New Zealand (in US dollars). It might be some time before mailing rates in the U.S. reach these levels.

When it comes to value, there is no other mailing option that brings as much to the table as the US Postal Service.

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Stocking Up for the Winter

Stocking Up for the Winter

The start of the new year brings winter flurries, cold weather gear, and the inevitable price increase of many goods and services. This bump up in prices also includes shipping and mailing services from FedEx, UPS, and USPS. All have announced service price increases this year by an overall average of 5 percent. While it might be difficult to offset these increases, there is one opportunity some are choosing to lock in the price they pay for certain services.

There are few things in the world that have the ability to hold their value throughout many years of ownership. Aside from collecting classic automobiles, popular works of art, or a rookie baseball card from 1916, there is an opportunity savvy individuals have turned to as a way to lock in the value of a service – investing in USPS postage stamps.

USPS Forever stamps hold their value for the life of their existence. A book of forever stamps purchased today will be just as valuable next year and every year thereafter, no matter what the price of a postage stamp happens to be in the future.

For those who want to take advantage of the power to lock in the price of mailing a letter, the clock is ticking. Postage prices are scheduled to increase from 46 cents to 49 cents on January 26. Stock up today to seal in the current rate forever.

The Stable Value

A stable value

In yesterday’s article on bitcoins, the stability of the digital currency was called into question. Though the fledgling currency is slowly gaining in acceptance among retailers, its future value is by no means certain. Anyone wishing to invest in a bitcoin today cannot accurately predict its value tomorrow. While the future value of the bitcoin is precarious at best, there is one investment that will continue holding its value over time.

Without a stable platform on which to base its value, bitcoins might not be as viable a long-term future investment as a USPS Forever stamp. The value of a Forever stamp will always be equal to the cost of a First-Class postage stamp. Stamps do not lose their value, and whenever the price of a postage stamp increases, the value of a Forever stamp equals that new price. The value of a bitcoin purchased today, on the other hand, may not equal its value tomorrow. It is for that very reason, the extreme uncertainty in the value of a digital currency, that makes a USPS Forever stamp a more attractive alternative for long-term investors.

The next time someone asks about a stable investment opportunity, suggest Forever stamps from the U.S. Postal Service. It’s one of the smartest values available from one of the most trusted organizations in United States.

Racing to the Post Office

Rumble at the post office

The recent release of the Muscle Car Stamp collection by the Postal Service was a big hit for fans of the powerful vehicles. Not only did it rev up stamp sales, it allowed some to relive fond memories of driving the rumbling beasts, and others to enjoy a sense of wonder without having to sit behind the wheel of one.

Interest in muscle cars hasn’t waned in the decades since their release, and new versions of classic styling have made a dramatic comeback in recent years. Even as the impressive autos slide their way on showroom floors, interest in the original versions remains high.

A 1970 Chevelle SS, for example, sold at auction in 2012 for $198,000. As impressive as that value is, the sale price of a 1970 Plymouth Hemi Cuda in 2011 dwarfed that figure at a whopping $1,705,000.

Auction companies continue to draw large crowds for the polished and carefully detailed vehicles. Automobile enthusiasts enjoy gravitating to these events around the country to admire their favorite models and enjoy getting close to mechanical creations they’ve only admired in photographs.

What ever happens to the value of these vehicles in the future, the desire to enjoy them seems unlikely to fade anytime soon.

When it comes to other vehicles as subjects in a future stamp series, what models do you think should be considered?

The Next Generation of Mail Fans

Lillie Pearl

This Valentine’s Day card was sent to friends, family, and classmates of Lillie Pearl Williamson, the young girl posing in front of the Ophir, CO, Post Office with her faithful companion Clarence. Lillie also gave one of the cards to Ophir Postmaster Deana Youngblood-Ireland. On the back of the card, Lillie wrote, “Please Mister Postman, look and see, if there’s a letter in your bag for me.”

The thoughtfulness of this little girl to not only send Valentine greetings to those she cared about through the mail, but also this warm message to her friendly Postmaster, demonstrates that the youngest of generations still embraces the value of mail.

If you were to write back to Lillie with your own postcard, what would it say?

Ground Transport Way to Future Growth for Package Shippers

FedEx recently announced a business model change that will realign its Express unit to match the changing dynamics of the package industry. Their previous model focused almost exclusively on getting packages to their destinations as fast as possible, using air transportation. Today, faster service is taking a back seat to cost savings as customers turn to slower ground transportation to save money.

In a tough economy, consumers will look for opportunities to stretch their dollars as far as possible. As more of those dollars are spent in generally less expensive online stores, as opposed to conventional retail outlets, the shipping industry is likely to see a sustained increase in package volume. Most of these packages are sent via ground transportation, and the shippers that offer the best value are likely to come out ahead of the competition.

While this represents a welcome boost in revenue for FedEx, its sustainability isn’t guaranteed as the weak economy may direct customers to less expensive competitors. Fuel surcharges and dimensional-weight price increases have driven shipping prices up notably at FedEx, and customers may look to other sources for lower priced alternatives.

Do you think the Postal Service is poised to increase its package shipping market share in the next ten years?

  • Hello, I'm Benny the Blogger: I'm the world's most famous postal employee. My hobbies are snappy quotes, kite flying and publishing. I was born Jan. 17, 1706, but don't call me old.

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