The price of a first-class Forever stamp is scheduled to rise from the current $0.49 to $0.50 across the United States at the beginning of next year. If the stamp price increase is approved by the Postal Regulatory Commission, the price change will take effect on Jan. 21, 2018. The announcement was made by the U.S. Postal Service on Oct. 6 as part of its annual price adjustment.
Details Of The First-Class Forever Stamp Price Increase
In September, USPS sent out mailers to customers announcing the decision to raise the price of the first-class forever stamps. James H. Bilbray of Nevada, the last member of the Postal Service board of governors, approved the price increase on Nov. 14, 2016. Mr. Bilbray was the only governor recorded voting for the increase.
The proposed increase for first-class mail would raise the price approximately 1.9 percent. Members of the regulatory commission can deny the changes if it finds that the increase is higher than the inflation rate shown in the Consumer Price Index in the past year. If it isn’t, the commission is required to endorse the new rate.
If you want to find more details about the current prices of stamps, we recommend reading our page about the cost of postage stamps.
Other Postal Price Increases
An increase in the price of the Forever stamp is not the only price increase requested by USPS. The price of mailing a postcard would rise to $0.35 from the current price of $0.34. Prices for metered letters will increase from the current $0.46 to $0.47. The cost for an additional ounce in first-class letters will remain at $0.21 and the rate for outbound international letters will remain at $1.15.
USPS also revealed plans for a 3.9 percent increase for most of its shipping services, including Priority Mail and Priority Mail Express. The prices for mailing flat-rate boxes will increase by $0.05 across the board. Rates for a small box are rising from $7.15 to $7.20 and the cost of a medium box is rising from $13.60 to $13.65. Flat-rate large boxes are increasing to $18.90 from $18.85.
The Postal Service is also increasing the price of a regular flat-rate envelope from $6.65 to $6.70. Mailing a legal flat-rate envelope will increase from $6.95 to $7 and a padded flat-rate envelope will increase from $7.20 to $7.25.
All of these increases are also scheduled to take effect on Jan. 21. While standard mail service prices are based on the Consumer Price Index, shipping service prices are adjusted according to market conditions. As before, USPS will not include surcharges for fuel, residential delivery, or regular Saturday delivery in the price increases.
The Economic Effects of the Price Increases
The price increases will have a minimal effect on the wallets of most consumers. An average consumer will find their costs increase by a couple of dollars annually with the price hike.
Most of the effects of the price increases will be felt by businesses that mail thousands of pieces of mail each month. Many companies are already trying to get their customers to go “paperless” to reduce their mailing costs. Some are even offering additional incentives for receiving statements and bills online, typically a discount on monthly services or free online bill payment options.
The Postal Service price filings and details on the new prices for all products can be found on the PRC.gov website under the Daily Listings section of the Postal Regulatory Commission’s website. The Mailing Services filing is filed under Docket No. R2018-1 and the Shipping Services filing is filed under Docket No. CP2018-8. To stay up-to-date on the stamp price increase, subscribe to our newsletter.