How much does it cost to develop, print, ship, inventory, secure, sell, and cancel a stamp used to mail a letter?  What about the stamps that are never sold?  The Postal Service destroys billions of stamps each year because they are obsolete.  In FY 2008, the Postal Service printed 37 billion stamps, which cost $78 million to print.  In that same year, they destroyed old stamps, some of which were printed more than 10 years ago, that were valued at approximately $2.8 billion.  Those stamps were printed, shipped, counted multiple times in various inventories, and finally shipped back for destruction under secure conditions.  How much does this cost and does the Postal Service benefit from the expense?

Are there better alternatives to stamps?  Business customers often rent postage meters and use permits for bulk mail.  Now, the advent of online postage vendors has given individual customers an alternative to stamps.  Customers that use online postage can customize their postage and incorporate approved language or pictures.

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Not everyone has access to a computer.  What can we do for people who do not have access to online postage or who simply do not want to use online postage?  One answer may be simplifying the Postal Service’s current stamp inventory.  What if all postage stamps were “Forever Stamps”?  Stamps would never become obsolete and have to be destroyed, and production costs would never eat up their contribution to overhead.  After a rate increase — now generally an annual event rather than every 3 or 4 years — there would be no 1-cent or 2-cent stamp shortages or rush to produce the next generation of denominated stamps. What about stamp collectors?  Would philatelic sales suffer if the Postal Service reduced the denominations it offered?  Commemorative Forever Stamps could be issued in limited quantities to satisfy collectors.  Some commemorative stamps could be sold locally, while others could only be ordered and shipped direct from a central location.  Forever Stamps that marked holidays or other special events such as birthdays would be very useful for people who wanted to stock up.  And what could be more appropriate for wedding invitations than “Forever Love” stamps? Do you know of a better method of postage payment, convenient and available to everybody that could be implemented? Tell us what you think. This topic is hosted by the OIG's Field Financial East directorate. Topic was revised to indicate that 37 billion stamps not $37 billion worth of stamps were printed in 2008.

Comments (126)

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  • anon

    Postage meter machines take into consideration the engraving of affirmed postage specifically onto the mailing piece, permitting office staff to prepare active mail without making an excursion to the mail station to purchase postage stamps for use. This significantly builds office proficiency, viability and profitability.

    Jul 08, 2016
  • anon

    I have collected United States Mint Stamps for years and now have over a thousand pages in 12 albums. I love the art and history of United State Stamps and the hobby itself, but being retired since 2010 it becomes more and more unaffordable every year to fill the Harris Liberty pages because of the No Die Cut issued stamps since 2012. Almost everything issued now is issued in perforated and imperforated (NDC) versions which is like collecting two albums. To make matters worse, those NDC Stamps are primarily sold to dealers who cut them and resell them at huge markups on E-Bay to collectors. And some issues are produced at such low quantities to ensure they will be too expensive to fill the empty position in the new pages. The Post Office is killing the average stamp collecting hobbist with those imperforated NDC stamps. Please discontinue those and get back to strictly issuing stamps in perforated varieties as before.

    Jun 17, 2016
  • anon

    wouldn't it be much cheaper to produce one design of a forever stamp and be done with it? why is it the government's responsibility to provide a hobby like stamp collecting when they are losing boatloads of money every day?

    Feb 21, 2013
  • anon

    There is absolutely no need for postage stamps. We neither have a need for any fancy commemorative nor any definitive. A simple hand stamp having a denomination would be sufficient. If a stamp is required; use a blank nondenominational stamp and print the fee as required. They did this for years in FL. All stamps can be printed upon purchase. It would be a banishment for the philatelist but then again; the USPS did a great job printing mass varieties of stamps making it very difficult for the common philatelist to maintain a cash flow to collect the same. Photoengraving stamps makes them less desirable to collect. I prefer engraved stamps. Understand that there are millions possibly billions of "common" unused stamps already in our economy. I have enough to last me a lifetime.

    Mar 21, 2012
  • anon
    Shie | Backgrou...

    I agree with Jasmine. Stamps should also be replaced when they get old. And these unused stamps able to be used for years especially if they are not damaged in any way.

    Jan 10, 2012
  • anon

    It seems to me it is self explanatory why we need only one kind of stamp.(Cost effective!!period) We should not have to pay to create hobby for the few. Price could go up (if necessary)each year without printing new stamps. Not everyone has or wants a computer so if the postal service was run correctly it makes sense to keep stamps.

    Oct 16, 2011
  • anon

    For much more cost effective, I agree on using 1 denomination of stamps. And or maybe recycling stamp, so that you don't need to print more. Just like what they do to money,if it's too old, then replace it.

    Oct 03, 2011
  • anon

    There should be only the flag forever stamp and a postcard stamp until the economy improves. No collector prints, no fancy boxes, postcards or mailing materials at the post office. No shopping bags either. Not everyone has a computer to download postage. How many jobs and post offices would be saved.

    Sep 26, 2011
  • anon

    The idea of "forever stamps" strikes me as the best solution to this conundrum. I can see how logistics makes it quite hard to implement though.

    Aug 15, 2011
  • anon

    I agreed they might be in a though spot. but, I don't event understand why you even need a stand to post a letter

    Jul 26, 2011
  • anon

    I think the postal service is truly in a tough spot. It has to deal with smaller revenue and yet balance continuing service and not raise rates to send away even more prospects. That is a tough juggling act.

    Jul 06, 2011
  • anon

    I think “Forever Stamps” are a very good idea, and Postal service should do less stamps. Now, the advent of online postage vendors has given individual customers an alternative to stamps.

    Jun 17, 2011
  • anon
    ganar dinero

    Many of the smaller post offices could, and should be closed down. Also, Saturday delivery is a joke: eliminate it. Do away with all of the cheap and junk mail, or subsidize the invention of a combined mail box/incinerator. We don’t need this litter! Finally, one new stamp a year, issued in booklet form, and available in many venues would serve the purpose quite nicely, thank you. There is absolutely no reason to print so many meaningless stamps each year.

    Jun 05, 2011
  • anon
    Anthony

    I believe their should be some type of electronic system that automate to speed up the process and save money on paper. I do not think we should stay with a concrete price for stamps because of inflation and deflation the USPS need to adjust there prices according to the economy.

    May 23, 2011
  • anon

    I think a part of the solution is using automated processes. Perhaps you could install automated "wending" machines places at supermarkets, train stations etc which could print an ink based stamp directly on peoples letters.

    Nov 06, 2010
  • anon

    Surely also with technology folks we can eliminate most of the manual work the post office is doing for letters and even packages. We should be able to weigh and measure letters and packages automatically and have a machine print a label that we slap on the letter or box. why we still have people standing in line at the post office is baffling to me. People should only stand in line for special service!

    Oct 07, 2010
  • anon

    Are there better alternatives to stamps? Business customers often rent postage meters and use permits for bulk mail. Now, the advent of online postage vendors has given individual customers an alternative to stamps. Customers that use online postage can customize their postage and incorporate approved language or pictures.

    Jul 16, 2010
  • anon

    1st, Im a philatelist! But not so much of a buyer of ALL the new issues. I couldnt keep up w/ the cost for the volume i wanted. And I reduced my volume per issue as it got more expensive. There are tooo many issues per yr! Only a few issues are worth having, issue less and make each issue more appealing, subjects of importance in our history, culture and future. More engraved stamps. Has any US stamp won an international award for its design? Look to see what other countries who do win,.. are doing. Allow for sufficent time for an issue to be out. Let PO's swap issues for what their customers request, or send all the old issues to a centralized main office or philatelic center. I have been told there is a new cashier/inventory system, 1 clerk could not sell me an item in his drawer simply because it was not in his inventory! He couldnt scan it! Lost sale right there! Make sure clerks are up on what issues are out. I hate an ignorant USPS clerk!

    May 03, 2010
  • anon

    Make more of them forever. Perhaps commemoratives released just after a rate change could still be denominated and ones released closer to an impending rate chage could be forevers. And stop silly things like have one Priority rate be $4.90 and another $4.95. It is confusing (I can't even remember which is the small box and which is the envelope) and no one is going to run off to UPS if both were $4.95.

    May 02, 2010
  • anon

    I believe we can largely eliminate stamps, save the customer time and the USPS costs. Rather than have the customer (individual or corporate) determine postage and affix stamps for mail, have the customer identify themselves through a 3D barcode that is attached to the piece of mail or package and have the USPS determine proper postage and bill the customer through an account they have created at the USPS. The mail would be scanned/processed when entering the postal system. The customer would not have to buy anything in advance, wait in lines at the post office to determine correct postage, etc. The customer identifier would be the minimum info required on the barcode. A sheet of these barcodes could be printed on any home inkjet printer and used as a 'stamp' for letters and/or packages having no predetermined value. Additional information could be (optionally) included on the barcode such as insurance, certified mail, return receipt request, etc. Optionally the barcode could contain the 9 digit destination zip to gain postage discounts. Provide an option for anyone to create an account with the USPS using a credit card (or?)as payment. Return address would be required information for mail needing to be returned due to inactive accounts. Provide a small application to the customer that will run on a local PC or web based application to enable the customer to locally print 3D barcodes. Provide an on-line detailed or summary statement for each customer of items mailed, where they were scanned, additional information included on the barcode (if any)

    Apr 27, 2010
  • anon

    What if the post office developed a system similar to the print labels at home system. So that every post office printed their own stamps right in the store through a machine. It comes with blank tape and the image that is the most current say every three months it can change (keep stamp collectors on their feet) It also eliminates the possibility of fraud and encourages non-postal center locations.

    Apr 26, 2010
  • anon

    I think “Forever Stamps” are a good idea.

    Apr 15, 2010
  • anon

    Sounds like a terrific idea. I especially love the wedding invitation stamps idea of 'forever love'.

    Apr 06, 2010
  • anon
    Ward D. Wilcox

    Collectors buy , and do not use for mail , at least for long periods of time , giving the PO a FREE loan . Huge quantities of the 3 cent commemorative issues overhung the philatelic [ stamp ] market for over fifty years . By that time , few were used as primary postage as it took 13 to frank a 1 oz. 1st class letter . Any product that costs $900,000.00 to generate over 1/4 BILLION $ in revenue is a winner ! Keep the stamps . Forever stamps are fine and should be produced for all popular classes of mail : Priority , Express , 1st Class , Bulk , etc. and should be supplemented by stamps of fixed values from .01 all the way to $50.00 or $100.00 to facilitate the mailing of Registered and heavy parcels and letters . Both the Forever and the denominated stamps should be printed in quantities estimated to last about 2 years. When running low , a new design should be used if the PO wants to garner the sales to collectors of MINT US Stamps . And stamps should be engraved , with themes that make us proud to be Americans as the stamps issued prior to 1960 usually were . You might even consider cutting down on the number of supervisors and giving the delivery people enough work to do so that they don't have to " coop " in restaurants and HUD High-rises for hours every day because they;re not supposed to bring their trucks in until 2:30 PM or some other specified time .

    Mar 26, 2010
  • anon
    Wendy

    I'm a spouse of a postal worker & here are my ideas to save money on stamps: - Make stamps black & white or 1 or 2 colors; especially for the forever/generic stamps. - Only use forever stamps: people are only looking at them when they buy them & when they stamp the envelope. Collectors are the ones that most appreciate the different stamps. - If folks want stamp variety,let them order them or pay extra for them. - Only have a small amount of special stamps for holidays or custom ones for folks to print/order for their special events. - People will not stop buying stamps b/c there are no "cutesy" stamps for their cards. There is no other company that mails letters & catalogs. - Many stamps are not available in post offices; especially smaller offices & they often run out.; 3 different ones would be enough & have each office post what is available. I never know what is available - many just buy/are offered the generic ones. Make the "cutesy" ones cost more than the forever stamp. - Make all of the designs forever stamps. http://voices.washingtonpost.com/federal-eye/2009/08/is_this_why_the_postal_service.html?hpid=news-col-blog In the link to the above article, Dave Failor,Postal Service's Executive Director of Stamp Services, has been quoted as saying said it costs $40,000 to make a a commemorative stamp & $5,000 for artist design; for20 stamps that year that's $900,000!!The stamps generate $250-$300 million year. How much is generated from collectors? - Last year $2.5 billion worth of obsolete stamps were destroyed! That's 1 quarter of your losses last year. - Print stamps on demand saves on overstock. - It is waste of time & employee hours having to inventory & count these obsolete stamps - cost & time to ship & destroy these; why are 10 years worth of obsolete stamps sitting in post office? - Sell stamps to dealers for collectors to buy; eliminating USPS overstock. - Print limited amounts of commemorative stamps that will run out of stock in say Sept. & then use forever or holiday stamps til end of the year. - Encourage folks to print postage online esp. businesses. - Eliminate ALL management bonuses until USPS gets out of trouble. - Get rid of making the postal gifts are they really worth it? Or just stick to the stamp magnets/maybe pens for collectors. - Only offer stamps in coils or books at the post office - indiv stamps can be to order. This saves the work of clerks time counting indiv stamps in inventory. - For folks that bring letters/packages to post office - instead of stamps, use refillable cards (like gift cards) - this would save time in clerks servicing customers & reduce customer wait times, reduce clerks dealing w/ money & counting drawers (& drawers being short). - Suspend mystery shop program. I look forward to these changes being implemented soon. Leave the employee salaries alone. They work hard & many long term employees encounter injuries from repetitive use & heavy lifting. They do not need to be hassled by management to hurry up delivering mail(during Christmas times volume is higher) so that management can get their bonuses! They cannot afford salary reductions. My spouse lost $10,000 in salary - we can't afford this loss especially in this economy (what a thanks & appreciation for her 25 years of service). This used to be a great job to have - no more.

    Mar 17, 2010
  • anon

    at regional post offices, drill holes in sheets/booklets/etc. Staple then in blocks of 25 by denomination. At destruction facility, books can be spot checked and destroyed by "untrusted" temporary workers

    Mar 13, 2010
  • anon

    The postal service doesn't need 3 printers for the same stamp. They could print less stamps. Make all stamps available at the philatelic stamp shops and post offices so people wouldn't have to order everything. The average person doesen't even know that Commoratives exist unless a stamp collector uses one on a letter. Sell Stamp year books at the Philatelic stamp shops. Vending books and ATM panes are only available through mail order, as a result the average person doesn't know that they exist. Printing more water activated stamps would save money. If People didn't have to purchase a pack of 20 post cards at a permium when they only need a few, the post office would sell more post cards.

    Mar 09, 2010
  • anon

    I believe we need more than one denomination to cover make up weights unless the USPS wishes to delvier any weight envelope under first class stamp. I heard one time that the USPS has an extensive amount of stamps warehoused from past years. I suggest you release these stamps to the public to jump start the interest in collecting. The USPS could charge a premium such as 2% per year the stamps have been held. This could create a whole new generation of collectors that have been priced out of the hobby by the current cost of stamps. Reducing the number of commemoratives per year would also bring more people back to the hobby.

    Mar 05, 2010
  • anon

    Do we need stamps in more than 2 denominations? YES-for individual customers=1st class, makeup rates (difference bewteen former 1st class stamp rates and the new, higher rate), for 2 and 3 ounce mail (many greeting cards are getting larger, and with USPS planning to add greeting card sales to its lobby service, it would be ridiculous to tell a customer "We can sell you the card, but not a stamp to mail it!!!" Also, airmail to other countries. We probably DON'T need postal cards (virtually all I receive are large cards exceeding the dimensions of the "standard" size postal card issued by USPS-even some doctors who previously used USPS postal cards as appointment reminders now use bigger, specially designed cards that are sent at the 1st class rate). Also, postal prestamped envelopes could probably be eliminated (as I believe was the aerogramme a few years ago) AND postal card STAMPS themselves (more and more souvenir cards are oversized and even say "use FIRST CLASS postage). Should all stamps be converted to "forever" stamps? NO. I'm presuming that this refers to 1st class stamps. Personally, I don't see the economic sense of it. If I buy a 44c stamp today, and don't use it until, say, the rate is raised to 47c, I've saved 3c BUT USPS loses 3c. We've already seen that people rushed to buy large supplies of the previous forever stamp at the lower rate when the last increase was announced. I don't see HOW USPS can climb out of its economic hole if ALL stamps were good "forever." Do we need stamps at all? YES. Stamps provide a brief glimpse into our history. Even stamps that seemingly honor a less than momentous character or person (such as "the Simpsons") will become historical in the sense that they will tell future generations something about our popular culture. BUT we don't need so many of them in so many different formats. For individual customers, bring back booklets! My understanding is that they're being eliminated because the stamp vending machines are. A booklet provides a handy package for wallet and purse. Sheets can be eliminated, and coils could be printed only in giant rolls for sales to business and non-profits (the latter believe the use of a stamp is more likely to lead to an appeal envelope being opened, which tells you that stamps still serve a valuable purpose!) Have only one "definitive" (ie, workhorse) stamp design, with only the denomination changing from increase to increase. The number of different "commemoratives" issued yearly could be cut in half, with ALL being printed in the same (reduced) quantity and ALL being made available (although again, at reduced levels) at EACH post office. The Stamp Fulfillment Center in Kansas City (which serves primarily collectors) should also be supplied with ALL issues BUT should be allowed to sell as few of each as a collector wants (ie, no requirement to buy a full booklet or coil if all the collector wants is one example of the stamp). This would result in more collectors going to Stamp Fulfillment, freeing the reduced stock available at individual post offices for individual mailers. While many collectors at first wouldn't like the idea of only one format, one definitive, and half of the commemoratives as they are use to, the fact that the quantities printed were greatly reduced MAY mean that these stamps actually rise in value.

    Feb 28, 2010
  • anon

    Do we need stamps? Seems like a dumb question to me since you sold 37 billion stamps. That's like Coca-Cola asking do we need Coke? What we need is for the Post Office to promote the use of stamps instead of paying on line which takes extra time and frustration. I believe you are also more susceptible to identity theft and fraud by paying everything on line. Microsoft has no police but the Post Office has the Postal Inspectors to ensure safety and security.

    Feb 26, 2010
  • anon

    Allowing all stamps to be forever stamps would allow for longer sales periods despite any rate increases.

    Feb 26, 2010
  • anon

    Forever Commeratives might be a nice idea, but I'm afraid some Brides would not want to have the same "forever love" stamp that their friend who got married last year used. Individuality rules in weddings now. The photo stamps from the website are great for those special occasions.

    Feb 24, 2010
  • anon

    Not all mail is a first class letter. Stamps are interesting and a hobby for many who aren't physically able to do active outdoor sports. As a collector I enjoy looking at stamps from many countries and the earlier US stamps are easier to collect than anything issued in the past few years. Please don't make it more difficult to collect US stamps. Today I tried to buy the Year of the Tiger issue hanging up in the now much smaller philatelic area of my post office (because they now try to sell greeting cards). I was told by the clerk that he could not sell it to me because it was no longer in the computer to scan a price - even though the price was clearly marked on the package. So that's why stamps are being returned? I said "can I go to the website to order them?" he didn't know the answer. At least I was able to purchase the Olympic commemorative issue. I agree that the Liberty Bell is not very attractive, but wasn't the 3 cent Liberty stamp in use for over 10 years? The USPS has issued some wonderful stamps over the past couple years for collectors - but the rest of the public probably has not seen any of them. My post office had the "Wanted" poster listing the upcoming commeratives for 2010 hanging behind the counter blocked by the notices for registered mail . Guess they didn't want anyone to ask for anything on the poster.

    Feb 24, 2010
  • anon

    Why not initiate a change to the BME system that would allow a modified procedure for the acceptance of periodic mailings w/o postage affixed? The number required could be reduced from 200/mailing to 100. The permit imprint application fee could be greatly reduced (say to $25-$50) with the understanding that all mailpieces would be mailed at the full FC rate, be identical, for local addresses only, and that mailings would occur no more often than 2-3 times a year. This would benefit businesses and perhaps other entities in small(er) towns. Revenue might increase in these smaller retail units as a result as the overhead (in the form of the $350 startup fee) associated with utilizing direct mail is reduced for these customers. It would be a win-win. Moves such as this would help reduce the need for physical stamps while the fact that the mail must remain local would help to curb revenue loss.

    Feb 24, 2010
  • anon

    As a stamp collector since the mid-1960s, I think the USPS has been doing a horrible job of creating many, many useless stamps for the last couple of decades and more. Case in point, Flag stamps and Forever stamps. They're ugly, they come in a ridiculous variety by at least three printers and in various formats (sheet, coil, booklet). To top it off, postal clerks are told to push these hideous, boring stamps on the public when the USPS has a wide variety of attractive commemorative stamps that are likely the bulk of the stamps that are being sent back for destruction. My suggestion is to print one variety of Flag stamp in coil, sheet and booklet format perhaps using different printers to only print one format per printer. Make all other stamps Forever stamps and get rid of that ugly Liberty Bell, or at least change the design every rate change. Tell your clerks to push commemorative stamps. I don't know how many times I've gone into post offices to mail something with a high rate and the clerk, despite my telling them to use stamps, whips out a meter. I've had words that required the PM to come out so that they disposed of the meter and use a Priority or Express Mail stamp. Use stamps, don't send them back for destruction. Look back in postal history before the implementation of lettered non-denominational stamps (ie A, B, C, etc. series) and see how many fewer varieties of common definitive stamps were produced. There used to be one definitive set of stamps with variable rates which would cover the whole spectrum and then there were commemorative stamps in addition to these. There weren't 15 varieties of Flag stamps and 9 varieties of Forever stamps. That's where you can save money. In reading Linn's Stamp News, there is at least one letter to the editor per week about people trying to buy stamps that are not being stocked at local post offices. By reducing the number of ugly definitives, perhaps PMs can actually order stamps that people like. Look at the Providence, Rhode Island philatelic sales unit as a model for how money can be made by making philatelic sales. Personally, I spend hundreds of dollars each year on stamps that are never going to see use other than mounted in albums. Cater more to stamp collectors. This is pure profit.

    Feb 21, 2010
  • anon

    We should continue to have stamps. They provide a history lesson and are an indication what a society values. However, from a stamp collectors' point of view, there are currently too many stamps that are being issued. If the quantity of stamps (and postal cards) being issued were cut in half (at least) on a yearly basis, and the public could purchase stamps before they were destroyed, then the inventory problem would resolve itself and stamps would not have to be destroyed. A side result of this implementation might be more stamp collectors as the hobby would be more affordable.

    Feb 20, 2010
  • anon

    Please decide whether the Postasl System is a business or a service. If you are a service you do not need to show a profit. I do not expect the Defense Deptartment, which supplies a serice, to show a profit. If you are a business, you need to re-examine your plan. You have too many chiefs (supervisors and administrators) and too few Indians (people with a positive atttitude who deal directly with the public). You should not be destroying assets (old stamps). You should be developing and encouraging people to collect stamps. You should be reaching out to schools and educators to use stamps as a teaching tool. You are in a downward spiral, as a busiess, in that as you raise costs you start eroding your customer base, so you raise the cost of postage, and further erode the base, so you raise the cost of postage...

    Feb 20, 2010
  • anon

    Yes, we need postage stamps. They tell us something about ourselves and what we value. Yes, we need more than 2 denominations as there are more than 2 rates in effect - i.e. First Class, 23nd ounce, post card, airmail, etc. No we do not need more "Forever Stamps." Forever means exactly what it says. If you have a foreever stamp why do you need to take on the cost of creating and printing another stamp since the first one is supposed to last forever? The USPS needs to encourage collecting by printing fewer stamps of higher quality. I would like a stamp to look like a stamp and not like a label children buy at a variety store. I simply do not undertsand destruction of assets. Do not print any more .44 stamps until you use up what you have. Perhaps you ought to be looking at the work by those people who generate the ideas as to how many stamps to print of each issue? If you have that many stamps left over, then someone is giving you bad information as to how many stamps to print in the first place. Take the stamps that are being stored and use them. Sell them in glassine envelopes so that a combination of them adds up to the current first class rate. Sell large amounts of old stock either at face or at a discount. I routinely use combinations of stamps to add up the current rate. Think out side the box as the current policies or not succeeding. You have enough postage on hand - use it before you print more.

    Feb 20, 2010
  • anon

    If you print so many stamps each year that never see use then you are doing it so colletors can buy them and you never have to deliver a service for the price paid. Reduce you stamps each year to just a few. Make them attractive (I suggest firing the committee who selects the images as they are nuts!). Go back to the limited number you did in the 20's and 30's. Why do you ship and reship stamps and destroy them. Keep them on sale until they are sold out....Sheesh. Why do you make so many different perferations when one will do nicely. Why use so many printers? Let the ones you don't use get their business from other nations. Give up on the glue that won't let collectors soak stamps off covers. You will never convince me that a water soluble glue is more expensive. I realize the computer age offers some attractive alternatives to stamps; much to the chagrin of collectors. However, there is no need to eliminate them. Just be a lot more business-minded about how you produce and administer them. Cheers PS - Do a series of stamps picturing the people who issued those hard-t-get provisionals.

    Feb 19, 2010
  • anon

    Limit the number of commemorative stamps and regular stamps issued each year. But do not eliminate stamps.

    Feb 18, 2010
  • anon

    How save costs with postal service? Multiple methods could be pursued to reduce costs. 1. Produce fewer stamps per year. Who needs the 100+ stamps issued. Many are never used and are not available to the general public through the local post offices. 2. Change formats and print commemoratives in the form of booklet stamps. Folks like the convience of booklets - give it to them. Could result in more commemoratives being used on postage and aid the hobby of stamp collecting. 3. Get away from a forever stamp. Stamps bought today being good forever sounds good but what if all the 3 cent stamps were printed as "forever" stamps. You would already be bankrupt! 4. Reduce the number of printing varieties used for the current forever stamp. Why do you need five printers, different booklet sizes, multiple coil lengths, etc. 5. Stop giving "flat rate" boxes away. How many of these are shipped to individuals for personal use and never see the post office. Put a charge on these boxes and reduce the postage rate. Bottom line would be the same. 6. Consider rendering all stamps issued before a set year, say 2000, invalid for postage. Sit back and look at your business, and it is a business. Ask yourself, "Why do I do this, issue so many items in different forms, etc.? Eliminate the wasted costs that do not really add anything to profit for the organization.

    Feb 18, 2010
  • anon

    it would probably be useful if USPS issued less stamps and made more of them related to the predominant rates (say first class letter, first class flat, first class parcel, each with 1, 2, and 3 ounce stamps), reducing the number of 44c commemoratives. I'll never understand the theory behind limited distribution stamps; if you want to have people use stamps, shouldn't you make them available. As to Forever stamps, they will reduce destruction if all first class stamps are forever, regardless of design [like th British 1st non-denominated]; in fact, that approach can be used on all stamps: 1st, 1st 2 ounce, Canada, Mexico, etc.; or as many different rates as USPS wants [does seem that the number and complexity of rates is increasing exponentially]. But USPS claims it loses money from the Forever stamps because people essentially are paying discounted rates [hey, this wasn't my idea but theirs]. There is a significant collector [and hoarder] segment that pays for stamps but never claims the service associated with them; they'll never do this with PVIs or meters, so capitalize on them. David

    Feb 18, 2010
  • anon

    It seems obvious that we need more than two denominations. MOST stamps could be Forever stamps, issued in several denominations to be used for domestic postcards, domestic letters under one ounce, domestic letters up to two ounces, priority mail, and express mail. I think airmail stamps should continue to be issued in the current series and format, to showcase the beauty of our great country, but they might be made into Forever Airmail stamps, too. A few denominated stamps will always be necessary for overweight letters, registration and insurance, etc., but they need not be changed every year. A basic definitive set of 1-, 2-, 3-, 5-, and 10-cent stamps plus perhaps 1-, 2-, and 5-dollar stamps would suffice. They should again showcase American heroes or landmarks. There would be no need to destroy them ever. Commemorative stamps should be issued as Forever stamps, in formats that fit people's wallets. There will always be a need for stamps, because some people do not have access to computers or even post offices, so being able to purchase booklets of attractive stamps at a substation or grocery store is important.

    Feb 17, 2010
  • anon

    Oh Boy ! Ben Franklin is rolling over in his grave. Stamps and the ease of the mail were and still are esential for the safety and security of a free nation. The idea of an inexpensive means of delivering the mail is necessary , and must include stamp production and choices. I don't have the answers because I don't have enough information why the costs have increased so much over the last 40 years. Perhaps full disclosure will alow the public to know where the waist is. I just don't think its in the stamps cost alone. I venture to say the problem goes a lot deeper., and may mean looking at labor costs and benefits and technical efficiency of operations. Can we look back at how it was done over the past 170 years. What support has the govenment played in the past, and what is necessary now. Once we stop printing stamps I think we are all licked ! JB

    Feb 17, 2010
  • anon

    the forever stamp represents the reg 1oz postage stamp. make a stamp that is the standard post card stamp. just change how much it cost to buy it. same with the express mail stamp. you want a post card stamp 10 years from now, it will look like the same as todays- it will just cost you more unless you stocked up on them.how many times will postage change in 10 years? the bottom line is the basic stamps don't need to. YOU ONLY NEED A STANDARD FEW TO GET BY ON.I have seen clerks at the window waste 10 minutes on a customer who only wanted a book of stamps but the clerk had to show them everything available in the office available for purchase. they could have had a book of forevers and been gone in under a minute.

    Feb 17, 2010
  • anon

    1. Your question is incorrect. There are at least more than 2 postal rates: 1st class, post cards, 2nd oz; priority, express et al. 2. Forever stamps are a partial solution to 1 above. I think it would certainly simplify U.S. Mail consumers. As a general issue I urge you to simplify the pricing structure. Postal regulations are becoming as complicated as your those of the IRS! 3. I admit to bias toward this question. I have been a stamp collector for over 50 years. Yes, stamps should continue. I'd prefer to see thorough review of the commemorative issuing process. It is to complicated. Also if there are to many inventories, I suggest eliminating one or two levels of controls. While "trust but verify" is necessary, there should be an easier way to control the movement of stamps in your pipeline. Thanks for asking.

    Feb 16, 2010
  • anon

    Not everyone has access to or uses a computer. These individuals need to be able to purchase stamps from somewhere not on-line. The USPS needs to review how/why they decide on stamp subjects. Not all subjects need to be on stamps. The many, many varieties of an individual stamp are NOT necessary. Additionally, why does the USPS need to have so many varieties of stamped envelopes. A good example is the Seabiscut envelope. It is a total waste of time and money for there to be so many varieties of this envelope let alone the face that this envelope was just very recently printed. Having very large denomination stamps is also a waste--none are used for postage so why have them? Examples are the Mackinac Bridge ($4.90) and Bixby Creek Bridge ($18.30), The Nature of America series is nice but the stamps are extremely difficult to find on the sheet and most, if not all, are never used for postage. When a postage rate change happens, the USPS issues way too many stamps for this. There is NO need to issue the same stamps as both non-denomination and denomination -- that's a waste! It is a known fact that the forever stamp has resulted in a major negative financial impact on the USPS. If all stamps were "forever" stamps, the negative financial impact would be much higher. Instead of looking to get rid of all stamps, the USPS needs to very seriously look at reducing the high salaries of the top management to include a major reduction in the many benefits that management receives. Many of the benefits are unnecessary and unwarranted.

    Feb 12, 2010
  • anon

    From where I sit, stamp collectors contribute heavily to the money taken in by the USPS. With no new stamps, there will be no new children collecting. No child usually starts out collecting old stamps. They usually start with the big colorful cartoon stamps that have recently taken over the USPS. Every stamp purchased and not used, is profit for the USPS. This will end if there are no longer stamps to collect. And why is it that customer service is ALWAYS what suffers in a financial crisis? If you upset enough customers who take their business elsewhere, aren't you committing a self-defeating act? Isn't the only purpose for the existence of the USPS customer service? What other reason can you have to justify your existence? Our local PO doesn't open until 10AM now, making it impossible for anyone going to work to use it. Our local mail delivery went from 10AM to sometimes 5-5:30 at night. We don't even know our carriers anymore. Doing away with stamps would not only destroy collecting, it would be just another nail in the coffin of the USPS. Who knows? Maybe it deserves to disappear?

    Feb 12, 2010
  • anon

    How to save costs? 1. Stop making so many varieties of each stamp. As a collector, less varieties leaves me with more money for other stamps. 2. Stop making so many denominations. Start by picking the 5 that are used least and drop them. 3. Quit making so many different stamps. We don't need comics or Disney characters on our stamps. Stop using definitives. I will ONLY buy commemorative and Christmas stamps. 4. Stop Saturday delivery. I can get that junk mail with my other junk mail Monday - Friday.

    Feb 12, 2010
  • anon

    I have four solutions regarding the budget problems by the post office: 1. Stop printing and selling so many varieties of the "Forever" stamps. The varieties only have differing perforation and slight color changes from one another that are only important to stamp collectors. The number of stamp collectors who would buy these different varieties is comprehensively so low that it would never make a difference in helping the budget woes of the Postal Service. Instead, print and sell only two varieties of the Forever stamps-one vending and one regular over the counter booklets. 2. Stop printing and selling what are called definitive stamps other than the Forever and Flag stamps. It seems to make more sense in saving manual time for postal counter clerks to use meter labels for varying postage costs rather than figuring out all of the possible different combinations of hands-on definitive stamps to use. So definitive stamps are a total waste of time and money to print and use. 3. Stop printing and using Priority and Express Mail stamps. These are a complete waste of production money because I rarely see them used on any priority package. 4. Print and sell what are called commemorative stamps in place of the definitive stamps. In my opinion, they are more meaningful anyway because they commemorate some important person or event that has greatly influenced the United States history. Also with printing these kinds of stamps, someone needs to quit being stubborn and once again start producing stamps that are easily soaked off the envelopes with water. The Postal Service has lost countless stamp collectors due to the policy of producing only non-soakable stamps. The continued use of this policy will alienate stamps collectors to quit buying and collecting stamps and in turn additonal future revenue wil continue to decline. On the other hand, I realize that water soluble adhesive will mean an increase in production costs. But at the same time, commemorative stamp sales may dramatically increase to offset the cost by a change in this policy. 4. Stop Saturday delivery. I call it "junk mail Saturday" because that's 99.9% of the kind of mail I get on Saturdays.

    Feb 11, 2010

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