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January 15, 2014

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melydia

48 cents for a letter isn't bad. I was bummed when the price for international postcards flew up to more than a dollar a card. That killed my Postcrossing days right quick.

margaret

1) "I wouldn't take your letter upstairs for 46 cents, and I'm going there anyway."
So funny, so true
2) "I hate when I take it to the counter and they add that zero sum label just to expedite the process. I will take aesthetics over expedition any day."
I feel the same! I hate that damn barcode.
I won't be more likely to use computer generated postage- it's the worst.
Picking out postage stamps are one of the best things about sending a letter or package- they can't take that away from us, but they can charge more :)

CMN

I didn't realize that there would be an additional twenty cent handling fee for packages with stamps! That IS irritating. I love using stamps -- lots and lots of stamps! -- on packages. And from the feedback I receive, my young nieces and nephews love receiving them too. I like to think that I'm intoducing a love of all things postal in the next generation. Sad that it will come at a premium in the future. But - hey! what are you going to do! Someone has to sustain the post office, so it might as well be us. :)

Connie Rose

I won't send any fewer letters, and I'll just suck it up and stick an add'l 20 cents on a stamped letter if it becomes a FC package. But I agree that the last part stinks. They're always pushing stamps, so why should users get penalized for using them? Additionally, you can't buy first class postage over the internet, so you either put stamps on the thing or schlepp to the post office, the latter of which is a bum deal any way you look at it -- unnecessary driving, gas usage, standing in line. Not happy about it, but I'll get over it.

Connie Rose

Incidentally, that link you provided has way TMI. Where did you read about the 20 cent surcharge on FC packages?

Connie Rose

p.p.s. ~ according to the chart, the "nonmachinable surcharge" is 21 cents, not 20 cents.

Nicolle

Honestly, the price increase won't change my habits at all. If anything, I actually anticipate sending more mail this year than I did last year. Compared to other countries around the world, USPS postage is actually quite cheap.

It is a shame about the additional 20c (21c?) surcharge for packages with stamps instead of a barcode. I love receiving packages with stamps, especially if they're stamps I don't have.

rachel

I don't see myself changing my habits. I still love stamps over anything computerized. the additional 20 cents is a bummer, but I'll still probably use stamps there too. what I think is silly is that the non-machinable cost is now 21 cents. I used to be able to just slap on an extra 20 cent stamp and know I was good. now I need the extra penny stamps, too!

and that quote about not taking your letter upstairs made me laugh outloud.

Cece

I wonder how they'll enforce the 20c surcharge? If I hadn't read about it here, I'd never know and would be sticking my normal hodgepodge of stamps on packages anyway. Irritating as it always is, the increase probably won't change my domestic mailing habits. However, the international increase really snuck up on me and that HAS, sadly, decreased my int'l mail. I recently mailed a lightweight 6x9" envelope to the UK and it cost $9. I was floored and unfortunately haven't sent anything int'l since then.

Adrienne mason

Well, not to play the " one up" game, but in Canada it costs 64 cents to mail a letter ( soon to be increasing to 85 or 1.00, depending on whether you buy a single stamp or a roll). It costs 1.10 to mail anything (no distinction between letter and postcard) to the US and 1.85 overseas. The latter two will be going up soon, too. And don't get me going on parcels. That killed my generosity on Swap-Bot, pronto! Still, I love to send and receive mail.

Leah

My international habits might change. It's already hard enough to spend $1.10 on my postcrossing habit. Wish there was a cheaper international postcard rate. Also, I don't write to my overseas penpals as frequently, but I do write longer letters - gotta get my money's worth!

paul

To add to the Great White North perspective - Our delivery is five days a week (Mon-Fri), and they do not pick up outgoing mail. There was talk of that changing to four day a week delivery, however now it seems they will discontinue home delivery altoghether, and switch to community mailboxes - something that has become standard in new neighbourhoods built over the past 10 years. Yup, an outdoor P/O box setup, basically. That is on top of the stamp increases.

It is funny though, that it is often cheaper to ship a parcel to the US than it is to the other side of our own country. (Not funny ha ha, mind - more funny wha?!?)

Valerie

Been pen-palling since the late '60's when postage was a mere SIX cents. My Dad used to say it was cheap entertainment. I feel that 49 cents for a first class letter is still cheap entertainment. When I receive a card sent cross-country and hold in my hand the actual item created by a pen friend, it is glorious! Sure, I would have preferred 50 cent stamps just for the math factor alone; however, I believe we have some law to thank for that. The price of a postal increase is regulated. I do not go all gung-ho with stamps on my parcels. I have long been using the USPS website for their on-line shipping label. I enjoy the convenience that I can pay and print at home and just plop my package in the box at the PO and by-pass all those people waiting in line. My fancy art work for parcels can be contained inside the box. I know I hear a collective gasp from serious mail art peeps, but this is what works for me. I will drop by the USPS site tonight and order some stamps before the increase strikes. Love those Forever stamps! US mail is a deal compared to other places. So the increase will not stop me from mailing things. I just hope I never witness the death of the USPS and that they continue to issue beautiful stamps to feed our letter writing souls!

Joan Clarke

I'll use the bar-code stamps for packages, but I won't give up my stamps for the letters I send out. I believe the US has the least expensive postage in the world. I don't complain about our rates.

Valerie

I don't mind the increase too much, though the ever-increasing international rates are disappointing. It's also a shame that they're trying to dissuade people from using non-metered stamps. (Granted, I haven't been entirely happy with some of the decorative stamps' quality lately, so...)

Given all the details in the rate change though, they could at least present them in a way that's easier to digest. Excel and CSV files? Really?

I found a few cheat sheets on other sites, but they don't cover everything:

http://www.stamps.com/usps/postage-rate-increase/
http://www.pb.com/postal-information/Postal-Rate-Basics/index.shtml

I guess it's time to go stock up on some 1-cent and 3-cent stamps, as well as some Forever stamps.

Carol

As a member of Postcrossing, the 5 cent increase on International mailings will have the biggest impact for me, but it won't keep me from continuing my postcard exchanges.

Julie Merilatt

I did sign up for a USPS account so I will have the ability to print my own postage. But I also stocked up on Forever stamps. Enough to last a few months...

plus.google.com/117147212668178620906

Computerized postage = no way Jose. I agree with you on that I'd prefer aesthetics as opposed to expedition. I also am not thrilled with the fact of being 'penalized' for using true postage.

Also, I guess my only other gripe would be the increase on postcards by 1 cent. There's not a lot of space on pc's as it is. Trying to find the exact postage to fit is a pain in the arse, and I'd rather be able to use the postcard stamps I already have...

Dawn

I wish the Post Office would go straight to 50 cents to make it easier all the way around--maybe it would save us worry about the next postal hike & put it off for another year or so.
I know the post office is struggling and I wish they were legally able to cut back to 5 days a week instead of 6, too, if that helps balance out the regular rate increases we've been enduring. These rate increases tend to clutter envelopes or postcards that don't have room for an extra stamp when they occur.

ana

I'm very disappointed about the computerized postage for packages. Does this spell the end of those beautiful $1, $2, and $5 stamps? I will cry, and then order more ASAP before they are gone for good.

I am curious how they will enforce the 20¢ upcharge on stamped packages. If I don't put it on my package, will the receipient receive a postage due notice? That would be terrible.

411junkie

I echo everyone's sentiment that computerized postage is ridiculous. Stamps are part of the fun of mailing letters. They're just as interesting as ... well, everything a letter or postcard has to offer.

I'm bummed, too, that the international postage rate has gone up past $1, even for postcards. I wish they still had a postcard rate and a letter rate for international pieces.

The price hike is worth it. Do I wish they'd keep it the same? Yes, but letter-writing is still my first love so it's worth it.

Adrienne

I feel really cheated that they're fining people for using stamps on packages. I also would take aesthetics over expedition any day - isn't that a large part of why we bother to send a physical object instead of an email?

I also dislike that the sentiment expressed here seems to be "like it or lump it". Yes, it's a wonderful service. Yes, it's cheaper than some countries. I have to wonder what it will take for us to really object? Fining people for using stamps is pretty outrageous. "Buy our product; but to use it you have to pay more." Way to alienate your hard-core fan base, USPS. Not smart. And we're just going to say meh, whatever?

I, for one, would like to know who to write a strongly worded letter to. Because this is simply not cricket.

(On a side note, I find the 1-10 cent series of stamps quite ugly and they haven't been updated in, what, ten years? If we're to expect yearly increases it'd be nice for them to pay some attention - once in a while - to the price-increase denomination stamps.)

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