Like many things, stamp prices are closely tied to the cost of doing business. When fixed costs go up, often the postal service, no matter which country is running it, has no choice but to increase postage prices. It is usually a combination of factors that prompt stamp prices to increase. Still, there are things a consumer can do to protect themselves from such increases. Some of these options have only become available in recent years.
Two things can cause any business, including the postal service, to fall into financial difficulty. One of those things is a decrease in revenue, caused by fewer customers or fewer purchases from those customers. The other thing is an increase in expenses. While it may seem as though many postal services have a monopoly on the business of sending things, many have learned that is not the case.
One of the biggest reasons the U.S. Postal Service has given for the increase in stamp prices is the fact there are fewer people sending things with first-class postage. Many private individuals use first-class stamps, simply because that is the only option available to them. In the past, these stamps were used to mail bills on a monthly basis. However, fewer people are sending payments in the mail, with the advent of Internet banking and phone payments. Further, because of the use of e-mail, personal correspondence by mail has also dropped off substantially. Therefore, the postal service has increased stamp prices to offset some of this loss in business.
With the cost of fuel and other expenses going up, the pressure has further been put on to increase stamp prices. Fuel is a major expense for the U.S. Postal service, which keeps a large fleet of automobiles and planes in order to move mail across the country and across the world. Those machines collectively require a substantial amount of energy to run.
The U.S. Postal Service realizes that an increase in stamp prices is not received well by the general public. Therefore, it has implemented something known as the forever stamp. This stamp can be bought at current prices for first-class stamps but never expires or needs additional stamps. Those who want to guard themselves against further increase in stamp prices can purchase these stamps in large amounts. This also has the added benefit of giving the postal service revenue up front for services it may not be required to perform for years.