Social Question

nzigler's avatar

The Forever Stamp- why the hell not?

Asked by nzigler (1328points) November 13th, 2009

I had to go to the post office yesterday and was surprised that while I watched more than half a dozen folks buy postage, none of them bought Forever Stamps.

For those of you who don’t know, the Forever Stamp is the same as any other first-class postage EXCEPT it lasts forever (unlike a 44 cent stamp after the next rate increase). You dig?

So, I assume there are only two reasons why people wouldn’t make the smarter economic decision here:

1. They like to have some other image on their stamps (Charlie Brown, State Birds, Norman Rockwell paintings). Forever stamps have the Liberty Bell on them- what the hell’s wrong with that though?

2. They don’t plan on having the stamps that long/they only buy small amounts of stamps. (Think ahead, people- you know you’ll have some stamps on hand when the rate jumps again).

Anyway, this may seem very unimportant or rant-ish, but I’d love to know why you DO or DO NOT buy Forever Stamps and what (if anything) I’m missing here.

Observing members: 0 Composing members: 0

45 Answers

RedPowerLady's avatar

do they cost the same?

JONESGH's avatar

I dont send mail often enough to care.

nzigler's avatar

@JONESGH seems like you’d be the ideal customer for a Forever Stamp my apathetic friend.

As your adventures in postage are few and far between, you stand to benefit even more so from investing in Forever Stamps as opposed to their soon-to-be-obsolete cousins.

erichw1504's avatar

You know what? E-mail is free.

nzigler's avatar

@erichw1504 I will email you that package shortly then.

RedPowerLady's avatar

We typically get the liberty bell stamps but to be honest I’m one of those saps who prefer the ‘cute stamps’. In fact I don’t like the liberty bell imagery. Having said that your point is quite valid.

nzigler's avatar

@RedPowerLady Okay cool. I just feel better knowing it’s a conscious decision. Aesthetics are fine- have no shame.

whatthefluther's avatar

I rarely use stamps (I pay the bills that are not already on auto-pay, on-line) but still invested in 100 Forever Stamps at 42 cents, despite still having a few purchased at 40 cents. It’s a wise and safe investment in my opinion. See ya..Gary/wtf

Skippy's avatar

Prior to the rate increase to .44 bought 3 rolls. Before the next one, I’ll buy more, but right now I’m still on .42 center’s….

It’s smart to have them. You will always have something that has to be mailed. Not everything can be paid online.

MissAusten's avatar

I hardly ever use stamps, but once I had a bunch of Star Wars stamps when the rate went up and hated to not be able to use them (and God forbid I actually go to the post office to buy some “make up” stamps). Ever since then, I buy the forever stamps.

However, today I picked up some stamps at the grocery store and they only had holiday stamps. I’m sure they’ll get used up with the holidays coming and all, but I keep thinking of those Star Wars stamps oh they were so cool and thinking I should check to see when the next rate increase is coming. It would just be my luck to find out stamps will cost 46 cents next week.

jackm's avatar

The price of stamps only increases because of inflation, so it shouldn’t make a difference which ones you buy. Even if there was a difference, it would be very, very negligible, and you would probably lose the stamps before you needed them anyway.

erichw1504's avatar

@nzigler Good luck with that.

Val123's avatar

They don’t know about them. I just found out about them this past summer! I’ll buy anything else.

nzigler's avatar

@jackm i don’t understand. the forever stamps won’t become more expensive once you bought them. stamps generally go up 2 cents every other year at least. not to mention the hassle of having to buy 2 cent stamps to make up the difference. i guess you might lose them but i don’t know that i would.

Darwin's avatar

I have bought Forever Stamps ever since they came out. I have lots of older stamps marked “H” and “F” and things like that where not even the postal clerks remember their value, and I am tired of wasting postage.

Val123's avatar

@Darwin How long have they been around?

Darwin's avatar

I think they first came out in 2007.

Val123's avatar

@Darwin Well, I’m not too far behind then!

nzigler's avatar

@erichw1504 I was going to send you beer and money. That’s a shame. Whatever will i do with them?

grumpyfish's avatar

Financially, forever stamps are not a good investment—postage has been historically getting cheaper relative to inflation. That is, postage increases trail inflationary adjustments by several percentage points.

That said, I like buying forever stamps rather than the denominated stamps because I generally don’t go through stamps fast enough to matter =)

Darwin's avatar

@nzigler – You can send the beer and money to me instead. :-)

nzigler's avatar

@Darwin oh good, that was quite a dilemma. how many forever stamps will it take to mail a keg and an attaché full of unmarked bills?

nzigler's avatar

@grumpyfish I don’t mean to sound contrarian but this doesn’t make sense to me. do you mean that stamps, relative to true value of US currency, are so behind inflation that they become cheaper over time? If so, that is amazing- no joke. I lurved just in case this bizarre/interesting fact might be true.

Also, isn’t the USPS struggling? maybe this is why. :)

grumpyfish's avatar

@nzigler at least in the current decade (I found a chart that goes back to the mid-20th-century that showed differently), that’s correct.

Eeek—I was wrong! “Since its reorganization into an independent organization, the USPS has become self-sufficient and has not received taxpayer-dollars since the early 1980s.”

Darwin's avatar

@nzigler – Send it Priority Flat Rate – “If it fits, it ships!” up to seventy pounds.

nzigler's avatar

@grumpyfish that’s still very interesting. my next question would of been how they can survive. thanks for filling us in about this. lurve.

whatthefluther's avatar

@nzigler….Nearly everything has improved at USPS since they decided to take on the competition (UPS and Fedex, etc., package delivery). It was a remarkable turnaround for a bureaucracy that was a costly mess. I’ve never lost a package with USPS since and I am very pleased with their service, in all regards. See ya…..Gary/wtf
PS: If that package for @Darwin is over 70 pounds, please feel free to send some my way. Thank you.

Dr_C's avatar

I just sent this Q to our resident expert on all things mail related.. that bratty 6 year old better come around soon…

AstroChuck's avatar

I don’t know. Why the hell not? I suppose people just like using the love stamps and other styles than just the Liberty Bell forever stamps. I plan on using the Christmas stamps when I send my Christmas cards out two days before the holiday.

jca's avatar

i have some Simpsons stamps, and i have in the past gotten some really cute or pretty stamps. i’m a person who would ask the postal worker what they have and “shop” for some nice ones. For me, it’s why the hell not decorate the envelope. at christmas, i like using christmas stamps. when doing some large mailing, like when i had a baby, then i did buy the forever stamps just because Costco had them and they were convenient to purchase.

however if you think about it, it would be a good investment to buy a couple of 100 packs for the future – unless the Post Office goes out of business. Then the stamps would just be stickers!!

ratboy's avatar

I save more money by ignoring bills that can’t be paid online.

Cupcake's avatar

I buy forever stamps. Except when I sent out wedding invitations and got the pretty wedding ones (and, of course, used them all right away).

edited to add – I usually pay bills online and rarely use stamps.

SarasWhimsy's avatar

I buy Forever stamps because I don’t send much mail. When they first came out I bought around $50 worth. I think I’ve used 20? They only time I don’t plan to use them is for the holidays when they have holiday stamps.

There are still people that collect stamps. Maybe that’s why they buy the fancy ones? Or maybe they’re using them quickly.

Psychedelic_Zebra's avatar

<—- Always buys Forever Stamps. As a thrifty Belgian, I know a good deal when I see one.

augustlan's avatar

I always buy the forever stamps, too. Not so much to save (future) money, but to eliminate the hassle and time involved with securing one or two cent stamps when the rates change.

plethora's avatar

The very best stamp is the stamp with your own picture on it. Yeah, it costs more, but it’s you. I had a really bad ass picture done professionally and we had some stamps made up and I now use them for client mailings. They love it.

Otherwise I do buy forever stamps…about a dozen a year. Or better yet, I steal them from my office when my employees are not watching.

Don917's avatar

If the price of stamps is going up before you’ll use up what you’re buying, then by all means get Forever stamps. But if there is no change in sight and astethics matter, then use something pretty or topical.
Sometimes life is about the journey, and not just getting “there”.

AshlynM's avatar

I like the variety of images on the stamps. Right now, I have a few Simpsons stamps, a few odds and ends, and of course, the US flag stamp.

lillycoyote's avatar

I always buy forever stamps. Saves money and saves all the aggravation of buying one or two cent stamps so you can use your old ones when the price goes up and having to deal with those mysterious transitional stamps that don’t have the amount on them. You can only tell what they’re worth by the color and you have to look that up. I don’t even know how much it costs to mail a first class letter now because I always use them.

MissAusten's avatar

All stamps are Forever Stamps now.

augustlan's avatar

@MissAusten Are they? I hadn’t heard that. Cool!

MissAusten's avatar

Yeah, that’s pretty much what I said last time I bought stamps! :)

AstroChuck's avatar

Most of the first class letter stamps the USPS sells are Forever stamps, not all. And of course there are stamps of various denominations, just as always.

WestRiverrat's avatar

To a stamp collector, those forever stamps are relatively worthless. If I am buying stamps to mail stuff, I will buy forever stamps if the post office has announced a postal rate increase. Otherwise, as I also collect stamps, I buy a different series of stamps each time to add to my collection.

I collect stamps more as a hobby than a business or investment, so I do it on the cheap.

Answer this question




to answer.
Your answer will be saved while you login or join.

Have a question? Ask Fluther!

What do you know more about?
Knowledge Networking @ Fluther