We are stamp nerds!

Bridgette and I are stamp nerds.  We like stamps!  We get excited when new stamps are announced.  We gather around a computer screen and look at what is coming out together. And sometimes we even ohh and ahh!

Stamps are cool.  They can be collectable.  They add personality and character to your envelopes.  Better yet…stamps bought from us at Downtown Washington, Inc. benefit downtown Washington!  That’s right!  How does that work?  We are a Contract Postal Unit (CPU).  That means that we are independant of USPS, but we offer nearly all of the same services at the same price.  When you purchase stamps at 123 Lafayette Street, we earn a 10% commission.  We get a 20% commission for packages!

Stamp prices will be increasing on january 21, 2018.  The current price for a first class stamp is $0.49 and it is going up to $0.50.  This is still a pretty great deal considering the service provided.  A one ounce letter can be mailed to ANY United States territory, military base or state for $0.49, with an estimated transit time of 1-5 days, depending on destination.

For instance…what would a different popular shipping service charge to send a letter?  I was seriously curious so I figured it out!  I used 63090 as the shipping from zip code and checked pricing from the other two major shipping options to 90210 (Beverly Hills, CA), 10101 (New York, NY), 96810 (Honolulu, HI) and 63090 (Washington, MO).  The shipping costs for a one ounce letter ranged from $8.95-$37.80 depending on destination and estimated transit time ranged from 3-10 days.

These carriers, according to their web sites, one processes 13 million and the other processes 19.1 million packages and documents daily.  While USPS processes 506.4 million mailpieces per day.  Please do not misunderstand me.  The postal system has some issues.  However when boiled down to percentages they have a pretty low error rate.

The United States Postal Service officially began on July 1, 1845.  It cost $0.02 to send a letter or package in your town, $0.10 to send it within 300 miles and $0.15 to send it over 300 miles.  In 1851 weight became an additional factor for shipping.  USPS stamp pricing has not kept up with inflation.  According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics consumer price index, the dollar experienced an average inflation rate of 2.00% per year. Prices in 2018 are 3000.0% higher than prices in 1845.  In other words, $0.02 in the year 1845 is equivalent to $0.62 in 2018, a difference of $0.60 over 173 years.

There are some really cool stamps coming out this year.  That’s right!  I said COOL!  You can see them all at stamps.org.  Here are some of our favorites:


Danielle Grotewiel