What’s The Lowest Stamp Price You Can Recall?

I don’t know how I missed it, but I guess last month the US Post Office announced that they want to institute a five cent increase in stamps.

This would bring the price of a first class letter to a cool fifty cents.

Changes are definitely needed at the Post Office, which has been hemorrhaging money and is facing something like fifteen billion dollars in losses.

Personally, I think structural changes are the only thing that can save the USPS.  As prices rise, I think you’ll find that people will just send less in the mail, so revenue won’t increase as much as they are hoping, if at all.

I thought it would be fun to ask readers where they first remember the price of postage.

The cheapest stamp price I remember was twenty cents, which according to Wikipedia, was the price between November 1981- February1985.  I was anywhere between 7-10 during this time, so that seems about right as to when I would have had an awareness on this particular price.

What’s the earliest memory you have of postage prices? Would a five cent (11%) increase cause you to send less mail than you do today?

22 thoughts on “What’s The Lowest Stamp Price You Can Recall?”

  1. I’ve never really been aware of stamp prices. I have never had to buy too many of them because I typically just pay my bills online, and don’t really ever send letters. It’s been this way my whole adulthood, and I never really mailed anything as a teen.

    • That’s absolutely amazing. I have cut my mail usage down dramatically but there’s still the odd bill or return form that has to be sent.

  2. I think the lowest I remember was around $.20. When I was a kid I went to sleepaway camp and we were required to write letters home. Of course, I wrote more to my friends and would have to give my counselors money to buy more stamps for letters to my parents. I think I would only give them a couple of bucks for a whole book of stamps.

  3. I remember 10 cents vaguely, but remember 13 cents very well. I can’t say that I will change my mailing habits as I rarely mail anything unless absolutely necessary.

  4. I remember 33 cent stamps. I cannot recall anything cheaper than that and I remember I was bummed when they went up to 34 cents because that meant you had to feed the machine extra pennies for three 🙂 So, I suppose I have “dated” myself now.

    A price increase would have no effect on my mailing habbits. I keep a book of stamps because I need them every so often, but don’t mail anything that is unnecessary!

    • Except for holidays and such, we generally can go a few months without going through a whole book.

  5. i am always confused by stamp prices..

    i have a bunch of stamps in a drawer at home, and i have no idea when i bought them.. they don’t have a price or a year on them.. all they say is “first class” or something.. i am quite confident that stamp prices have increase 2 or 3 times since i bought them, but i have no way of knowing for sure.

    i tried mailing something with them a few months ago and didn’t get any complaints about the item not arriving.. so i assume that they still work… very strange

    back to the question at hand.. i remember stamps for a $0.25.. thats the lowers i can go

    • They are probably forever stamps which means that you can use them regardless of price increases.

  6. I remember the increase from $.25 to $.29 when I was 9 or 10. I also remember postcards being $.20 which looks like it was around the same time.

    The price of letters doesn’t really affect my usage of the post office. I pay bills online for the most part (confirmation number! nothing lost in the mail! next-day updating! a carbon-copy for me!), only mailing in things that absolutely must be mailed – which is getting to be fewer and fewer items. I still send physical greeting cards to some people, though, like my grandparents – I know they like getting “real” mail.

    Rather than continuing to increase prices, I think the USPS should experiment with some other cost-saving options, like drop daily delivery to four or five days per week instead of six. I for one don’t get enough time-sensitive mail that it would make a difference if I had to wait a few more days to receive it.

  7. The furthest back I can recall in circulation is a $0.32 stamp. Howver, I used to collect stamps as a kid and I had a lot of $0.01 stamps – now those must have been the “good ol days”

    • Yep but people were probably ‘making’ a buck or two a week so it was still noticeable I’m sure 🙂

  8. My first recollection is like yours Beagle – .20 for first class stamps. Now post card stamps are much more that that! I use stamps primarily for mailing out Holiday Cards, Birthday Cards, etc.
    I believe Forever stamps would have to say “Forever” on them to truly be those type. If they don’t, you’d need to go to the post office and turn them in to see what they’re worth.
    I don’t know if the post office does this anymore, but at some point in the past you could turn in your old stamps to buy new ones, like currency. So if I had a bunch of .32 cent stamps, I could take them in and get the equiv of current stamps.
    Under current law (Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act of 2006), the Post Office cannot raise prices of each stamp class by more than inflation. So if they’re planning on raising prices of first class stamps by .05 then they would be cutting it close. The last first class increase on Jan 22, 2012 of .01 was 2.27% increase. Here’s where I found that information https://usps.force.com/faq/s/

    • I never knew about the ‘turn in’ option. I figured the only option was to buy the additional stamps in the increment of the most recent raise. I do seem to recall that all stamps sold now are ‘Forever’ stamps so anything bought in the last few months and here on out will work as first class stamps without having to buy the incremental stamps.

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