Sunday, May 13, 2007

United States : 39 to 41 forever ?

Tomorrow, the 14th May 2007, the postal tariffs of the USPS are modified at the exasperation of clients, editorialists and journalists that write down their anger on press articles, viewable for some months now thank to Google News. Nothing's new under the sun : every country run crazy like this at every postal increase (see in New Zealand), while the postal administrations try to explain itself : universal mail delivery service, gas price, cmpetition, etc.

But, this once, USPS innovated with a stamp with permanent value (translation of the term in France : timbre à validité permanente) : the Forever stamp. You buy it now, you can put it on a simple letter forever. Today, it costs 39 cents, tomorrow 41 cents.

The Forever stamp is illustrated with the Liberty Bell, symbol of the 1776 Independance (image by USPS). The stamp is created by Tom Engeman.

And for some weeks, the journalists and specialists in postal affairs have been interrogating themselves : could simple citizens or big companies save money (more : earn money) by making now stocks of Forever stamp ? For tomorrow's 2 cents increase, they had since April 14th, date of issue of the 20 stamp booklets to do so.

In France, I remember no much ado about the red permanent Marianne...

More astucious and philatelic is the solution found by a marketing director of a software society, brought at your attention by Don Schilling on the Stamp Collecting Round-Up. This man is sending thousands of commercial mail. He has to face the postal cost and the fact that lots of people don't read spam. So, he decided to try something : he made a deal with a stamp and coin dealer. The dealer's employees prepare and stick the postage stamps on the mail at their speed. In exchange, the marketing director buy the unused oldstamps exclusively to this dealer with a 10% discount. Better for us - spammed people - and this ingenuous director, addressees seem to open more this commercial mail because of the presence of stamps.

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