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Postage Stamp Cost - History of USPS Postage Stamp Cost

stamps mail service cents

The United States Postal Service started in 1775 with Benjamin Franklin as the first official Postmaster General although the first postal stamps were issued only in 1847. At this time, the receiver had to pay the stamp price when mail was delivered. Postal services and stamp costs have changed over a lot over the last two centuries with a 50% increase in stamp price in 1932.

In 1863, the postage stamp cost was 2 cents for every ½ ounce, this reduced to 3 cents per ounce during 1917. From 1975 onwards, the increase has been by 2-3 cents after every few years. Rates increased to 37 cents per ounce in 2002 when the flag and antique toy stamps were launched. Rates also vary depending on a customer’s zip code. The postal ‘Zone Chart’ was launched on June 7, 2010.
Stamp costs depend on the distance a mail has to travel and also its weight.

In 2001, the costs were increased to accommodate the launch of non denominated stamps which do not have any price listed on them. The stamps vary depending on the service you choose. For example: For international mail, you can use first class or pre-cancelled stamps but not airmail stamps. USPS also offers online postage solutions. You can print shipping labels and pay postage by credit card. You can also create a prepay account that allows you to add funds which you can use to purchase stamps and other postage supplies.

The USPS has different prices for the services it offers. The Express Mail service is their speediest service that promises to deliver packages overnight to the locations covered under the service. Postage stamps are required for sending a First-Class Mail. Customers can use this option for mailing postcards, letters and large envelopes that weigh less than 13 ounces. For one ounce, postage cost is $0.44 and for 3.5 ounces, it is $0.95. Postage cost for large envelopes starts at $0.88 and goes up to $2.92. International postal stamp cost prices start at $0.75 to $3.50, with a 20 cent surcharge for non-machinable letters. The prices are more for large envelopes and parcels.

In May, 2009 the price of stamps was increased by 2 cents to $0.44 because of increasing operational costs and a decrease in overall mail volume due to recession. The USPS launched Forever Stamps during this time to help consumers during the transition phase. Postmaster General John Potter mentioned that even after the increase in stamp costs and international mail, the USPS offers the lowest postage services in the world.

In addition to regular mail, the USPS also provides services like delivery confirmation and registered mail at extra cost.

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