Starting Sunday, January 26, 2014, the price of stamps will rise from 46 cents to 49 cents, representing a 7% increase. That’s the largest increase in price that the U.S. Postal Service has declared in more than a decade. The reason for the major spike is the need to keep up with inflation and recover losses incurred during the Recession, when the volume of snail mail sent drastically decreased.
Although the Postal Service claims the price increase will only last two years, it is unlikely that prices will drop in January 2016, if ever. The need to adjust prices for inflation will remain a problem for the USPS. They plan to appeal the two year limitation decision made by the Postal Regulatory Commission, and they want to ask permission for another round of 1-cent increases in 2015 and 2016. This increase will help the USPS after years of multi-billion dollar losses, but will hardly solve the problem associated with a dying industry.
What does this mean for businesses and individuals? For businesses that send out a large volume of print and mail documents, it means there are significant financial incentives to migrating customers to electronic delivery of their monthly statements, invoices, and bills. Migrating customers to eDelivery will not only result in decreased print and mail costs, but will also further empower businesses to interact directly with customers with personalized, targeted messaging in their documents.