Where to buy, when to use and what kind of stamps you can get.
Buying Stamps and Going Postal
Once “text” was accepted as a verb into the Oxford English Dictionary, the old methods of communication faded more in our memories. So what do we poor souls of the cyber-generation do when by some trick of fate we need to send a letter? Well, the first step is acquiring stamps, which can be a little more complex than you might think.
Where to Buy Stamps
You can buy stamps in a variety of places, such as:
- Post offices, if you dare to brave the lines.
- Grocery stores of all kinds, like major chains, local chains, all natural stores, and probably even grocery stores that employ birkenstock-wearers.
- Gas stations, where bored and broke basement-dwellers mingle with the rest of society.
- Online solutions, which works best for small businesses and people who ship/send things a lot. One solution we’re fans of is Stamps.com
When to Use Stamps
When you locate a place that sells stamps (it isn’t a sisyphean feat, but this is a blog about stamps so dramatics are okay), you have to make sure you get the right kind of stamps. Postage isn’t a one-size-fits-all deal; the price of postage depends on the type of item being sent, the weight, and where it’s going. But all of that is a big topic for another time, so lets focus on stamps.
Stamps are used on letters almost exclusively because parcels (or anything other than a flat letter or postcard) weigh too much for a single stamp to cover the postage. Since letters are so common, the postage price for them is standardized, and thank goodness! Can you imagine having to use a postage meter every time you wanted to mail a letter or birthday card? Anyway, the standard letter is 3.5 oz. and is no more than ¼ in. wide; the price of postage for a standard letter, however, changes from time to time.
Types of Stamps
In 2007 the USPS introduced the forever stamp, which, as the name suggests, can be used whenever. The forever stamp was meant to keep the angry mob of stamp-book-owners at bay when the USPS changed the postage prices, thus making said angry stamp-book-owners’ stamps unusable alone. Before the days of the forever stamp, people had to buy oddly valued stamps (ever seen 1 cent stamps or 33 cent stamps?) to piece together the correct postage. Those were dark days indeed, so let’s never revisit them by only buying forever stamps!
But even forever stamps come at a price. In late September, the USPS announced a postage increase, making the postage (a.k.a. stamps) for standard letters 49 cents. Although it may seem a bit like your grandfather getting started on the price of gas when he was a lad, a single stamp is basically half a dollar. And for small business owners, and others who need to send things via snail mail, postage prices are a big deal. Fortunately, people have already thought of a solution to that problem.
Online Postage Solutions
It’s true, there are businesses whose business it is to facilitate other businesses’ shipping. Say that fast 5 times! These businesses are called shipping solutions and they basically offer postage deals and equipment to ease shipping and postage issues.
For example, Stamps.com is a postage solution that offers cheap prices on stamp books, postage refills, and postage software (instead of a postage meter). All of these components make trips to the post office unnecessary, and makes shipping a lot easier and cheaper for small businesses.
Essentially, online postage solutions like Stamps.com is a dream come true for shut-ins who still send letters and for people who are too busy to be sassed by postal workers. If you qualify as a person with zero sass-taking time (or zero tolerance for sass-taking) and you send letters frequently, you might want to check out a few of our reviews for online postal solutions to find the best one for your needs.
Was this article helpful? We hope so! If it was, you might want to consider purchasing your next set of shipping supplies or stamps from Amazon.com