Stamps and Postage FAQ

Everything we wanted to tell you about stamps and postage that you forgot to ask.

Answers to your most pressing questions

What is the current US postage rate for a standard first class letter?

  • Standard size rectangular envelopes - $0.49
  • Square, Oversized or Unusual Envelopes- $0.70
  • If your letter weighs more than 1 oz- it costs $0.21 for each additional ounce.

Learn more about the current price of postage

Why is FOREVER crossed out on some stamp designs?

This is a fraud prevention method; to make it more difficult to forge the stamps by copying the online preview image and printing it on adhesive paper. The actual stamps you buy should not have any words crossed out.

Learn more about the forever stamp being crossed out

Do stamps expire? Can I still use old, non-forever stamps in some way?

You can keep using them, if you take the monetary value of the stamps printed on them, use a combination that meets or exceeds the current cost of mailing that item. Let’s say you have an old 39 cent stamp, this can be used to mail a postcard (current postage required 34 cents). You could combine two of them to send an unusual envelope 39x2=78.

Learn about stamps expiring.

If my old (non-Forever) stamps don’t have a value printed on them, how do I know what they’re worth?

Such stamps are called Nondenominated Postage and you can check this handy table for your mystery stamp, or check out our forever stamps historical value guide.

What is an unusual or non-machinable letter?

Basically it is one the automated processing equipment can’t deal with, usually because of it’s dimensions... too square, too fat, etc. Special closures like strings or buttons; Its contents make it rigid or shift around. For full details, you can read the specs here. You pay an additional surcharge for such letters, even though they meet the weight (1oz) limit.

Can I get personalized stamps for my business, family or a special occasion?

Yes, there are a few services which let you create custom postage stamps with your own imagery. These are real stamps that can be used on domestic mail. The possibilities for these are endless; from birth announcements, to graduations, to wedding invitations, to holiday greetings, to customized logos, you can create all kinds of personalized stamps. Some services offer great template designs for easy and professional looking results, some have themes and licensed photographic/ art content you can utilize. Check out the options at photostamps.com

What is dimensional (DIM) weight?

Learn everything you wanted to know (and more) here

How can I save money on shipping?

  • Take advantage of options where DIM doesn’t apply, such as USPS priority mail.
  • Get the most value from dimensional weight.
  • Price your parcel and options through multiple carriers to find the best deal.
  • Take advantage of volume discount pricing on mailers. More o Take advantage of envelopes (instead of boxes) when sending small items like T-shirts.

What will different carriers allow me to send?

Looking to send a nice bottle of wine to your uncle? Not through the post office.

What will make my packages arrive on time?

Get your address correct and complete, including the zip code. Don’t have other writing on the box from previous deliveries. Don’t put anything in the box that makes noise or smells funny.

How can I choose the right carrier for my shipping needs?

This depends on what you send, where you send from or to, how quickly it must arrive, applicable surcharges and service options. Often USPS is the most cost effective option when sending to residences, even home offices, as there is no residential delivery surcharge. You are not bound to any one carrier and often having a service like Stamps.com or Endicia will allow you to compare per parcel cost options.

Are there any shipping solutions geared toward eCommerce businesses?

If you sell frequently on Amazon, eBay, Etsy, or other eCommerce platforms, you have unique needs, such as cart integration and tracking. Consider ShipWorks. You can take advantage of automation features and shipping rate discounts.

Why does the Fed Ex guy always leave a door tag and run away before I can get out of the bathroom?

We're still working on answering this one.


Was that article helpful? We hope so! If it was, you might want to consider just not worrying about sending stuff anymore and try Stamps.com.

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