What Is A Forever Stamp?
The Forever Stamp was introduced in 2007. Its purpose was to serve as the required postage for any standard 1 oz letter, as the name indicates, now or any time in the future. From 1980-2010, the postage rate for 1st class stamps increased on 14 different occasions. Customers who buy stamps in bulk or don’t mail very often would find that they needed to purchase additional one cent or two cent stamps to add to their envelopes in order to mail them, and a lot of people thought this looked tacky or was just an unnecessary hassle.
The forever stamp is a solution to this; it will always be accepted as having the same value of whatever the current first-class stamp is. You can use forever stamps to mail internationally but you will need to add additional postage- their value is the same as a first-class stamp the day you mail it, which is enough for domestic letters, but not enough for international ones. This also applies to letters that are over-weight; you will need to add more postage.
International mailing was simplified with the more recent release of the Global Forever® Stamp. These are just like the domestic first class letter Forever Stamp, only for international delivery. The Global Forever® designs can be easily distinguished from those of other Forever Stamps. They have a round border and always have the words ‘Global’ and ‘Forever’ printed on them. The year it was printed does not affect the value of the stamp. The new 2016 design features a picture of the Moon.
There are also Forever Stamps dedicated to specific purposes, such as sending another ounce in weight, sending non-machinable envelopes or sending postcards. The purpose of the stamp is printed on it: an additional ounce in domestic weight is represented by the words ‘Additional Ounce’; an irregular envelope can be mailed with a forever stamp that reads ‘Non- Machinable Surcharge’; a standard postcard has the word ‘Postcard’ printed on it. Sure, you can slap a regular Forever® Stamp (one with no other purpose printed on it) on a postcard, but that wastes the difference between the cost of a letter stamp and a postcard stamp. Even if you don’t send many postcards, the stamps should always be usable, so having some around may save you a few dollars in the long run.
Something that many find confusing is why when they look at Forever® Stamp designs, the word Forever is crossed out. Why is Forever crossed out on the stamp? A quick answer is, it isn’t. When you actually buy the stamp, you’ll find the word ‘Forever’, or any of the other purpose words such as ‘Postcard’ will not be crossed out. For viewing purposes, you can see what the stamp looks like in the preview online, without giving digital thieves the ability to simply copy the image and print their own counterfeit stamps illegally, and possibly even sell them to you!
In a word, no they do not, BUT there are some other things to know, such as how even faded stamps can be rejected. Read More
How do I avoid fake stamps?
The best way to avoid fake stamps is to buy your Forever® Stamps direct from USPS or an authorized seller rather than buying it from a corner store or online on a site like Craig’s List or eBay. You can go through Amazon browsing by USPS, but if you take a closer look, the stamps are sold by third party vendors, sometimes at strangely discounted prices or egregiously marked up prices. We love Amazon for our office, but this might be a (cough, cough) ‘Prime’ example of a time to shop elsewhere. You’ve got to wonder how an international seller can sell US stamps back to us at a price lower than they could buy them for…
This is not to say that a printed stamp is necessarily a forgery. You can have your own stamps printed (with your own custom graphics) for a family event or business logo with a service like photostamps.com or shutterfly, but these are not available as Forever Stamps. You probably would want to purchase these directly from one of those affiliated services rather than from someone online who supposedly created a surplus, in order to avoid getting duped.
Forever stamps have been expanded in recent years to incorporate many more designs. There are now dozens to choose from! Check them out here.
Stamps images above Source, ® & © United States Postal Service. All Rights Reserved.
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