My two cents about the two cent stamp.

I’m fairly tired of the ugly two-cent postage stamp that the Post Office has to offer.

For mail that goes to a bank or other business purpose, it’s fine. For personal and pen pal mail, it’s an ugly black square that has no theme beyond “Hey, looks like the Post Office is still losing billions!”.

Yes, when I send personal mail, I try to use stamps that fit the stationery or theme. I often over-postage a letter just to avoid using the ugly two-cent stamp. Perhaps that is the USPS’ master plan for revenue, I don’t know.

I have nothing against Navajo jewelry. I like turquoise. Could we just have some additional selection? If it’s going to be a continual thing, this two-cent rate hike, start making some collectible and interesting two-cent stamps and quit pretending as if each two-cent increase was a “surprise” announcement.

The continual rate increase means in about a year and a half, it will cost 50 cents to mail a letter. Not too bad, I guess, if I’m mailing to New York or California. A little annoying, however, when I’m sending it to a nearby bank or my sister a few hours away.

The USPS is facing billions of dollars in losses, due to increases in email and electronic bill payment, and purports to increase the current rate of 44 cents to 46 as a solution. The idea is that an increase in price will make up for the fact that people aren’t using the service because…people are more likely to use a service that keeps getting more and more expensive.

Clearly, not private industry.

The USPS admits that the bulk of the mail is…bulk mail, yet continues to increase the postage rate for first class mail. Frankly, I would pay the USPS to not send me bulk mail, credit card applications, and the like. And in that, we have a business model that could work: pay us to not deliver your mail. Either that, or print the Apple logo on a stamp, call it an iStamp, and make people line up for days just to get them. The publicity from an angry Cease-And-Desist Steve Jobs would alone be marketing gold.

Whatever the case, the USPS wants to hear from us about this proposed increase.

I find it ironic that the way the USPS is taking our suggestions isn’t by mail, but…electronically. For example, you can go to the Post Office Inspector General’s blog and vote on the proposed 46 cent rate. Or, you can go to the Postal Regulatory Commission and use a web site to voice your thoughts. Granted, the Regulatory Commission also offers a physical mailing address, but check out the size of it:

Postal Regulatory Commission
ATTN: Office of Public Affairs and Government Relations
901 New York Ave., NW, Suite 200
Washington, DC, 20268-0001.

This is going to seriously put a dent in my plan* of using only two-cent stamps to complete the current 44-cent postage rate to get a letter of protest about the ever-regular postage increases as well as the ugly two-cent stamp issue. With an address like that, I don’t know if I’ll have enough room for all of the stamps.

I still think it to be an effective manner of protest, at least from a visual standpoint.

*Genius idea given to me by an acquaintance.

Comments

  1. Bennie says

    You would think in this day and age with self-serve postal kiosks (there are several in town here), they could come up with a self-serve stamp printing section. Here you could pick out from a touch-screen computer display a selection of art/themes, quantity desired, and have them printed out right there, bought with cash or credit/debit card.

    But I understand the P.O. is extremely in the red these days.

    Kind of sad, album / CD art, art on stamps, beautiful/captivating book cover art/illustrations all being pushed to the side in the name of electronic, digital efficiency.

  2. Steve Scott says

    * I did this with 1-cent stamps back when the rate was 20-something cents. Stamps covered the entire envelope except for two stamp spaces. I wrote the address in that space in the lower right corner in tiny letters and my return address on the back. It forced them to hand-cancel the whole enveolope, dragging the ink laden cancellation stamp around until each stamp was smeared.