May 14, 2007
If you are pushing the envelope Monday, you will need your two cents, literally.
The price of a stamp is up from 39 to 41 cents (up six cents for letters abroad), making people like Lilliana Perkowski, who is sending letters overseas, feel the pinch.
"I just need to send quite a few of these today, about 25, so six cents per letter makes a tremendous increase," said Perkowski.
It's not just individuals who are affected.
Companies like Photoworks, a marketing communications firm, are also feeling the effects, especially when they send out their attention-grabbing oversized postcards.
"It used to be you could send out a 6X9 postcard for first class postage and you didn't have to worry about the size," said Photoworks president Geoff Kilmer.
But now, size does matter.
Before, the postal service priced by weight. According to postmaster Halbert Clark, thicker, bigger and odd-shaped mail has a higher price.
"Odd-sized boxes cause a little challenge, and they cost more to transport," said Clark.
He says the increase is an effort to stay competitive and deal with rising gas prices.
But as their expenses rise, so then do their customers, therefore what goes around may come back around for the postal service.
"Prices are up and budgets are tight. That may cause people to mail less," predicts Kilmer.
There is good news. People sending heavier letters, such as wedding invitations, will see a price cut. Each additional ounce will cost just 17 cents, down from the 24 cents.
Also, the 41-cent stamps you buy now, called the 'Forever Stamp', retains its value regardless of future price changes.