Tuesday, February 10, 2009 the United States Postal Service announced that the price for a first-class mail stamp will increase 2 cents, from 42 cents to 44 cents, starting May 11, 2009.
The Postal Service said that the price increase was necessary due to rising costs. As you may know the USPS has recently posted a $3billion deficit and expects to lose much more money in upcoming years. They have even considered cutting a day off mail delivery.
The increase in stamp price is said to cost the typical American $3 per year. Not exactly the most money, but with times tight as they are for some people any extra money spent can be felt.
Here's a tip on saving some money this year, especially if you send a lot of mail.
Buy Forever Stamps!
Yes, Forever Stamps, your 42 cent friends that will always be honored to send a one ounce letter at the current rate of 42 cents, even if the USPS decides to raise stamp prices higher than the 2 cent increase in May. Not only will forever stamps save you money, forever, but they also come in this seasons latest liberty bell design! All right!
So now you may be thinking, "Wow, I should really buy some forever stamps." "But wait, I don't know where to find those little money savers!" That's okay Postal Systems has you covered!
Where to buy Forever Stamps?
You can buy Forever Stamps direct from the United States Postal Service. Just follow the link and you will be on your way to sending your mail for 42 cents while the rest of America pays 44.
Are you wondering how this stamp price increase will affect Direct Mail? In short, it won't.
Postal Systems specializes in obtaining maximum mailing discounts for our customers, we are able to send mail in bulk at a price far lower than sending it yourself or going directly through the USPS. Feel free to contact us for any of your Direct Mail needs. As always we offer free consultation on your Direct Mail Projects.
The Intelligent Mail Barcode is the next generation of USPS barcode technology used to sort and track letters.
Intelligent Mail barcode technology, among other things, combines the capabilities of the POSTNET barcode and the Planet Code barcode into one unique barcode.
Postmaster General John Potter announced that the US Postal Service will push back the date of implementation for the Intelligent Mail barcode.
In an advisory notice, Potter wrote that the decision to change the date was in response to public feedback. “Many of you told us that January 2009 was too soon,” he wrote. “We will propose a May 2009 implementation, concurrent with our next annual price change.” IMB will be required in May 2011.
In 2009 the IMB was slated to replace Postnet and Postal alpha numeric encoding technique, or PLANET, bar codes on domestic mail.
This new bar code has been popularly promoted as a combination of the Postnet bar code and the PLANET bar code, able to route and track mail with a single bar code.
The IMB brings much more than a simple combination of codes. Using the IMB, mailers know if and when mail gets delivered. Mail that is redirected by the Postal Service is now easily identified. Mailers can request address changes service information in the bar code at a greatly reduced cost. Many aspects of the delivery tracking expectations that FedEx and UPS have created are now met by the Postal Service, but at a dramatically lower cost.
The IMB uses a bar code symbology that allows up to 31 digits of information in 65 bars of four different lengths and position. Compare this to the current Postnet bar code that contains 11 digits of data in 62 bars.
This new bar code does a lot more than track delivery times. Unlike current postal bar codes, the IMB is not simply a font. An encoder, a USPS computer program, is required to convert the numeric value to the new bar code. This adds some complexity to the process for mailing companies, and the mailing software vendors are currently looking to develop better solutions to work with the IMB.
As mailers adapt to this new technology, look for even more creative uses for the unique IMB bar code such as tracking mail within the plant or driving advanced production applications. Just as the Postnet bar code ushered in a new mailing era in the early '90s, you can expect the IMB to bring another level of intelligence, tracking and ACS into the mailing world.