Today, the first-class postage rates went up another two cents. Didn’t they do that just last year??
This increase is more alarming, though, for two reasons:
- The new Forever Stamp marketing is based on the presumption that rates will increase again before you’d get a chance to use up all your new 41-cent stamps! (“Buy ’em now, boys, while they’re still 41 cents each, ’cause they’re gonna cost whatever the going rate is, and right now it’s still just 41 cents!”) I can understand the reasoning, since I’ve still got the better part of a roll of 37-cent stamps that I bought the Saturday before the 2006 rate change — but, c’mon, guys, can’t you even pretend that the 41-cent stamps might be around for more than a few months?? Then again, this is the same outfit that sold me a 100-count roll of 37-cent stamps without bothering to mention that the rates were going up in two days. Geez!
- The new shape pricing means that short-story writers sending manuscripts just got more like a 10% price increase, not the 5% increase it looks like on the surface! Say you’ve been shopping a 7000-word story. That means 28 manuscript pages, 1 cover page and a paper clip, or about 5 ounces. On Saturday, that was $1.35 for first-class postage. Remember that prior to that rate hike, it was $1.29, which meant the 2006 hike represented close to a 5% change. But with the new shape pricing, that 7000-word story is now a “large envelope”, which is gonna be $1.48, almost a 10% change. Yowch! And It’s even worse for short-shorts. A 1000-word story (a mere 1 oz) just went from $0.37 to $0.80, which is a whopping 116% change (or 216% the previous cost, however you prefer to look at it)!
They say men over 40 should have regular prostate exams, but who needs ’em when we’ve got the USPS looking out for us?
I have a business suggestion. Seriously. FedEx, are you listening? How about a mix of electronic and physical delivery, like electronic checks? We fill out an order form online with an uploaded standard-format document (heck, I can scan my signature for a cover letter), you guys print it out at the closest Kinko’s-on-every-corner to my destination, slap it in an envelope and deliver it. With a Kinko’s right there in the financial district in Manhattan, I bet you could cover NYC magazine publishers for less than USPS without breaking a sweat. How about it?