In a move that surprised many, the USPS (United States Postal Service) requested that it be allowed to increase postage rates an average of 5% on January 2, 2011.
This flies in the face having annual increases each May that track with the CPI (Consumer Price Index).
What does this mean to you? For starters, a first class stamp will cost an extra two cents. (This is a good reminder to buy the “forever stamps” at today’s price and use them next year in lieu of 46 cent stamps.)
Additionally, expect a bigger push to move mail online. More statements and invoices will be sent via email. Worse will be the email notifications that you need to download your statements, that cumbersome process of logging-in to a website, navigating security protocols, and downloading them — a safe, yet timely and hassle-filled procedure.
Also, more periodicals will cease mail delivery, requiring them to be downloaded as well. Still, most people (myself included) do not like reading magazines on their computers, but Apple’s iPad may offer an acceptable alternative. (Although e-readers, like the Kindle, are embraced by many for books, they do not work well with magazines, as they are text-only.)
The final consideration is one of those good-news bad-news situations. You can expect the amount of direct mail you receive to decrease — it will instead move to the inbox of your email. In essence, less junk mail, more spam. Thank you USPS.