If you’ve heard of or used Forever stamps, you might be familiar with how convenient they are. Like standard USPS stamps, Forever postage stamps come with various image options to choose from, allowing you to customize your post.
But what makes USPS Forever stamps different from other stamps? Are they worth using? Let’s find out.
What is a Forever Stamp?
Simply put, Forever postage stamps are valid forever. Known generically as non-denominated postage or non-value indicator (NVI) postage stamps, they do not show a monetary value. The U.S. Postal Service debuted its first Forever stamp in 2007. They are valid on First Class® letters.
Not showing the monetary value on the stamp does not mean it is free; it simply means that you can still use it when the cost of postage increases without having to stick additional stamps on your envelope.
In other words, a Forever stamp’s value remains the same as the current value of a single First Class stamp, regardless of how much postage increases over time. Essentially, they are stamps that never expire.
How Does Forever Stamps Work?
Forever stamps are not unique to the United States — a variation of them is used in many countries worldwide, including Canada, India, New Zealand, and several countries in Western Europe.
Global forever stamps all tend to work in the same ways in that they create convenience for consumers and save money for the postal service industry.
A USPS Forever stamp is valid to use on a normal-sized, one-ounce letter sent within the United States. If your letter is more than one ounce, it will need additional postage.
However, the best solution to mailing a letter over one ounce is not to add another Forever stamp. That’s because each additional ounce will only cost you 20 cents at the post office, while a Forever stamp costs more than this.
The main reasoning behind USPS offering this type of postage stamp is that it can reduce the costs to print excess top-up stamps. These low-value stamps (at values of one cent or two cents) supplement old stamps that no longer equal the current amount necessary for standard postage. These kinds of stamps often cost more to print than they are worth. USPS Forever stamps alleviate this need, which ultimately saves the postal service money.
What Are the Benefits of Forever Stamps?
The most obvious benefit of Forever stamps is that they save consumers money. It may only be a couple of cents at a time, but those amounts can add up over the years.
For example, when they first debuted in April 2007, they cost 41 cents each. As of January 2019, the cost to send a one-ounce First Class® letter rose to 55 cents.
This means that if you purchased a Forever stamp in 2007 but waited to use it until now, you saved 14 cents. Postage prices are continually increasing, so your level of savings will only continue as time progresses.
In addition to creating some long-term cost savings, Forever stamps are very convenient. Gone are the days of running to the post office for a measly two-cent stamp or trying to determine what the current rates are and whether you have the same amount in standard stamps.
What Forever Stamps Are Worth
Forever stamps don’t have a specific monetary value; their value is equal to what it currently costs to send a one-ounce First-Class letter. For this reason, you won’t see a set amount printed on the stamps. Instead, on the stamp, you’ll see the word “forever” with a slash through it to indicate that it is a Forever stamp.
By doing things in this way, the postal service doesn’t have to worry about changing the printing templates or designs for Forever stamps. They can simply keep printing the same indicator on the stamps…well…forever.
To know the current price to send a one-ounce letter, you can check usps.com or keep an eye out for an announcement about an increase. Increases tend to happen yearly, with the last increase taking place in early 2019.
Where to Buy Forever Stamps
The best place to buy Forever stamps is at your local post office. If that option is too far away or inconvenient, you can also check your nearest grocery store, bank, pharmacy, or office supply store. Each of these locations should have Forever stamps in stock, as they are the most popular stamp option.
If printing from home is more convenient, you can also check out stamps.com, which will send you digital versions of shipping labels.
You can purchase Forever stamps individually, in sheets of 10, booklets of 20, or rolls of 100 (where available). It’s not possible to buy them in rolls of 500 or 1,000.
Do Forever Stamps Expire?
That is the selling point of Forever stamps — they never expire. The key to being able to use them is verifying that they are in good condition. In other words, the stamp cannot be ripped, wrinkly, stained, or too faded. Also, stamps cannot be attached with tape or glue, as they may be rejected.
In addition, the non-denomination indicator “forever” must also be visible for the stamp to be valid. If this portion of the stamp is cut off, illegible, or covered, the USPS will likely not accept it.
Make Shipping Easier with Print Bind Ship
Forever stamps are a helpful and easy way to mail letters to the average consumer. Unfortunately, they won’t do much for businesses that deal with shipping products worldwide. That’s where Print Bind Ship can step in.
As a third-party logistics (3PL) partner, Print Bind Ship can assist your company with printing, packing, warehousing, shipping, and inventory for your products. We can even help out with marketing and helpful other fulfillment solutions.
For more information or a free quote, get in touch with us today!