The price of a postage is going up again. The price of mailing a letter is likely to rise to 41 cents beginning in May, from 39 cents. But for the first time ever, consumers will also be able to buy a "forever stamp" — one that will be good indefinitely for first-class postage.
Thirty countries, including England, already use a variation of the forever stamp. Now U.S. Postal Service regulators have endorsed the idea.
The stamp would cost exactly the same price as a regular, first-class stamp.
Government officials say the stamp would be cost-effective for the Postal Service and more convenient for consumers.
One benefit would be to eliminate the need to add two- or three-cent stamps to an envelope as people are trying to use up their old stamps after a rate change.
And the new stamp could actually save the Postal Service money — or at worst, be revenue-neutral.
"The cost to the Postal Service of selling you a roll of two-cent stamps for a dollar or two is so much greater than the roll of stamps you are buying that it costs the Postal Service money," said Ruth Goldway, a member of the Postal Regulatory Commission.
Postal regulators aren't worried that people will hoard the new stamps.
Market research done last year suggested that consumers would not buy more stamps than they ordinarily would.
A final decision on whether to adopt the new stamp is expected shortly. The stamp has already been designed and is slated to be unveiled in early March.