Thursday, March 24, 2011


Postal rates continue to climb, and we've got a drawer full of Forever stamps because that's how we roll. But we wondered if we could do even better.

Everyone already knows to stock up on the Forever stamps, since they're good at face value even if/when the rates go up. Right?

But we bet you didn't know this:

If you go to a stamp and coin store, many will sell you unused stamps at at least 10% off face value. Apparently, stamps don't expire, so you can still use old stamps to mail new things. (Just make sure you're buying United States postage, not foreign stamps, and make sure that they're not canceled.)

Recently, Team CHEAPIOSITY bought some vintage postage stamps at our local stamp/coin store, and our discount was about 15% off face value. Cool. We used the stamps on some letters, and nothing has returned postage due, so we're concluding that our little scheme works just fine. Why the bargain, you ask?

Apparently, baby boomers and their parents started collecting stamps and coins as a post-war hobby (and investment), but so many of them did that there's a glut on the market. So many stamps were issued and saved that they haven't increased in value at all. Only stamp collections that date back to the 1940's and before have started to appreciate. Bad news for the baby boomer collectors, but good news for us bargain hunters who still traffic in snail mail.

And with Valentine's Day right around the corner, what could be more thoughtfully retro and hip than a Valentine's card sent with vintage postage stamps? You don't have to thank us.

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