The Postal Service continues to issue postage stamps as a convenient and secure payment method for consumers. While more customers may be using postage they can print themselves at home or at work — especially when discounts are being offered — the basic postage stamp remains popular with consumers and collectors worldwide.
The “Forever” stamp concept was first introduced in April 2007 with a stamp featuring the image of the Liberty Bell and was designed for consumers’ ease of use during price changes. In 2011, all domestic First-Class 1-ounce stamps became Forever stamps with the exception of stamps in coils of 3,000 and 10,000, and those formats were added to the Forever program in 2014. Forever stamps sell for the basic First-Class Mail 1-ounce price in effect at the time of sale.
A Global Forever stamp was introduced in 2013; it offers a single price for any First-Class Mail International 1-ounce letter to any country in the world. This Global Forever stamp may also be used to mail a letter up to 2 ounces to Canada.
In FY2014, 35 new stamps were issued with 95 designs recognizing American history, culture, people and achievements. Some of the stamps issued this year — as part of the Postal Service’s annual Limited Edition program — paid tribute to individuals as diverse as Shirley Chisholm, Charlton Heston, Janis Joplin, Jimi Hendrix and Harvey Milk, with other stamps featuring subjects as varied as Celebrity Chefs, Hot Rods, Nevada, Circus Posters, Songbirds and the USS Arizona Memorial.
USPS 2014 Promotional Calendar (see Promotions)
USPS 2014 Promotional Calendar [D]
For more information, visit https://ribbs.usps.gov/index.cfm?page=mobilebarcode
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The Eagle Logo is among the many trademarks of the U.S. Postal Service®.
Sales continue to be robust among the Limited Edition stamps. The Hot Rods led the pack with sales over $25 million; the issues for Chisholm, Hendrix and Vintage Circus Posters each sold over $10 million. Our biggest-selling stamps, featuring Flags, Love or Holiday themes, have sales many times greater.
To expand the reach of U.S. stamps and stamp products, the Postal Service entered into an agreement that provided for a Postal Service store on eBay which launched in July 2013. This new sales channel also opened up new worldwide markets. As of September 2014, over $2.5 million of new revenue has been generated by sales on the Postal Service eBay store.
During 2014, Stamp Services also undertook the complete overhaul of its internal stamp distribution network, consolidating the operations of nine Stamp Distribution Centers and Stamp Distribution Offices into a centralized facility at Stamp Fulfillment Service in Kansas City, MO, and a single additional satellite facility in Dulles, VA. The consolidation was completed just before the end of FY2014, so an analysis of the actual cost savings — expected to be significant — should be available in FY2015.
The Postal Service also is authorized by Congress to issue semi-postal stamps which are used to help raise funds for designated causes. The price of a semi-postal stamp pays for the First-Class Mail single-piece postage price in effect at the time of purchase and reasonable reimbursement of costs to the Postal Service, plus an additional charge. This additional charge (or “differential”) helps fund causes designated by Congress, with money going to a congressionally selected executive agency or agencies.
Four semi-postal stamps have been issued since the program began in 1998 resulting in the donation of $96.2 ($93.6+$1.8+$0.8) million dollars. The two semi-postal stamps on sale in FY2014 were the Breast Cancer Research and Save Vanishing Species stamps.
The Breast Cancer Research stamp (1998-current) generated net proceeds of $1.7 million in FY2014 and $79.3 million since it was first issued in 1998. By law, 70 percent of the net amount raised is given to the National Institutes of Health and 30 percent is given to the Medical Research Program at the Department of Defense. The Save Vanishing Species stamp (September 2011-current) generated net proceeds of $0.2 million in FY2014 (the legislative authorization lapsed in January and was restored in September) and $2.6 million in total since its 2011 release.
For more information about the Postal Service stamp program, visit www.usps.com/stamps.