BusinessWeek.com, What Entrepreneurs Need to Know, May 14, 2007

Beating the Postage Hike: A novel idea for cutting postage costs...

by David E. Gumpert

Sure, postal rates went up just last year. But another set of hikes goes into effect on May 14, lifting the price of a first-class stamp from 39¢ to 41¢ along with increases across the board. One piece of good news is that the USPS has tweaked its pricing system, basing it on shape, meaning that folding documents to fit into smaller envelopes will save you money. There are other approaches to consider as well.

One entrepreneur determined to save on this seemingly fixed expense buys at a 10% discount old but unused postage stamps—such as from the days when first class mail was 18¢ or less— from a local stamp and coin shop. It seems that shops like this buy large volumes of old stamps at steep discounts from heirs of collectors and then sell them at less severe discounts to businesses and individuals.

"The beauty of old postage is that it never loses its face value or expires," writes Dan Pritchett, director of marketing for Logos Bible Software in his blog. As a bonus, this local stamp and coin shop applies the postage to invoices and statements at no charge, saving Pritchett's company even more.

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