Lick the High Price of Stamps: Guide to Buying Them Cheap
Fewer people are sending items by mail these days opting instead for online bill pay, email and social media. But some prefer the traditional feel of mailing cards, bills or letters, or trust the postal service more than the internet with their correspondence.
If you use a lot of stamps, the cost can quickly add up. As of March 2021, U.S. Forever stamps cost 55 cents each. The great thing about Forever stamps is that they don’t list a value on the stamps themselves, so you can stock up and still use them even if the value of a Forever stamp increases.
But you can get postage stamps for cheaper than face value if you know where to look. Here are a few options to get you started.
Best Places to Buy Stamps at Discounted Prices
Buy Discounted Stamps on eBay
If you’re buying stamps in bulk, eBay can give you a great deal on stamps.
You’ll see hundreds of auctions on eBay for unused postage stamps. Like most eBay products, they’re cheaper than the retail price.
Most stamp auctions on eBay come in rolls of 100 Forever stamps. If you need that many, you can get them for as little as 40 cents. That’s a 27.3% discount on the retail postage rate.
Even if you don’t need 100 stamps, you could still save by going in with a friend (or several) and splitting the roll between you. If you have five friends who mail things, your cost for 20 stamps (the size of a book) would be $8 compared to $11 if buying directly from USPS.
On top of these savings, when you buy stamps (or anything else) on eBay, you can enroll to earn eBay Bucks on qualifying purchases.
Check Stamp Dealers For Discounted Postage
Stamp collecting is a big business. Dealers make a lot of their money buying and selling stamps from collectors, but they also make money selling mint stamps at a lower cost than their worth.
Stamp collectors often buy unique stamps when they come out, thinking they may become valuable someday. But often, they don’t grow in value, and the collector may sell stamps to a dealer at a discount. The dealer then sells these stamps to you, the consumer, at a low cost.
Buying stamps this way might mean you have to use several stamps of random value in order to get to the 55 cents required for regular postage, but it can save you money (and make for a unique envelope to the recipient of your mail).
Look for Deals on Amazon
At first glance, postage stamps on Amazon seem to sell for the same price as at USPS, and in some cases they are more expensive. But if you have patience, you can find good deals on stamps on Amazon.
For example, I stumbled upon a listing selling a roll of 100 stamps for $50.35 on sale, which works out at just over 50 cents per stamp, or an 8.5% discount.
You’re not guaranteed to find cheap stamps on Amazon, but if you can find them it might be worthwhile — especially if, like me, you have an Amazon credit card that earns you points on your purchases.
Sign Up for a Stamps.com Account
If you listen to podcasts at all, chances are you’ve heard of Stamps.com in an ad. They usually offer a free trial period that includes freebies like postage, so you can try out the service before paying for a subscription.
Stamps.com is currently offering First Class (i.e. Forever) stamps for 51 cents each, saving you 4 cents per stamp, or 7.3%.
Membership is $17.99 per month (plus applicable taxes), but that includes a free digital postal scale when you sign up, plus the four-week trial that includes $5 in free postage. You can cancel anytime, as there are no long-term contracts. If you do a lot of mailing and shipping, a subscription should pay off in the long run.
Check Out BuyDiscountStamps.com
Another online option is BuyDiscountStamps.com. You can get a roll of 100 stamps for $49.50, which works out at 49.5 cents per stamp, or 10% off retail price.
In addition to rolls, you can also buy sheets of 20 stamps for cheaper than at USPS. At the time of writing, you could buy a sheet of 20 Arnold Palmer-themed stamps for $9.90, which is also 10% off retail price.
BuyDiscountStamps.com advertises no taxes and free shipping on all orders.
Buy Stamps Directly from the Post Office
For smaller orders of stamps, buying directly from the United States Postal Service can be a good option. USPS also offers a wide variety of stamp designs, whereas buying them elsewhere usually limits you to the traditional American flag design.
USPS makes stamps in many different designs to celebrate holidays, public figures, seasons and more.
Buying postage stamps directly from the post office means you will pay the going rate for a Forever stamp, but it does give you more options than any other seller.
Buy Stamps at Other Retailers
The post office is the most obvious place to buy stamps, but it can be inconvenient. You can find postage stamps at full retail price at several different types of retailers that you probably frequent often, which can save you the additional trip even if it doesn’t save you money. Generally, anywhere that sells mailing supplies will also sell stamps.
Office retail suppliers such as Office Max and Staples usually sell stamps at retail price. In addition to office supply stores, you can buy stamps at the gas station, the UPS store, chain stores like Target and Walmart, pharmacies and grocery stores.
How to Save Even More
Rebates and rewards are two more ways to save money on postage stamps.
Check Rebate Sites
For additional savings, check Cashbackholic to find the best cash back deal when buying stamps through eBay. Those amounts vary from day to day.
Once you find the best rebate site, search for Forever Stamps on eBay through that site to earn your rewards.
At 5% cashback on that $40 auction, you’ll 32% on a coil of 100 Forever stamps. It doesn’t get much cheaper than that.
Use a Rewards Credit Card
This is one of the best deal-stacking tips. With a cash back credit card, you get money just for purchasing things you would buy anyway.
If your card offers 1% cash back, you’ll save an extra .4 cents per stamp on that coil of 100 Forever stamps, bringing your cost down to just 39.6 cents per stamp, or $39.60 for the coil.
That’s more than 15 cents savings per stamp — or, around the cost of a stamp in 2007.
You might not think to look for rewards and discounts on items like this, but think about the money — and hassle — you can save! How much first-class mail do you send each month?
One hundred stamps could go pretty far — you could be set up for months for about $40.
Catherine Hiles is a contributor to The Penny Hoarder