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 July 2022, U.S. Forever stamps cost 60 cents each — a 3.4% increase from the previous year. 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 cost 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
Before you start shopping for discounted stamps, it’s important to think critically about the deal you’re getting. According to the United States Postal Inspection Service, the sale of counterfeit stamps is up.
“Is a substantial discount of up to 50% off an order of United States Forever Stamps too good to pass up?” the article asks. Yes, keep scrolling.
USPIS reports that counterfeit Forever stamps are typically sold in bulk with a hefty discount, such as 20-50% off. If you see a deal that looks too good to be true, it probably is. That’s why buying stamps from a random seller on eBay might not be the best decision.
But despite the presence of counterfeit stamps out there, it’s still possible to get a discount on postage stamps; you just need to be vigilant and do your research on the seller to make sure they’re legit before parting with your money.
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 60 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 $55.99 on sale, which works out at just under 56 cents per stamp, or an 7.1% 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.
One caveat about buying stamps on Amazon: Make sure you only buy directly from Amazon or from a legitimate seller, as there may be some third-party sellers that list counterfeit stamps for super-cheap. In general, if the listing looks suspicious or too good to be true, there’s probably a good reason for that.
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 9 cents per stamp, or 17.6%.
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. Upon completing the trial period, you will be eligible for an additional $20 in 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 $54, which works out at 54 cents per stamp, or 11.1% 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 2022 Forever stamps for $10.80, which is 11.1% off retail price.
BuyDiscountStamps.com advertises no taxes and free shipping on all orders. However, there is a $500 minimum order, which helps the site keep its prices low. That’s a bit much if you’re just stocking up on stamps for yourself, but you can always see if some friends want to go in with you to reach the minimum and likely never need to buy stamps again!
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, as well as supporting the government enterprise.
How Much Is a Book of Stamps?
A full-cost book of 20 Forever stamps costs $11.60 (58 cents each). The cost will rise to $12 a book (60 cents each) July 10. However, a Forever stamp will always cover a standard first-class letter even after the cost rises. Resellers offer lower prices, but beware of counterfeits.
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 OfficeMax 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. Another good option is a wholesale store like Costco or Sam’s Club. In October 2022, Costco was selling a roll of 100 Forever stamps for $59.75, which works out at just less than the 60-cent retail price.
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 discount stamps. Those amounts vary from day to day.
Once you find the best rebate site, search for Forever Stamps on your chosen site (such as Amazon or Walmart) to earn your rewards.
At 5% cashback on a $56 roll of stamps from Amazon, you’ll save 12.8% on a coil of 100 Forever stamps.
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 .56 cents per stamp on that coil of 100 Forever stamps being sold for $56, bringing your cost down to just 53.2 cents per stamp, or $53.20 for the coil.
That’s almost 7 cents savings per stamp — or, around the cost of a stamp in 2019..
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 $56.
Ohio-based Catherine Hiles is a British writer and editor living and working in the U.S. She has a degree in communications from the University of Chester in the U.K. and writes about finance, cars, pet ownership and parenting.