Postage Stamp Arbitrage

Can you make money buying “forever” stamps before a postage rate increase and then reselling then after? These reporters did the math.


Kathryn's picture
Kathryn on August 26, 2020 - 16:21 Permalink

Well, that was an interesting theoretical adventure the reporters had (in 2013). One part I thought was interesting, though, was that apparently corner stores etc in the US may sell postage stamps at higher than face value! That is not the case in Canada. In fact, in the past (I have not seen it recently) both Rexall and Shoppers have offered packs of 10 or 8 stamps at 10% off (at their counter, not at in-store postal outlets), and Costco sells at a discount to face value all the time, I am told. I have bought many P stamps at 10% off (in small batches), which, when used after the official rate increases, is like a tax-free dividend. I especially like using them - several years later - to use on International mail, that is now $2.50 for basic letter air mail, compared to our now $.92 for domestic. And if your P stamps were originally bought for $.62 (all plus GST), the cost is more bearable. I also send a package occasionally to a small charity that does not qualify for bulk mail pricing. (yes, I now have a virtual lifetime supply, but they will not lose value.) Another thing on the P stamps, that come in rolls or packs of 6 or 8 or 10: some people do not seem to understand that they are a better deal than buying individual stamps when they need to mail something. And that is even when they are in a post office or outlet, asking for three stamps (I have overheard this) and the counter person kindly explains that if they buy a package of x, it will cost less than if they buy y individual ones.