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Postage Rates and Online Stamps

This article was written by in Consumer, Internet. 3 comments.

Nickel over at Five Cent Nickel reminded me that postage rates are going up on January 8. One of the most convenient things I’ve discovered last month is the ability to print postage yourself, using your internet connection and printer.

I’ve known this service has existed for a while, but I had been under the impression that fees are involved. As I discovered, that’s not true. You can print your own postage directly from the U.S. Postal Service for free! For some items, you will have to know the weight of your package (watch it!) but it doesn’t hurt to provide a conservative guesstimate if you don’t have a scale.

Printing my own labels and stamps has come in handy since I started selling used items on Amazon.com.

Updated February 10, 2011 and originally published December 30, 2005. If you enjoyed this article, subscribe to the RSS feed or receive daily emails. Follow @ConsumerismComm on Twitter and visit our Facebook page for more updates.

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About the author

Luke Landes is the founder of Consumerism Commentary. He has been blogging and writing for the internet since 1995 and has been building online communities since 1991. Find out more about Luke Landes and follow him on Twitter. View all articles by .


avatar Will Kirby

I think I’m going to start buying stamps online as well. Have you experienced any problems doing it this way?

avatar Luke Landes

The only problem I encountered was a problem with Adobe Acrobat Reader, which is necessary in order to print the stamps and labels. You have to make sure that your reader is configured:

* to load certain plugins (this is the default, but many people remove the plugins to speed up loading times)
* to view PDFs in a separate window (not in the browser — this is NOT the default)

avatar jim

You can buy stamps online from stamp collectors for less than their value in postage (stamps never expire).


Also, printed postage, regardless of weight, can be mailed via the blue boxes whereas if you use regular stamps, anything over 16 oz. must be taken to a teller.

If you misweigh it and don’t put on enough postage, the PO will return it to the return address but the postage is still valid, just slap on some more.

(I used to be a PowerSeller back in college so I knew all the little tricks to save that precious beer drinking time)