The end of USPS stamped envelopes for Priority Mail
By Bill McAllister, Washington Correspondent
Another United States stamp product is dying.
The U.S. Postal Service is discontinuing production of its flat-rate prepaid Priority Mail envelope franked with an imprinted postage stamp, saying sales of the product have declined steadily while its production and sales costs have risen.
A spokeswoman said the current product, available only through the USPS Postal Store online outlet, will not be useful after any future rate increase because the imprinted postage denomination on the envelope would need to be changed to reflect a new, higher price.
Mailers should be able to add postage to the stamped envelope to achieve the total needed to fulfill the new rate.
The first Priority Mail stamped envelope was the $3.85 Jefferson Memorial issued Dec. 29, 2003 (Scott U652).
The current envelope was issued Jan. 24 and features the $7.95 Castillo de San Marcos stamp image (Scott U701).
It will be the last Priority Mail prepaid stamped flat-rate envelope to be offered, USPS spokeswoman Sara Martin told Linn’s.
The stamped envelope will remain available through the USPS Postal Store at store.usps.com until January 2022 or until supplies are exhausted.
“A return on investment analysis conducted in February 2021 determined it is in the best interest of the Postal Service to discontinue further production of the prepaid stamped flat rate envelope,” Martin said.
The Postal Service will continue to offer a Priority Mail prepaid flat-rate envelope that is franked with a large printed postage indicia, much like the indicia that postal clerks place on parcels, or can be purchased through self-service kiosks in selected post offices.
That prepaid envelope is currently sold at the $7.95 rate and is offered at a minimum of five envelopes and a maximum of 250 envelopes. Those envelopes come with a printed return address.
Similar envelopes can be ordered in a legal-page format for $8.25 each.
“Our folks want to get the word out about the discontinuation of the Priority Mail prepaid stamped flat rate envelope and encourage people to use up the existing stock,” Martin said.
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