A first-class stamp cost 3 cents when Gertrude Burns first started sending letters, but the 78-year-old York Township woman said she realizes those days are gone.
These days, the cost per stamp increases by 3 cents at a time.
Under a temporary hike approved earlier this week, the price of stamps will increase from 46 to 49 cents starting Jan. 26.
News of the increase made Yorkers like Burns nostalgic for days when things didn't seem to cost so much, but they said the extra pennies aren't likely to sway them from their normal stamp-buying behaviors. That is, they'll continue to buy very few of them.
Because even at 78, Burns said most of her business is conducted on the Internet, not through the mail.
She does send out about a dozen Christmas cards every year, but the extra 3 cents per stamp will only translate to 36 cents.
John Valentine, 69, said he's still working through the book of stamps he bought before the Forever stamp was even introduced.
He writes fewer than 20 checks per year now because he pays bills online, he said.
"The post office has been around an awfully long time, but it'll probably soon go away because of the Internet," he said.
Lost money: Regulators approved the increase in an effort to help the Postal Service recover from the recession.
Forever stamps, good for first-class postage whatever the future rate, can be purchased at the lower price until the new rate is effective Jan. 26.
The higher rate will last no more than two years to allow the Postal Service to recoup $2.8 billion in losses, but inflation over the next 24 months could mean the price will stay about the same when that period expires.
While the U.S. Postal Service has struggled for years with declining mail volume, a York Township Giant Food shopper Mark Kormanik said he's "one of the few letter writers left."
A 52-year-old blues guitarist whose stage name is "Little Buddy," Kormanik said he uses handwritten letters to thank people who have hosted his performances.
Receiving a letter written by a human hand is novel and, "in this day and age, it's more formal and personable" and helps him to stand out among other musicians, he said.
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