Does It Matter If The Price Of Stamps Rises?

Does It Matter If The Price Of Stamps Rises?
apstampsAustralia Post is contemplating putting up the price of stamps for the second time in a year. But just how important is the basic postal service these days?

Mark Skulley at The Australian Financial Review reports that Australia Post wants to push up the price of a basic stamp from 55 cents to 60 cents early next year. (The AFR remains the least link-friendly newspaper in Australia, but there’s a summary of the article at Business Spectator, and Australia Post has subsequently confirmed the plan.)

The last price rise was in September 2008. Given the current mood of economic nervousness, getting approval from the ACCC might be a hard road to hoe. (News reports about lazy postal workers hording thousands of letters don’t help, of course.)

Personally, I hardly ever send standard letters anymore, though I’m a big fan of Express Post), so I’m not that fussed about the rise (and on a purely subjective level, I like round numbers better as well). Moves like Telstra’s fee for paying bills by post also suggest that we’re rapidly moving away from letters and embracing electronic alternatives.

But I’m wondering what Lifehacker readers think. How much do you use standard postal services now? Does a price rise seem justified? Send your thoughts through the comments.


  • “The last price rise was in September 2009” – perhaps 2008?

    It took me until May to notice the change.
    Junk mail gets special rates.
    95% of communication is electronic.
    4.9% is express or parcel (post or courier).
    I think this is the wrong forum to ask about standard letter post but I’m having trouble identifying the right demographic.

  • Umm, I’m sure you mean the last price rise was September 2008, not 2009. 😉

    I’m a little annoyed that they’re going to slog us again so soon with a price increase.

    I’m guessing there’s less people sending personal letters, but there’s still many corporations sending mail outs (Bills, marketing etc).. Either way, I would have thought the load on the postal service would be slowing…

  • Firstly i assume it was September 2008 not 2009 for the last price hike 🙂

    The only thing i use mail for these days is birthday cards (and i dont send many of those), so an extra 20cents a year wont kill me. It might hurt small business that send hundreds a week.

    Its nothing like the telstra paying your bill fee (that should be illegal since a lot of people dont have the ability to pay over the net, just like the it’ll cost you $2 to get a paper bill). Thats the reason their share prices suck, they keep on screwing their shareholders.

    Back on topic though, 60cents isnt too much to pay for a physical letter to be sent across australia, it should be cheaper if its in the same state though, but that might confuse too many people.

  • I knew they’d put it up to 50c (I think I sent two letters at that rate!), but I didn’t even know that it had since gone up to 55c. I probably wouldn’t have noticed the 60c change, either!

  • I don’t care that much that they are trying to put the cost a stamp although it will mean the cost of sending out my invoices is going to rise we do email some of them out but as we are dealing with country customers alot of them do not have reliable internet access so we have to post them. The bigger problem is that when Aust post raise the stamp they often sneak through a rise accross there parcel post prices as well as someone who does A LOT of internet shopping any increase in shipping will suck

  • the irony for me is since the internet came along I now post more stuff. I have a little website that distributes ubuntu linux cds so a postal price increase will affect me….

  • Surely its not individuals that are sending more mail, It would have to be the business, and all the junk and they get a bulk buying franking / offpeak rate anyhow and get to claim it as a business expense. So indivual consumers will end up paying more for a service that business use more – it doesnt make sence..

  • I think that the price rise is simply to raise more profit.

    In Singapore the cost to send a postcard overseas (e.g. Europe) is $0.50! The Australian Equivalent cost is $1.40. How can it cost so much to send such a little item? The truth is, is that it don’t and that is how you get CEO’s with Multi-million dollar salaries. But when you have a Monopoly there is no reason to keep the price low.

  • This is only the second price increase since 1992, and the third price rise in 18 years. Name any other service that increases prices so rarely. Australia post will still have still has the third lowest basic postage rate of countries in the OECD. Australia Post delivers to more and more points every year and the cost of transportation isn’t any cheeper. Try getting the services you get from Australia Post from a courier company and see if you can beat Aust Posts price.

    Yeah sure, the price rise kinda bites, but hey every price rise does. At least Australia Post doesn’t force you to use the internet =)

  • Kat, the rise to 55c was the second price rise since 2002 when the price went from 45c to 50c. This would be a 3rd price rise. It’s a pain for those of us who do buy stamps, it makes any I buy in advance useless, let alone for people like my nana who is still trying to finish her box of 200 50c stamps should bought last year, by using 5c stamps along with them, I might have to get some 10c stamps ready for her next year.

  • Australia Post are affording the majority of their 25,000 employees a 4% pay rise in Sept 2009, along with a potential $500 bonus (>94% of standard mail delivered on time).

    With ever decreasing mail volumes you now know why they are requesting for an increase to the basic stamp price

  • Theres always been a certain level where post is cheaper than couriers however now I am absolutely amazed at how the threshold for couriers is now so much cheaper. This is all down to volume. I dont know how some transport companies make money at the prices they sell at and Im in the industry

  • We have built a comparison website for freight in Australia a 3kg overnight bag say from Syd to MEL is under 10 bucks. Cheaper than the post and its door to door. It pays to shop around

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