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Invest In Forever Stamps

50 cent Forever StampsI saw in the news that postage stamps are going up to 50¢ a piece, and I immediately heard, “ChaChing!” Buy a bunch at 45¢ Forever stamps the day before the increase and then sell them for 50¢ the next day. That’s an 11% ROI in one day. Pretty incredible.

When I researched it though, I was less enthused. First of all, by law, stamp prices are not allowed to increase faster than inflation (though they are this time somehow), which means they can only work as a short term investment… and then, only if you can sell them. There will likely be hundreds of thousands of stamps for sale online the day after the price hike. I’m certainly not the only one that heard the retro cash-register-bell.

I realized a few other problems with my plan too:

  1. Nobody needs 15,000 stamps, if they even need 1.
  2. Anyone who does need a bunch will also have purchased them ahead of time.
  3. eBay isn’t an option because it has a 9% fee, which practically destroys the profit margin.
  4. Competition will drive the selling price below 50¢/stamp.

I’m still kind of toying with the idea, but selling them without eBay would be hard, and when I die one day and they’re reading my Will, I’d hate for my kids to have to argue over who gets Dad’s bucket of postage.

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  • Brendan Riley

    Charles Ponzi (yes, that Ponzi) built his famous scheme on the idea that one could buy “international postal coupons” in one country and then sell them in another country in a way that used currency exchange rates to make money.  So you’re in rarefied company.

    Congrats on winning Dreamhost’s site of the month.