Trying to find somewhere to purchase stamps that isn’t the post office can be a difficult and frustrating task. “Where can I buy stamps?” you ask yourself. “Where I don’t have to stand in an incredibly long line for a couple of mail stickers?” Well my friends, I’m here to tell you that there are actually tons of places you can buy stamps and pretty much anything else the post office sells without the annoyingly long wait, sometimes rude workers, and that don’t lack the pretty designs.
A Fallen Giant
According to the USPS, the popularity of sending out stamped items has fallen by over 50% in the last decade. In addition, the USPS processed 60 BILLION more pieces of mail in 2007 than it did in 2017. That is a huge drop, especially considering how popular ordering online has become. However, there are still many reasons why you’d want a roll of stamps. The USPS still processes over 150 billion pieces of mail a year, so “snail mail” isn’t dead by any means and stamps continue to have a thriving place in society. Because of this, there is an incredible number of stores and locations to pick up a book of stamps.
The Internet is Often the Answer
Just like you can buy beds, cars, and rocking chairs online these days, you can buy stamps. The most obvious place is naturally USPS.com where you can choose almost any design that’s in stock and ready to ship. They charge you a few bucks to ship stamps. The amount of money that the USPS website brings in has doubled in the last ten years from 500 million to 1 billion, so obviously it’s a trustworthy source for your stamps sheet needs.
You can also buy stamps on stamps.com if you don’t mind printing them and have certified stamp paper. In addition, good old Amazon ships a number of different stamp sheets – like my favorite, “Songbirds in Snow”. You won’t get them right away if you buy online, so if you need to send your wedding invitations out before noon, you’ll probably want to pass this option up.
If buying something like stamps from the internet intimidates you, eHow has made the cutest and most helpful video in the world. Give it a (two-minute) watch if you’re hesitant.
Believe it or not, most Walmarts now carry stamps at their front registers. This is a recent development in the past few years, but now you simply request them at checkout and they’ll include some at the post office price with your grocery order. Many Walmarts are now open 24/7 as well, so it’s easy to hop on in and get a sheet of stamps if you need them at 2 AM for some reason (I won’t judge).
In the Same Vein, Grocery Stores
Even if you don’t have a local Walmart – or you don’t shop at Walmart – most grocery store chains now sell at least a book of stamps at the register. Most grocery stores aren’t open 24/7, but many of them are open sun up to after sun down, so you should be able to catch them open on your lunch break.
Postal stops have long been a companion to the post office. They come in a variety of names, like “Post Annex” and “Going Postal,” plus the ma & pa shops that still sell a variety of stamps, money orders, personalized stamps, attractive mailers, and services like FedEx and USPS as well. Usually these stores are small, quiet, and have a ton of different options for you since they really appreciate your business. While you’re there, buy something cute for a friend or a pretty envelope – postal stops are often run by the best small business owners who deserve your support.
Big Box Office Supply Stores
Places like Staples and Office Depot didn’t used to carry stamps, which is a little odd because they carry everything else you need to mail a package or an envelope. However, in recent years, they’ve changed their tune and often sell stamps at the register to purchase. Most big box retailers will even let you purchase stamps in different quantities than in books, which is rare outside of the post office and postal stops.
You get your drugs there, you get your quick sugar and caffeine fix there, why wouldn’t you get your stamps for mailing there too? It makes cents – get it? – for drug stores like Walgreens, CVS, and RiteAid to carry stamps since they’re considered a one-stop-shop for just about every little thing you could possibly need on the way home, and after they caught on, the other pharmacies followed. Chain-retailer CVS often carries 5 – 15 designs in each store as well, so you’ll get your pick of the best prints available (and if you prefer the flag or the liberty bell, they’ll have those for you too).
Your Credit Union Has Got Your Back
The vast majority of banks, credit unions and yes, even ATMs now sell stamps. Since you’re there depositing that check from your grandma anyway, it makes it a great and convenient service for financial institutions. You should probably send your grandma a thank you card anyway, so pick up a book while you’re there.
When in Doubt, Google It
While there aren’t a whole ton of resources out there on where you can find stamps since there is literally an entire store devoted to nothing but postage available in almost every US city, there are a couple of tools that are super useful if you’re in a pinch.
One of those tools is a website that is aptly named, “Places to Buy Stamps Near Me”. I decided I wanted to find stamps in Montana, and not only does it give you a generic list of stores that usually sell stamps in your area, it gives specific locations of ATMs and other less-known locations to get stamps when you scroll down the page. A little more scrolling shows that you can also find a stamps location on a handy map.
The site is pretty dated, but the resource itself if you ignore most of the words is useful.
There are absolutely tons of places you can purchase stamps these days, and there’s no excuse not to have those baby shower invites in the mail tomorrow. Whether you’re
- At your bank
- Shopping for your groceries
- Picking up your medications
- Hanging out on your smartphone
- Withdrawing cash for a Friday night out
- Dolling up a gift at your local postal stop
- In the lobby of a USPS location
- Grabbing a new pair of pants from Walmart
…stamps are widely available for your postage needs. The question should actually be, “where CAN’T I buy stamps?”
Where do you usually buy your stamps? Do you find the USPS line in your town tolerable, or do you prefer to pick up a book at your credit union? Tell us about it in the comments below.