Where Can I Buy Stamps Besides the Post Office?

Wondering where to buy postage stamps near me? Worry not, this article serves as an ultimate guide for you to identify areas you can buy stamps.

You also get to know what a postage stamp is, and the many types or forms through which it finds application.

Know more on how and where to buy stamps near you. If you need to buy postage stamps, then the first question that may come to mind is where the nearest post office is?

Gone are the days when stamps could only be found in a post office where, unfortunately, you had to and queue before buying a stamp.

Here is a guide on where to buy stamps near you. Before letting you in on where to find stamps, let us first begin with an unusual question that we all take for granted, what is a stamp?

What is a Postage Stamp?

It is not common to find someone asking, what is a stamp? We always have the notion that everyone knows what a stamp is and anyone asking must be pulling a bad joke.

A postage stamp is a small piece of paper that is bought and put on an item, particularly a mail to show proof of postage payment.

In typical terms, stamps are published using unique and special custom-made paper and on them, they contain the demonization or value and a country of original designation.

Not quite the case. Sometimes you use a word for ages without pausing to think what it actually means, and a stamp could be one of such words.

Definition of a Postage Stamp: A postage stamp is a small piece of paper with an adhesive material on its underside and a picture on top that the postal authority issues as a symbol of a specified value.

The piece is stuck onto the mail or the package that is to be sent indicating that it has been charged. Consider a stamp to be a sign of payment for postage rates or a type of currency issued by USPS for postage services.

places where you can buy postage stamps
Stamp Sample

In most cases, stamps have an adhesive part on the back, which makes them self-adhesive. The company or institution responsible for postage stamp production is the postal service, in the case of the US.

In essence, it can be a variation of terms between the post office and any preferable name based on the country from which you will be sending from or receiving a mailed item from.

Stamps can also be acquired or procured from other permitted vendors and they are used to stand for costs associated with transportation of mail and other business necessities.

Stamps come in many different shapes, but the most common is a rectangular one, even though you may find triangular and other shapes on some occasions. You can read more on stamp costs here.

After a stamp is affixed on your envelope and other postal covers like a box, there is then a process where cancellation or postmark is input to indicate the date and place of origin and the mark also prevents any reuse attempt.

Types of Postage Stamps

Postage stamps come in different types that vary based on the time period. Below I list some of the major types of stamps in use today.

The varieties do not necessarily portray the difference in stamp money value as you would probably be thinking by now.

The different varieties of stamps are mostly different based on their aesthetic value, which is what they stand for rather than what value they hold according to USPS postage rates.

Special Stamps

This category of stamps carries a specific theme that reflects an occasion that is underway. The USPS has a way of capturing the moment within the stamps they print.

Anyway, it looks out of place to have a stamp sent on Christmas that for example commemorates a 19th-century novelist.

Would you rather have the chance to buy a stamp from your nearest vendor that specifically captures the theme of Christmas, for example with an image of Santa?

So imagine how the recipient of an invitation card would react seeing that you went the extra mile to find a stamp that actually looks like Christmas? They would feel special.

Commemorative stamps

At times, and occasionally to be exact, the USPS provides stamps that commemorate a piece of American or global history. Let us take Rosa Parks for example.

The USPS could make a few stamps to commemorate her for steering forward the civil rights movement and have her image as the face of such stamps.

She represents a critical American and global history, and therefore her appearance on stamps would be identified with almost everyone. The USPS makes a few commemorative stamps from time to time that do not usually exceed 200 pieces.

Definitive Stamps

These are the ordinary stamps if you like them that way. They are often boring everyday stamps that you will encounter almost every time you go to buy stamps in your nearest store or post office.

You can call them the standard stamps just like we have money that rarely changes the face. They are produced in mass and are always available throughout the year.

They look bland and lack the creativity that you would always find in commemorative and special stamps. Philatelists tend to love them more than the other two just to find those subtle printing variations and errors.

Definitive stamps are stamps produced for day-to-day postage, and they are published in accordance with prevailing postal rates.

Nonetheless, their designs are less attractive as compared to commemoratives since the same design might be used for many years. Unintended color varieties may result from long-term use of the same design.

Perforated stamps

This refers to the holes that are found around a stamp and they are used to separate a sheet into single stamps.

The holes can also be used across the center with letters or a sequence, and even a monogram, commonly termed as perfins. Such modified stamps are in most cases procured by establishments to avoid theft by workers.

Airmail stamp

It is a type of stamp used for payment of airmail services, and the term airmail and its equivalent is in most cases written on special airmail stamps. The majority of airmails display images of airplanes and famous pilots.

They started being used since air transport was seen as the most unique and special way of delivering mails beyond and above every other means of transport and delivery.

Presently, all other mails for international destinations are transported by airplanes making airmail a standard means of delivering mails.

Local stamps

This is a category of mails that is used on mail in a domestic post or a postal service that operates merely within a defined geographical region like a city or a single transportation route.

As such certain local posts have been taken over by governments while others have been under the leadership and ownership of local private posts by for-profit enterprises.

Miniature sheets

These are sheets of stamp that comprise of one or a small number of stamps and souvenir sheets in typical terms encompass extra artwork and data printed on the selvage, the outline edge around stamps.

In some cases, the stamps comprise of a greater image and in some nations, some issues are published as single stamps or sheets.

Other Types of Stamps

There is another category of stamps that do not fit the special, commemorative, or even the definitive type.

We consider these stamps more of a functional type since they serve a unique purpose even though USPS values them as regular stamps.

  • Airmail Stamps: These types of stamps cater to flown mails and post packages. They indicate that the mail has incurred a surcharge to the mode and cost of delivery to the recipient.
  • Certified mail stamp: Stamps in this category call for a receipt of delivery or an attempt made to deliver a mail package to the recipient. They also include a surcharge beyond standard charges.
  • Customized stamps: These types of stamps deviate from what you know about stamps. The USPS has given rights to a few parties to offer customized stamps which you can design according to your wishes. They are not as bland as definitive stamps are. They give you room to design your stamp.

PS: The first category of stamps are unique in their designs, but the same cannot be said of the second category.

For instance, if you buy an airmail stamp, you are not buying a specially-looking stamp, but you are buying airmail posting services using an ordinary stamp, most probably a definitive stamp.

What actually makes the stamp unique is what it stands for rather than how it looks.

Places to Buy Postage Stamps Near You

If you are looking for any type of stamps mentioned above or you have an idea of a unique stamp that you thought would be available, then there are a variety of places you can begin your search.

There are about three ways you can acquire stamps today.

You could visit the post office, that is if you have the time to queue, you could visit your nearest authorized vendor for stamps, or you could simply check online and find places you can buy authentic stamps.

If you need an exclusive online purchase, then check out Where to Buy Stamps Online to get a clue on how buying stamps online works.

If you prefer your nearest store, the article How to buy stamps in Bulk at Walmart or Target should be a good place to start your search.

The question remains, where can I buy stamps near me? Well, below I seek to answer this in detail. The first place is the primary seller of stamps in the US known as the United States Postal Service (USPS). So let’s dig in!

1. USPS

The most commonplace that one can buy postage stamps directly is the US postal service office outlets across the country.

The location of the post offices might inconvenience some people since certain post offices are located in rural areas that are miles away from most people.

However, there is an advantage when one buys stamps from a post office. The first benefit is that the office has a variety of styles available and there is no additional fee added to the overall cost.

The post office offers an individual two ways of buying stamps either by waiting in line at the window for service or access a self-service vending machine that sells stamps.

The USPS has a few locations around the country where you can go and buy stamps. Sometimes it may feel more satisfying buying stamps from the real printers of the stamps, which is USPS.

The problem is that the nearest post office could be miles away. Even if it is near, you may need to follow the old-school order in such offices and queue up to get a stamp.

If you have the patience, then go for it. You may need an alternative if the post office does not cut it.

2. Walmart Stores

You can also buy stamps at Walmart stores since the superstore is a dependable source for stamps since the stores are always in operation at the time when you need to access them.

Moreover, Walmart stores have a huge amount of stamps for sale.

The selling process is automated so you get the convenience of buying stamps and at no extra cost other than the standard set costs. The only issue is that one will need to buy a whole stamp book as no single stamps are sold here.

3. Grocery Stores

Purchasing stamps at the grocery is almost the same thing as buying the stamps at a local superstore outlet. Majority of big chain grocery stores stock and sell stamps at their convenience desks.

Grocery stores are efficient in fulfilling customer requests when it comes to nonperishable goods, so you can ask your local grocery store people to stock stamps.

4. Pharmacies

In the US, every pharmacy (comprising of Walgreens, CVS, and Rite Aid) will be involved in stamp vending, but they do not in most cases deal in a whole book of stamps.

In certain cases, pharmacies may upcharge you, but since they are reliable, they offer a good alternative compared to other sources or outlets for buying stamps.

5. Banks

Banks can sell stamps to customers and banks offer convenience since in every town, small or big there is a high probability of finding a bank.

Banks also sell stamps at a standard rate since it is not a money-making venture but some kind of favor to bank clients.

Certain banks also big put an envelope along with the stamps and it is easy to find pre-posted envelopes that are all ready to go.

Therefore, there are numerous places that one can buy stamps across the US, so the client can only make his own choices based on convenience.

6. Online Retailers

For those that prefer staying within their houses yet acquire stamps, there is an alternative way of getting the type, number, and quality of stamps you may need.

The internet is a powerful tool. Just by the click of a button, you could be on your way to acquiring stamps.

You could order stamps from online vendors such as Amazon, or you can simply make a purchase of a stamp design online and print right in the comfort of your home.

7. Authorized Vendors

The reach of USPS is now wide and deep, thanks to agreements the agency has made with many stores throughout America.

Kroger, Walmart, Walgreens, and CVS are just a handful of the many places you can visit to get your stamps. As a heads-up, it may not be a guarantee that all stores out there sell stamps.

Even if a store like Kroger sells stamps, probably the Kroger near you does not sell stamps. You need to confirm with customer care to ensure they sell stamps.

READ MORE: Can you really buy stamps at CVS?

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