Can you legally sell postal stamps for a profit?

I just bought some stamps at a mini-mart type place and it occurred to me that they sell them for face value. Are they just being nice, can they buy them at a discount or are they prohibited from selling them above face value?

In a sense a mini-mart is giving me a value added item. I can go two miles to my local post office and buy a stamp or I can go two blocks to my min-mart. I would think they would sell the things for, say, $0.40 apiece but instead they give it to me for what it presumably cost them. Personally I can’t recall a time of ever buying stamps for more than their face value.

You’ve never seen the postal “vending machines,” the ones that have a coin entry system like laundromat equipment. Typically, you put in two quarters, and you get one stamp. The rest is profit.

I stopped by a convenience store a week or so ago and asked about their stamps–55¢ a piece.

I declined that purchase.

Yep it’s legal.

I have been to a couple of mini-mart type stores that sold stamps at higher then face value. It was just a few cents, but still!

I don’t know if it was legal or not but I doubt they would break a federal law for a few cents profit.

Cecil sez: yup, they’re just being nice. It’s legal for them to sell them for a profit, if they want to. I know I’ve seen those machines that do sell them above face value.

Places that act as “designated agents” for the post office get a monthly fee (IIRC a flat one) for providing the service of making postage available to the public at their location.

As for the legality of selling stamps at above face value, every philatelic dealer in the country does precisely this – sells stamps, including used ones with no intrinsic value, at what the market will bear.

Let me add the sidelight of “semi-postals” – which the U.S. has only gotten into in the past few years, the breast cancer stamp being the first, where you buy a stamp worth, say $0.37 in postage, for $0.50, the other $0.13 going to a charitable cause you wish to support. The two amounts, postage value and surcharge, are imprinted on the stamp. Many European countries have done this for decades.

And even if they’re not a designated agent, as Polycarp pointed out they may be, it still makes sense for them. They may not make any money on the stamps, but they don’t lose any either, the stamps don’t take up any valuable shelf space, and they know that if you come in to purchase stamps, chances are very good you’re going to buy something else as well; candy, a drink, or some other impulse item. So it does make good business sense for them.