Since we first began publishing the Gypsy Journal over fourteen years ago, we have only raised our subscription rates once. In that time, the cost of printing, envelopes, postage, and the services of mail forwarding companies have doubled, tripled, and even quadrupled for some items and services that go into producing the paper, not to mention the ever increasing cost of fuel.
At the same time, the reliable commercial mail companies that we contract with to process and send out our Standard Rate envelopes are getting harder and harder to find. When we factor that in with the fact that many of our subscribers are fulltime RVers or snowbirds, who often fail to inform us of their new address when they relocate, which results in us having to send out a second copy because the first one was not forwarded to them, we barely break even on some subscriptions, and even lose money on many. The slow service by the post office for Standard Rate mail has also been a constant problem. Many times Standard Rate subscribers do not receive their paper for as much as a month after they are mailed. This has resulted in unhappy subscribers who want faster service.
To meet that need, a few years ago we added a First Class mail option, which costs $5 a year extra, but insures that papers get forwarded and arrive in a timely manner. We also introduced our digital subscription which has become very popular.
With the latest postal rate increases, and the cost increase by the commercial mail services we have used, we find that we have to raise our subscription rates again. We decided that if we have to raise prices, it is better for both us and our subscribers if we phase out the Standard Rate mail option and transition all subscriptions for the printed issue to First Class. We will begin that process with the January-February, 2013 issue.
What this means to our Standard Rate subscribers is that they will be paying the First Class rate of $25 for a one year subscription and $45 for a two year subscription on any renewals or new subscriptions that are postmarked after December 31. Our digital issue will remain at $20 per year and $35 for a two year subscription. If you have recently subscribed or renewed at the Standard Rate option, you don’t owe anything else until your next renewal date.
We always hate to issue a rate increase, which is why we’ve only done it once before in all these years, and we know that nobody wants to spend more money than they have to. But I believe once our readers start enjoying the faster First Class service they will appreciate it. And as always, Terry and I appreciate your continued support.
Thought For The Day – If my memory gets any worse, I could plan my own surprise party.