The USPS is planning a rare, above-inflation postage stamp price-hike on Jan 26, 2014; and they're also selling "forever-stamps" that can be used at any time. Allison Schrager and Ritchie King show how these two facts in combination offer a significant arbitrage opportunity, and set out a plan to buy 10 million stamps at $0.46 and sell them at $0.48, netting $200,000 in profit, at 4.3 percent.
It's pretty thoroughly thought-through, with a detailed finance and distribution plan. I'd love to see them try it.
Our plan is to buy 10 million stamps at $0.46 each and sell them at $0.48. The margins, of course, are small. If we buy 10 million stamps, spending $4.6 million, we’ll earn $200,000—a 4.3% profit.
The good news is that you can buy up to 1 million stamps in a single order from the USPS, and pay a mere $1.75 in shipping (shipping is their business, after all).
A step-by-step guide to profiting off a 3-cent hike on US postage stamps [Allison Schrager and Ritchie King/Quartz] (via JWZ)
I write books. My latest is a YA science fiction novel called Homeland (it's the sequel to Little Brother). More books: Rapture of the Nerds (a novel, with Charlie Stross); With a Little Help (short stories); and The Great Big Beautiful Tomorrow (novella and nonfic). I speak all over the place and I tweet and tumble, too.