Staples Offers 99 Cent Stamp With Free Shipping, Wants $10 Shipping After Orders Go Through

Staples error in your favor

Staples error in your favor

Oops. Staples offered a great deal on self-inking address stamps that seemed too good to be true: 99 cents for a stamp, with free shipping. By the time the transactions went through, the deal actually was too good to be true, making deal-hunters sad and upset with Staples.

Tammy thought that the stamp looked like a good deal, and ordered one.

I was recently delighted to see a great deal for a return address stamp from a 99¢ stamp with free shipping! I placed my order, received $00.00 shipping, and was delighted.

I placed my order with no issues, but this morning I received an email from staples (below) demanding that I pay shipping or have my order canceled. Ouch.

They may “sincerely apologize for any inconvenience,” but there is no way that I am paying $10 to ship a small return stamp.

I assume this was not an intentional attempt to gouge customers for more money (likely it was just a deal that got more uses then expected), but Staples just lost a customer for life.

Originally saw deal on dealnews.

Here’s the e-mail that she received:

Valued Staples Customer,

Thank you for your recent purchase of a custom stamp (3/4” x 1 7/8′), model E4912, sku 341978. Please note that the advertisement for this stamp stated that “Shipping charges apply.” We have identified that your order (order number listed above) is missing the required shipping fees. If you would like 7 day delivery, the shipping charge is $9.95, or you can choose expedited shipping for $13.95. Please call us at 888-333-3199 by Tuesday, January 29th to confirm your desired shipping preference. If we do not hear from you by this date, we will assume that you do not want the order fulfilled and we will issue you a refund within 5-7 business days.

We value your business and sincerely apologize for any inconvenience this may cause.

Please do not reply to this email. If you have any other questions or concerns, please contact us at 888-333-3199 or

We appreciate your patience regarding this matter.

Thank you,
Staples Customer Service

Reader Anne had the exact same experience, and wondered, “Is there any other recourse? I feel it was their mistake, not mine, and they should honor the price.”

No. As we’ve mentioned on the site before, coupon codes issued by mistake or pricing errors aren’t legally binding, and a retailer doesn’t have to sell you the item for the mistaken price. It might be nice and would inspire customer loyalty if they did, but they don’t have to.

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