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Author: Subject: [USA] USA postcrossers - READ this before posting. USPS related questions/FAQ and comments
ohmageeitsmak
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[*] posted on 15-11-2011 at 09:20 PM
[USA] USA postcrossers - READ this before posting. USPS related questions/FAQ and comments



USA Postcrossers: For International mail, as long as the total is equal to $1.15, you can use as many stamps as you want, and mix any USPS stamps including domestic forever and postcard rate stamps.

========================================

Frequently Asked Questions are in this post. Scroll down.

Please use this thread to ask a question or make a comment regarding USPS (United States Postal Service) - postal regulations, postage, stamps, airmail stickers, mail tracking, postmarks, delivery speed, etc.

------ From January 27, 2019-----------------------------------------------
Domestic postcard: $ 0.35
Domestic Large postcard (bigger than 6"x4-1/4"): $ 0.55
Domestic Letter (up to 1 oz): $ 0.50
Domestic Letter (up to 1 oz), Square or odd shaped: $ 0.70
International postcard and letter (up to 1 oz): $1.15
International Letter, Square or odd shaped (up to 1 oz): $ 1.36

There are non-denominated stamps you can use (no $ amount is printed). Here are some examples.
:love: These kinds make your card even more interesting!
International forever (few, limited designs): Round shaped stamps that say "GLOBAL" and "Forever"(currently $1.15)
Domestic forever, Definitive (aka Boring): Round or Not-round stamps that say "Forever" (currently $ 0.55)
You can buy at a grocery store, Costco, etc.
Domestic forever, Commemorative :love:: Round or Not-round stamps that say "Forever" (currently $ 0.55)
Purchase at a post office or usps.com
Domestic Postcard :love:: Stamps that say "postcard" (currently $ 0.35)
2 oz Domestic Letter :love:: Stamps that say "Two Ounce" (currently $ 0.70)
Domestic Letter additional ounce: Stamps that say "Additional Ounce" (currently $ 0.15)
Additional postages: Stamps used to round up to the postage amount (currently $ 0.10, $0.05, $0.03, $0.02, and $0.01)
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
For International mail, as long as the total is equal to $1.15, you can use as many stamps as you want, and mix any USPS stamps including domestic forever and postcard rate stamps.


Example: $ 0.55 + $0.55 + $0.05 (two US domestic forever + 5¢) = $1.15

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
:question: FAQ
Q1: USPS? UPS?
USPS stands for United States Postal Service, not to be confused with UPS, a private package delivery company.

Q2: Global Forever (round stamps)? Domestic Forever (regular stamps)?
You don't have to use a Global forever stamp for international mail. You can mix and match domestic forever stamps, and use 1¢, 2¢, 3¢, 4¢, 5¢, 10¢, 20¢, 21¢, 22¢, or other stamps to make up the difference. There's no limit to the number of stamps you can put on a postcard, as long as the total is equal to $1.15 or more.

Q2. Where can I get airmail stickers?
USPS no longer provide stickers, because all international mail is Airmail. It is unnecessary to write Airmail or use Airmail sticker. If you want a handmade sticker, here a couple created by one of the fellow postcrossers.


Q3. Are there any special postmarks (postal cancellation marks) available in the US?
* You will find most recent seasonal pictorial postmarks in the last pages of Postak bulletin, issued every other Thursday. Make sure to choose PDF version.
* Here is the list of Holiday-related city names
* USPS has "Postmark America" program which offers pictorial postmarks permanently.
* Smithsonian postal museum in Washington DC and Franklin Post Office & Museum in Philadelphia offer a special postmark.
* Owl Post in The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, Universal Orlando Resort in Florida, offers Hogsmeade postmark.
* You can apply for a permit to cancel your mail with your own cancel stamp. It is a generic style and not a pictorial mark.

Q4. Can we send and receive postcard to/from the countries with trade restrictions? (Cuba, Iran etc)
If both countries are members of the UPU then mail must be accepted, regardless of any other trade and political restrictions. In May 2016, US and Cuba resumed direct postal service. It used to be sent via other countries.

Q5. Does USPS track international mail?
Priority mail tracking only works within the United States. Before coming in or after leaving US, there are no updates on the USPS site. There is not tracking service for First class International mail.

Q6. How can I avoid the ugly mail sorting barcode sticker on my postcard?
Do not write anything in the bottom 5/8" across the longest edge of the address side of the postcard. The space is reserved to print a long barcode.

Q7. Cardboard food package cards are considered postcards?
As long as its dimension are larger than minimum and smaller than the maximum requirements, yes. But they are considered "handmade postcards."

Q8. How much is a stamp that just says "First-Class"?
Check the price on USPS Quick guide or see them all in color here. For example, you treat the First class "H" Hat stamp as a 33 cents stamp.

Q9. The "Forever" on the U.S. stamps is new to me. What does it signify?
It means no matter how much the postage rate goes up or down, Global Forever stamps (round stamps) are always equal to the first class 1 oz international mail, and domestic Forever stamps (not-round stamps) are always equal to the first-class 1 oz domestic rate at present.
You don't have to add additional stamps even when the postage rate increases.

Q10.Do I have to write my return address when I send in an envelope?
No. But when they cannot deliver it to the sender, the address will help the mail come back to you.

Q11. Why is it prohibited to send clothing to the US? I tried to send a pair of mittens to the US from my country.
Royal Mail's list says USA prohibits "Wool, unless relatively free of blood and manure."
Probably something to do with domestic animal infectious diseases control.

Q12. How do I address mail for a destination in a foreign country?
Universal Postal Union website shows the format. Just select a country or a area, then click display.
You can write the address in their native language as long as the country name is written in English in the last line.
Example:
台北市信義区信義路5段7号
TAIWAN

Q13. How much extra stamps will I need for an oversize postcard?
International Postcard rate $1.15.
Minimum - Maximum dimensio are
Length: 5 1/2 in. - 6 in.
Height: 3 1/2 in. - 4 1/4 in.
Thickness: 0.007 in. - 0.0016 in.
According to USPS Postage Price Calculator, any rectangular or square postcard that is bigger than the size above, pay the First-Class Mail International Large Envelope of $2.29




This post is maintained by the moderator. last update February 1, 2019.
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[*] posted on 24-11-2011 at 07:35 PM


I printed some of my own just for fun. I created them in GIMP, then imported to Word using the Avery Wizard software (free from Avery) and printed them on the labels.


http://www.flickr.com/photos/mcfortner/6395992917/


http://www.flickr.com/photos/mcfortner/6395993019/

While not necessary, I think they look cool and retro on my postcards.


Feel free to use my designs for non-commercial use. They have the Creative Commons Attribution, Noncommercial, Share Alike license.

Michael
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[*] posted on 9-1-2014 at 04:53 AM


Quote: Originally posted by julez13  
If I'm sending a postcard from America to say Germany, what postage do I use? like two of our US stamps? Do I need international ones? I know its a silly question but I'm new. :frog: thanks !


You can go to the USPS web site and look it up there.

Click on the Postage Price calculator

http://postcalc.usps.gov/

Select the country in the destination
Select the shape Postcard
See the value of the stamp you need to use.

$1.15

Our understanding is that it is $1.15 to send a postcard to other countries from USA but it is different for Canada and military mail. The USPS website will tell you those values as well.
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[*] posted on 3-1-2018 at 09:29 PM


I sent a registered envelope to Fiji. It was sent by transit through the United States. Since December 14, the envelope is in stock in New York. Why so long?

RB473887185RU
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[*] posted on 7-1-2018 at 04:00 AM


So I recently updated my Postcrossing address to my mom's. I did this because I am going on a 2 week vacation next month and my roommate is horrible about checking the mail, so this way I don't come home to any crushed postcards. (I will set my account to inactive before I leave, but this is mainly for postcards that could be mailed to me during this month and may take 20-30+ days to actually arrive).

Anyway, I was wondering if I am supposed to actually change my address with USPS to get my postcards? All my other mail will still be going to my home address because I don't care if those pieces get bent and crushed, but will my postcards be OK going to my mom's? Is it possible they will be returned to the sender?
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[*] posted on 7-1-2018 at 08:40 PM


Quote: Originally posted by SnowApple  
So I recently updated my Postcrossing address to my mom's.


Any cards sent to you after you changed your address to your mother's will be sent there.

Quote: Originally posted by SnowApple  
Anyway, I was wondering if I am supposed to actually change my address with USPS to get my postcards? All my other mail will still be going to my home address because I don't care if those pieces get bent and crushed, but will my postcards be OK going to my mom's? Is it possible they will be returned to the sender?


You can temporarily have the USPS forward your mail to your mother's for the two weeks you'll be there. However, it will be ALL of your mail, not just your postcards. You cannot ask them to forward just one type of mail. If you changed your address with Postcrossing early enough, though, this shouldn't be an issue.

One other option that you have is to have the post office hold your mail while you are gone. Then you can either have them deliver it all once you're home, or you can opt to pick it up directly from the post office. This will prevent your mail getting crushed and compacted in your mailbox over theh two weeks.
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[*] posted on 22-1-2018 at 03:11 AM
U.S. Government Shutdown does not affect USPS


As some may be aware, the U.S. government has "shut down" due to the failure to pass funding legislation. Although many services and offices are not operating, the shutdown does not affect the United States Postal Service. It is an independent agency so will continue to operate, and your postcards will be sent and/or lost as usual.
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[*] posted on 27-1-2018 at 06:42 PM


It is ended anyway.
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[*] posted on 5-2-2018 at 01:47 AM


What is the USPS policy on hand-cancelling items?

I do understand that odd-sized items are subject to an extra charge, but can I get a standard sized postcard hand-cancelled for no extra charge?

Machine cancels are just so ugly.
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[*] posted on 5-2-2018 at 03:16 AM


In theory, you can request for any item to be hand-cancelled for no charge. I've heard many stories over the years of people saying that their post office refuses, charges a fee, or limits them to fewer than a certain number. I've never had an issue at my post office. Even this summer when I sent 50 solar eclipse cards from Paducah, Kentucky on the day of the eclipse, the post office gladly hand-cancelled for me. One thing to consider, especially if they are busy, don't expect them to do it in front of you all the time. When busy, I usually ask nicely, "when you have time later, would you mind hand cancelling these for me? Thank you!"

Quote: Originally posted by huygens  
What is the USPS policy on hand-cancelling items?

I do understand that odd-sized items are subject to an extra charge, but can I get a standard sized postcard hand-cancelled for no extra charge?

Machine cancels are just so ugly.
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[*] posted on 21-2-2018 at 08:01 PM
USPS Informed Delivery


Is anyone else using this?

https://informeddelivery.usps.com/

I had hoped that this would notify me of postcards in my PO box. So far, it is only notifying me of bulk mail, pre-sorted first class, flyers from non-profits, etc. So far, it is a big disappointment.
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[*] posted on 25-2-2018 at 03:51 AM


I elected not to try it as I didn't want to ruin the surprise of checking the mailbox! I think it's a fairly new programme so maybe it's limited to only lettermail. I've moved back to Canada so now it's not an issue for me!
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[*] posted on 25-2-2018 at 04:02 AM


I've had it for several months and it shows my incoming postcards.
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[*] posted on 25-2-2018 at 04:10 AM


I’ve had it since around November. It also shows my incoming postcards. I like it a lot.
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[*] posted on 27-2-2018 at 05:13 PM


It showed an incoming postcard for me today. I guess the first one just slipped through without being imaged.
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[*] posted on 28-2-2018 at 12:12 AM


I had no idea this even existed! I just signed up for it just now :spin:
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[*] posted on 1-3-2018 at 02:35 AM


Quote: Originally posted by huygens  
It showed an incoming postcard for me today. I guess the first one just slipped through without being imaged.


Often times, not every card will be captured.
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[*] posted on 8-4-2018 at 11:27 PM
Stamp question


Hi All,

I’m hoping for some guidance regarding US stamps. I previously used the international stamp to send alll of my postcards, but I got bored with the limited stamp selection. Is there a single rate to send all international postcards so that I could use different stamps that equal that amount, or is it a different price per country/region?

Thanks in advance!
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[*] posted on 9-4-2018 at 09:56 AM


The international U.S. standard-size postcard rate is $1.15 to any country. You can use multiple stamps, including domestic "forever" stamps to make up that amount. For example, two domestic "forever" stamps (current value 50 cents each) plus 15 cents extra, or 3 domestic "postcard forever" stamps (current value 35 cents each) plus 10 cents extra.

Sometimes I have received cards from the U.S. in envelopes with both sides covered in low-value stamps...I love it!
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[*] posted on 13-4-2018 at 12:11 AM


Thats great, thanks for your help! We have a lot of beautiful stamps, but the Forever International Stamps were getting dull.
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[*] posted on 22-5-2018 at 02:25 AM


USPS is introducing scratch 'n sniff stamps for the summer!

https://youtu.be/oGCLaamJFz8
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[*] posted on 29-6-2018 at 10:55 PM


Quote: Originally posted by ColorfulCourtney  
The international U.S. standard-size postcard rate is $1.15 to any country. You can use multiple stamps, including domestic "forever" stamps to make up that amount. For example, two domestic "forever" stamps (current value 50 cents each) plus 15 cents extra, or 3 domestic "postcard forever" stamps (current value 35 cents each) plus 10 cents extra.

Sometimes I have received cards from the U.S. in envelopes with both sides covered in low-value stamps...I love it!


I never knew we could 'spill over' to the reverse side! I have gotten as many as 18 stamps on the front of #10 envelope, but I will gladly use up some of my low value stamps and try this soon!!
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thumbup.gif posted on 2-7-2018 at 09:04 PM


Quote: Originally posted by SnowApple  
USPS is introducing scratch 'n sniff stamps for the summer!

[url]https://youtu.be/oGCLaamJFz8
[/url]

Nice. :)
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[*] posted on 10-8-2018 at 04:20 AM


Does anyone know, are all USPS hand-cancel stampers essentially the same?

I get my special (non-machinable) postcards hand-cancelled at the PO near my work, but I cringe whenever I see the giant, goopy red postmark they apply.
I write carefully and neatly, decorate my cards, choose interesting stamps, and then, whomp! a big blobby red mark on them.

I’m wondering if I can go to a different PO and get a tidy, smaller, black postmark?
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[*] posted on 18-8-2018 at 10:45 AM


Do US post offices generally have a good selection of nice stamps available? I'll be going on holiday to Orlando, Florida in October and am hoping to send some postcards (obviously :)). I was hoping to use some more interesting stamps on my postcards instead of the international stamps but not sure how easy these are to get hold of?
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