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Author: Subject: [USA] USA postcrossers - READ this before posting. USPS related questions/FAQ and comments
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[*] posted on 20-8-2018 at 05:59 PM


Hi,
I am being told that all international mail out of the US, including postcards, require a return address. Is this correct? I've heard that from 2 post offices now. I know it says in the post at the beginning of this forum and on the FAQ that they are not required and I don't see anything different from that here. Can someone please share their experiences/knowledge? I am trying to send my first batch of postcards out in to the world. Thanks!
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[*] posted on 20-8-2018 at 07:20 PM


Living almost my entire life in the US I never sent postcards with a return address, and now in Germany I only very rarely receive US postcards with a return address. I have not had any delivery problems on either side. So, from my experience you do not need one for a "naked" postcard (i.e. sent without an envelope). If you want to be on the safe side I suppose you could write (or print) a small return address.

If the postcards are in an envelope, usually there is a return address (and I always include one, too), but I do not think it is required, it just helps in case something goes wrong and the letter needs to be returned to you.
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[*] posted on 20-8-2018 at 08:12 PM


Thank you for sharing your experience. I thought I knew our postal system well, but I was certainly confused by the post office clerks. I'm dropping my cards in the mail with confidence now! :)
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[*] posted on 9-9-2018 at 11:01 PM


Quote: Originally posted by ichabodhides  
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?


Post offices won't necessarily stock every stamp that is released, the stamp announcement in the postal bulletin will say if there is an automatic push or not: http://about.usps.com/postal-bulletin/2018/pb22501/html/info-1_003....
That being said, the postal clerks aren't always very diligent about receiving new stamp issues into inventory on a timely manner, and if you're looking for a specific new stamp they might have to check the back.

But they will stock at least one variety of each value, Forever, Global Forever, Domestic postcard rate etc.
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[*] posted on 28-9-2018 at 11:45 PM


Quote: Originally posted by kakarctic  
Hi! I just found this thread. Can anyone confirm whether you can send wooden cards as a letter from the US? I've read the USPS classify "Letter" or "Large letter" as something flexible and follows some dimension restrictions.
Since wooden cards are not flexible, I'm thinking that means they will be subjected to package rates?


I recently sent two wooden postcards. I didnt put them in an envelope or anything. I measured it, and after I made sure it didnt exceed the limit, I calculated the price under "Letter" on USPS's site. There is an option that will ask if its rigid (not flexible), which will result in higher postage. I also wanted to be on the safe side and bought a cheap scale off Amazon to weigh it. It ended up only being around 0.58 oz (USPS rounds up to nearest ounce).
So, for international it was only $1.36 and for domestic $0.71. :)
They also arrived safely! I don't know if I was lucky or what, but I'm happy! Here's one that arrived: https://www.postcrossing.com/postcards/US-5571594
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[*] posted on 8-10-2018 at 01:35 AM


If you mail a letter/postcard from Walt Disney World postboxes (each park and some hotels) will have a Lake Buena Vista, FL postmark. Disney does not have their own special postmark, anymore, since they don't have their own official post office.

If you go to Guest Relations, you can get a special Disney stamp on postcards/letters, but it is *not* a postmark.

Even though they don't have a special postmark anymore, it is pretty cool that you can send your mail from the resort. :)

More information:
From the Official WDW website: https://disneyworld.disney.go.com/guest-services/mail-services/
Various Blogs:
http://www.wdwvacationtips.com/mail-letters-walt-disney-world/
http://www.wdwforgrownups.com/articles/sending-letters-home-walt-di...
http://www.mainstreetwishes.com/archives/6578

Updated with links and up-to-date information. - 10/8/2018
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[*] posted on 11-10-2018 at 11:48 PM


Just saw this article:

"USPS proposes price hike of 5 cents, biggest since 1991"
https://www.wltx.com/mobile/article/news/nation-now/usps-proposes-pr...

:(
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[*] posted on 12-10-2018 at 08:27 PM


According to USPS website http://about.usps.com/news/national-releases/2018/pr18_086.htm this change will not affect domestic and international postcards both.
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[*] posted on 13-10-2018 at 05:47 AM


I'm more upset that they want to de-value the Additional Ounce stamps. :thumbdown:
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[*] posted on 18-10-2018 at 10:38 AM
US to leave (or re-negotiate) Universal Postal Union Treaty


https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-45894346

This may be of interest to forum members, not really related to postcards, more about postal practices (and prices) relating to packages. Not intended to spark a political discussion!
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[*] posted on 25-10-2018 at 07:19 AM


Thanks. That was interesting.
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[*] posted on 27-10-2018 at 07:40 AM
[USA] What do the orange marks means on the postcards from America?


I received a postcard from America some days ago. Today I found some orange marks on the front side of the card and black marks on the other side. I know nothing about it. Explain me what they mean, please.:)
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[*] posted on 27-10-2018 at 03:38 PM


It is an address coding for automated sorting machines:
For Canada system:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/PostBar

German system (in german):
https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zielcode
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[*] posted on 27-10-2018 at 05:19 PM


Quote: Originally posted by linos203  
It is an address coding for automated sorting machines:
For Canada system:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/PostBar

German system (in german):
[url]https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zielcode
[/url]
Thank you som much:D
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[*] posted on 23-11-2018 at 10:15 PM
The $0.65 "Semipostal" stamp


I am sharing this experience as a word of caution to US Postcrossers or a confession of my stupidity if it should have been obvious.

I quickly grew bored at the limited variety of $1.15 stamps so I went to the post office to ask for $0.65 cent stamps. That way, I could add them to the wide range of forever stamps. The stamps were labeled "First Class +"

So apparently, despite being $0.65 stamps, they only have a $0.50 postal value. Something I just learned this morning when I dropped off a postcard at the post office. The $0.65 stamps are called 'semipostal' and basically are $0.50 forever stamps with the extra $0.15 going to a charity.

Sadly, I had already dropped off several postcards in mailboxes with the incorrect postage and have no idea what will become of them as there is no return address. Not knowing who got the global stamp or the forever/first class stamp combo, I ended up resending about a dozen cards with an explanation in case they end up with two cards.

Link to the 65 cent 50 cent stamps if curious:
https://store.usps.com/store/results/stamps/0-65/_/N-9y93lvZjrvppz
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[*] posted on 24-11-2018 at 12:47 AM


Quote: Originally posted by Trinch  
I am sharing this experience as a word of caution to US Postcrossers or a confession of my stupidity if it should have been obvious.

I quickly grew bored at the limited variety of $1.15 stamps so I went to the post office to ask for $0.65 cent stamps. That way, I could add them to the wide range of forever stamps. The stamps were labeled "First Class +"

So apparently, despite being $0.65 stamps, they only have a $0.50 postal value. Something I just learned this morning when I dropped off a postcard at the post office. The $0.65 stamps are called 'semipostal' and basically are $0.50 forever stamps with the extra $0.15 going to a charity.

Sadly, I had already dropped off several postcards in mailboxes with the incorrect postage and have no idea what will become of them as there is no return address. Not knowing who got the global stamp or the forever/first class stamp combo, I ended up resending about a dozen cards with an explanation in case they end up with two cards.

Link to the 65 cent 50 cent stamps if curious:
[url]https://store.usps.com/store/results/stamps/0-65/_/N-9y93lvZjrvppz
[/url]

Wow! I have some of those stamps, and I can’t remember if I used them on a letter or postcard...my letters always have my return label.

I can’t find anywhere that says they they are only worth 50¢! Maybe I missed it in the description...
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[*] posted on 24-11-2018 at 02:17 AM


Quote: Originally posted by maskedbunny  

Wow! I have some of those stamps, and I can’t remember if I used them on a letter or postcard...my letters always have my return label.

I can’t find anywhere that says they they are only worth 50¢! Maybe I missed it in the description...

There is no mention of the value when you buy them. You have to find that information from their quick service guide page...

https://pe.usps.com/text/qsg300/q604a.htm
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[*] posted on 24-11-2018 at 06:21 AM


Quote: Originally posted by Trinch  

There is no mention of the value when you buy them. You have to find that information from their quick service guide page...

[url]https://pe.usps.com/text/qsg300/q604a.htm
[/url]

That’s just not right...
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[*] posted on 10-12-2018 at 09:06 PM
Please Help...US Postal Service Question?


This past Summer I had an incident with my local post mistress, and as a result, she is very rude and court when I am forced to deal with her. I try to avoid it by using other area post offices but my actual PO Box is still at the post office she manages.

Last week I received a postage due slip in my PO Box. I claimed the item. It was an oversized postcard FROM the Netherlands. I had to pay $1.36 postage due to receive it, which I did.

I have never received an item from another country postage due. Obviously the post office knew it was from the Netherlands as she charged me the international rate of $1.15. I have just never had to pay on a piece of mail or package originating from a foreign country.

So fellow postcrossers...Is this a thing? Has anyone else had this happen?

Thank you!
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[*] posted on 10-12-2018 at 10:06 PM


This is normal procedure worldwide.
Was there a postage due label attached to the card or a handstamp from the Dutch postal service? If so then this would be normal but it would normally be the missing or part-missing postage. I have had it on general mail (not on PC cards) mainly UK domestic, but once even from the US where they had just pa1d domestic postage. Can you post a scan of the item - I'd be interested as postal practices are one of my interests.
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[*] posted on 10-12-2018 at 10:12 PM


I have received international postcards stamped "postage due" and the amount of postage missing. No one has ever asked me to pay it but they certainly could have.
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[*] posted on 12-12-2018 at 12:07 PM


How much postage was on the postcard? The international rate is €1.40. I've received underpaid postcards but never one that was caught with postage due.

Non-denominated stamps are valued as follows:
Internationaal: 1.40
Nederland 1: 0.83
Nederalnd 2: 1.66
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[*] posted on 12-12-2018 at 11:07 PM


An underpaid item should have a T rubber stamp impression with a fraction, indicating the amount of underpayment and the required postage.

So if the Dutch mailer has used a domestic stamp of € 0.83 the fraction would be 140 - 83 = 57 (underpayment) / 140 (required postage). The USPS would then multiply the fraction with the international postage that is required in the US, that is $1.15:

57/140 * $1.15 = $ 0.47

They can add a service charge to this amount to be recovered from you.

See also here for some examples of T stamps (the system for the fraction has changed from the description described there): http://postalhistorycorner.blogspot.com/2010/06/centennial-period-i...
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[*] posted on 11-1-2019 at 08:39 PM


I like to decorate my envelopes with artwork, stickers, string, wax stamp seals, etc. However, sometimes my letters arrive without the string and/or seal. I tried looking up the regulations for decorating envelopes (I know they would need to be read by a human rather than the machine) but I can't find any specific rules. Does anyone know how this works?
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[*] posted on 12-1-2019 at 01:00 AM


There is a non-machine surcharge that you can pay, typically used for odd size / shaped envelopes. I believe it’s $0.71 cents for domestic. Another option is to bring th envelopes to the post office and ask them to hand cancel them. That will avoid the cancelling machines, but not necessarily the sorting machines.

You may find some other ideas on wedding planning sites as I am sure there are many a couple wanting to protect their ornate and expensive invitations in the mail.

Or you can try ask my someone at the post office. If you are lucky, you find that person with a wealth of knowledge and advice.

Failing all that... Your best bet is to simply put your decorated envelope in a bigger envelope. A #9 envelope holds a tri-folded page and fits in a #10.
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