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Topic: buying $2.38 stamps sounds smart

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Subject: buying $2.38 stamps sounds smart
Date Posted: 10/26/2009 10:57 PM ET
Member Since: 10/22/2009
Posts: 1,891
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so I am just getting into the swing of things here and it sounds like it would be really smart to purchase a whole bunch of $2.38 stamps. That way if the book is less than 13 ounces I can just mail it from home. is that what most of you do?

Date Posted: 10/26/2009 11:12 PM ET
Member Since: 11/11/2005
Posts: 5,238
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I'm pretty sure that the post office doesn't sell $2.38 stamps.  Do you mean pre-purchasing a bunch of metered stamps in the amount of $2.38?  Does the post office allow that?

Well, even if they do, I probably wouldn't take advantage of it.  I do keep a stock of stamps on hand ($1.00, 0.44, 0.28, 0.10, 0.05, and 0.02) for books that are under 13 ounces and can be blue-boxed or mailed from home.  But the postage isn't always $2.38.   Sometimes I mail the book First Class, which can make it a little cheaper - or a little bit more expensive depending on the weight.  Sometime I use Delivery Confirmation - which adds 19 cents.

All books I mail over 13 ounces (which are few and far between) get taken to the post office.

Date Posted: 10/26/2009 11:15 PM ET
Member Since: 4/30/2007
Posts: 2,728
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I manage to get by on $1, .44, and .10 stamps.  Sometimes I end up paying a few extra cents, but it is worth it to me not to have to go to the P.O.

Date Posted: 10/27/2009 12:33 AM ET
Member Since: 1/17/2009
Posts: 10,178
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Yes, you can go buy $2.38 stamps in advance. That is what it costs for most average size paperbacks unless you read mostly sereis romance or maybe cozy mysteries.

They are very handy to have on hand!

AND, if you are using an APC stamp for postage, the package can be any weight, because stamps purchased from the APC are trackable.

The 13 oz. weight rule is for packages with regular postage stamps ONLY. Trackable postage can be any weight when you drop it in a box.

Although, if you want to mail from home, your mailman may or may not accept the packages to take with him. (He doesn't have to).

Last Edited on: 10/27/09 12:34 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 10/27/2009 2:15 AM ET
Member Since: 8/9/2009
Posts: 18
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I purchase postage through PBS. First off, it's very convenient: You can just print out the label (after confirming that PBS has determined the correct weight for my book) and wrap up your book.  More important, this helps support PBS through the (very) small fee I pay when I buy PBS money. Since I love PBS so much and think it is a great, great service, I think it is worth it.

Date Posted: 10/27/2009 2:22 AM ET
Member Since: 7/19/2008
Posts: 15,485
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I buy $1, postcard stamps ($.28), and dime ones.   Also have some one and two cent ones.

You have to check the date on the metered (APC) stamps.  Some post offices are really strict that the date matches.  But some of them are issued without dates.

And there is the option to buy a 1 cent stamp at the APC (as long as you are buying something else) so books over 13 oz can go into the APC box.  I find it worth a penny to not stand in the line.

Date Posted: 10/27/2009 10:50 AM ET
Member Since: 6/20/2007
Posts: 5,052
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I buy a stockpile of $2.38 and $0.39 stamps from the APC.  I can then weigh my packages, put on the appropriate postage, and mail from home or work.

Date Posted: 10/27/2009 12:46 PM ET
Member Since: 10/22/2009
Posts: 1,891
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Emily, what do you mean about buying a 1 cent stamp? I don't get it. I am going to stockpile the $2.38 stamps from the automated postage machine (I assume that's what APC) stands for!

I've got a scale at home. Perfect!

Date Posted: 10/27/2009 6:33 PM ET
Member Since: 5/16/2009
Posts: 8,582
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I think Emily was talking about using the 1 cent stamp from the APC so that she had a trackable postage stamp on an item over 13 ounces, so that she could throw it into the box without standing in line...

Some post offices are very strict about the dates matching... I know once I had a package that I printed PBS postage on, but didn't change the date.  When I was ready to mail it, I asked at the counter, and they had to put a zero cent sticker with the date on it so it wouldn't get returned.  I know the APC does print out the date on the stamp... maybe some states' post offices aren't as strict as others about dates on the postage?

Date Posted: 10/27/2009 10:14 PM ET
Member Since: 8/27/2005
Posts: 4,136
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I keep APC stamps at home and use them way after buying them--I've never had a problem yet.  The stamp has the words "date of sale" on it, so it's not to be considered a postmark date.

If using PBS postage, yes, you have to be careful to mail on the date that you request to be on the label.

Date Posted: 10/27/2009 10:24 PM ET
Member Since: 12/28/2006
Posts: 14,177
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My impression the date on APC is treated differently than electronic postage (PBS).  I've not heard of anyone having APC returned for the date, but electronic postage is occasionally refused for the date.

ETA - To the best of my knowledge, there is no traditional stamp in $2.38 denomination.  You will need a combination of stamps, or APC postage.

Last Edited on: 10/28/09 3:50 PM ET - Total times edited: 2
Date Posted: 10/29/2009 12:34 AM ET
Member Since: 1/12/2009
Posts: 262
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I purchase a sheet of $2.00 stamps, then add a couple of .17 stamps and viola' = 2.38!  Also, I have other denominations for other amounts, and just add them as necessary.        :)     D.


ETA for clarity.

Last Edited on: 10/29/09 1:52 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 10/29/2009 2:59 AM ET
Member Since: 8/16/2007
Posts: 15,225
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Actually, it sounds like Emily is doing what I do on my under 13 oz media mail packages with DC using stamps ($2.57 total postage)  - I put on 5 of them: two $1 stamps, two 0.28 (postcard) stamps and one .01 stamp. Works great when I haven't had time to stock up on APC stamps.