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Topic: Idea: Preprinted UPC stamps for 1 cent?

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Subject: Idea: Preprinted UPC stamps for 1 cent?
Date Posted: 11/10/2011 9:41 AM ET
Member Since: 8/1/2007
Posts: 5,034
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Hi Postal Experts,

I typically use stamps on my PBS packages and then hand over at the Post Office.  Every now and then I get postage from the UPC machine at the post office if I am not going to be able to "hand it over" during office hours.

So... would this idea be plausible:  print 10 1 cent UPC lables to use and then do the rest in stamps.  This would give the "who" for the package so that I wouldn't have to "hand it over".  However, the 1 cent stamps would not all be used that week, so the dates might become a little old.  Will that cause a book to be returned?


Date Posted: 11/10/2011 6:20 PM ET
Member Since: 1/17/2009
Posts: 10,247
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The date on the APC stamp is a date of sale NOT a postage date. So, it doesn't matter what the date actually is, they do not expire and you shoudl be able to use them whenever you want to.

However, not all postal works seem to know the rules, so you might run into issues.

Not sure why it woudl be better to use a 1 cent APC stamp plus regular stamps rather than just APC stamps. Buy a handful for $2.41, and if you need more postage after that, just round the package off with stamps.

Last Edited on: 11/10/11 6:21 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 11/11/2011 10:26 AM ET
Member Since: 8/1/2007
Posts: 5,034
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Thanks Sara!!  I thought the time/date on the stamp had to be "current".  It is good to know that it is not important. 

I guess I was getting printed stamps confused with tracking.  I used to use tracking but not any more since I have only had 3 books go lost in the years I have been a member.

I will take your advice and get 10 @2.41 APC stamps and then add regular stamps to get the rest of the postage.


Date Posted: 11/11/2011 11:51 AM ET
Member Since: 8/16/2007
Posts: 15,226
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I used to buy a lot of base media mail APCs and then a handful of $2 ones that I could add stamps to and use as I needed them. (Since I don't work by that PO anymore its not worth my time and I just use PBS postage).

I would do only a few at first and see how they are handled. The date IS a printed date, not a postmark, but there are postal workers who don't know how to handle APC strips and send them back for stale postage. You don't want 10 packages in the mail when you find out you need to do a little educating at your po. If they handle the first few ok, then you should be good to go.

I've had one returned as stale when it was processed by a different branch than the one with the APC. I took it into the branch that has the APC and they resent it after adding a zero strip and called the other PO to straighten them out.

Date Posted: 11/11/2011 12:42 PM ET
Member Since: 12/28/2006
Posts: 14,177
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I agree with Sara & Melanie.  UPC dates do not become 'stale' like pre-printed postage, but we also know that USPS training can be a bit spotty.

Bottom line, it should work  cheeky

ETA - my PO (sans UPC) knows more about this than the next PO over that has UPC in the lobby (fairly clueless staff).

Last Edited on: 11/11/11 12:43 PM ET - Total times edited: 1