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Topic: Postage Stamps Not Marked When Used?

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Subject: Postage Stamps Not Marked When Used?
Date Posted: 10/14/2008 4:43 PM ET
Member Since: 8/24/2008
Posts: 2
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I've gotten 2 books in the mail this week that had 5 stamps each on them. The stamps on both of them where not marked through as used. I thougth  about reusing the stamps but don't want to stick the person I'm mailing to with having to pay if something happens. Has the post office stoped stamping used stamps?

Date Posted: 10/14/2008 4:57 PM ET
Member Since: 8/16/2007
Posts: 15,183
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I rarely see postage stamps cancelled on packages anymore. Please don't reuse them, it is illegal even if you don't get caught.

Date Posted: 10/14/2008 6:27 PM ET
Member Since: 10/13/2007
Posts: 36,445
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The stamps ARE marked just in a way you cannot see.  I recently saw that show  that explains how things are done and it showed a mail sorting machine putting on the post marks AND it puts some little unseen mark on the stamps.

I think it depends on how the stamp is put on the mail and how the machine is set up to wether it gets any postage mark ink on it.

Plus our stamp vending machine accepts pennys, last time I went I used up all mine on several dollars worth of stamps so maybe see if yours will accept them too as many people throw them away. (its an old metal built into the wall vending machine not the new APS type)

niffir - ,
Date Posted: 10/14/2008 7:54 PM ET
Member Since: 2/13/2008
Posts: 495
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When I use stamps, the ladies at the post office cancel them to death before dropping the book in the mailing bin.  I often use 5 or 6 stamps (or more) on a book, and they seem to use the cancelation stamper at least once per stamp.  Always makes me laugh on the inside.

Date Posted: 10/16/2008 7:14 AM ET
Member Since: 10/23/2005
Posts: 7,718
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One of the clerks in my local PO is the same way, she is not happy unless every stamp is covered with her cancellation stamp. I think she may get paid extra to use up the ink in that thing. She is the same one who wears carpal tunnel braces on both arms. Me thinks there is a connection here.

Date Posted: 11/15/2008 12:25 PM ET
Member Since: 1/19/2007
Posts: 14
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so are they marked or not. because i can't tell either. some are stamped all over and some are not and don't have the date on it so you know darn well that they were not cancelled.

Date Posted: 11/16/2008 1:15 AM ET
Member Since: 10/23/2005
Posts: 7,718
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Marked so we can see them, marked so we can't see them or not at all, still illegal to re-use them. and it is a Federal Offense.

"What you you in for, Bugsy?" "Killed my neighbor, hated that Led Zepplin they played over and over again all night long, What you in for, Bubba?" "Me? Peeling stamps off packages of free books" "Wow, Bubba, that's a Federal Offense! You are gonna get the book thrown at you!"

Ok time for bed.......g'nite

Date Posted: 11/16/2008 10:13 PM ET
Member Since: 8/13/2008
Posts: 13,147
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Either way, it's illegal. Don't break the law for 42 cents...

Date Posted: 11/16/2008 11:33 PM ET
Member Since: 6/23/2005
Posts: 379
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http://www.usps.com/cpim/ftp/posters/pos5.pdf

Date Posted: 11/16/2008 11:40 PM ET
Member Since: 10/23/2005
Posts: 7,718
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Thanks Mary, that made it very clear!

Date Posted: 11/24/2008 10:27 PM ET
Member Since: 9/11/2005
Posts: 905
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The  comment about stamps being marked invisibly is incorrect. The PO's cancellation devises are all applying visible markings.   It is definitely illegal to reuse them, although if you put stamps an an article, and do not mail it at all, you can legally soak them off and then use them on another item.  There is no way to know the difference, other than your conscience, however.  If you look at Ebay under unused stamps without gum, I am sure that a large number of these did go through the mail and miss getting cancelled----I am sure that some people buy them to use on their own mail.  It isn't worth it at all, but it is done more often than a little bit.

Date Posted: 12/5/2008 2:48 PM ET
Member Since: 9/3/2008
Posts: 9
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seems like most crooks could just print their own stamps using photoshop....