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Topic: Swapping Out Stamps

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Subject: Swapping Out Stamps
Date Posted: 2/23/2008 10:28 PM ET
Member Since: 3/23/2006
Posts: 2
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Does anyone know if the PO is required to swap out a stamp on an unmailed, unused envelope for a new stamp if the entire envelope is submitted to them?  I think I once read this in an Amy Dacyczyn book (one of the Frugal Gazettes) and I took an envelope to the PO that was unmailed that I had messed up the address on.  They tore the stuck on stamp off and gave me a new one (albeit not without a heavy sigh and gratuitous rolling of the eyes).  This was in Riverdale, GA (near Atlanta).  Also, this happened maybe 10 or 15 years ago.

I tried the same thing several years later in a little rural PO in Lawrencburg, TN (south of Nashville) and the clerk told me that they did not do this.  I asked her to check with her supervisor and he confirmed her answer.

Just as a general FYI, during neither time was I trying to scam the PO.  I had legitimatelly ruined an envelope and knew I couldn't get the stamp off without there being a lot of envelope shards around the edges of the stamp.  I know many might tell me to stamp after addressing to prevent such an occurrance.  And now I do.

I am thinking that there is a regulation governing this but I cannot remember and was hoping some of you Postal employees and whizzes can help me with an answer.  Thanx in advance!


Date Posted: 2/23/2008 11:59 PM ET
Member Since: 9/11/2005
Posts: 905
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In general the PO amost never does this for those who have done this.  However, it is possible to remove these stamps withough ruining them.  Just soak the stamp and surrounding paper for about 1/2 hour or so in warm water.  It will peel off and you can reattach it to another envelope with a glue stick or something similar.  When it's peeled it will be wet, of course, so leave it on newspaper to dry---takes awhile, but not long. This is totally legal!!  This is the way that stamp collectors who collect used stamps deal with them so they can put them in their albums.

Date Posted: 2/24/2008 9:40 AM ET
Member Since: 2/10/2008
Posts: 1,080
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Much easier to cover the mistake with a sticker and use the envelope. Any stamp that is taped, glued, ect is void. No refund on stamps at a local post office. If you have stamps that stuck together or won't stick, there is an address you can send them to for possible credit. If you use a meter and put the wrong postage on, you can get a partial credit by taking it to the local post office and filling out a form. patti

Subject: Swapping damaged stamps
Date Posted: 2/24/2008 9:57 AM ET
Member Since: 7/8/2007
Posts: 15
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If you can prove that they are infact damaged and not used and still on a envolope/packaging some but not all will exchange postage stamps for and equal amount but you will not get cash back period.

Date Posted: 2/24/2008 10:07 AM ET
Member Since: 2/6/2006
Posts: 1,186
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James, are you a postal employee?

Date Posted: 2/24/2008 11:18 AM ET
Member Since: 4/7/2007
Posts: 2,027
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Can you just cut around the stamp leaving an edge of paper and tape that to a new envelope?

Date Posted: 2/24/2008 2:00 PM ET
Member Since: 8/16/2007
Posts: 15,226
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No Jennie that is not allowed. You might get away with it occasionally, but not always and the mail will arrive postage due or sent back to you.

Date Posted: 2/26/2008 9:30 PM ET
Member Since: 6/15/2006
Posts: 1,691
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Why couldn't you just cover the original address written on the envelope with a blank label or tape a piece of paper with the new address over the original messed up address?

I use blank labels to cover a lot of the preprinted envelopes that come with my bills and then write whatever address I need to on the label.  I affix a stamp to these envelopes when I mail them, they are not the type of envelopes that have the postage already on them.  The only time I ever had a problem was with the barcode line at the bottom of the envelope.  It's set up to go to the address printed on the envelope; now I know to just put a black marker through that and they go out just fine.

I'm trying to cut down on the amount of wasted envelopes & paper that comes through my house.  And I keep getting blank labels from my pharmacy-by-mail deliveries. 

Date Posted: 3/1/2008 3:58 PM ET
Member Since: 7/8/2007
Posts: 15
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Oh, no I've been found out.