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Are USPS "Stamps" Still Allowed On US Mail?

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Pillar Of The Community
United States
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Posted 09/14/2015   4:01 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this topic Add acanalizo to your friends list Get a Link to this Message
This Saturday morning I left a stamped Priority Mail flat rate ($5.75) envelope w/ tracking # attached . The envelope had 15 - 37c stamps ($5.55) plus one 20c stamp, a total of $5.75. Also on the envelope to the left I had the math as above to make it easier for post office(Simple math?). A substitute mailman (regular carrier off) picked it up from my mail box around 10am and I expected the tracking to show up as usual. Well,I checked a few times Saturday, a few times Sunday and a couple times this morning- no tracking available. I decided to call the local post office. The postmaster called me back a couple hours later and I explained I could not see the tracking yet and that my usual mailman scans when he picks up and I can see the tracking from that point. She then ask, "was that the envelope with so many stamps on it?"



I answer, "Yes?". She said the carried brought it to her and asked about it - the number of stamps. She then said. "In the future do not use so many stamps" ????



I answered these are USPS stamps purchased from USPS and are all valid for postage. I know of no regulation that says otherwise." She responded there was no regulation. I asked, "Will I see the tracking tonight?" She replied, "probably"



What am I missing?




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Albert
Edited by acanalizo - 09/14/2015 4:02 pm

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Posted 09/14/2015   4:24 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Petert4522 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
You're missing nothing. Just the normal kind of stuff you expect at the post office!

Peter
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United States
651 Posts
Posted 09/14/2015   4:32 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add oldguy to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
No, not missing a thing. I believe when the Post Master General closed the 82 distribution centers in Jan2015, he also only retained the mathematically challenged and released anyone of competency and efficiency. Too many stamps is just too hard to add especially if you can't read or write.

I put stamps on the flat rate boxes I mail on the APS circuits and even add the total value of the stamp as you did, but it doesn't seem to help. If you put too many stamps on the package, they get confused as to here to put there labels after they finally print out a correct one that accounts for the value of the stamps you put on the item.

I use a lot of 3 cent to 22 cent stamps I buy below face and use them for my mailings so the receiver will have a collectable cover, but I have started asking the clerk if I can do the hand cancel because (they know I collect stamps and send them to other collectors) they put killer cancellations on them. Instead of a nicely centered cancel on a block of 4, they will hit every stamps sometime 2 and 3 times and put the label over the bottom or side edges of the stamps. It is very frustrating to deal with these folks.
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Edited by oldguy - 09/14/2015 4:35 pm
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Posted 09/14/2015   4:49 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add cjpalermo1964 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
My favorite is using older non-denominated stamps that are not "Forever" stamps. An example is the 2002 Classic Toys issue, which were sold for 37c but marked "First Class". They are, of course, still worth 37c today, but there is no way the clerks can remember this (assuming they were even employees 13 years ago). If you use these in combination to make up a high rate and present it at the counter, the clerk basically has to take your word that they are worth 37c. I usually wait for a puzzled glance before explaining it.
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Posted 09/14/2015   5:35 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add bookbndrbob to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
I've learned not to expect basic math skills from anyone at a counter or cash register here in the good old U.S.A. If your transaction requires more than scanning a bar code or credit card, you are likely to get the "deer in the headlights" look from the clerk. Pretty scary stuff, especially when they get testy about it!
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Valued Member
United States
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Posted 09/14/2015   5:54 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add kollectorkurt to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply

I'm sure you've done this before without problems, but having a good relationship with my own Post Office staff, here's my SWAG on what you ran into:
"The Unabomber Rule"
In my experience, anything other than a #6 or #10 envelopes which are plastered with stamps but lack a ZVI will get "looked at" and delayed. It has been this way for more than a decade.

...and yeah, basic job skills are something no one cares to learn, let alone teach today.
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Posted 09/14/2015   6:12 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add sdtom to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
I feel very fortunate that the clerk I usually deal with uses a calculator and quickly adds them up and then weighs it to see how close it matches
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Posted 09/14/2015   6:58 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add jim6092252 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
There is a weight limit to what you can mail with stamps without taking it to the post office, not sure of exact amount ( its small like 1 lb) but it says on all the blue boxes so look next time you go to one. I think this started back when they worried about people mailing bombs etc. Maybe thats the problem.
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Posted 09/14/2015   7:03 pm  Show Profile Check Battlestamps's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add Battlestamps to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Make a cover with nothing but A through H rate stamps, a few make-up rate stamps, a few of the non-denominated Xmas stamps from the 1970's, some of the odd decimal stamps from the Transportation definitive series, a few 1/2 cent stamps and any others fractional stamps (Liberty series and Presidential has a few) and you'll break their minds. I did this to a few clerks who insisted on adding up all the stamps on the cover. Most clerks just take my word these days.
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Posted 09/14/2015   7:34 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Mike33 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Her head would have exploded if she came across this one:

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Posted 09/14/2015   7:37 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add John Freibergs to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
I'm amazed that got thru without tire track cancels over everything.
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Posted 09/14/2015   7:50 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add jim6092252 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
I'm suprised they added it up and got to it needed 5 cents more
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Posted 09/14/2015   8:42 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Stampman2002 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
I had a small package I was mailing about a year ago and took some 1960s/70s/80s stamps with me to use when I found out how much it would be to mail it. The girl behind the counter said she'd be happy to take care of it, so I handed her the stamps needed for the package.....

She stood there diligently pushing the stamps with one finger across the package and I just couldn't figure out what she was doing. Finally, she handed them back to me and told me they were not longer any good because they wouldn't stick. I flipped them over, and sure enough, the glue was still there.

Then it dawned on me what the problem was. I asked her how old she was and she told me she was 22. Yep, never had to lick a stamp in her life. I told her she needed to lick and stick the stamps and she was rather put off replying "yyyyyucccckkk".

Could someone please hand me my cane now?
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Posted 09/14/2015   8:52 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add wt1 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
I mailed a package recently with some high value stamps I had on hand (maybe 5 or 6 stamps, that's all) and when I presented it to the post office, they had to take the package to the back room and find a calculator in order to add up the value of the stamps. I'm surprised the USPS's POS terminals doesn't offer a calculator feature or why the post office doesn't have a basic calculator at their window to deal with such things.
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Posted 09/14/2015   11:49 pm  Show Profile Check eyeonwall's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add eyeonwall to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply

Quote:
There is a weight limit to what you can mail with stamps without taking it to the post office, not sure of exact amount ( its small like 1 lb) but it says on all the blue boxes so look next time you go to one. I think this started back when they worried about people mailing bombs etc


I believe it is 13 oz.
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Posted 09/15/2015   02:07 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add acanalizo to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
I understand it is better to "Schedule a pick up" for Priority Mail, First Class Package, etc. when mailing from home/business - anything with a tracking #. They are supposed to scan when they pick up. Also, there is a section "Where should we look for your shipment?" , on the right of that, there is a place "Enter any additional instructions:" I will write something like "Postage stamps attached to envelope - 15 ea 37c stamps = $5.50 PLUS 1 ea 20c stamp = a total of $5.75 in postage stamps, the required postage for a Flat Rate Priority Mail Envelope." Maybe that will work better. Again, I never have had a problem with my regular carrier, just when he takes off. Oh, by the way, the envelope did finally get scanned tonight at main distribution post office- 62 hours later and is on its way.

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Albert
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