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Are Non Denominated Stamps A Hassle?

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Posted 12/18/2018   04:56 am  Show Profile Bookmark this topic Add Torin to your friends list Get a Link to this Message
Do you all run across difficulties and hassles from USPS employees when trying to use non-denominated stamps? Is it time consuming for them to find the values or do they have them memorized as part of their job?

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United Kingdom
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Posted 12/18/2018   06:23 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add GeoffHa to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
If I use a combination of lower denomination or non-denomination stamps for postage, I do so within the bounds of commonsense, which means that a post office employee can readily add it up. Why waste people's time and cause needless irritation?
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Posted 12/18/2018   06:37 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add ikeyPikey to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
I had thought that the US rule was that 'forever' stamps are accepted at the current first class letter rate regardless of when they were issued, even if they are grouped with other postage.

Cheers,

/s/ ikeyPikey
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Posted 12/18/2018   06:41 am  Show Profile Check 51studebaker's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add 51studebaker to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
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Posted 12/18/2018   07:59 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add bobmill to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Forever stamps are always good for the first class postage rate. But the stamps that are not marked "forever" and have "denominations" of A, B, C etc., or "Bulk Rate" or "Non-profit" have a fixed value [although you need a precancel permit to be able to use them]and, since the general public never use them, postal clerks do not usually know what the current value of such are (although the have posted charts available to look them up).

If I have a package that I have slathered with such stamps, I just hand it over and tell the clerk how much postage is on it. No one has ever checked my claimed total.






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Posted 12/18/2018   11:37 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add eligies to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
USPS used to send out an administrative notice each holiday season with illustrations & values of earlier non-denominated stamps to be used as a reference by the counter clerks or revenue protection clerk at each office. These do not include the 'Forever' stamps issues. Linn's at one time or another had published a similar reference sheet, & Mystic used to run a full page in Linn's offering a package of the non-denominated issues. I have not seen these recently. If you plan on using early non-denominated (other than permit required issues) I would bring along a refence sheet to assist the counter clerks as they were probably hired well after the last issuance or just can't recall the values,
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Posted 12/21/2018   12:14 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add eligies to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Just for a reference the 1/4/2010 & 9/15/2014 issues of Linn's Stamp News have illustrated charts of USPS non-denominated issues with SC# & value. I also found an illustrated chart at the Knottywood Treasures site. Again, the non-denominated issues (prior to the Forever issues) are fixed values and the Non-Profit & Bulk issues do require a special permit to be used in mailings. If you subscribe to Linn's you should be able to access the back issues from their web site.
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Posted 01/27/2019   4:00 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Torin to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
If I place two "C" stamps plus a 5c stamp on a letter, are the postal carriers along the journey of the letter going to logically going to assume that I have placed the correct current first class rate on a letter or is the letter going to be delayed and scrutinized until the correct value can be determined by someone at a post office?
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Posted 01/27/2019   4:25 pm  Show Profile Check Battlestamps's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add Battlestamps to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
You would need two "E" rate stamps plus a 5 cent stamp to mail a 1oz domestic letter. "C" rate is only 20 cents.

However since most mail is handled by machines I doubt there would be much if any delay and might not even be postmarked, but will still be delivered.
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Posted 01/27/2019   4:30 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add funcitypapa to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Personally I would not place a non denominated stamp on a letter oft package that you wanted to be sure is delivered for the following reasons:
1. If you are mailing at a busy post office, I would be concerned that the postal clerk would have the time or interest to look up values of these old issues.
2. Whereas simple addition may be second nature to you, basic arithmetic may not be second nature to the clerk. Think of retail transactions you have everyday where the computer or cash register is not available to indicate the amount of change due you.

Non denominational stamps were a bad idea from the time they were issued based on the limitless lifespan of unused US stamps since 1861
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Posted 01/27/2019   4:48 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Torin to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Battlestamps: Yes, you're right. I meant to type "E" instead of "C"

funcitypapa: Yes, you are correct that clerks might be impatient or surly when asked to look up old values. How about the regular carrier that picks up the mail in the outgoing mailbox? If there are two "E"s and a 5c stamp or two "C"s and a 15c stamp, will the carrier assume you have the correct postage?

The letter non denominated stamps were issued in high quantities and I'm assuming people still use them.
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Posted 01/27/2019   6:43 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add ThomasGalloway to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
"If I have a package that I have slathered with such stamps, I just hand it over and tell the clerk how much postage is on it. No one has ever checked my claimed total."

Ditto.
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United States
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Posted 01/27/2019   7:12 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Mjones to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Thank you Torin,
This is something I had wondered months ago as I started to use the many "extra" stamps that I bought from my Mother's estate that included her Father's lifelong collection. I have been mixing stamps to personalize the cards and letters I send to Grandkids and family. Mostly from the 1940's to present. Currently I am sending a series of seven paperback books to a nine year old grandchild at $2.75 per.

I haven't had any problems. I put them in the mailbox and they are delivered. I think I will talk to the rural carrier the next chance I have and ask this question.

I do wish I had found this site months ago. There is so much to learn here.
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Posted 05/14/2020   11:54 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Torin to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Revisiting this thread around 1.5 years later since my OP, how readily available to clerks are the non-denominated stamp manuals? If one were to present a package to a postal clerk at a post office with a multitude of non-denominational stamps, will the clerk grumble and have to ask a manager, etc..? A paucity of people probably use these stamps, especially on packages.

I have mailed 1oz first class envelopes with non denominated stamps that equal the proper current 55c rate and these have arrived to their destination with no problem. I wonder how much they are delayed along their journey by postal workers having to research their values.
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Edited by Torin - 05/15/2020 12:00 am
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Posted 05/15/2020   03:13 am  Show Profile Check 51studebaker's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add 51studebaker to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply

While I do not often collect FDC, when I saw this one made by the Finger Lakers Stamp Club I purchased it; makes for a nice non-denominated stamps reference.
Don

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Posted 05/15/2020   10:55 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add hoosierboy to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Hi Don,

You could add the first forever stamp on the next tombstone. For it, at least as long as the USPS does not go belly up, shall have eternal life.
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