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Are Non Denominated Stamps A Hassle?

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Posted 05/15/2020   11:04 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add jleb1979 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
It's my understanding that with a first class conventional size US commercial envelope that is of a size and shape to fit into the regular stream going into an automatic facer canceller (Mark II or other), that the facer canceller would just look for a stamp with a tag and sensing one, then it is moved along in the mail stream without human inspection of the stamps' denominations.
If the address cannot be completely read by machine, it is then photographed for a human operator at a distance who reads the address and keys in the necessary data so that it gets sprayed with the zip+4 address coding when it is put back into the sorter a couple hours later. The spray code then is used throughout the rest of the letter's journey through multiple sorting machines across the country until it is in the local carrier's bag or tray. gives an interesting (to some like me) illustrated tour of the path of letter-size correspondence. He concludes that the delivery carrier might spot short postage, but it is unlikely.

Packages and anything that requires manual handling is another matter. But there one has to ask how much pressure is upon a desk or back office clerk to prevent underpayment? Are they at all motivated to distinguish the different values of the 3 G stamps or various Madonnas with child?

I like that cover Don.

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Edited by jleb1979 - 05/15/2020 11:06 am
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United Kingdom
283 Posts
Posted 05/15/2020   1:36 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add steevh to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
In UK we have different NVI stamps, the most common of which (by far) are '1st' and '2nd' for first and second class postal rates.

But 20 or so years ago there was also an 'E' rate, which stood for 'Europe'. Royal Mail no longer makes these, but they are still valid for postage.

However, not all post office staff know this, so a couple of years back there was a big case where a stamp auction business sent out their catalogues using 'E' rates made up to the correct postage, and some idiot at the PO slapped postage due on the entire lot.

The auction house complained and got the case settled in their favour, but I'm sure they lost a lot of custom from disgruntled punters.

because of this I tend to restrict my use of use 'E' stamps to Europe-bound mail.
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United States
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Posted 05/17/2020   01:58 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add mootermutt987 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Along with the Letter-denominated stamps over the years, there are also the completely-non-denominated Christmas stamps of 1975. You SHOULD be able to use any of them, no problem. Having said that, I don't use them. I buy postage lots and use those stamps on my letters, etc. Those lots quite often contain non-denominated stamps, and I set them aside. I've got a bunch of them all set aside. I figure I will include them in some carton lot that I sell someday.

Just about everything I mail these days HAS to get there in a timely fashion (bills, birthday/Christmas cards, etc), and I simply don't want one of those returned because someone at the PO doesn't know what a 'B' stamp is worth, and handstamps it as 'Insufficient Postage'. I have every right to use them, I just don't want the headache of a misunderstanding, along with the late fees associated with that bill payment that gets returned after a week or two in the system.

In 10 or 15 years, all of mine will be some other stamp collector's "problem".
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Posted 05/17/2020   03:27 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Torin to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
mootermutt987: Good perspective.
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United States
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Posted 05/23/2020   01:13 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Inkmanno1 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Have had a couple less than stellar experiences with non-denominational stamps.

One PO counter person kept speaking over me saying "But I don't know their worth so how am I supposed to"....blah blah on and on. I tried to interject that I know the values (even brought my cheat sheet) yet she kept whining. Finally I said to go look them up as I know you have a chart for these. Few more customers walked in and she finally felt the heat, did the tracking receipt and moved on.

On that note, I usually bring a stack of flats and Priority flat mailers. Always with stamps on them. Write the amt on the back and it takes a couple minutes to do em all. Easy peasy. Till I hit a different PO. handed them to her and said "I also write the amount on the back so it'll save you time and trying to count it."

Ok. I'll just wait here while you do all that extra work. I have all day.

Even with a calculator, she lost count more than once and actually used her fingers to count 0_o

By now there are maybe 6-8 people in line behind me getting antsy. Finally get's the first one done and says "ok, that one was correct so i'll assume the rest are."

Ummmm....what happened to those regulations you quoted? No I didn't say that, just thought it. Don't want my shipments to find their way to the dumpster in back ;)

I mean they are plastered in stamps and just a glance would show anyone they are covered $$ wise. Talking the $4.20 First Class Parcel rate, not a carton with 938 stamps and souvenir sheets on all sides. Sheesh.

OTOH everybody at my regular PO is fantastic and really make it easy. I gotta stop going to other POs.

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Posted 05/23/2020   10:51 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add bookbndrbob to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
After many years, they (non-denominated) are sitting at the bottom of my "postage" box. As previously stated, I want my mail to get to the recipient without hassles.
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