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Can I Mail Myself A Cover With A Cinderella Instead Of Proper Postage

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Valued Member

United States
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Posted 03/09/2020   12:40 am  Show Profile Bookmark this topic Add dgwhite87 to your friends list Get a Link to this Message
Sorry in advance, if this is the dumbest question you've read today.

But, the title kind of says it all.

Can I mail myself covers with cinderellas on it instead of proper postage in an attempt to create collectible covers? I'd assume most would never reach me, but if one does make it through and actually gets properly cancelled that would seem like a neat cover to own.

If I'm willing to waste some money and time is this something I can do, or are there serious issues and flaws with this plan that I have not thought of.

Thanks! And again, I have no idea what I'm doing, so .. be kind please :P

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Posted 03/09/2020   01:51 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Cursus to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
I fully agree with your first sentence.

And the answer is NO. Provided po staff does their work properly. The main difference between a cinderella and a stamp is that, with the former, you can't pay for postage. If you can, this is not a cinderella, but just a stamp.

Having said that, I must confess that I have mailed more than one postcard with just a cinderella, reaching most times its destination. That's because:

.- Automatic sorting systems
.- PO staff don't know that cinderellas exist. So, "if it looks as stamp, then it's a stamp".
.- As there's not return address, the easiest job for PO staff is to deliver the postcard. And, nowadays, who bothers on taxing them?

But I'm talking about the service that we're having to cope at home. I hope that US Post is better than ours.

So, in fact, an interesting question, after all!
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Posted 03/09/2020   02:58 am  Show Profile Check 51studebaker's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add 51studebaker to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply

Quote:
...If I'm willing to waste some money and time...


There is an ethical aspect to this (albeit quite minor), the 'rest of us' (society) pays for you intentionally cheating the postal system. The service is used without payment. While obviously the cost of a single illegal piece of mail is not of any real consequence, what if everyone decided to do the same thing tomorrow?

You mentioned it would be a neat cover. Would you proudly say to your grandchild, 'yes, this is a cover where I took advantage of the postal system just to make a neat cover'?

I know that this post is over-playing the morality of this topic. Cheating the postal system is probably ethically akin to breaking the speed limit by 5 mph.
Don
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United States
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Posted 03/09/2020   04:49 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add dgwhite87 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Hey thanks for the kind responses guys.

I didn't think about the ethics of it. And now that you have brought it up, collecting a "look I stole 55 cents" cover seems like a lousy addition to my collection and a lousy way to approach the hobby.

Instead, I'll just place a cinderella next to a forever stamp and see if I can get them to cancel it along with proper postage.
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Edited by dgwhite87 - 03/09/2020 06:06 am
Valued Member
Ireland
230 Posts
Posted 03/09/2020   07:30 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add FitzjamesHorse to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
I have done something similar.
I have used cinderella stamps on envelopesand postcards and had them hand-stamped by co-operative postal staff who clearly agreed with the "point" I was making or just saw the funny side. No ethical dilemna for me as the envelope or card never went thru the postal system.
If a stamp costs 55cents and a cinderella is used then clearly the post office loses money but can this be set against the overpayment when 4 or 6 stamps are put on a first day cover.
Does a stamp become invalid if it is "amended" or given a home-made overprint which is intended to undermine the subject on the stamp. After all, de-faced or not, the service has been paid for.
A recipient cant be held responsible for the "legality" of mail sent to him/her and surely it cant be proved that the recipient was also the sender.
It may or may not be good citizenship to use alternate or illegal postal systems but nobody is obliged to be a good citizen to an unlimited degree.
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Canada
6509 Posts
Posted 03/09/2020   08:06 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add jamesw to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
I once sent myself an envelope using an obsolete postage due stamp (Canadian). It did go through the system, but sadly Canada Post didn't cancel the stamp, so I was just left with an envelope with my name on it, and an old stamp. Not the souvenir I was looking for.

I guess the question here isn't whether you 'can' - of course you can, you can do anything. The question as raised is 'may' you send it with a cinderella. I guess we've heard that legally and ethically the answer would be no (though admittedly I find the word 'ethically' a little too high end for such a mundane issue. I tend to reserve that word for issues like helping the poor or cheating on my taxes. But that's a matter of degree I suppose )
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Edited by jamesw - 03/09/2020 08:15 am
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Posted 03/09/2020   09:59 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add rod222 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
I am in Don's corner,
doesn't mean I have not thought about it in the past, I surely have,
but just a few seconds of thought, can have one come to a better result.
I am far from perfect, but welcome little improvements to character.
I see a spider, and can just step on it, but no, I pick it up in a plastic cup, and take it outside.
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Edited by rod222 - 03/09/2020 10:00 am
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United States
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Posted 03/09/2020   11:48 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add alub to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
If you are worried about the ethics: when you mail the envelope with the Cinderella stamp, go home and take out a forever stamp and cross it out with a marker. Now the post office got paid.
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Posted 03/09/2020   12:25 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add redwoodrandy to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Take the high road.
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United States
233 Posts
Posted 03/09/2020   12:44 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Linus to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply

Quote:
The service is used without payment.


True, but this works the opposite way, also. The post office receives payments without service.

We had high wind warnings over the weekend, and a three-level, 36-unit apartment building caught fire and burnt to the ground. It is now a pile of charred rubble. How many people had postage stamps in their desks that were lost in the blaze? The post office has their money, but does not have to provide any service for those people. Just saying, it works both ways.

Linus
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Edited by Linus - 03/09/2020 12:56 pm
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United States
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Posted 03/09/2020   1:56 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add DaveG28 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
This reminds me of a conversation I started with family members last Christmas. I offered that we should address our Christmas cards to ourselves and place our "recipients" names and addresses in the corner as the return address. Then, if we mailed them without postage, our holiday greeting cards would arrive at our intended locations because the postal service would "return" the card to the return address. And, if we all did this, we could crash the postal service. Of course, I was completely joking and would never do such a thing, but boy did I get an earful about ethics from family members who didn't see it as a joke.
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Edited by DaveG28 - 03/09/2020 1:57 pm
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Posted 03/09/2020   2:09 pm  Show Profile Check 51studebaker's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add 51studebaker to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply



Don
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United States
1387 Posts
Posted 03/09/2020   2:56 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add cjpalermo1964 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Every human community organized according to the rule of law has its "rule followers" and its scofflaws. A person has to decide which of these they want to be.
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United States
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Posted 03/09/2020   3:12 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Linus to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply

Quote:
I offered that we should address our Christmas cards to ourselves and place our "recipients" names and addresses in the corner as the return address. Then, if we mailed them without postage, our holiday greeting cards would arrive at our intended locations because the postal service would "return" the card to the return address.


DaveG28 - Maybe, or maybe not! See scan below for a Christmas card mailed to me a few years ago that was forwarded without a stamp, and was not "returned to sender." If you had mailed, say, 30 Christmas cards that way, you could have gotten all 30 back in your own mailbox with the blaze-orange postage-due envelope saying you owed $16.50!

Best to not mess with the post office. Put proper postage on it.


Integrity works both ways, too. If you lost everything in a fire, the post office should give you a new book of stamps if you tell them they burnt up. They will have your new mail there, as it is not deliverable. My opinion.

Linus




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Ireland
230 Posts
Posted 03/09/2020   3:17 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add FitzjamesHorse to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
I think it depends on the "society".
I believe absolutely in Integrity.
I dont believe absolutely in Legality.
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Posted 03/09/2020   8:00 pm  Show Profile Check matttodd1's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add matttodd1 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
What you can do, no worries, is put the Cinderella and another stamp on, and send it.

Matt
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