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Attention: All Postage Due Gurus

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Pillar Of The Community
United States
1087 Posts
Posted 04/01/2020   6:06 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this topic Add Hal to your friends list Get a Link to this Message
I NEED YOUR HELP!...PLEASE!!

I'm a bit confused (I think) on what is going on with the cover (shown below) regarding "POSTAGE DUE RATES & USAGES" as it applies to "BULK MAILINGS", "PRECANCEL USAGE" and "RETURN POSTAGE GUARANTEED", " under "SEC 34.66 P.L. & R".


Here are my questions (thoughts) about this cover:
1. Am I correct: Is the "Postage Due Service Fee" for "RETURN POSTAGE GUARANTEE" endorsement on 1˘ Bulk Mail, under PL&R Sec 34.66, a 1˝˘ FEE on 1˘, during this period (1950s)?

2. The face of this cover is marked, "8" (diagonally) below the upper left corner card, indicating an "8˘ deficiency".

3. The cover was mailed under 3rd Class Bulk Permit by a New York City Bulk Mail Permit & Precancel Permit Holder (a Mail Order Company), at the upper west side, Columbus Circle, New York 23, N.Y., post office (now 10023).

The cover arrived at the Del Aire branch, Los Angeles 45, CA., post office for delivery. There the cover was stamped with two (2) red-violet auxiliary handstamps, including: "RETURN TO SENDER" and 'REASON FOR NON-DELIVERY". The cover was returned to New York 23, N.Y.

The cover returned to the Columbus Circle NYC (23) Post Office was then handled by the Clerk that handles Permit and Deposit Accounts (i.e.: All Permits, Postage Meters, Box Rents, Mail Deficiency, Deposits, etc.). There he/she marked the cover with the "8" and placed 8˘ postage due on the cover; 5˘ (Sc# J83a) plus a 3˘ (Sc# J82a) which is now covered.

Later, the Postage Due Deficiency was changed. The 3˘ Due (Sc# J82a) was covered (at bottom) with a second 5˘ Due (Sc# J83a), correcting the Deficiency Due to 10˘!



Having been in the mail-order business for over 30 years I think this is what happened:
Most Mail Order Firms have BRE/BRM (Bulk Reply Envelope with a required Deposit Account.
I think HELEN PERL was a BRE/BRM Permit Holder. They had "returned" mail accumulated over several days. The Permit Postal Clerk had computed one charge, then having received or found additional "returned-to-sender" pieces (6 pcs @ 1˝˘-per-piece) changed the charges to the Permit holder (PERL) to 9˘, plus the required "1˘ Daily Account Maintenance Fee" to equal 10˘ shown.

Of course, there may be an entirely different explanation as to "What", "Why", and "How" 8˘ became 10˘, but this is why I need your help. Am I correct? Or, what is the explanation for a 10˘ deficiency charge on this cover?!?

Here is a 1 x 1 HELEN PERL COMPANY space ad. HELEN PERL was a mail order company that sold medical aids to Breast Cancer survivors.



Thanks in advance for your review and help on this cover.

Hal


P.S. To everyone: may you and your families stay healthy and safe during the COVID-19 outbreak!

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Pillar Of The Community
2698 Posts
Posted 04/01/2020   6:53 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add John Becker to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
As background, Sec 34.66 of the 1948 Postal Laws and Regulations is titled "Pound rate for bulk mailings of third-class matter and runs for nearly two pages. This 1948 renumbered edition of the PL&R has a cover letter bound inside dated Feb 25, 1949, thus beyond the 1.5 cent 3rd class rate period.

My understanding ... going outbound it was bulk third class, coming back it was single-piece third class as guaranteed by the mailer, which would be 2 cents per piece. Thus I agree with your general analysis, this is a "top of the stack" piece and the due amount continued to accumulate until paid, but for 4 pieces at 2 cents each, sent sometime between January 1, 1949 and July 31, 1959.

Where are you getting the reference to the daily maintenance fee? I cannot imagine it being collected other than at large time spans of several months or more.

Add: 2 cent due for returned mail, see this scan from 1948 PL&R, page 358 showing section 43.48(d), the section titled "Return of second-, third-, and fourth-class matter":
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Edited by John Becker - 04/01/2020 7:07 pm
Pillar Of The Community
United States
1087 Posts
Posted 04/01/2020   7:32 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Hal to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Hi John!

Boy I would have bet a a dollar that you would have come up with the correct answer! On The BRM Fees for during the period, See US DOMESTIC POSTAL RATES, 1872-2011" By Beecher & Wawrukiewicz (c) 2011 page 134. Also, see the attached confirming BRE endorsement.



This cover was also used as a "facing slip" for two 3˘ first-classBRE @ 6˘, plus a 1˘ BRM Daily Accounting Fee = 7˘.

I thought these covers were of the same ilk, however, I've never encountered one that lacked a BRE indicia. In my entire 30+ year career in direct mail, I never used precanceled stamps. I'm beginning to wish I had done a few mailing now.

Thank you, John and please stay healthy and safe!

Best,
Hal
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Pillar Of The Community
2698 Posts
Posted 04/01/2020   7:39 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add John Becker to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
I have the 1872-1999 edition.

Your first piece is NOT business reply mail. So far, I will continue to stand by my analysis and scan from the PL&R. of 4 pieces returned at 2 cents each.

Bulk mail and business reply mail are two completely separate things.

For your registered cover, you don't supply an image of the reverse side, so I have no idea of the date. Hard to analyze with one hand tied behind my back.
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Edited by John Becker - 04/01/2020 7:40 pm
Pillar Of The Community
United States
1087 Posts
Posted 04/01/2020   7:48 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Hal to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
I totally understand, John...

Here are the backstamps, for your reference:

A. Mailing Post Office Date: July 7, 1953
B. Receiving Post Office Date: July 8, 1953



Hal
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Pillar Of The Community
2698 Posts
Posted 04/01/2020   8:19 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add John Becker to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Wendover to Salt Lake City cover: Having read the Business Reply Mail section of the 2nd ed of B&W and the pertinent sections of the 1948 PL&R, I see no reference to daily fees. Does the 3rd ed of B&W cite a specific primary postal document?

The "4c postage will be paid ..." is merely restating the regulations. I would say you cover is 3 cents postage due + 1 cent business reply mail fee due for the envelope shown, + an additional 3 cents for other postage due charges from other mail delivered at the same time.
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Pillar Of The Community
United States
1087 Posts
Posted 04/01/2020   10:46 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Hal to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
I'm back, John...

Tony (his Chapter 14 - Business Reply Mail Service) makes reference to a 1˘ and 2˘ BRM Fees (date dependent) PLUS Postage Due Fees on nine (9) BRE different examples, dating from 1936 thru 1966, pps 133-135. Tony breaksout postage Due + BRM FEE in each case, however there is no direct Postal Bulletin Reference to the BRM Fee.

OK, Tony goes into a bit more detail post-1975, under BRM Service, under "Advance Deposit Accounts", there is a "Per Piece Account Fee" in addition to the yearly "Annual Permit Fee". He further states on Page 136, Reference x-y 8-12... (In the long period from July 1932 until July 1957, the cost per piece was a straight 4˘, and nothing need to be paid until the mail was received. However, the fee was 25% of the total (reference: BRM Maintenance Advance Deposit Account-for returned mail), regardless of volume; whereas now it is only 6.46% for a permittee receiving 100mm pieces per year.) N.B.: there are no P.B. referenced, however, I was aware of the underscored portion, as well as Tony's Table 14. (a deja vu! moment.)

Anyway, I trust Tony W. plus your input and I'll take it from there. Many, Many Thanks!~!

Hal
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Edited by Hal - 04/01/2020 10:49 pm
Pillar Of The Community
2698 Posts
Posted 04/01/2020   11:08 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add John Becker to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Yes, the same footnote in the 2nd and 3rd editions. Just on different pages.

I see no difference in what Tony W's book and I are saying about your covers.
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Pillar Of The Community
United States
1087 Posts
Posted 04/02/2020   06:49 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Hal to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Many Thanks again. Would you please take a crack at this cover too.



The cover, a first-class, double-weight (up to 2 oz.) domestic letter...OR, 3-per-oz x 2oz = 6˘ postage, minus 5˝˘ postage paid = a ˝˘ Postage Deficiency).

The cover was stamped with a black, auxiliary straight-line handstamp reading, "POSTAGE DUE, 1/2 CENTS. The 1/2˘ short-paid cover was delivered to Addressee, however the Addressee was charged one (1˘) cent.; there is a local return address in Brooklyn on the back flap.

So my question is, was the 1˘ charge a function of "rounding-up" the Postage Due Deficiency charge? OR, is it something else?

Thanks John.

Best,
Hal
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Pillar Of The Community
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Posted 04/02/2020   09:30 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add John Becker to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
The post office had 1/2 cent postage stamps and 1/2 cent postage due stamps in this era. Making change is easy and there is no need to round and mess up the books. Postal accounting was quite strict and accuracy very important.

Building on the idea that the vast majority of covers are properly rated/marked. The 1/2 due is clear and the 1 cent due stamp obvious. I agree with your interpretation of a double weight 1st class cover needing 6 cents postage, only paid 5-1/2. The sender probably knew it was heavy and slapped some more stamps on it and hoped it would sail through the system. The most obvious explanation is another "top of the stack" letter, the other piece also being 1/2 cent due, and being a business would have been getting quite a bit of mail.
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Pillar Of The Community
United States
1087 Posts
Posted 04/02/2020   12:24 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Hal to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Ahhh...OK, I didn't look at it in that context, but it makes absolute sense (excuse the pun).

Thank you again, John.
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Pillar Of The Community
United States
1087 Posts
Posted 04/02/2020   12:57 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Hal to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Hi John,

Now, I want to tell you the rest of the story behind these dues: all three covers were purchased from the same web dealer and all were Prexies covers with postage deficiencies and due usages. I picked eight or nine that reflected different rates & usages and the two challenging ones--the Helen Perl & the Baker's Union.

So these and the others will become part of a powerpoint presentation I was scheduled to do at our local club. My topic was, "Domestic & International Postage Due Rates, Markings & Usages in the Prexie Period 1938-1962." The presentation was suppose to be at the end of April--but that's not happening--the state has a statewide travel ban thru at least April 30th.

So, many, many thank again for all your help.

Best,
Hal
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Valued Member
Learn More...
United States
285 Posts
Posted 04/03/2020   10:53 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add jleb1979 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Although I have resisted collecting postage dues, no sooner had I read this interesting analysis of mysterious levies, than I ran into one while pursuing something else entirely. Fortified by new knowledge and a quick check in Wawrukiewicz, it seems to me the business reply envelope below rang up a 3 cent charge as a 1st class letter rate plus 1 cent for the BRM since the PO did not have a real mechanism for advance deposit payments against incoming BRMs. If I'm mistaken, please let me know - this was all interesting to learn about.

The eBay listing is https://www.ebay.com/itm/USA-1939-P...AOSwMQ5ehLUf in case it might fit with your assemblage for the presentation, Hal, although you likely already have one like this.
For convenience here is an image of the cover:


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Pillar Of The Community
2698 Posts
Posted 04/04/2020   9:03 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add John Becker to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
The Business Reply Mail regulations in the 1940 Postal Laws & Regulations volume do not address any deposit of money against expected returns, but do indicate in section 510.6 that postage due stamps will be used.

It would be interesting to see if others have different interpretations of the covers posted so far.

Here are some other due covers from the Prexie era:

Perhaps a bit early for the Prexies, but neat to see the accounting notations.


Unsealed, single-piece third class sent without a Martha Washington Prexie and getting dinged the proper 1-1/2.


Attempted use of a postage due stamp as postage. Oddly, not obviously returned to the sender (address on back flap) or marked due and collected from the recipient in Canada. Probably returned to the sender.


Attempted use of precancels without a permit, rejected as invalid, and the recipient sent the commemorative stamp as postage. Not all due charges are paid with due stamps, see below.


Unsealed envelope, attempted single-piece 3rd class mailing overpaid by 1/2 cent. Inspected and found to have "first class writing inside".


Front and back of Form 3548 card, sent to recipients of due mail to send back their postage stamps to cover a deficiency. They cut two slits for the stamp and send it back under cover. The most common reason to see due charges paid in non-due stamps accompanying the marking "This is the mail for which you sent postage." (also written-up by John Hotchner in the April 16, 2001 issue of Linn's.)

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Edited by John Becker - 04/04/2020 9:33 pm
Pillar Of The Community
United States
6599 Posts
Posted 04/04/2020   9:13 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add revcollector to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
I have seen similar business reply envelopes with $5 solo usages. Must have been quite a stack to need that much postage due.
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Valued Member
United States
333 Posts
Posted 04/04/2020   10:52 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add mml1942 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply

Quote:
I have seen similar business reply envelopes with $5 solo usages. Must have been quite a stack to need that much postage due.


Here is a link to a post of mine on this forum as few years back, showing the postage due bill of $1499.52.

http://goscf.com/t/44866

I've always assumed it was for one day of mail pickup, but it could have been for a longer period.

Mike
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