First Class Stamps on Large Packages

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DTalos
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First Class Stamps on Large Packages

Post by DTalos » Sat Sep 09, 2017 2:20 pm

Can first class stamps be used to help pay postage for a domestic Priority Mail package? For example, if I want to ship a box of clothes (using my own box) that weighs 4lbs via Priority Mail and the Priority Mail rate is $11.15, can I bing in the package to the post office with 20 37c first class stamps already applied on the box to help pay for the $11.15 total cost to send the package?

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Flobes
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Re: First Class Stamps on Large Packages

Post by Flobes » Sat Sep 09, 2017 2:22 pm

Yes..

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dm200
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Re: First Class Stamps on Large Packages

Post by dm200 » Sat Sep 09, 2017 2:41 pm

DTalos wrote:
Sat Sep 09, 2017 2:20 pm
Can first class stamps be used to help pay postage for a domestic Priority Mail package? For example, if I want to ship a box of clothes (using my own box) that weighs 4lbs via Priority Mail and the Priority Mail rate is $11.15, can I bing in the package to the post office with 20 37c first class stamps already applied on the box to help pay for the $11.15 total cost to send the package?
My understanding is yes - the postal service scanners are supposed to have the smarts to convert the forever type stamps to the current "value".

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dm200
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Re: First Class Stamps on Large Packages

Post by dm200 » Sat Sep 09, 2017 2:42 pm

with 20 37c first class stamps already
37 cents? Are these very, very old stamps purchased when 37 cents was the first class letter rate?

DTalos
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Re: First Class Stamps on Large Packages

Post by DTalos » Sat Sep 09, 2017 2:45 pm

dm200 wrote:
Sat Sep 09, 2017 2:42 pm
with 20 37c first class stamps already
37 cents? Are these very, very old stamps purchased when 37 cents was the first class letter rate?
Yes

Chip
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Re: First Class Stamps on Large Packages

Post by Chip » Sat Sep 09, 2017 3:04 pm

I have used all old stamps on packages, but I don't remember ever doing some stamps plus a post office printed postage.

I would take the stamps to the post office, unapplied. Then ask at the counter if they want you to apply them. Maybe they'll just take them as partial payment and print out the entire postage for you.

miamivice
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Re: First Class Stamps on Large Packages

Post by miamivice » Sat Sep 09, 2017 3:08 pm

You can do what you are asking. I've done it before.

sport
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Re: First Class Stamps on Large Packages

Post by sport » Sat Sep 09, 2017 3:18 pm

dm200 wrote:
Sat Sep 09, 2017 2:42 pm
with 20 37c first class stamps already
37 cents? Are these very, very old stamps purchased when 37 cents was the first class letter rate?
These are not very very old stamps. The very old first class stamps are 3 cents. The very very old first class stamps are 2 cents. :shock:

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prudent
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Re: First Class Stamps on Large Packages

Post by prudent » Sat Sep 09, 2017 3:47 pm

US postage stamps don't expire ever. You could mail things with unused stamps from the 1860's (although that would not be financially wise). If you can get the stamps on the box - even if it's on all 6 sides - it's good to go. Another take on "if it fits, it ships". :)

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dm200
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Re: First Class Stamps on Large Packages

Post by dm200 » Sat Sep 09, 2017 3:48 pm

sport wrote:
Sat Sep 09, 2017 3:18 pm
dm200 wrote:
Sat Sep 09, 2017 2:42 pm
with 20 37c first class stamps already
37 cents? Are these very, very old stamps purchased when 37 cents was the first class letter rate?
These are not very very old stamps. The very old first class stamps are 3 cents. The very very old first class stamps are 2 cents. :shock:
OK :)

livesoft
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Re: First Class Stamps on Large Packages

Post by livesoft » Sat Sep 09, 2017 3:52 pm

prudent wrote:
Sat Sep 09, 2017 3:47 pm
US postage stamps don't expire ever. You could mail things with unused stamps from the 1860's (although that would not be financially wise).
I used to collect unused US stamps. In a batch I got was an unused stamp from the 1800s that was torn, so worthless* to me. I used it to mail a letter to a stamp-collecting buddy of mine. He was incensed as I expected him to be. OTOH, how much is an 1800-era stamp with a 1960s postmark worth?

*OK, worth less than the cost of a first-class stamp.
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Broken Man 1999
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Re: First Class Stamps on Large Packages

Post by Broken Man 1999 » Sat Sep 09, 2017 4:02 pm

Stamps can be used BUT you can't mail from home mailbox packages weighing more than 13 ounces I believe. Last time I tried that my mail carrier went to the PO and mailed it via a USPS label. She is a great carrier.
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Traveller
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Re: First Class Stamps on Large Packages

Post by Traveller » Sat Sep 09, 2017 4:49 pm

You betcha.

A related story: my grand father was an amature stamp colllector and left us notebooks filled with stamps from the 30s thru the 70s. We took them all to a stamp expert and found that a small percentage of them were valuable, but most were worthless.

We send about 200 Christmas cards each year. Last Christmas, many of the cards were pasted with tons of very old, low denomination stamps from that collection. Some of our best friends receives envelopes which had every square centimeter not written on covered with stamps. :beer

DTalos
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Re: First Class Stamps on Large Packages

Post by DTalos » Sat Sep 09, 2017 5:01 pm

I sometimes see older first class stamps (between 20 cent to 39 cent face value) stamps in large quantities (100+) advertised on auction websites for 25-50 percent below face value. Would it be savvy to buy 100 assorted non-Forever first class stamps that have a face value of $50 for $25? I know stamps don't expire, but is it difficult or a hassle to try and locate 5, 6, and 8 cent stamps to apply to an envelope to get to the current first class rate? I normally use only about 40 Forever stamps a year and mail out only 1 or 2 Priority Mail or Retail Ground packages a year that I could use these to help pay postage on. The first question that comes to mind is why don't the people that are selling them for 25 to 50 percent below face value use them themselves to mail letters or use them on large packages? Do they know of certain hassles and frustrations with trying to use older non-Forever stamps that most people don't know about?

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CAsage
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Re: First Class Stamps on Large Packages

Post by CAsage » Sat Sep 09, 2017 5:11 pm

Stamps are always worth face value! (until cancelled or used, natch). I worked my way through an inherited box of slightly old stamps by purchasing the small difference in stamps from the USPS. They sell them in pretty much any penny denomination.. if you buy sheets (20 stamps) of 1/5/10 cents, you can make up whatever you need. I do love Forever stamps now - won't need to do all that again (and yes, I'm quite cheap at times).
Edit: buying odd lots of perfectly good stamps online at a discount on ebay sounded so much like fun I just tried it... I suspect it's not worth the time of the people selling to patch them together and make up the difference.
Last edited by CAsage on Sat Sep 09, 2017 5:29 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Pajamas
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Re: First Class Stamps on Large Packages

Post by Pajamas » Sat Sep 09, 2017 5:23 pm

Chip wrote:
Sat Sep 09, 2017 3:04 pm
I have used all old stamps on packages, but I don't remember ever doing some stamps plus a post office printed postage.
I have done that many times when I didn't have an accurate scale. It's a great way to get rid of odd stamps. The postal worker will weigh it and sell you the rest of the postage, either stamps or printed, whichever.

If you mail packages on a regular basis, consider getting a scale and printing your own postage at home to save money and time. You can get a discount from official Post Office rates from ShipGooder or similar.

ccieemeritus
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Re: First Class Stamps on Large Packages

Post by ccieemeritus » Sat Sep 09, 2017 7:24 pm

I shipped a bubble envelope (postage required around $3.00) with seven .49 forever stamps the other day.

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giacomo_bogle
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Re: First Class Stamps on Large Packages

Post by giacomo_bogle » Sat Sep 09, 2017 9:35 pm

Yes absolutely. i recently did a priority flat rate mail with a lot of colorful never seen stamps.
A prepaid return envelope similarly had a lot of stamps.
I was sending an important document but the USPS agent was calm and firm - he stated - it would work just fine...........he proved right
Just make sure that you have the right postage to the exact cent

sport
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Re: First Class Stamps on Large Packages

Post by sport » Sat Sep 09, 2017 9:59 pm

giacomo_bogle wrote:
Sat Sep 09, 2017 9:35 pm
Just make sure that you have the right postage to the exact cent
You can always have extra postage. The USPS will not mind as long as the postage is sufficient.

HIinvestor
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Re: First Class Stamps on Large Packages

Post by HIinvestor » Sat Sep 09, 2017 10:10 pm

Yes, the big issue is if you ship anything weighing more than 13 ounces, you need to give it to one of the staff or use the kiosk and your CC or debit card and it needs to fit in their unlocked mailing bin or given to them during working hours. I have put on excess stamps, had them make me a machine stamp for any difference between the postage I put on the package and the charge. It has always worked just fine.

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dm200
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Re: First Class Stamps on Large Packages

Post by dm200 » Sun Sep 10, 2017 9:15 am

Speaking of postage stamps, I use a lot of stamps for mailings of an organization I manage (part time). I prefer to use a variety of postage stamps, including commemorative ones. The post office is, in my experience, not a good way to get the variety of the ones available - so, for a modest fee, I order them online.

22twain
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Re: First Class Stamps on Large Packages

Post by 22twain » Sun Sep 10, 2017 9:46 am

dm200 wrote:
Sat Sep 09, 2017 2:41 pm
DTalos wrote:
Sat Sep 09, 2017 2:20 pm
can I bing in the package to the post office with 20 37c first class stamps already applied on the box to help pay for the $11.15 total cost to send the package?
My understanding is yes - the postal service scanners are supposed to have the smarts to convert the forever type stamps to the current "value".
I've never heard of automated scanners that can add up the postage that is already on the box. If you give the box to a clerk, he/she will add up the stamps by hand (maybe with a calculator) and print out a label for the remainder. If you go to a self-service kiosk, you have to do it yourself.

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dm200
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Re: First Class Stamps on Large Packages

Post by dm200 » Sun Sep 10, 2017 10:34 am

22twain wrote:
Sun Sep 10, 2017 9:46 am
dm200 wrote:
Sat Sep 09, 2017 2:41 pm
DTalos wrote:
Sat Sep 09, 2017 2:20 pm
can I bing in the package to the post office with 20 37c first class stamps already applied on the box to help pay for the $11.15 total cost to send the package?
My understanding is yes - the postal service scanners are supposed to have the smarts to convert the forever type stamps to the current "value".
I've never heard of automated scanners that can add up the postage that is already on the box. If you give the box to a clerk, he/she will add up the stamps by hand (maybe with a calculator) and print out a label for the remainder. If you go to a self-service kiosk, you have to do it yourself.
OK - you may be correct about that. I believe, though, that letters are scanned to verify the postage is adequate.

runner3081
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Re: First Class Stamps on Large Packages

Post by runner3081 » Mon Sep 11, 2017 2:22 pm

One thing to keep in mind is that it is cheaper to mail a package when printing the label online.

DTalos
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Re: First Class Stamps on Large Packages

Post by DTalos » Mon Oct 02, 2017 5:55 pm

Thank you all your replies. I have one more question regarding first class stamps. If I use first class stamps on a 9"x12" manila envelope with the correct postage and hand it to a clerk at the post office, will I receive a tracking number? If I am short on the amount of stamped postage and pay the difference at the post office, will I receive a tracking number, or are tracking numbers solely reserved for those who pay the entire postage amount without stamps at the post office?

jlawrence01
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Re: First Class Stamps on Large Packages

Post by jlawrence01 » Mon Oct 02, 2017 7:21 pm

DTalos wrote:
Mon Oct 02, 2017 5:55 pm
Thank you all your replies. I have one more question regarding first class stamps. If I use first class stamps on a 9"x12" manila envelope with the correct postage and hand it to a clerk at the post office, will I receive a tracking number? If I am short on the amount of stamped postage and pay the difference at the post office, will I receive a tracking number, or are tracking numbers solely reserved for those who pay the entire postage amount without stamps at the post office?
You get a tracking number regardless. By the way, they like you to leave the top roght hand corner of the parcel open for that.

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CAsage
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Re: First Class Stamps on Large Packages

Post by CAsage » Mon Oct 02, 2017 7:55 pm

I don't think plain old first class letter mail gets a tracking number. First class packages and other certain services (which cost more, naturally) seem to such as certified or priority mail. And stamps are same as cash at USPS.

https://www.usps.com/ship/mail-shipping-services.htm
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