Friday, December 14, 2012

Reusing Stamps

This is a surprisingly controversial topic. Reusing stamps. Apparently people can be very passionate about the US Postal Service. Who knew?

I letterbox. What it is in a nutshell is a treasure hunt. The treasure is a box with a hand-carved stamp in it. You stamp it in your logbook and you stamp your personal stamp in it's logbook. The clues are up at Atlas Quest and Letterboxing North America. It is all good fun.

Anyways, on AQ, you can trade letterboxing trading cards (LTCs). Basically a baseball card, but with a hand-carved stamp instead of a baseball player. Then you trade them with other people.

Well, sometimes, when you mail your LTCs in a padded envelope, the post office doesn't cancel the stamps. Then you reuse the envelope. I then reuse the stamps, but apparently there are a lot of people who do not. They say it is stealing from the post office and ultimately we end up paying more for postage. All that is fine (and probably true) but I still reuse the stamps.

Here is the thing, I think the USPS dropped the ball here and it would be a shame to throw away perfectly good stamps. Someone mentioned that you would never steal a $2.00 jug of milk from a grocery store. To that I say, firstly, if I had to for my family, I would (I guess that is the Breaking Bad excuse.) But secondly, I would not steal it, but if I went through the check out and they did not ring it up, I would not go back to the store to pay for it. That, I suppose, is the same thing as stealing, but I wouldn't go back to pay for it.

Another argument against reusing is perhaps the USPS has invisible ink that only its computers can see. To this I say "Bollocks." There is no way the USPS would have that kind of technology, plus it would be useless. Why not just use the visible ink?

So, I was wondering where you stand on this issue, if you made it this far through the post. Would you reuse stamps?


  1. I did not even know you could do that!

  2. Is there really anyone crying over 44 cents? If there is - they're idiots. I would totally reuse stamps and honestly, if I get a card in the mail that the PO hasn't marked with their stamp over it - I cut it out and reuse it. Screw that.

  3. I am of two minds about this. On the one hand, my mother is a carrier and the crap those people have to deal with to deliver (proverbial) your mail for $.44 is insane. The fact that we have a mail system that can take your blahblahblah letter from BuFu, USA to MiddleofNowhere, USA in a couple days, handled by tons of people, trucked, flown, hand delivered to someone for $.44 is amazing. The fact that people complain about the cost of postage is just stupid. If you have to drive it there yourself, you'd be sending an email.

    BUT...BIG BUTT...

    machines are stupid and the post office has been phazing people out in favor of machines and when the machines screw up and dont cancel your letter, as a business owner, I think that is the businesses fault. And if they are at fault they deserve to pay the price of delivering your letter for free.

    But I gotta say, if you dont think someone else shoudl cry over $.44 then cough up the $.44 so that my mom doesn't lose her job. Its not a product that is being "stolen", it's someone's job security and it's completely out of their control.


  4. I've done it before, but by the time that I cut it out and put it on another envelope, it wasn't worth the .44.

    I also do a lot of trading of mail (postcards, mail art, swapping etc.) and I really, really, REALLY do not want USPS to go out of business or the rates to keep going up and up, so I happily support something as little as a .44 cent stamp.

    Letterboxing sounds so fun!!! I never have heard of this!!!

  5. Yeah, this is one of those things where I just don't care what others think, it's so trivial. Plus, 44 cents to mail a letter all over the country is pretty cheap. The USPS is having money issues so they should probably raise their prices, regardless of people stealing stamps.


Whatcha think?