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Reuse Unpostmarked Stamps

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Postage stamps that have not been marked with the date due to machinery error can be reused. Pay attention to the mail you get and start cutting off the stamps you can reuse.

By MomOf1 from Wilkesboro, NC

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By bkangel5508/22/2012

Yes, it is illegal to 're-use' a stamp. That's if it has already gone through the postal system.
As for 'Belle', wanting to report someone she doesn't know for doing it. Why would you feel the need to do something like that? You are not required to do so. You cannot be considered an accomplice or accessory. And you don't know for sure who exactly placed the stamps on the item. Besides, as a lot of us learned growing up, a tattler is just as questionable/ guilty, in one way or another, than whomever they are tattling on.

By Candy Killion [8]09/24/2009

For the poster questioning the printed stamps with two different dates on them; I'm an eBay seller, too (a little one). All my labels are individually printed and dated the day I receive payment, but I am not a huge operation.

It could be that this seller is doing a large volume of items with comparable shipping weights and is printing generic price-point stamps in bulk and using them at a later date, which is legal. But if he/she is photocopying an already used stamp and plopping it on there, it's a federal offense, and frankly he's an idiot.

Each printed stamp/label has a control number and in theory, if someone at his local post office is seeing a large volume of packages with "off" dates on the postage, they ought to be looking at it.

If you're going to report the seller to anyone, I'd go with the post office where the seller went (eBay would likely direct you there, anyway); photocopy the stamped postage and write a note to the Postmaster there with your concerns.

If the seller's on the up-and-up, no harm, no foul. If he isn't, good for you for catching a scam and shame on him.

As for reusing uncanceled postage stamps, you may have been able to get away with that in the 70's and 80's, but I've also read what another poster noted about today's technology and UV scans

I'm all for the thrifty things I learn on here, but I'd rather fork out the 44 cents for a stamp than the Federal fines, court fees, jail time and felony record that can very well follow.

By Becca25 [11]09/23/2009

This may be an old post but I have to share what I have learned. While watching a TV program, they stated that stamps have a UV design. After it is run through the sorting machine, it recieves a UV print on it. You cant see it with your naked eye, but the machine reads it. If you reuse a stamp, the machine sees the UV design and kicks it out of the sorting process. Therefore, chances of getting away with it may be slim.

By Joan [13]08/07/2009

How would they know if they are being reused? I have never done this, but I just wonder how anybody would know if they were being reused. When I put a stamp on the wrong envelope, I take a lot of time and patience and slowly get it peeled off and then when I reuse it I use a tiny little dab of white glue to stick it on the new envelope.

By Belle (Guest Post)02/09/2009

I received a package I ordered from an individual off of eBay, Both of the printed stamps had different dates (Oct 31, 08 & Dec 11, 08). I have a question...does this mean that these stamps were probably reused and the individual paid nothing and just used these. Is this not illegal and if, so....how do I report this?

By Belle (Guest Post)02/09/2009

I received a package I ordered from an individual off of eBay, Both of the printed stamps had different dates (Oct 31, 08 & Dec 11, 08). I have a question; does this mean that these stamps were probably reused and the individual paid nothing and just used these. Is this not illegal and if, so, how do I report this?

By Natalie (Guest Post)02/04/2009

I think it's totally fine to use unpostmarked stamps like ones that you mistakenly put on a wrong envelope, then remove it to put it on somewhere else. THAT's totally fine.

By Maryeileen [76]10/22/2008

If I mistakenly put a stamp on an envelope, then I see no problem with removing it to use another time. But, if it's a piece of mail that has gone through the postal system, I will not use it again. Though it seems to be a highly unenforceable law, I guess it is a matter of ethics.

By sassysimo (Guest Post)10/22/2008

Well, I certainly don't waste stamps that have been placed on an envelope in error by a family member. I cut it off and tape it on another envelope! And of course the post office can't approve of using a stamp twice but what will happen if you do? Will the stamp police show up at your door? I really think that if you find that rare stamp that wasn't cancelled and you want to put it on another envelope, it's really nobody's business and you take that HUGE risk of the big bad stamp police coming after you. There are worse things in the world, for goodness sake.

By Roberta10/22/2008

it's against the law (federal crime) to use postage stamps that have been put on a letter, pckg...
per the USPS

By grandma jo (Guest Post)10/22/2008

The USPS has a notice posted that it is illegal to reuse uncancelled stamps.

By Jess (Guest Post)10/09/2007

I think this is technically illegal.

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