Why so many Used Stamps without Cancellations?

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stampogre
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Why so many Used Stamps without Cancellations?

Post by stampogre »

Does anyone know why there are so many used modern stamps without any cancellation (over the stamp)?
Last edited by Global Administrator on 28 Dec 2015 02:06, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: Expanded the rather vague heading, to make more sense to members, and to actually make it into a QUESTION of some kind.

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Re: Used Stamps Without Cancellation

Post by DarrenK »

Lazy postal workers that don't cancel them.

Poorly designed machinery that doesn't automatically cancel them.

Generally, apathetic employees in a business that is on the decline.
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Re: Used Stamps Without Cancellation

Post by kuikka »

I would not blame the employees. I think they are busy doing what they have been instructed to do. I think that the postal agencies don't feel the potential reuse of stamps costs them as much as catching the stamps that have not been canceled.

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Re: Used Stamps Without Cancellation

Post by stampogre »

There are some so-called tamper proof stamps that Royal Mail launched in 2009 and thought they were impossible to reuse. Does that mean there is no need to cancel them? :mrgreen: I am wondering if Royal Mail has told its workers not necessary to cancel stamps anymore?
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Unfortunately, they are later proved to be so easy to peel off.

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Re: Why so many Used Stamps without Cancellations?

Post by Stewie1980 »

I'm a postal employee at a sorting center and I can tell you that me and my colleages don't check (and don't care) if stamps are cancelled or not.

We have better things to do at work, like sorting the mail in time before the pick-up time.

Also they never gave us instructions to pen-cancel uncancelled stamps or so.

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Re: Why so many Used Stamps without Cancellations?

Post by dukeprince »

If a private enterprise Businessmen owned a Postal Service then probably each Envelope or Parcel face would be covered in dots by a machine to ensure reuse was not possible of the dotted stamps.

The Stamps are proof of payment for service , if 10% or more are reused then that is the discount you are providing, bloody stupid really.

Man can go to the moon but cant work out how to stop reuse of stamps, give me a break.

The people that work out the pay rise of the Postal CEO should keep all the skipped stamps they can find in mail adressed to them on cover or paper and then deduct $1000 from the salary of the boss for each one , watch it get fixed at the speed of light and revinue go up by 10%.

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Re: Why so many Used Stamps without Cancellations?

Post by mari »

I must admit I am happy when I receive some mail with uncanceled stamps... Not because I intend to reuse them. I guess this is a typical beginner's mistake, but unless it is a particularly nice or interesting postmark, I like to see as much of the stamp as possible, with as small part of it covered by a postmark as possible...

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Re: Why so many Used Stamps without Cancellations?

Post by kuikka »

Majority of mail items don't carry stamps. If we would be generous and say 10% off the mail carry stamps. 10% of the stamps are uncancelled and 10% of them will be reused. That would make 0,1% loss, which is acceptable.

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Re: Why so many Used Stamps without Cancellations?

Post by stampogre »

kuikka wrote:Majority of mail items don't carry stamps. If we would be generous and say 10% off the mail carry stamps. 10% of the stamps are uncancelled and 10% of them will be reused. That would make 0,1% loss, which is acceptable.

Kimmo
That makes sense. I bet there will be a new collection catalogue in the future-- uncancelled/partly canelled stamps on cover. :idea:

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Re: Used Stamps Without Cancellation

Post by drkohler »

DarrenK wrote:Poorly designed machinery that doesn't automatically cancel them.
Not necessarily poorly designed. I regularly get US letters with mostly uncancelled stamps.

The AFC (Automatic Face Canceller) looks for stamps that glow in the top right and bottom left corner. Anything can happen. If there are stamps at both locations, usually the canceller hits the bottom stamp with an upside-down line cancel. Or it hits the top stamp with a regular line cancel.

Any other stamps away from the edges remain uncancelled.

Technically you could get all uncancelled US stamps if you placed a 1c stamp (with selvage which often is also tagged) into the two corners and the rest of the stamps away from the edges. A sleazy way to save postage...

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Re: Used Stamps Without Cancellation

Post by stampchris »

DarrenK wrote:Poorly designed machinery that doesn't automatically cancel them.
There are rumours (I have yet to discover whether these have any truth to them), that at times post offices turn off the cancellers as it slows down the sorting of mail.

Neverthless I agree with Kimmo, the amount of reuse is probably acceptable. Plus when you add in the cost and time of trying to prosecute somebody for the reuse of postage stamps, post offices are probably unlikely to proceed with such action.
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Re: Why so many Used Stamps without Cancellations?

Post by thecloudwatcher »

Putting my cynical hat on, not cancelling the stamps also means that there is no way to prove when an item was posted so customers can't complain about slow delivery.

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Re: Why so many Used Stamps without Cancellations?

Post by tonga2 »

Yes, even when you WANT a postmark on the stamp, it doesn't happen!

I wanted to make some circulated letters showing usage of the 70c and $1.40 silk stamps from the newly issued Clipper Ships Prestige Booklet before Dec 31 2015 (when the 70c and $1.40 rates would finish). So I posted a few letters back to myself and to friends.

But I kept receiving the letters WITHOUT postmarks..... Even when for once I wanted the stamps to be cancelled!

Here is an example:-

Image

I posted this letter back to myself around 18 December 2015, and I received it back on 20 December - as you can see, the postmark (at the top middle of the letter) missed cancelling the stamp entirely.

So I put the letter back into the mail to see if I could get it cancelled properly this time. The letter came back a second time, and again the stamp missed being cancelled! The postmark dated 21 December was at the bottom left corner of the letter.

Frustrated that I was now running out of time, I took the letter into the post office, and asked them to please make sure the stamp on the letter received a postmark - finally a nice cancel dated 29 December on the stamp!

.

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Re: Why so many Used Stamps without Cancellations?

Post by kushti »

It has reached the point where it has become a rarity to receive a letter with a cancelled stamp on it.

I think with staff cutbacks they have become just too busy to bother.

On the plus side, my daughter received a package today with a big yellow sticker saying £1.50 to pay. The postman just popped it through the letterbox regardless, I think his round is so long now that he won't stop and knock on a door if he can possibly avoid it.

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Re: Why so many Used Stamps without Cancellations?

Post by azzaro »

Amazing how many of these turn up in discounted usable postage...........

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Re: Why so many Used Stamps without Cancellations?

Post by omxfl »

Many postal authorities nowadays stipulate that it is "illegal" to re-use stamps affixed to envelopes, parcels etc. in case they were not cancelled to circumvent the lack of cancellation. Enforcing it is the other issue, of course...

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Re: Why so many Used Stamps without Cancellations?

Post by gropilou »

unfortunately, i have to admit that here in Belgium it happens more than before. why, i don't know and most of
my exchange partners dislike that kind of stamps too....

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Re: Why so many Used Stamps without Cancellations?

Post by 60022Mallard »

gropilou wrote:unfortunately, i have to admit that here in Belgium it happens more than before. why, i don't know and most of
my exchange partners dislike that kind of stamps too....
The major eBay dealer Antverpiastamps covers his sendings with pre Euro Belgian stamps and they mostly seem to get cancelled nicely.

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Re: Why so many Used Stamps without Cancellations?

Post by gropilou »

The major eBay dealer Antverpiastamps covers his sendings with pre Euro Belgian stamps and they mostly seem to get cancelled nicely.
yes, it's less expensive, we can use old belgian issues on our letters. sometimes i use my old mint stock to
frank my sendings. you can find them at 70% of the facial value and sometimes less.

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Re: Why so many Used Stamps without Cancellations?

Post by passport_collect »

Perhaps it's a new government job creation scheme for people to sell them on ebay. Whether they declare the income is another matter.
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Re: Why so many Used Stamps without Cancellations?

Post by mdhewitt »

This was an interesting thread to read since I received some stamps in the mail today from a gentleman in Canada, and the envelope they were sent in had 4 stamps that weren't canceled at all. I'm relatively new to collecting so this kind of surprised me. Before I started collecting, I wouldn't have given a thought to whether or not a stamp was canceled. I wouldn't try to reuse one if I did notice it. How cheap does one have to be to try and skip out on paying postage? Anyway, I now have 4 nice stamps that floated off their paper very easily and look good, as well as the stamps I purchased. Bonus!
Many thanks!
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Re: Why so many Used Stamps without Cancellations?

Post by passport_collect »

mdhewitt wrote:How cheap does one have to be to try and skip out on paying postage?
I use plenty of older mint stamps bought at a discount to face value, and none of that money goes to the post office - does that make me cheap?
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Re: Why so many Used Stamps without Cancellations?

Post by Paco »

I think they don't care. If you can send a letter with any sticker, why would they care if you reuse stamps. So few are used.

For me, not cancelled stamps are mint no gum, and that means valid postage. I've seen my father use them all his life. It's a matter of principles. It's like picking a cent coin on the floor. If they want to avoid reuse, cancel them.

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Re: Why so many Used Stamps without Cancellations?

Post by exlibriseric »

I get quite a bit of mail with stamps being used for postage. I would say that around 75% of the time they are cancelled. The times when they aren't there is usually a metered postage sticker on the package as well.

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Re: Why so many Used Stamps without Cancellations?

Post by kuikka »

passport_collect wrote:
mdhewitt wrote:How cheap does one have to be to try and skip out on paying postage?
I use plenty of older mint stamps bought at a discount to face value, and none of that money goes to the post office - does that make me cheap?
That is completely different thing from the point of postal system. For the second use postal service has got no money. For old stamps the postal service has received full payment sometimes in the past and someone else has taken the loss (unless postal service has sold them off at discount price, which has been their business decision).

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Re: Why so many Used Stamps without Cancellations?

Post by FairyFoot »

Just looking back at the pictures of incoming mail I put up on Instagram - the majority of US stamps were cancelled. Royal Mail hasn't cancelled all their stamps on letters to me!

I know a number of UK postcrossers use a mint stamp dealer who sells bundles at less than face value (they buy large collections, especially when passed down to the next generation who aren't interested in them...)
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Re: Why so many Used Stamps without Cancellations?

Post by saphilatelist »

My thread on the removal of the slogans from machine postmarks here in Australia goes a long way in answering this question.

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http://stampboards.com/viewtopic.php?f=13&t=68562

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