OT: re-use of stamps

Until a few years ago I hardly ever received a letter with an un-franked stamp, but now I receive one every few weeks. Are they marked in a non-visible way? What's to stop them being re-used?

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snipped-for-privacy@aolbin.com wrote:

UV apparently ...
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Andy Burns wrote:

AIUI the postcodes are translated into phosphor dots.
Do you have knowledge that the stamp itself is somehow invisibly overprinted to cancel it? ISTMT lack of overprinting by the visible postmark suggest that other methods may have similarly missed the mark.
The stamps have phosphor stripes, 1 on Second Class and two on First. I have no idea what is on lesser denominations, or if you can get your post into the First pile by using several smaller denominations to increase the number of stripes.
Chris
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Chris J Dixon Nottingham UK
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On 15/01/2020 14:47, Andy Burns wrote:

I remember reading once that people were painting something over the stamps so that the UV ink wouldn't soak in and could be wiped off later.
SteveW
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I do think that postage costs are now so high its discouraging the use of the service. If they really are serious about expansion, it needs to cost less and that will stimulate demand. If they have automated so much, its odd that they need to charge what they in fact do. I smell profit behind it. I also miss lickable stamps. Brian
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On 16/01/2020 07:36, Brian Gaff (Sofa 2) wrote:

Reliability is also a factor.
I used to work through an Umbrella company some years ago. They sent out around 23,000 payslips each week. Then the postmen went on strike and and the system switched to email and has stayed so ever since. How many companies with large volumes of post have done so each time there is disruption or even the threat of it?
SteveW
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There was a case reported recently of someone who had been caught ‘washing’ used stamps and selling them via various online sales sites. As I recall there were three people involved, or at least ‘done’. Going be the report, it didn’t seem very sophisticated- something about stamps being found in a bath tub of water being washed.
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Is it legal to use a stamp that's already been attached to a different envelope *but which has not been used before*? This can happen if you make a mess of writing the address and start again on a new envelope, or if you receive a stamped addressed envelope from someone and don't reply using that envelope (ie don't reply at all!) but instead use the stamp for something else.
In both these cases, there will be a remnant of the old envelope stuck onto the new one. I imagine this makes the Royal Mail suspicious that the stamp *could* have been used before, so they will need a means of confirming that. In the old days, it was a visible ink franking mark; nowadays it can be invisible UV marks (without a UV lamp, I don't know what mark is used).
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On 16/01/2020 09:37, NY wrote:

Interesting question.
If it hasn't been used, as in 'through the postal system', I don't see why not- after all it hasn't been used.
However, I seem to recall one test the PO do is 'gum density' so, if you remove and reuse the stamp and it is tested for some reason, it is possible it is flagged as reused.
At one time, and I've seen this once or twice, the postman would scribble on an unfranked stamp, I assume with a biro etc, probably as on his round or perhaps in the days of manual sorting. I've not noticed it recently but it was never common so it may still happen.
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had a couple like that just after Christmas, both on rather small envelopes. Probably the sorting machine couldn't cope.
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from KT24 in Surrey, England
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It still happens round here and we get a lot of unfranked stamps.
Jonathan
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On Thursday, 16 January 2020 12:19:08 UTC, Jonathan wrote:

Royal Mail get angry with them at Christmas. Hence, unfrank incense.
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On 16/01/2020 09:37, NY wrote:

Write the address before you put the stamp on?
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On Wed, 15 Jan 2020 14:31:47 +0000, snipped-for-privacy@aolbin.com wrote:

My late wife tried doing that a few years ago. The recipient was charged for the delivery. Somehow the PO knew. She never did it again.
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Chris

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On Wednesday, 15 January 2020 14:31:59 UTC, snipped-for-privacy@aolbin.com wrote:

yes

68p or whatever it is versus a fraud case.
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I believe they are marked with a transparent layer of stuff that glows under uv light. The old problem of obscured foreign stamp denominations is thus gone. A while ago they also started to put dots of stuff on letters to denote the region and where in the system it had been. It is indeed strange then why so much mail goes missing. A whole load of CDs sent out by a charity with a Christmas charity song on them vanished and have had to be sent out after Christmas, slightly missing the point! Brian
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On Wednesday, 15 January 2020 14:31:59 UTC, snipped-for-privacy@aolbin.com wrote:

And I keep wondering what they do with used stamps sent in to various charity appeals! Just what gets done with the stamps that, potentially, makes it worth doing?
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On 16/01/2020 10:33, polygonum_on_google wrote:

I always assumed it was for the stamp collector market but that is only a guess.
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wrote:

In the 1970s, when my sister and I were children, we used to collect used stamps for Save the Children Fund. As far as I know, they sold the stamps abroad to overseas collectors of British stamps. My mum contacted several local firms who received a lot of stamped mail, and got their postrooms to tear off all the stamps of incoming mail and give them to us - I remember going along with Mum every few months to collect carrier bags full of stamps. The SCF had an incentive scheme which gave donors "seals" according to the number of stamps that were sent in, with some form of reward/certificate when we'd collected various target amounts of "seals".
I imagine that very few firms receive much stamped mail these days, because customers will mostly contact them online and commercial mailings will be mostly franked - and "frank collecting" has never taken off like stamp collecting ;-)
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