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March 15, 2007 12:27 PM   Subscribe

I'm sending a letter to Germany (and a few other countries) and I'm including a self-addressed stamped envelope in it. When the German person sends it back to me, do they need to add more postage to it? It's currently stamped with a .39 stamp. Should I not bother with postage at all if they'll have to put their own stamps on it anyway?
posted by SheIsMighty to Travel & Transportation (15 answers total)
 
Well, U.S. stamps aren't going to do anyone in Germany any good.
posted by Dasein at 12:34 PM on March 15, 2007


American stamps are meaningless as payment for postage outside the US so the letter would need postage from the country it's being sent from put on it.
posted by essexjan at 12:35 PM on March 15, 2007


You need to get an International Reply Coupon available at most post offices.
posted by parmanparman at 12:43 PM on March 15, 2007 [1 favorite]


If you really want to save your correspondent the expense of the stamps, you send them an international reply coupon which you can purchase at your post office. They're good in any country which is a member of the UPU.
posted by buxtonbluecat at 12:45 PM on March 15, 2007 [1 favorite]


You're putting more than a 39 cent stamp on the envelope going to Germany, aren't you? It's something like 85 cents to mail an average letter to Germany.

I agree, an International Reply Coupon is what you should put on the return mail.
posted by donajo at 12:59 PM on March 15, 2007


Yeah... um, not gonna work. Sorry. Different currency/postal service. Our stamps are just pretty stickers there.
And I'm not sure but IRCs might be for business mail only. Couldn't find any links to it on the USPS site to confirm though.
posted by miss lynnster at 12:59 PM on March 15, 2007


I wouldn't even send a blank envelope, actually. As I remember, the postal service in Germany is incredibly strict about the size of mail, and I remember having an interesting time trying to use American envelopes over there.
posted by backseatpilot at 1:21 PM on March 15, 2007 [1 favorite]


miss lynnster: IRCs are not just for business mail; anyone can use them. They're widely used among amateur (ham) radio operators when sending QSL cards.
posted by heydanno at 1:26 PM on March 15, 2007


I stand corrected. Not sure why I couldn't find them on the USPS site, though. Who issues them?
posted by miss lynnster at 1:30 PM on March 15, 2007


Deutsche Post also offers a home-printed stamp option, Stampit (Word and IE required). To enroll in the system, you have to pay a one-time €9.50 fee, but if you plan to do this more than once, it might be worthwhile.
posted by rob511 at 1:48 PM on March 15, 2007


A thirty nine cent stamp isn't going to get any letter out of the US.
posted by JJ86 at 1:58 PM on March 15, 2007


postage in germany is significantly higher. a 39 cent stamp wouldn't work even if they did accept it, which they don't.

check the deutsche post website (EN).
posted by krautland at 3:02 PM on March 15, 2007


As I remember, the postal service in Germany is incredibly strict about the size of mail, and I remember having an interesting time trying to use American envelopes over there.

This is true. You'd need a DIN Lang envelope (for a trifolded A4 sheet of paper), which is currently €1.70 to send to the U.S. A #10 envelope, which is only slightly longer, costs €4.00 to send.

If you put only 39¢ on the envelope, it will be returned to you. You will need 84¢ for a one-ounce letter.
posted by oaf at 3:36 PM on March 15, 2007


Thirding backseatpilot on the envelop size issue. Deutschpost are happy to be anal retentive about all rules. Sadly, they aren't as happy to deliver mail. Delivery isn't their top priority, I can assure you, from 5 years experience.
posted by Goofyy at 5:47 AM on March 16, 2007


I gotta disagree with Goofyy (not about rule anality, that part's totally true):

Compared to the USPS, DP is a model of efficiency and speedy service. Especially intercity parcel post tends to be faster and more reliable (at least in my experience of 20+ years Post and 15 USPS).

The only problem I've ever had with letter delivery by the Post was when that criminal Azubi (trainee?) was stealing letters he thought contained money, and that was a strictly local issue that was resolved quickly.

[/derail]
posted by yggdrasil at 10:45 AM on March 16, 2007


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