How long do "First Class" stamps work?
January 16, 2008 7:32 PM   Subscribe

I have U.S. postage stamps labeled as "First Class" (no monetary value), which are dated 2006. Will one stamp still get a letter to its destination?
posted by mkultra to Shopping (13 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I don't think so. Unless they have the liberty bell on them which are "first class forever" stamps and the first time, to the best of my knowledge that that sort of thing was ever done. What is the picture of on them?
posted by jessamyn at 7:39 PM on January 16, 2008

No. What you have are almost certainly 39¢ stamps, and the first class rate is now 41¢. It went up on May 14, 2007.

I think if you try to mail it, it will get to its destination with a postage due notice on it.
posted by Kadin2048 at 7:40 PM on January 16, 2008

According to this chart first class in 2006 was 39 cents in the US. If you're asking if that letter would make it to its destination depite being two cents short, my answer is "maybe" Or it could arrive with two cents postage due which is annoying to the recipient but still will technically get the letter to its destination.
posted by jessamyn at 7:43 PM on January 16, 2008

I used stamps like that just last week to mail some thank you cards (from 2006 with no value on them -- picture was an American flag, said "First Class"). They made it to their destinations (without any notices on them). This may have just been a fluke, but I think since they don't list a cents value on them, they made it through. I'm not sure you should risk it if it's a bill or something else important you're mailing.
posted by bluefly at 7:46 PM on January 16, 2008

I had first class stamps from two postage hikes ago (they had flowers on them) and I never got mail sent back. I would call 1-800-ASK-USPS to be sure though.

(Does the USPS even do postage due anymore? Every time I've had insufficient postage the mail has been returned to me.)
posted by calistasm at 7:59 PM on January 16, 2008

I've mailed several things this way. Some got through some were returned. I guess it depends on how much they are paying attention.
posted by metajack at 8:01 PM on January 16, 2008

If you want to know what old nondenominated stamps are worth, look here.
posted by jeri at 9:27 PM on January 16, 2008 [1 favorite]

I've had to consult this page a few times -- it shows pictures of the USPS "no value indicated" stamps with their values.
posted by wryly at 9:28 PM on January 16, 2008 [2 favorites]

Postage stamps with no monetary value indicated are only valid for domestic mail, by the way.
posted by Oriole Adams at 10:49 PM on January 16, 2008

As an experienced mailer of old stamps, I'm definitely with the "maybe" camp. I've done it perhaps seven or eight times, and twice they were returned. Some day it'll catch up to me, I know, but that's life on the edge.
posted by Blingo at 11:11 PM on January 16, 2008

I have what are probably the same stamps (Statue of Liberty) dated 2006. The post office said to put 2 cents extra postage on them when I asked although they said that 9 out of 10 times it wouldn't matter.

However, since what I'm usually sending is my rent check, that one out of ten definitely matters to me! Hence, I've added my 2 cents.
posted by langeNU at 5:08 AM on January 17, 2008

Thanks for the info, everyone!
posted by mkultra at 5:09 AM on January 17, 2008

Now that this has been answered, does anyone know under what circumstances mail is returned vs. making it to the destination with the rubber-stamped note: "Postage due: $.02" (or whatever)?
posted by MarkAnd at 5:24 AM on January 17, 2008

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