Postage Stamp Filter - Philippines to USA
April 13, 2008 11:34 AM   Subscribe

My wife wants to send stamps to a friend in the Philippines so the friend can write back easily. What type of stamps should she buy?
posted by stuboo to Travel & Transportation around Philippines (10 answers total)
Stamps from the Philippines.

There used to be a postal product called a B Coupon, which could be redeemed in other countries for local postage, but that has apparently been cancelled, and it was always a pain in the ass.

There is such a thing as international business-reply mail, but that obviously doesn't work in this case.
posted by adamrice at 11:43 AM on April 13, 2008

Response by poster: "Stamps from the Philippines."

That's what I was afraid of. If anyone reading this is going to the Philippines any time soon and would like to do a favor for a fellow Mefite, please memail me.

Otherwise, I'll stakeout here until someone has a better suggestion (which is very likely).
posted by stuboo at 11:48 AM on April 13, 2008

She could buy an International Reply Coupon, which can be exchanged for stamps in the Philippines. They seem to be on sale in the United States for $2.00/coupon
posted by techrep at 11:50 AM on April 13, 2008

You can go to the post office and buy an International Reply Coupon. This can be exchanged for postage for mailing one letter internationally in any country that's part of the Universal Postal Union (which includes the Philippines).

I found this document (37-page PDF) on the USPS web site that lists the USPS's prices after the upcoming rate increase and it includes a price for International Reply Coupon ($2.10), so it looks like they still sell it.
posted by winston at 11:50 AM on April 13, 2008

Huh. I stand corrected.
posted by adamrice at 11:54 AM on April 13, 2008

Response by poster: Awesome. Thanks, folks.
posted by stuboo at 11:55 AM on April 13, 2008

From a quick glance at the web site of the Philippines post office, it looks like an IRC purchased in the USA costs more than three times what it costs to send a letter (under 20 grams) from Philippines to USA. Seeing as the IRC requires the person at the other end to go to the post office to purchase the stamp anyway, you might want to check whether sending a US dollar bill will be an acceptable substitute.
posted by winston at 12:14 PM on April 13, 2008

Yeah, from some countries it's a lot cheaper to send international mail. I think it cost around 30 cents to send a letter from Egypt to the US. The other way would be probably 3-4 times that. So I wouldn't be surprised if it worked the other way in the Phillipines.

Is there a reason this friend in the Phillipines can't get stamps? In my experience, some people just aren't letter writers (I'm one of those people. I really wish I wasn't, because I love the idea of sending letters but I always just end up slacking and using a boring old email). If the goal is to stay in touch rather than receive a physical letter, than encouraging her to email you is probably a better idea.
posted by Deathalicious at 1:41 PM on April 13, 2008

Where is the friend located, specifically?

The mailbox isn't a common contraption over here so you have to go to the post office anyway to mail something. And the friend can get stamps at any SM department store selling Philippine handicrafts (pretty common).
posted by drea at 6:54 PM on April 13, 2008

Just send her USD20 in a nondescript envelope and be done with it --- it will cost you far less time and trouble in the long run. And be prepared to wait. Letters seem to take about 2 days to reach the Philippines and then get lost in a Philippine Postal black hole for 2-4 weeks. Mail outbound from the Philippines seems to do much better.
posted by nathan_teske at 7:01 PM on April 13, 2008

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