obtaining used stamps

I collect/accumulate U S stamps, both mint and used. Due to how I purchased them from the philatelic center for the past 20 or so years I have a number of extra mint stamps. many if not most are self-adhesive.
In order to get these same stamps in used condition I am considering putting them on self-addressed envelopes and removing them when they return.
any thoughts on this?
Tom Poste


  • 12 Comments sorted by Votes Date Added
  • Have you ever tried working with kiloware mixtures?
  • Hi Tom,
    If you do opt to do that.. hand carry them to the counter & request a hand cancel at the lower right or left of your letter (about 25% on the stamp) Otherwise you could end up with a single frame exhibit titled 'Post Office Use of Black Magic Markers'
    An excellent example of what you are contemplating are the wondeful (and valuable) Zeppllin Flight covers created by Sieger in Lorch, Wurtenburg.
  • Why remove the stamps when they return? Why not a cover collection? Maybe you could embellish them before mailing. Used self-adhesive stamps have minimal "value" on their own. You could do some fun things with covers. Mail them from locations that are meaningful to you. Mail one from all the POs nearby and keep expanding. Follow your imagination and make a great collection.
  • Your idea would certainly work, but be aware that any dates in a cancel far removed from the issue date would slant the stamps towards philatelic use (as opposed to gleaned from ordinary mail), which might bother you or other collectors. Dan's idea would be the best way to go, imo, where just a corner of the stamp has a nice, neat cancel (without a date).
  • Thank You George .. Very Happy & more importantly Healthy New Year to you. We can strech that to Advice for those new collectors here who are considering collecting Covers. Watch the Cancellation !!!
  • Tom,
    Why just ask your local postal clerk to cancel the stamps (or better yet let you use the cancelling devise) as they are. This way you won't have to deal with trying to remove the stamps from the envelopes and possibly damaging them.
  • Tom if your not interested in starting a cover collection, another option would be to trade your mint stamps for used ones. Doing this might be less time consuming and you could probably make a few bucks in the process, as your mint stamps should be more valuable. If you can't find an interested locale dealer, I'm sure you could find an online collector. I might consider such an arrangement which can be discussed using the Private Message system, if interested.

  • A happy and healthy New Year to you, too, Dan !
  • thank you one and all for your very helpful suggestions.
    I went to the post office the other day and was told that they don't do hand canceling.... just one PO, however.
    I think I like the idea of trading new for used John. sounds less complicated and more authentic.
    again, thanks for all of the input.....very helpful
  • Favor canceling, which this is called, is in the Postal Service Domestic Mail Manual. When requested and presented by a customer, they are required to cancel the stamps (must be on cover and equal at least the first class postage rate), and hand it back to you.
  • AKA 'Hand-back' covers.
  • I've thought of this myself as well. I want to complete a used us collection from at least 1920-2020 but sometimes get stuck on modern issues. I have been doing alright on ebay finding sets of stamps used here and there, I've almost considered buying a few from mystic but I'm pretty sure in some cases they just cancel stamps at their office or mail it to themselves to get it canceled so you doing it is about the same thing.
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