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  #1  
Old 05-01-2008, 02:42 PM
Green Cymbeline Green Cymbeline is offline
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How many stamps to mail letter from US to UK?

I am sending a letter from Virginia, US, to London, UK. Do I need to put more than one stamp on it? How much postage do I need?

THANKS in advance!!
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  #2  
Old 05-01-2008, 02:50 PM
Scarlett67 Scarlett67 is offline
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Can you not get to the post office? That would seem to be the best place to find out.

Or go to their Web site: http://ircalc.usps.gov/ (URL found by following the bouncing ball from the home page for "shipping products and services")

Last edited by Scarlett67; 05-01-2008 at 02:53 PM..
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  #3  
Old 05-01-2008, 02:50 PM
Mycroft H. Mycroft H. is offline
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According to the USPS Postage Calculator, a 1 ounce letter to the UK costs 90 cents to mail.

But remember that the postage rates are going up soon. Starting May 12 it will be $0.94. http://www.usps.com/prices/welcome.htm

Last edited by Mycroft H.; 05-01-2008 at 02:52 PM..
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  #4  
Old 05-01-2008, 02:54 PM
panache45 panache45 is online now
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The question is "How much postage?" not "How many stamps?"

To send a standard-sized envelope weighing 1 ounce or less, to the UK, by First Class Mail International, you need 90 cents postage.
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  #5  
Old 05-01-2008, 03:15 PM
Green Cymbeline Green Cymbeline is offline
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Thank you everyone. I can't get to the post office today and I have a mailbox right across the street. I was going to google it but was afraid it might be hard to find, and I knew I would probably get an answer here more quickly. Thanks so much.
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  #6  
Old 05-01-2008, 03:18 PM
Exapno Mapcase Exapno Mapcase is offline
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The Post Office sells 90 cent stamps for one-ounce letters to countries other than Canada and Mexico.

You can use one 90 cent stamp or any other combination of stamps that add up to 90 cents. There are no air mail stamps anymore. There is no such classification as airmail anymore either. All stamps will work.

Each additional ounce of weight requires an additional 90 cents of postage.

USPS Domestic and International Postage Prices Calculator.
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  #7  
Old 05-01-2008, 03:20 PM
MikeS MikeS is offline
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Note that you can, if you want to avoid the post office, tack three domestic first-class stamps onto your envelope — the post office doesn't care if you have too much postage, only too little. It'll cost you 33¢ more than it would otherwise, though (32¢ after May 12.)

Note also that you can use "Forever Stamps" for International Mail, even though they're not denominated; they'll just count for 41¢ of the international postage (42¢ after May 12.)

(43¢ including the mezzanine.)
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  #8  
Old 05-01-2008, 03:31 PM
Green Cymbeline Green Cymbeline is offline
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Thank you so much everyone!
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  #9  
Old 05-01-2008, 03:47 PM
BwanaBob BwanaBob is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Exapno Mapcase
The Post Office sells 90 cent stamps for one-ounce letters to countries other than Canada and Mexico.

You can use one 90 cent stamp or any other combination of stamps that add up to 90 cents. There are no air mail stamps anymore. There is no such classification as airmail anymore either. All stamps will work.

Each additional ounce of weight requires an additional 90 cents of postage.

USPS Domestic and International Postage Prices Calculator.
You are right in that any postage adding up to the correct rate can be used to send mail overseas. You are incorrect when you say there are no air mail stamps.
The 90c stamp cited is considered to be an air mail stamp (by Scotts and by other major stamp catalogues throughout the world). Airmail stamps can be distinguished by the small aircraft silhouette printed on the stamp. They can be used for domestic use as well, and perhaps that is what you meant by there being no such thing as airmail.
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  #10  
Old 05-01-2008, 04:13 PM
Giles Giles is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BwanaBob
You are right in that any postage adding up to the correct rate can be used to send mail overseas. You are incorrect when you say there are no air mail stamps.
The 90c stamp cited is considered to be an air mail stamp (by Scotts and by other major stamp catalogues throughout the world). Airmail stamps can be distinguished by the small aircraft silhouette printed on the stamp. They can be used for domestic use as well, and perhaps that is what you meant by there being no such thing as airmail.
While I know Scott's does class them as air-mail stamps, they really are just ordinary stamps:
(1) with a small picture of a plane, and
(2) denominated with an amount for air-mail postage.

For me, a real "air-mail stamp" would be one that could only be used for air-mail. However, I don't think the US has ever issued such stamps.

The big problem with criteria used by Scott for US stamps is that they don't work for other postal countries, where stamps can be issued with pictures of planes at air-mail rates, and they are regarded by all as just ordinary stamps.
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  #11  
Old 05-01-2008, 05:00 PM
Exapno Mapcase Exapno Mapcase is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BwanaBob
You are right in that any postage adding up to the correct rate can be used to send mail overseas. You are incorrect when you say there are no air mail stamps.
The 90c stamp cited is considered to be an air mail stamp (by Scotts and by other major stamp catalogues throughout the world). Airmail stamps can be distinguished by the small aircraft silhouette printed on the stamp. They can be used for domestic use as well, and perhaps that is what you meant by there being no such thing as airmail.
No, I mean that the USPS has completely eliminated any category of service that is called airmail. Mail to other countries is now called First Class Mail® International.

Other classes of mail include:
Quote:
Global Express Guaranteed® (GXG)
USPS GXGTM Envelopes
Express Mail® International
Express Mail® International Flat Rate Envelope
Priority Mail® International
Priority Mail® International Flat Rate Envelope
I don't really care how Scotts classifies anything. I go by what the USPS does.

There is no such thing as airmail. There are no airmail stamps. They are a relic of a past that no longer lives.

Maybe there is a good GQ question in asking why the airplane symbol is on the 90c stamp if there is no longer any such thing as airmail.
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  #12  
Old 05-01-2008, 05:28 PM
Biffy the Elephant Shrew Biffy the Elephant Shrew is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Exapno Mapcase
No, I mean that the USPS has completely eliminated any category of service that is called airmail. Mail to other countries is now called First Class Mail® International.
Nonetheless, they're still printing those blue "Par Avion/Air Mail" stickers, and the clerk at my local station insists on including one on every First Class International parcel I send.
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  #13  
Old 05-01-2008, 08:10 PM
Saint Cad Saint Cad is offline
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Back when I was mailing tons of letters to Exeter, they had stamps for it with the exact postage.
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  #14  
Old 05-01-2008, 09:30 PM
Exapno Mapcase Exapno Mapcase is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Biffy the Elephant Shrew
Nonetheless, they're still printing those blue "Par Avion/Air Mail" stickers, and the clerk at my local station insists on including one on every First Class International parcel I send.
And the clerk at my local station insists on not using them.

I'll give you odds as to which one is right.
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  #15  
Old 05-02-2008, 05:32 AM
Cub Mistress Cub Mistress is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Exapno Mapcase
And the clerk at my local station insists on not using them.

I'll give you odds as to which one is right.
My post office doesn't even have the stickers anymore, but the clerk tells me I can handwrite it on if it makes me feel any better to do so. I'll probably refer to it as airmail and ask for airmail stamps at my post office forever, but I suspect they'll know what I am asking for. First Class Mail International just doesn't have the same ring to it as the term airmail.
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  #16  
Old 05-02-2008, 06:23 AM
flodnak flodnak is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Biffy the Elephant Shrew
Nonetheless, they're still printing those blue "Par Avion/Air Mail" stickers, and the clerk at my local station insists on including one on every First Class International parcel I send.
Some of the Christmas cards I sent Stateside from Troll Country last year were returned to me. When I took them back to the post office to ask why, the clerk said that it was probably because they didn't have the blue Par Avion stickers. I said that, well, none of the pile of thirty-odd cards I sent had those stickers on, so why did only nine get returned? She told me, and I am not making this up, that those nine probably had the misfortune of being sorted by someone who really needed a hobby Then she gave me enough of the stickers to last me for at least a couple of Christmases....

Very little mail goes by sea any more, even parcel post. Nearly all intercontinental mail, and the lion's share of the international mail that stays on one continent, goes by plane. Of course, that also means that cheaper seamail rates are all but extinct.

(Aside: Back when I was in the States and regularly sending snailmail to my Norwegian beau, a domestic stamp was 22 cents and an airmail letter to Europe was 44 cents. Easy peasy.)
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  #17  
Old 05-02-2008, 09:38 AM
BwanaBob BwanaBob is offline
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I have the latest catalogue from the USPS (not Scott's).

They list these stamps separately (page 32 of the Summer 2008 catalogue).
They are called definitives (as opposed to commemoratives) and they add the title (Int'l Rate).

So we're just nitpicking here (a thing the SD is great at).
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  #18  
Old 05-02-2008, 10:12 AM
TheLoadedDog TheLoadedDog is offline
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Postal worker checking in:

Confirming the general direction this thread has taken...

Airmail is the default overseas option for standard letters these days (as it bloody well should be in the 21st Century). Adding PAR AVION stickers is just there for the traditionalists/paranoids. In fact, the sea mail option is dying out, or has already stopped being offered by some postal administrations.

I run the machines that direct mail to overseas destinations. If I tell you that the machines sort ten letters per second, it's not much of a stretch to understand that we don't look for the traditional blue airmail sticker on your individual article.

Sure, write it on if it makes you feel better. That's all it's good for these days.

Last edited by TheLoadedDog; 05-02-2008 at 10:14 AM..
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  #19  
Old 05-02-2008, 10:27 AM
Flander Flander is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Exapno Mapcase
The Post Office sells 90 cent stamps for one-ounce letters to countries other than Canada and Mexico.
Because Canada and Mexico are only $0.69!




Hooray, I'm useful!
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  #20  
Old 05-02-2008, 11:12 AM
suranyi suranyi is offline
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There was actually a short report on the radio recently (NPR I think) about how the end of regular seabourne mail is a problem for some charities. They used to send tons of used clothing to third world countries as cheaply as possible, and now they can only do it by air because the post office only does airmail for international shipments now, and that costs them a lot more.

Ed
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  #21  
Old 05-02-2008, 01:46 PM
Rayne Man Rayne Man is offline
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If sending heavier items abroad (such as books) then "surface mail" is a cheaper option. Of course airmail will only take a week at the outside, while surface mail can take up to 56 days.

As an example, a 1.5 kg book from the UK to the USA would cost £16.25 by airmail but only £8.46 by surface mail, both at "printed paper" rate.
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  #22  
Old 05-02-2008, 02:57 PM
suranyi suranyi is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rayne Man
If sending heavier items abroad (such as books) then "surface mail" is a cheaper option. Of course airmail will only take a week at the outside, while surface mail can take up to 56 days.

As an example, a 1.5 kg book from the UK to the USA would cost £16.25 by airmail but only £8.46 by surface mail, both at "printed paper" rate.
As I mentioned just above, the problem charities in the USA are facing, and others in similar situations, is that the US post office no longer provides the service of surface mail at all for international mail.

Ed

Last edited by suranyi; 05-02-2008 at 02:58 PM..
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  #23  
Old 05-02-2008, 05:05 PM
Rayne Man Rayne Man is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by suranyi
As I mentioned just above, the problem charities in the USA are facing, and others in similar situations, is that the US post office no longer provides the service of surface mail at all for international mail.

Ed
That's strange, because the Royal Mail still offers this facility. There must be boats that still carry mail to the US, so why can't the US Post Office use them in the reverse direction?

Last edited by Rayne Man; 05-02-2008 at 05:09 PM..
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  #24  
Old 05-02-2008, 11:42 PM
Mycroft H. Mycroft H. is offline
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Not sure. It is a policy decision. I guess they can' t be bothered, although it certainly creates a bother for customers who would like to ship by surface mail. It is a darn sight more expensive to mail bigger packets that you don't care how long it takes.
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  #25  
Old 05-03-2008, 01:24 AM
SmackFu SmackFu is offline
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The stamps intended for overseas mails are pretty and big and show an American vista. They're ideal for sending to a foreigner who likes stamps. Much better than some Liberty Bells.

Regrettably, my post office never has the larger denom stamps. They'd much rather print up labels.
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