Many of you already might have spoken about how to deal with uncanceled stamps.
MailArt might get expensive after a while. For some of us that won't really matter but for others it may.
Plenty of the mail I receive comes with uncanceled stamps... and that probably happens a lot when sending stuff for others countries since the postal office just doesn't care about it because most of the times they would need to cancel lots of stamps per envelope... we people are pure evil on the number of stamps used per envelope.
A lot of people ends up creating ArtByMail and not MailArt (that would be another issue to discuss, ... correspondence art?) and the envelope is just a simple package for the contents. On those case I believe people would thank us to return, trade and/or share uncanceled stamps.
Ya might even recycle and create a collage or just collect them...
Think about it and drop here a few words about it. Do uncanceled stamps would be useful for you? Is there any kind of stamps at your country that is just impossible to reuse?

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just asking cause i have around 30$USA and 20$CANADIAN and a few from Greece among other countries... uncanceled

... and that's money in tiny pieces of paper ... i might resend them to the owners...

If you have any of my stamps, I could definitely use them again :)

I'm happy for you to pass on any from me that aren't cancelled to another Brit... My dog and I like going to our little post office and keeping them in business.

i won't take them out of service... your english stamps are hard to reuse... they have tamper-proof securities 

I would think the Post Company only doesn't cancel at the correct place in case the envelope is too colourful, and in case the stamps are sticked on an other place than in the upper right corner. In other words, when we, unintentionally of course, succeed to mislead the postal machines.

But do I understand well that even blank envelopes arrive without postmark?

I would love to reuse them, but I guess Dutch stamps hardly are uncancelled. In 'unclear' objects - as mail art often is - Dutch Post checks the mail by hand, and marks it with a stamp print 'postage controlled' ('frankering gecontroleerd', I posted a picture of that in the group 'We love those postal additions') :-)

By the way, when I would send out mail art in a blank envelope I would name it 'mailed art' instead of 'mail art'.

English stamps have a part that tears if one tries to unstick them, but if they are cut out with the backing of paper of the envelope they are stuck to, they should fool the machines. Do not show them to the post office guys though, a human will spot the ruse!

I will try and report back

At the risk of sounding sanctimonious, I ought to point out that using stamps twice is defrauding the postal system which we all rely on, besides being illegal. OK, you are unlikely to be caught but that doesn't make it any less dishonest. Maybe you don't care about ethics but if the post office profits go down they will increase postage rates again -- or the bureaucrats will decide that adhesive stamps are insecure and make everyone queue up at the post office to send mail with a computer sticker. And it could give mailart a bad reputation.

Personally I reduce my postal expenditure by using old unused stamps from collector's shops, which you can get at a discount on face value.

Well my stamps sent to me back by FinnBadger did get a letter to him but yes I agree it is illegal. So Monsehor do not send them back to the owners because they are not the owners.

I will never do it again, not because of the post office's future, here in England it has been sold and the prices have rocketed, with no help from criminals like me. (It was my first time)

The post as we know it, sure is on the way out, soon only packages will be handled  by it. that is my guess. 

I will not do it again because it makes me feel bad but I could not resist the experiment.

Good point, Alan and Martha.
However speaking for myself, re-using stamps (which seldom occurs because most stamps are cancelled, and mail art envelopes wearing uncancelled stamps I always want to keep intact), is one of the few things I don't feel guilty of.
Because for much of my international mail I pay more postage than needed, and the total amount of thus extra, unnecessarily paid postage exceeds the saved amount of the few reused stamps.
This overpaid postage is because I want to combine national stamps, to create more variety for the receivers than only international stamps will do.
And seeing the variety of stamps on some of my received mail, I think I'm not the only one who sponsors the mail companies beyond the usual payments.

An other thing is that Dutch post issues a lot of stamps yearly, of which many never will be used because they get lost from circulation into collections (also I have a hundreds of stamps which I still keep at home because of the nice pictures). So post companies, at least the Dutch, earn a lot of money by services never provided.

I am curious to know what others think about all of this?

For some reason the British Royal Mail has become very bad at cancellation in recent years and there are people on eBay selling used but uncancelled stamps in large quantities ('for collectors only', wink, wink). But the post offices of the world do earn millions from unused stamps going into albums. I think RM issues even more than the Dutch — the recent Star Wars issue alone comprised 12 first class stamps, a miniature sheet of 6 more, a 'Smilers' sheet of 10, and a Prestige book of all these again in a slightly different format. As you say, most of these will never be used on mail so it's almost pure profit.

Dealers stocked up on new issues in the 70s and 80s which they now realise they may never sell so you can buy them cheap and use them on mail. This hurts RM's profits as well but I feel happy in my mind because it is legal and they've had the cash for decades. It's strange the way we all construct our own ethical consciences.

I feel a bit like Heleen... I almost always overpay on all my international mail art (and many non-mail art envelopes) so that the recipient can enjoy a nice variety of stamps (USPS has a horribly small selection compared to the UK, for example, where almost every new set has international stamps). So every now and again I have incorporated unused stamps into mail art. Pretty much exclusively done when another mail artist has suggested it, or requested it.

Linn's had an article where the reuse of stamps has a small collectability factor, which I thought was interesting.

24.12.15 Dare Monsenhor enVide neF., ...fascinating discussion here dealing with the heart, soul & pocketbook of mail artists. The classic axiom "Mail art & money don't mix" is a haunting one but then I've never heard of a postal official ever giving a mail artist a free pass. a matter of fact, just today I had a item returned from the P.O. because I had attempted to recycle a business envelope to my  individual purpose. Of course, I had completely obliterated the name & address of the business & made no attempt to utilize their business code  or rate & had applied the proper "first-class"postage to the envelope. It was returned nonetheless (after arriving to the destined city halfway across the country)... I suppose there are elements out there who do attempt  to readdress an envelope simply because it reads: "No postage necessary if mailed in the United States".(& I can certainly see how that could be a problem for the P.O.)... incidentally, I had completely obliterated the "No". I was simply trying to recycle a useless envelope...the lesson is clear...Unused Business Envelopes must be placed in the trash.( Although, the truth is:  I have managed to  pull it off a hundred other times. [or was that the 'free pass' I never heard of?]) I am curious as well (as I'm sure we all are ) as to what is in store for the future of the P.O. ... I certainly admire & respect the service & have a really hard time believing that envelopes & personal messages will simple disappear unless they are sent in a  cardboard box???  I had a brief conversation with a Postal driver while he was waiting at the local P.O. branch & he said that I would be surprised to learn how much co-operation there was between the U.S.P.S. , the U.P.S. & Federal Express (i.e. they swap off & deliver things for each other--that's what he said & it certainly makes sense for deliveries out in remote areas)..Perhaps it is a similar situation in  other countries? Thanx for posting. Richard Canard




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