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HazelRyan54 Dec 31st, 2014 09:23 AM

Mailing US to UK and a self-addressed letter
Google hasn't been much help. I need to send a letter to England, with a self addressed envelope included. The envelope is first-class and doesn't weigh more than 5 ounces (I rarely send letters, I don't know if this info is helpful), so what sort of stamps do I put on it? For the included self addressed envelope: what kind of stamps do I put on that? I have no UK stamps and the International Reply Coupons have been discontinued. Any help would be greatly appreciated, Thanks!

Luv2travel15 Dec 31st, 2014 09:44 AM

I would suggest that if you live in the USA, you go to the nearest post office to where you live and ask them. They will be able to give you the right info and advise you on your return envelope as well.

Christina Dec 31st, 2014 09:50 AM

Can't you just buy the postage online and print it yourself? seems to be about 97p for a simple letter if you don't want tracking

Vivi004 Dec 31st, 2014 10:04 AM

Go to the post office and buy an international forever stamp.

janisj Dec 31st, 2014 10:35 AM

Welcome to Fodors. We had an identical question about 3 months ago, even mentioning the weight.

They want a self addressed envelope - do they actually state they need a self addressed <i>stamped</i> envelope?

(If by any chance is this is for the ceremony of the Keys? They don't require stamps on the envelope)

DebitNM Dec 31st, 2014 11:56 AM

LOL, janisj; I thought the same thing! Another new poster with an odd question about postage in US for UK.

PalenQ Dec 31st, 2014 12:30 PM

Go to the post office and buy an international forever stamp.>

Nope won't work - American stamps cannot be used as frankage only for letters mailed in the USPS - not from the UK. Well at least to this stamp collector's latest info.

Sojourntraveller Dec 31st, 2014 02:26 PM

Well, assuming you are being asked for a 'stamped' envelope, there is always the good old-fashioned and simple alternative. Just send some UK CASH to cover it and let them buy the stamp.

Of course this will not work if you are sending it to some UK government department as they have no means of dealing with the public sending cash to pay for postage. Bureaucracy is a wonderful thing.

Cash is an amazing thing. You can use it anywhere for almost anything.

Alec Dec 31st, 2014 11:48 PM

As someone said, you can print out your own stamp at home by going to
The only drawback is for postage less than £2.99, which it will be (£1.28 to US up to 20g), you have to open a pre-paid account and deposit some money first with your card.

chartley Jan 1st, 2015 02:37 AM

I have only printed my own stamps at home occasionally, but surely they are time limited in some way - i.e. you have to use them within a couple of days.

There would not be time to post them from the U.S.

Christina Jan 1st, 2015 04:37 AM

I never saw the prior post, this is very very bizarre. Because it must be the same person. But the prior post seemed to just want to know how to mail a letter to the UK, why someone wouldn't know how to do that is mysterious. And they claimed they had UK postage, however, just couldn't figure out how much to put on, which the royalmail website can tell you (seems like 97p). However, the website does say you can print postage online for overseas, but it seems to require a minimum of 3 GBP in your account or to charge by CC.

But it does appear that the UK requires you to post it within a day or so after purchase, so I guess this wouldn't work in this case for a SASE. The USPS doesn't allow you to buy single stamps online, either. Well, the online idea may be a no-go, if the OP is serious about the question.

Alec Jan 1st, 2015 06:27 AM

That's true. Print-at-home postage must be used within 24 hours of buying, so OP can't use it for return mail.

PalenQ Jan 1st, 2015 07:17 AM

Send it via FedEx or UPS and pay for a return?

PalenQ Jan 1st, 2015 10:12 AM

HazelRyan - do you need a stamped envelope or as janis suggested self-addressed envelope which make much more sense.

mirandaverandah Jan 1st, 2015 11:56 AM

I have purchased print at home postage via the Royal Mail site and sent it to the UK for mailing back to the US with no problems regarding the date.

Alec Jan 1st, 2015 12:18 PM

If they are to scan your mail, then out-of-date postage would be discovered and surcharge may follow. But not all mails are scanned.

annhig Jan 1st, 2015 12:36 PM

HazelRyan appears to have left the building.

in the offchance she hasn't, the trouble with sticking a $ bill [or two] into the envelope to cover the postage is that $ bills aren't much use to us.

if you've got any £s or even €s, they would be acceptable.

flanneruk Jan 1st, 2015 01:46 PM

"If they are to scan your mail, then out-of-date postage would be discovered and surcharge may follow. But not all mails are scanned."

Since the privatisation of Royal Mail, revenue maximisation stories are now universal. Almost no-one I know this Christmas hasn't got an account of getting a "we tried to deliver you a letter. But there's £1.57 to pay because the sender didn't put enough postage on, and you're not getting the letter until you go online and pay the £1.57" card.

Pre-delivery scanning, under Royal Mail's Canadian Obersturmbannführerin, has to be assumed to be inevitable these days.

Sojourntraveller Jan 2nd, 2015 08:34 AM

Annhig, I wrote send UK cash. The OP can walk into any major bank and buy a few pounds easily enough. Or in fact send some US dollars which the recipient can walk into any bank in the UK and exchange for pounds. Changing cash is hardly a big deal, tourists do it every day.

To me, all the talk about can you buy stamps online or not etc. are a waste of time. CASH is the easiest way. The only real question is WHO is this letter being sent to and for what purpose that requires a return letter. IF it is a government department, cash will not work as they have no 'system' to deal with that. The ONLY thing they can deal with is an envelope with UK stamps on it.

If that were the case, then my answer would be to buy some valid UK stamps from a stamp dealer just as a stamp collector would. It is in fact not hard to buy actual stamps as a stamp collector would, online. Just find a UK stamp dealer, send an e-mail saying you want to buy X stamps to use for a pre-stamped envelope and ask how much they want to sell and send them to you. There is no reason why they would care what you want to buy as long as you are willing to pay them a price that gives them a profit.

Or ask flanneruk to buy and send them to you. I'm sure he'd do it for a fiver. LOL

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