Are the stamps in a USPS "Mail Use Stamp Packet" usable?

So I understand that the yearly “Mail Use Stamp Packets” the USPS sells are designed primarily for collectors, for them to put in their collection books.

But I am trying to figure out a little more about what comes in them. For the 2018 packet, the USPS site just says this:

“Enhance your 2018 Stamp Yearbook by adding the stamps featured in the Mail Use section available for purchase in this convenient packet. This packet contains 52 stamps and includes protective mounts for preservation.”

I don’t necessarily need a breakdown of what 52 stamps are there, but I am just curious - are they unused, mailable stamps? It seems like it might be a way for me to get some stamps from previous years that I’d like to use in mailing my postcards and letters, that are no longer available to purchase as specific panes and books.

Can anyone who has bought these mail use packets give me a clue? Thanks!

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I do not know, but have wondered the same thing myself

Just a guess, but I’d say they are probably mint, unused, perfectly usable stamps. Every other USPS product I’ve bought that has postage stamps included (such as greeting cards with matching stamps), the stamps are just normal, new, usable stamps.

I did notice that the list of stamps in the stamp packet doesn’t have very many of each individual design, so it really seems intended for collectors rather than using them.


Yeah, they’re definitely geared more towards collectors. I just wondered if it could be easier than ordering stamps from different people on ebay to get some from the past couple years to use on postcards. I am not trying to amass a huge amount but just add some variety and get some stamps I can’t buy individually at the post office anymore.

From an article in Linn’s, I read that the stamps that they include in the packet have been cut from the sheet with scissors. Imagine a new sheet of 20 stamps, and imagine using scissors to separate each stamp…I don’t see how the stamps can be left in a condition that is pleasing to the collector!

If you want a variety of modern stamps to use for postage, they might be a good idea; I have not done the math to see whether there’s a surcharge to account for the labor and packaging. For sure you can buy older postage (for below face even) in lots that equal a specific rate. The challenge then becomes fitting them all onto one postcard.


These packets contain a set of stamps (from that year, one of each unique design) to enhance the stamps that come with the Year Books USPS releases. They are basically an add-on. And yes - they are standard, mint, completely usable stamps.