No Stamps, Postage Due

Hi all,

I’ve had a good look on the forum and couldn’t find a clear answer.
I received an offical postcrossing card with ID from a neighbouring European country, but no postage stamp(s) where affixed.
The postcard recieved a postmark and T sticker (Terminals Due?) with what looks like €2.13 to pay.

The card was delivered when I was at work, but no attempt was made by the postal worker to collect this fee.

I don’t mind registering the card, but should I let the moderators or admin team aware?
Do I inform the postcrosser on registering?


I don‘t know but I‘d like to tell you my experience: I accidentally did that too a few years ago. I forgot to put the right stamps on all 10 postcards that I‘ve sent, so 15 cents were missing for each postcard. I don‘t know if the receiver had to pay for it or it was forgotten…the postcards definitely received its destination.


Remember stamps fall off sometimes or get torn off by sorting machines eh? I think the fact that it was delivered and there was no attempt to collect the fee means you’re in the clear.

You could let the sender know, but I’d just register it & be glad it arrived!


I would inform the Postcrossing team. They’re able to follow up if the missing postage was just a mistake or if it happens more often…

Two months ago, I accidentally posted a card without stamp for a RR. I alerted the other member; the card arrived, with a sticker that postage plus fee was due - but the mailman didn’t collect it. If he had, I would have had reimbursed my RR partner.

So this can be a simple mistake; or perhaps there was a stamp but it fell off. But there are also cases of postage fraud on Postcrossing. So yes, I would contact the team about it.


Can you see anything on the card to indicate that it might have been prepaid? Also, I could be wrong, but I vaguely recall reading that in some remote areas in certain countries, mail carriers can directly collect payment for the postage if the sender doesn’t have stamps (can anyone confirm this, or did I just hallucinate it?). Either way, an inquiry to the team wouldn’t hurt, if only to clear things up.


Also please check out how the postage due works in your country. Here in the Netherlands the sender gets a letter and should pay online. If the address of sender is unknown (e.g. when it’s a postcard) the receiver gets the letter. When you don’t pay you get stalked with more letters, but the mailman will not collect the fee.

Interesting! In Canada, if you didn’t put enough postage, the mail would be returned to you. If there wasn’t a sender address, then you’re out of luck (which is why I’ve seen some members put their own address on the cards that they sent). It sounds like the European countries are different. That’s nice to not miss a piece of mail for (presumably) a simple mistake of not enough postage.


No Stamps where attached, or some of the postmark would have been missing.

I have studied the card, no pre-paid label or online postage code, I know in some countries you can leave cash alongside the post in rural areas for the postal worker to collect.

Normally Royal Mail would have dropped a card, explaining insufficient postage paid, please go to “named” delivery office to pay and collect set item of mail. This one I think has slipped through.

I think this was a genuine error on the postcrossers part of forgetting to affix postage stamps.
Thank You all for your replies

Here is a picture of the postmark area of the card (Please feel free to flag/delete if this does not meet the forum guidelines)


I don’t know how it is with Royal Mail, but Deutsche Post only collect due postage for national items. They don’t collect anything for other countries’ postal services, as they have to assume that everything that gets forwarded to them is fine by the sending country’s definitions. :thinking:


Not necessarily, my cards often show up without any postmarks on them at all - mail often gets missed by the sorting machines eh?

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Oh I noticed that too ! No postmark on the stamps !

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In China, if the sender pays the postage at the post office, he may not have the chance to get a stamp, but a postmark to prove he has paid.

An example:

Does this seem like the T sticker you have got?

By the way, the delivery post office usually will not collet insufficient postage for international postal items, since they do not know the exact postage at the sender’s country, and they acquiesce that international postal items from other countries should have been checked that the correct postage is paid.


This is definitely a postage due sticker.
A T sticker or mark is applied on international underpaid mail, so the postal service in the receiving county knows the amount of the missing postage. In some countries the amount is then converted into local currency and needs to be paid by the receiver.


Thank you for your explanation.
It surprised me that it costs 2.13 euros or pounds to send a postcard from France to UK. The price is enough to send two letters from Japan to UK.


I believe it, some of these new box sets don’t take wet and stick stamps well. Like the new Disney movie poster set I noticed the stamps falling off before I dropped it in the mail. I used some Elmers glue and restuck them :grinning:
No issue with sticker stamps


Believe it or not, I have had the unfortunate task of visiting the local delivery office to collect an underpaid International letter.
A letter from my aunt (addressed to mum) from Malaysia had insufficient postage and had been sidelined by RM with the conversion fee, it was something like 15 pence plus a £1.00 handling fee.

This was about 2009 before I was interested in postcrossing, postal and mail operations, I wish I could remember the letter and the stamps used.

Having done a quick Google search I don’t think many postal admins chase any international postage due.

Apparently many countries would just simply delay the transit of underpaid mail or send it via surface. There will be the odd ocassion it would be delivered on time but with the ‘T’ sticker/stamp.

If I can remember, mum’s letter would look like this this, with the additional RM yellow underpaid sticker.


Wow, so interesting to learn! Royal Mail really is passionate about it! :smiley:

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Pffft, probably at a time when Letter mail was important and all stamps where actually cancelled and not pen marked.

Letter (and postcards) are subsidised by the parcels now, so think RM concentrate the revenue there.

Ultimately it t all depends on who is sorting the mail

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I accidentally did it once with a rr swap! I wrote a bunch of cards at the time and ran out of stamp on the last card. I just thought I’ll get more stamps, but totally forgot it the next day! All my cards were laying image side up, and I thought why is that card laying by itself😂 I put it in the mail box the next day and remembered immediately after putting it in! Imagine my horror! It was a postal box by itself so no workers to contact. It was a special card that I couldn’t get a duplicate of, so I contacted the receiver. I told her I’ll pay for postage if they try to collect from her or offer other cards she can choose from as a replacement, but she received it without any complications.

I always get that T stamp on cards when I collected square cards from Germany. Apparently, it cost more to send square/shaped cards from Germany, but most just put standards size postage on their cards. I remember paying around 3 or 4Euros (can’t remember, but expensive!) sending per card when visiting Germany, but I’m not sure if German swapper actually knows this different postage rate.

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A postcard from France to Germany would cost 1,50€. Maybe in this case a surcharge is added.
Example: it costs 0,60€ to send a card within Germany. When the stamp is missing you get a blue „1,30“ written on the card with a blue pencil which is the unpaid original 0,60€ plus 0,70€ penalty.
If you are lucky your mail delivery person will do nothing about it and just drop the card in your mailbox. Otherwise they will ring at your door and ask you to pay 1,30€ in order to get the card. If you are even less lucky you will have to go to your post office to pay the fine and collect the card. Of course you also have the option to refuse to pay - then the card will not be handed to you, but will be destroyed.