Proxy mail to defeat mailing restrictions

She actually has a German passport :blush:

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So you are also in need of a recipient in Israel? I have a friend there. I can ask her. I can also act as proxy. Will you send me a private message with your plans?

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I think that’s a risky practice since I know several people got their cards returned because the post office thinks that there are two countries of destination in the address. In China, if a “via” country is really necessary, just write the country of destination, and the post office will choose the country for you. (For instance, France for French Guiana.)

You might be able to route it through the United Nations at their postal offices in Austria, Switzerland, or USA. It would be contingent upon being able to buy UN postage by mail or online. Stamp collectors do this all the time. But be warned, the delay can take forever. I live near the UN in New York and I posted a letter to myself and it took over a month to get back to me due to Covid restrictions. Otherwise it took nearly two weeks when I brought one to them in person before the pandemic. The UN post office in New York used to be regular USPS branch except only UN postage stamps were allowed, and they dispatched daily. Today it’s just an outlet for tourists to leave their postcards and basic letters, and they process them when they feel like it.
But this is not without risk if either government discovers you are doing this to evade their rule, just as with a proxy.


Absolutely. And considering that such an artifact is bound to get noticed at the UN where there are representatives from both countries, it is aa guaranteed disaster.

This is interesting. I thought earlier it would be like this in Finland too. However, when I started to hand-cancel cards in the post office they actually gave me the cards back to put them to the delivery box. So it would be easy to cancel the mail without actually mailing them.

I actually did it once because my friend had moved before I was able to ship their already addressed letter (a long story!) and it already had a stamp and I didn’t want the beautiful envelope be covered with a sticker or something… so I got it cancelled and when visiting my friend I just silently dropped it in their hallway (we got mail slots here) and said a moment later: “I think I heard the mail.” :laughing:


Well, what is written in the regulations and what individual persons actually do may differ. Especially if you know them well :wink: The background of that regulation is that the postal cancellation is a legal proof of mailing, so if they gave it back it would open the possibility of fraud. If I would drop cancelled mail into the regular postbox in Germany, it may get fined as invalid postage - and it would definitely go through the cancelling machine at the Briefzentrum (mailing center), which I would like to avoid for aesthetic reasons. Our post offices have different boxed for non-cancelled and cancelled mail (though not all clearks know or care…).

Actually, in Finland you shouldn’t give postmarked/cancelled items back to the customer either. Because, the stamp is a mark that it got taken to Posti, and approved (enough postage). If you take it back, you could go home and add more items (to a letter).

And, doesn’t it then got cancelled twice (which I wouldn’t mind), if it’s put to the delivery box? Or even thought it’s a used stamp? Interesting.

In Finland, Posti is so unreliable (the delivery times vary) and it is estimated only 10% of mail is cancelled, so cancellation mark is not a legal proof of anything anymore.

This has happened in an official post office (we only have two left in whole country). I do not know the clerks nor did I ask them specifically to hand the mail back. I was also surprised that we can put already cancelled mail in delivery boxes. But it is useful, since last year Posti delivered me several letters I had sent (the machine had read the return address only) so I just kept putting them back to delivery boxes until they finally went to right way. (Not all of these were cancelled or the cancellation mark was in a wrong place, but still.)

I think it would be quite difficult to open the letter and add more there… just to save an euro or two. If one wanted to cheat it would be easier to put insufficient postage in the first place and hope it gets delivered. (I guess it could be quite likely, since the mail system is now what it is. People have even used regular stickers as stamps which is of course illegal.)

Yes, the mail could get cancelled again, but it isn’t very likely. Also, about using cancelled stamp again, I think it is easy to see that the stamp is cancelled on the card or the envelope themselves, the cancellation mark is not only on the stamp. I guess some one could put used stamps and then draw the rest of the mark… But that would be a lot of work! It would be easier to use uncancelled used stamps. It is also of course illegal, but there have been some news about people doing it.

How you mean difficult? Just open the letter and slide something in. And, if someone, just to save an euro or two, don’t buy a stamp, and puts a sticker, like you wrote, isn’t them as likely to cheat this way? Have you tried if they hand back letters as well?
Anyways, I don’t think, even if someone does this (adds more items to a letter), it’s a very common problem :slight_smile:

Or, is the box inside, and they see you put the mail there? So, then it might be more difficult, I agree.

With difficult I actually meant complicated. To “save”, they would have to first physically go to the post office, wait in line, have the letters hand-cancelled, then go back home, open them, add more, close and go out to the nearest delivery box… If someone wanted to try to cheat, there are way more easier options, just like I listed above.

Yes, they gave letters back too… It was a letter I hand-delivered to my friend. They do not follow with their eyes where you put them. You put them in or out, actually I think they guided me to the boxes outside the entrance. I don’t know why though - wouldn’t it be easier for them to put them to the outgoing mail? Are the boxes behind counter fuller or does it save a few extra seconds?

Honestly, I think Posti doesn’t care if someone gets mail cancelled without actually mailing them - that just means more money for them with no extra work! It is like an opposite of cheating (mailing without paying). :laughing:

Charity? Buy the stamps, get postmark, but don’t mail, save the planet :).

But I agree, I believe mostly they don’t care, as the workers now often are “agency workers”(I don’t know about the real Posti?), they don’t know, and many don’t care even if they know. Their salaries are so low, some of them don’t make any effort, but just do as little as possible, because they get paid as little as possible.

I don’t think they see it necessarily that way, if they have decided not to pay. They get happy about the fact the cheat, I believe. And, if they go to the post office later anyways, it’s no extra trouble.

(Made my opinion based on, because when I was younger, some used huge amount effort to reuse stamps, like buy certain glue to cover stamps, try different film/cover, erasers, heated the glue so it would be not seen. And then of course the washing.)

But, back to the topic, might the original topic sending work also so, that you take another address, (there are rental address services, at least in some countries) that then forward the mail to you. At least these are in UK, so it’s like you wrote to each other in the UK, but the letters are then sent to your normal address, to another country.

(Sorry I don’t remember if someone wrote about this already, and my screen flashes annoyingly, if I try to up it now).

hello :grinning: i don’t know if there is a similar topic somewhere on the forum and if this is the right place i put it.
last summer i started swapping postcards with a postcrosser in uganda, i sent some and received some, but after receiving the latest i found that uganda is in the black list with other 47 countries that italy can’t send to, so i thought i had to put in standby my swaps with that postcrosser. :sob:
recently a postcrosser from south africa won a postcard from one of my lotteries and for the same reason i can’t send him his postcard. :sob:
i was sad and worried about that. :sob:
but then i had an idea :grinning: i put those postcards into an envelope and sent it to a postcrosser in germany who i am swapping with, because he’s been so kind to agree to send them from his country which is enabled to send to uganda and south africa :grinning:
for example germany can’t send only to 16 countries :grinning:
i also had some german stamps left from my latest trip to germany in 2019 so i used them for this :rofl: :rofl:
i’ve read on the postal monitor there are countries that cannot send to a lot of other countries.
maybe some of you had the same idea to keep on sending postcard to your postcardpals :grinning: this idea is not valid for official postcards because the system won’t give you an address of a country where your country can’t send to.
i hope this topic will help :grinning:
can someone tell me about similar mailing experiences? :grinning:

Yes, there is a similiar Topic and I move your post there.

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I have 2 postcard and 2 letters that i want to send to a few european country, but unfortunately i can’t send them from my country, if anyone from USA/Japan/China wants to help as a proxy, please let me know :smile:

I can help you from Lebanon if you want.

On further inquiry, I noticed that you won’t be able to send to Lebanon either.
I hope things change soon though.

Thank you but you’re correct, currently i can’t send to Lebanon according to Postal Monitor, i do hope it will change soon

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sorry to revive old topic @mazenfakih

For your info I have helped some Malaysian friends mail pre-cancelled postcards inside envelope to Israel before.

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I’ve been wanting to write to someone for a long time but our postal operator can’t send to his country yet. It got me thinking that has anyone tried writing to a proxy country in which that country will send it to country of destination. For example:

I need to send to Mexico, I can send to Mexico if I write it as “Mexico via USA”

I don’t know if it works but in theory that should be the case.

I just stumbled across this feed. Did you ever make it work? :slight_smile: