Using old USA stamps for Postcrossing

Hi All,

I’m new to Postcrossing, starting back in October, I think it was, and first time poster now to his forum. What a great thing; I’m glad to have come across it.

My question relates to the particular stamps used to send a postcard overseas. I want to use a variety of stamps when I send a postcard.

To that end, current international rate from the US for a postcard is $1.20, and if you go to the PO they will sell you a Global Forever stamp for this purpose, which is fine.

But as long as the combined value reaches $1.20, I assume that I can cobble together any number of US stamps at that value and still use them to send a postcard internationally, right? In other words, you don’t have to use a ‘Global’ stamp for this purpose, right?

Thank you in advance.


Travelling Slim


Correct, I too recently found out about using old stamps, many postcrossers even go out of their way to find matching ones or use cool ones, it’s amazing
Edit, also welcome to Postcrossing and the forum!


That’s exactly right. The simplest breakdown is two Forevers + 10c pear stamp, but any combo to reach $1.20 will work.

These threads may be helpful to see what other U.S. senders are doing. Welcome to Postcrossing!


Oh wow! I didn’t know I could do that, I always assumed I had to use global stamps! That will be helpful for cost, I will definitely do that now!


Yes, and they don’t need to be old stamps. USPS sells current stamps of different values. I tend to use two forever stamps and a 15 cent stamp but they do make 10 cent stamps


Pro tip: You can save a whole lot of money by buying MNH (Mint condition, Never Hinged - meaning unused and never stuck in to a collector’s album) stamps.

I just bought $55 worth for around $33. And yes they are still worth exactly what is printed on them when stuck to any piece of mail.

It often takes time to find a great deal (I use eBay) like that, but saving at least some money is quick and easy.

Start here:


Correct. On my outgoing cards, I use two $0.55 stamps (commemoratives) + two $0.05 stamps (old commemoratives). In both cases, I try to use vertical stamps; if they are not available, I turn the horizontal stamp to the vertical position.


As a Canadian we travel down to the USA all the time when we are on our holidays (except this year). It was a stay in BC vacation. When traveling I am on holiday mode and send post cards out from the national parks we visit. I find a small town local post office. I then can take my time with the counter lady and buy my stamps on the best looking ones (l like). I add 2 forevers and a 10 cent for a grand total of $1.20. Some post office have good choices. I loaded up of the train issued ones in Feb and last fall it was the rivers. Great stamps, the globals world commons suck! If I receive one of the global I don’t complain as not ever one is in the now!


A very good question, and welcome to Postcrossing! Since the global ones are the same for the entire year, many international Postcrossers love seeing different US stamps. I can be tricky to fit both address and some of the large first class stamps and extra 10cents on the postcard though. I always do the postage first, then address, then write the note !



You can buy vintage unused stamps on Etsy that’s where I got a couple packs recently


Oh yes. I LOVE sending my cards with as many different stamps as I can fit, usually 2 small forever stamps plus 2 vintage stamps to make up the extra 10c. It’s easy to tie at least one of the stamps to the person’s interests or the card front this way. I buy packs of assorted vintage stamps off of ebay for below face value. It’s addicting. :slight_smile: Many postcrossers also love stamps and I’ve gotten a ton of compliments. I’m glad it makes people happy.


Wikipedia states for US stamps:

The U.S. stamps of 1861, and all issued since then, continue to be valid on mail.


Same here in France, and in many countries where philately was popular. Many people are selling their collection which brings the prices under the face value.

In most EU countries, pre-EU stamps are demonetized. France, Belgium, Italy are among the few exceptions. I usually mix my stamps in Nouveau franc and Euro.

Beware on Internet sales: some individuals sell stamps with no gum. These are probably used but uncancelled stamps. It is not legal to reuse them.


This was one of the fun things I was introduced to in Belgium - a little stamp shop where the owner would sell you old stamps in Belgian francs and tell you how many to use.

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Very funny story that you have brought! Indeed calculating conversion is not always obvious (I don’t know how it is in Belgium, but in France many people struggle with basic maths)
I like the older stamps for their engraved beauty, and of course, more topics (especially on personality) to choose from.

In the UK there’s a great website called Philatelink which sells old postage stamps at below face value. It’s great because while a 3p stamp will always be worth 3p, as well as getting a discount you also get a fantastic variety of pictorial designs as opposed to the sheet of definiatives you’d get from the post office if you bought a bunch of “value stamps”.


I just received some packs of old USA stamps to use on cards, I paid something like $80 for $100 worth of stamps. When I opened it, I was amazed at the quality of the stamps that were printed 50 or 60 years ago. The artwork and engraving are really beautiful. While I like some of the stamps that are issued now, they look kind of cheap in comparison.


I started PC on a whim during the summer. I had no clue how big postcards were! And I never understood the attraction to stamps. Well, I know now! I’m actually working on setting boundaries for myself, buying cards and stamps. :slightly_smiling_face: I may have gone overboard over the holidays. I just get so excited seeing new stamps, or older ones I haven’t seen before. Like others have said, I buy from eBay, and it’s great to have those around. They are special and different. Once I get my new boundaries established, my next project is figuring out how to store my new loves!


I love to use old stamps- I call my postcard Harry Potter letters, because sometimes I have to cover nearly the whole thing in stamps to get to the correct postage.

And if you buy on ebay it is often less than face value.

You can get some really weird looking old stamps when you buy a bundle of them.


I’m doing stamp swaps with other members from the USA! It’s a fun way to keep getting new themes to add to my collection and also trade for stamps I can use in my swaps. If anyone is interested send me a message :grinning: this is what I have currently available to trade (unused usps stamps)