What Unique or Interesting Services does your Postal Service offer?

Yesterday I learned that in Switzerland you can purchase a stamp though text messaging. This made me wonder - what are some of the lesser known or more interesting features of the postal system in your country?

I’ll start: In rural parts of the United States, customers can pay for postage by leaving cash in their mailbox instead of using stamps. From the USPS Domestic Mail Manual (pdf)

2.3.3 Mail Collection
Generally, mailable matter is collected from a mailbox if postage is fully prepaid or
money equal to the required postage is left in the mailbox. Money in a mailbox is left
at the customer’s risk


Also in the US, you can sign up for “Informed Delivery” and the postal service will email you pictures of letters that are on their way to you.


A Canada Post service that I have used to create postage stamps for special occasions (weddings, births, etc.) or just for fun: Picture Postage.
You can also have Canada Post produce postcards from your images; either personal, or commercial.
The service is excellent. The quality is outstanding. The process is simple.
My late father was a philatelist, so creating my own postage stamps is one way of honouring his memory.


In Germany you can also purchase a stamp through text messaging (works only within Germany and is more expensive: 1,19 € instead of 0,80 € for a standard letter and 0,99 € instead of 0,60 € for a postcard) or through the Deutsche Post app. You can also design your own stamps, but it’s pretty expensive too.

Edit: The so called “Handyporto” (stamp through SMS) was discontinued in December 2020. Now you can buy stamps through the Deutsche Post app. They are the same price as regular stamps.


In the Netherlands, you can also design your own stamps. It is more expensive than the normal stamps, but not by so much.

You can also buy a stamp “code” online when you can’t make it to a post office counter during working hours. You pay for it online and then get a unique 9 digit/letter code which you write in the top-right corner. The sorting machines recognize it and it will be cancelled like a normal stamp. I find this really useful when you work 9-5pm or don’t have a post office nearby.


Recently the German Postal Service implemented these stamp codes as well.

1 Like

In China,personalized stamp service is popular.You just need to upload your favorite photos to the official website,scan QR code for payment and then wait the unique stamps delivered to your home . I believe it is a good way of showing your love to your family or leaving happy moment in your life.


I find the fact that in the US, the mailmain collects the mail from your house pretty amazing.

The maxicards which Australia Post makes are probably their best service - they are terrible in so many ways, but these maxicards are both good quality and provide a real saving on the usual stamp price.


It’s incredible that USPS will pickup a postcard from your home and deliver it to another country for $1.20 (only $0.36 if that postcard is traveling domestically.)


Hold on-

This isn’t a worldwide thing?!


Definitely not in Australia, never heard of it elsewhere either.


I received a card with a code on it and was wondering what the deal was.


In Norway we can now book a pick up from our own mailbox, but it costs almost as much as a domestic stamp extra.


Here in the US the postal service will deliver birds and bees. Honestly; I have had chicks and goslings shipped to my local post office. If you are wondering how this is possible; right before a baby chicken/duck/goose hatches it absorbs the last of the yolk, it can then go a couple of days without needing to eat or drink - in nature this lets mama keep sitting on the nest until everyone has hatched. So the hatchery tucks them into boxes as soon as they are born, they are shipped together to stay warm. In the spring when you go to mail counter you can lots of times you will hear chirping from the back. You can also buy boxes of honeybees to pick up at the post office although I’ve never done it, we catch our own wild swarms.
Edit: couldn’t resist going back and finding a photo of picking up goslings at the post office.


@cottontailfarm Oh!!! That little face peeking out of the box. How precious :heart:

@KathrynNash Now you know :slight_smile: I have never used the stamp codes for Postcrossing as most people look forward to stamps and would probably be disappointed by a scribbled code, but I do use them for administrative mail when I am in a bind.


In Australia you can get worms and also certain bugs delivered (for gardens).


That is cheap!

In Australia, postcards have the same rate as a 50g airmail letter - $3.20. This is why I don’t usually send postcards.

1 Like

Useful (if no stamp/post office/time available for the sender), but depressing (for the recipient, unless someone does not care.). :cry:

@Robin67 Yep, that’s why I don’t use them for Postcrossing. See my above message :slight_smile:

1 Like

Could you please share image of code area (written in place of stamps) on the card?