Why are postage stamps used on mail

Can I remove stamps and use them again?


Can I remove unused stamps from an envelope and use them again?

► Quick answer: No, officially this is not allowed. In practice, however, many people put envelopes in warm water and thus peel off the postage stamp.

Deutsche Post does not allow postage stamps to be used a second time. Even if the stamps were inadvertently not stamped.

This already results from common sense: With a stamp you pay for the transport of letters from A to B. And not further from B to C.

Nevertheless, many customers cut out unstamped stamps and remove them in a water bath or over hot steam. Most of the time, the stamps look like new and cannot be seen as used stamps with the naked eye. That is why Deutsche Post is now using a technology to identify used brands in the sorting centers (more on this here).

The UK's Royal Mail sustains an estimated £ 10 million annually damage from multiple uses of postage (source: telegraph.co.uk).

► Letters with invalid franking will be returned to the sender. The letter receives a warning sticker and the sender has to stick on additional postage.

Since February 2021, Deutsche Post has been printing an individual QR code (so-called matrix code) on every postage stamp. This makes it impossible to reuse detached stamps because every single stamp is digitally canceled. More about matrix code stamps here.


Exchange stamps because address was misspelled

Sometimes you make a mistake at the address on an envelope and want to use the stamps that have already been stuck on again. In this case, it can be exchanged at post offices.

Important: You must not cut out the marks! The exchange in the branch must be done completely with the wrongly labeled envelope. By presenting the envelope, the postal workers can determine whether it has really not yet been transported. (Envelopes that have already been sent can be recognized, for example, by a neon-orange barcode printed on them.)

In the branch, the stuck-on stamps are exchanged for new, mint stamps. The Paketda editorial team recommends going to a Postbank branch for exchanges because the staff in smaller post offices may not have been properly trained and are not familiar with the possibility of exchanging stamps.

Note: If you want to exchange stamps with a value of more than 50 euros, they must be sent to Deutsche Post customer service. To find out the current address, please use the search function on deutschepost.de and type in: "Exchange stamps".

As of 11/2019, the address is: Deutsche Post AG, Philately Dispatch Center, Returns Point, Franz-Zebisch-Str. 15, 92637 Weiden. The exchange is always in stamps and not in money.




Reuse your questions about postage