When you make a shopping mistake and buy something you don’t need, you can take it back to the store. But what about postage stamps? If you buy too many, or if you have a huge stash lying around, when will the USPS buy back your unused stamps?
We wanted to know the answer to this important question too, so we did some digging. Here’s what we found!
Does USPS Buy Back Unused Stamps In 2023?
USPS doesn’t buy back unused stamps in 2023. USPS will only exchange unused stamps and other postage products for postage of equal value, with some conditions. If you want to get cash for your unused stamps, your best bet is to sell them to a stamp buying service. However, you’ll only get between 40 to 70% of their face value.
To find out more about what to do with unused stamps, carry on reading for all the details, including places that accept unused stamps, and more!
Can I Return Unused Stamps to USPS?
You can’t return unused stamps to USPS for a refund, but they can be exchanged for new postage worth the same amount.
Other postage products like stamped envelopes and cards may likewise be exchanged for postage of equal value. They too cannot be refunded.
Further, exchanges are allowed only under some circumstances:
- The stamps were sold in damaged, defective, or unusable condition
- You made a mistake and bought the wrong stamps. In this case, only full sheets of stamps, coils in the original sealed wrappers, and full boxes of stamped cards may be exchanged.
- If the stamps being exchanged are worth over $250 in value, the customer must show a valid federal or state photo ID card.
The final decision on exchanging stamps and postage products is made by the postmaster at the local post office.
If the stamps are in damaged condition and the damage happened after they were sold, they may still be exchanged, with some conditions:
- The denomination of the stamps must be still be seen clearly
- The same type of stamp was sold in your local post office within the past 12 months
- They are in the same form as when they were bought ie. in complete sheets, coils, or booklets
- The maximum value of damaged stamps that can be exchanged is $100 per customer, with some exceptions
The damaged stamps can only be exchanged for an equal number of stamps of the same value.
Where Can I Sell My Unused Postage Stamps?
The post office won’t give you a refund for your unused stamps, but you may be able to sell them to a stamp buying service.
There are plenty of such companies that will give you cash in exchange for your unused stamps.
This may be a good option if you no longer use postage stamps and just have a huge collection for which you have no further use.
However, you may not get the full value of the stamps but only 40 to 70% of their face value.
Is It Legal to Sell Unused Postage Stamps?
Luckily, it is perfectly legal to sell your unused postage stamps for cash.
What Postage Items Will USPS Refund or Exchange?
Some USPS merchandise and stationery can be refunded or exchanged if the products were damaged or unusable when you received them.
Items That Can Be Refunded
Personalized stamped stationery can be refunded or replaced if the USPS made a mistake on the order, such as printing your name or other information incorrectly.
Items That Can Be Exchanged
- Priority Mail Forever Prepaid Flat Rate Packaging
- Postage Stamps
- Merchandise and licensed products
Items That Cannot Be Refunded or Exchanged
- Adhesive stamps
- Stamps cut from stamped cards, stamped envelopes, or aerograms
- Parts or pieces of stamped cards
- Stamped cards, stamped envelopes, and aerograms
- Mutilated or defaced stamps
Can I Use Old Stamps for Mail?
Stamps never expire, so you can use old stamps, even if they are twenty years old.
However, the amount of postage you need for letters will have changed, and you must make sure you have the right postage on your mail.
To learn more, you can also read our posts on USPS stamp types, USPS 70-cent stamps, and how many stamps do you need for Mexico.
USPS will not buy back unused stamps. You cannot get a refund for unused stamps but can only exchange them for postage of equal value. Some stamp buying services will give you cash for unused stamps, but you will only be given a percentage of their full value.