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KC9LGW
12-07-2012, 04:14 PM
International Reply Coupons</SPAN></SPAN>

Three respondents supported the discontinuance of selling international reply coupons, stating the Postal Service should ‘‘streamline’’ their product offering of low volume items. Ninety-one respondents opposed the discontinuance of international reply coupons. Of these, 63 respondents identified themselves as U.S. amateur radio operators who rely on international reply coupons to confirm radio contacts through the exchange of ‘‘QSL cards’’ and who stated that no other practical way exists for this kind of exchange. Some of the other comments from the group of 91 included the following statements:</SPAN></SPAN>
(1) ‘‘In many countries, it’s either illegal to possess or mail foreign currency, or currency is routinely stolen from the mail;’’ </SPAN></SPAN>
(2) ‘‘In many countries the amateur radio operators do not have funds available to answer QSL requests as their income is much lower than we consider average in the United States;’’</SPAN></SPAN>
(3) ‘‘There is no alternative mechanism to supply foreign correspondents with return postage;’’ and</SPAN></SPAN>
(4) ‘‘As a minimum, the USPS should continue to sell IRC’s at the www.usps.com (http://www.usps.com) store or through a few dispersed Post Offices that would sell them by mail to people beyond reasonable driving distance.’’</SPAN></SPAN>

As prescribed in the Postal Regulatory Commission’s (PRC) Order No. 1541, the PRC approved the Postal Service’s proposal to discontinue outbound international reply coupons, while retaining inbound international reply coupon service. The PRC determined that the proposal to discontinue outbound international reply coupons was not inconsistent with the statute, and acknowledged that the small number of consumers, such as amateur radio operators, who purchase international outbound reply coupons, will no longer be able to do so, but they will still have options. For countries to which money orders may be sent, once the U.S. sender ascertains (or estimates) the cost of sending the QSL card from the foreign country to the U.S., the U.S. sender can obtain and send a money order in that amount. Finally, senders and recipients may find it more convenient and less costly to use an online payment service to transmit the cost of mailing a QSL card.</SPAN></SPAN>

The Postal Service hereby adopts the following changes to </SPAN>Mailing Standards of the United States Postal Service, </SPAN>International Mail Manual (IMM), which is incorporated by reference in the </SPAN>Code of Federal Regulations. </SPAN>See 39CFR 20.1.</SPAN></SPAN>

KC9LGW
12-07-2012, 05:47 PM
Additional Information:


381.1 Description

As of January 27, 2013, the U.S. Postal Service no longer sells international reply coupons. However, coupons previously sold by the U.S. Postal Service can still be used or exchanged (see 381.2). The following standards apply to international reply coupons:
a. The sender of a letter may prepay a reply by purchasing reply coupons that are sold and exchangeable for postage stamps by participating postal administrations in member countries of the Universal Postal Union.
b. International reply coupons (in French, Coupons-Reponse Internationaux) are printed in blue ink on paper that has the letters ‘‘UPU’’ in large characters in the watermark. The front of each coupon is printed in French. The reverse side of the coupon shows the text relating to its use in German, English, Arabic, Chinese, Spanish, and/or Russian.

381.2 Previously Sold Coupons and Exchange Value

The following standards apply to the exchange of international reply coupons:
a. International reply coupons sold by the United States Postal Service prior to January 27, 2013, are exchangeable in
any other member country for a stamp or stamps representing the minimum postage on an unregistered air letter. Unused U.S. coupons (that is, those with the U.S. selling price stamped on them that are not ultimately redeemed by recipients in other countries) may be exchanged only by the original purchaser for United States postage stamps at a discount of 1 cent below the purchase price.
b. With the exceptions noted in 381.3d, international reply coupons purchased in foreign countries are exchangeable at U.S. Post Office facilities toward the purchase of postage stamps and embossed stamped envelopes at the current maximum First-Class Mail International 1-ounce, letter-size price, per coupon, irrespective of the country where they were purchased
See Notice 123, Price List.

381.3 Processing Requests

The following standards apply when processing international reply coupons:
a. Under Universal Postal Union’s regulations, participating member countries are not required to place a control stamp or postmark on the international reply coupons that they sell. Therefore some foreign issue reply coupons that are tendered for redemption may bear the name of the issuing country (generally in French) rather than the optional control stamp or postmark. Such coupons are exchangeable for U.S. postage as specified in 381.2b.
b. A Post Office facility redeeming an unused U.S. coupon must postmark it in the unpostmarked circle. A Post Office facility exchanging a foreign reply coupon must postmark it. Post Office facilities must not accept foreign coupons that already bear a United States Postal Service postmark.
c. The only valid version of the international reply coupons printed by the Universal Postal Union is Item Number 330800, which is approximately 3.75 inches by 6 inches, has a barcode on the reverse side, and has an expiration date of December 31, 2013. This policy is for international reply coupons issued by the United States before January 27, 2013 as well as for those issued by foreign postal administrations.
d. Reply coupons formerly issued by the Postal Union of the Americas and Spain are no longer valid. These coupons are printed in green ink and bear the caption Cupon Respuesta America-Espanol. Customers possessing any of these coupons should return them to their correspondents in the country of issue for redemption through the selling post office.
e. Postmasters must process exchanged foreign and redeemed U.S. international reply coupons as prescribed in 11–6.6, ’’International Reply Coupons’’ in Handbook F–101, Field Accounting Procedures. <!-- BEGIN TEMPLATE: ad_showthread_firstpost_sig --><!-- END TEMPLATE: ad_showthread_firstpost_sig -->

KI4WCQ
12-07-2012, 06:06 PM
IRCs can be purchased until Jan 27, 2013 from USPS.

Our government is just trying to be helpful. I guess dropping this service makes a dent in the multi-trillion deficit.

W6SDM
12-07-2012, 06:08 PM
I guess this makes sense for the US Postal Service. After all, why make a service available that has such a small service base?

In most of the DX countries, sending cash isn't a problem and it's less expensive and less bother than buying and mailing an IRC. In countries where foreign currency is illegal or mail pilferage is a problem, there's always PayPal. After all, anyone who can figure out how to put a signal on the air and have it reach around the world should be able to do the same thing with the post card.

Finally, this puts even more emphasis on LotW. It's too bad that the ARRL doesn't invest the resources into the program that will allow it to survive popular contests without crashing or slowing down. Maybe now they will reconsider.

K5WL
12-07-2012, 08:56 PM
Note: I went to a branch post office to purchase a few for next years' use, and found they "haven't had those here in years. You have to go to the main post office in downtown Dallas.".

WA7PRC
12-07-2012, 09:23 PM
I guess this makes sense for the US Postal Service. After all, why make a service available that has such a small service base?

In most of the DX countries, sending cash isn't a problem and it's less expensive and less bother than buying and mailing an IRC. In countries where foreign currency is illegal or mail pilferage is a problem, there's always PayPal. After all, anyone who can figure out how to put a signal on the air and have it reach around the world should be able to do the same thing with the post card.

Finally, this puts even more emphasis on LotW. It's too bad that the ARRL doesn't invest the resources into the program that will allow it to survive popular contests without crashing or slowing down. Maybe now they will reconsider.
USPS could've chosen to supply IRCs from a central location, with an automated ordering system. There would've been minimal human contact.

Not every sender AND receiver has Paypal. Money Orders will have to be used.

I'm not against electronic QSLs but, IME, ARRL has a vested interest in IRCs going away. Ya think?

K4RTS
12-07-2012, 10:24 PM
And what money orders (brand name) would be accepted in foreign countries ?
IRC's were good almost everywhere, I'm unsure of any other way to easily
send $2-$3 ...is US money that easily exchanged ?

73
Richard

AD8P
12-07-2012, 10:30 PM
I understand but that stinks.

W8TWA
12-07-2012, 10:39 PM
IRC's are still accepted by many DX stations in lieu of "green stamps". So load up on IRC's by on line purchase from the USPS using your credit card. Also, there are several foreign stamp vendors that have quick service to permit sending a complete SASE to the DX. The other previously suggested methods of OQRS, and PayPal are very workable -- all many avenues for obtaining good old fashioned pasteboards.

N4UFO
12-07-2012, 10:39 PM
Finally, this puts even more emphasis on LotW. It's too bad that the ARRL doesn't invest the resources into the program that will allow it to survive popular contests without crashing or slowing down. Maybe now they will reconsider.

They have "reconsidered"... they are planning on upgrading servers and I read somewhere that a re-write of the software is in the works.

IRCs now... and the bureaus will likely not be far behind. Many stations won't deal with them anymore and as their usage goes down, the problems will multiply. Same as with all mail... less use means higher costs for what is remaining. LotW and paypal for direct mail is the answer.

WB4AEJ
12-07-2012, 10:54 PM
International Reply Coupons

(3) ‘‘There is no alternative mechanism to supply foreign correspondents with return postage;’’



I came up with a solution to that problem years ago.

1). Find your local stamp collectors [philatelic] store that sells foreign stamps (or find one on the Internet that you can do business with).

2). Get on the Internet to find out what the rate for mailing an International letter is (check the postal site for that particular nation).

3). Purchase the required foreign postage from your stamp store.

When you enclose your SASE, put the postage on the envelope with stamps from that nation at their rate for an International letter.

I did that and I got a prompt reply.

73,




Fred, WB4AEJ

NR6M
12-07-2012, 11:29 PM
It's no surprise. Most PO do not know what IRC's are. My local post office does not know what to do with them even after taking a printed copy of the postal regs to them.

N8DC
12-08-2012, 12:32 AM
I havent bought any IRC's in years . I have some that are expired I think from about 20 years ago :).. 2 bucks in an envalope with a sase works for me and has for years but I got in when it was cheap to send mail to dx stations. I have used the stamps also. The best thing to happen to dxers is LoTW. I do hear the complaints all the time but it works and its getting better. LoTW is a pain to get working but once you do its great. I commend the ARRL for helping us all with the rising cost of postage and wanting confirmations for our awards. If your just collecting the cards then its a different story. I am 4 from having them all DXCC mixed and I also have the cards but my dxcc cw and phone awards will never have all the cards just because its cost prohibitive . Lotw will hopefully help me get to the top.
Dave N8DC

K7ZZY
12-08-2012, 12:36 AM
... the Postal Service should ‘‘streamline’’ their product offering of low volume items.


I'd rather they streamlined the queues at the local post offices.
The least they could do is offer a chair and a pillow for the wait.

Next window please. I'm late for lunch.

N8DC
12-08-2012, 12:38 AM
I havent bought any IRC's in years . I have some that are expired I think from about 20 years ago :).. 2 bucks in an envalope with a sase works for me and has for years but I got in when it was cheap to send mail to dx stations. I have used the stamps also. The best thing to happen to dxers is LoTW. I do hear the complaints all the time but it works and its getting better. LoTW is a pain to get working but once you do its great. I commend the ARRL for helping us all with the rising cost of postage and wanting confirmations for our awards. If your just collecting the cards then its a different story. I am 4 from having them all DXCC mixed and I also have the cards but my dxcc cw and phone awards will never have all the cards just because its cost prohibitive . Lotw will hopefully help me get to the top.
Dave N8DC

N8NU
12-08-2012, 01:41 AM
One thought comes to mind: It is legal to simply import IRCs to the US from countries where they are still sold? Perhaps the retailers that serve us could add imported IRCs to the product line of imported radios, antennas and accessories.

I also hope nobody tries to start a scam over the shipping of IRCs without actually buying any, as some guy named Ponzi did, LOL.

AA6RE
12-08-2012, 01:51 AM
My local PO has not covered IRCs for many years. I had to buy them from the online USPS site, which was fine as I often put in an order for international stamps etc at the same time.

The Green stamp methiod has some issues. Stolen mail and the resulting confusion and delay cause more issues.


The ideal siutation would be that the ARRL open up LOTW for all HAMS for a nominal yearly fee that would allow full access to LOTW. READ ONLY if you don't pay.

The LOTW system would need more cacpacity ($$) and software. My guess is that for $20/year 75,000 additional International users would sign up for LOTW.


Paypal allows money to be transferred easily. (I recently found out paypal will even issue 1099K's for people paid for contract work by international firms

N3KIP
12-08-2012, 02:23 AM
One thought comes to mind: It is legal to simply import IRCs to the US from countries where they are still sold? Perhaps the retailers that serve us could add imported IRCs to the product line of imported radios, antennas and accessories.

I also hope nobody tries to start a scam over the shipping of IRCs without actually buying any, as some guy named Ponzi did, LOL.

Can't see why it wouldn't be legal to buy IRCs from another country. Trouble is, the US is not the only country that no longer sells them. I hear that you can no longer get them in the UK either.

W4WN
12-08-2012, 03:25 AM
And next to go is the greenstamp, there was an article in the local paper recently saying congress wants to do away with the dollar bill and replace it with a coin to save costs. I imagine with the Fed printing the stuff like newspaper we'll be sending a "Benjamin" instead of a couple "Washingtons" soon anyway...

W3TLN
12-08-2012, 04:42 AM
IRCs can be purchased until Jan 27, 2013 from USPS.

Our government is just trying to be helpful. I guess dropping this service makes a dent in the multi-trillion deficit.

The USPS is a private corporation and is not run by the US government. If it was a government entity it would have no problems. It would just run a deficit as other government agencies do.

KJ4VOV
12-08-2012, 05:06 AM
In keeping with their efforts to streamline, and also in compliance with truth in advertising laws, the USPS should drop that superfluous second "S". It hasn't been a "service" for decades now.

Use a money order? Really? Let's see... first you need to find someplace that sells international money orders, then you have to figure out what currency it needs to be in and what value, then pay for it. International money orders are not cheap. Expect to pay at least a couple of bucks each for them (and USPS money orders are not good outside the USA) so this will at least double, if not triple, the costs involved. Yes, I suppose to a government bureaucrat doubling or tripling the cost and increasing the complexity of the process would be a "viable alternative".

AB7MC
12-08-2012, 06:42 AM
That is why I do not renew my membership. I get nothing from this organization. When you ask for help they will tell you to pay first.:)
USPS could've chosen to supply IRCs from a central location, with an automated ordering system. There would've been minimal human contact.

Not every sender AND receiver has Paypal. Money Orders will have to be used.

I'm not against electronic QSLs but, IME, ARRL has a vested interest in IRCs going away. Ya think?

N6HCM
12-08-2012, 07:30 AM
USPS could've chosen to supply IRCs from a central location, with an automated ordering system. There would've been minimal human contact.

in fact, for the past year or so you could order them from usps.com. i did exactly that a few months ago.

AA4HP
12-08-2012, 11:38 AM
Another example of how our country is shrinking its way to greatness.

K2BEW
12-08-2012, 01:22 PM
The USPS is a private corporation and is not run by the US government. If it was a government entity it would have no problems. It would just run a deficit as other government agencies do.

USPS stands for the United States Post Office, I think you are mixing it up with UPS.

AB1QP
12-08-2012, 01:55 PM
In keeping with their efforts to streamline, and also in compliance with truth in advertising laws, the USPS should drop that superfluous second "S". It hasn't been a "service" for decades now.

Use a money order? Really? Let's see... first you need to find someplace that sells international money orders, then you have to figure out what currency it needs to be in and what value, then pay for it. International money orders are not cheap. Expect to pay at least a couple of bucks each for them (and USPS money orders are not good outside the USA) so this will at least double, if not triple, the costs involved. Yes, I suppose to a government bureaucrat doubling or tripling the cost and increasing the complexity of the process would be a "viable alternative".
Really? An organization that delivers to virtually every occupied building in the country 6 days a week for about a buck isn't a service? Really?

AB1QP
12-08-2012, 02:00 PM
That is why I do not renew my membership. I get nothing from this organization. When you ask for help they will tell you to pay first.:)
I don't get the comparison of LOTW and QSL cards. Yes, as a confirming instrument for awards, they serve the same purposes. But as a sentimental, historic, commemorative, decorative, or creative item, its an apples to aliens comparison.

KJ4VOV
12-08-2012, 02:16 PM
Really? An organization that delivers to virtually every occupied building in the country 6 days a week for about a buck isn't a service? Really?
You've never lived anywhere rural, have you?

USPS does not deliver to "virtually every occupied building in the country", far from it.

AB1QP
12-08-2012, 03:33 PM
You've never lived anywhere rural, have you?

USPS does not deliver to "virtually every occupied building in the country", far from it.

Well, I am not exactly urban, or even suburban, but I grant that there are surely places more remote than here.

Still, the only way I could get a Domino pizza would be if they mailed it to me:)

K4RDE
12-08-2012, 03:39 PM
USPS stands for the United States Post Office, I think you are mixing it up with UPS.
The Post office is NOT part of the US government..

W4LCM
12-08-2012, 03:47 PM
Bryan:

Nice tower and antennas you got there!

K2ADK
12-08-2012, 04:19 PM
About PayPal...I refuse to use them because, among other things, I do not like having a percentage of every payment going to a schmuck I'd not even say hello to if he were the last man on Earth. By which I mean Peter Thiel. And I don't like being forced to use credit cards, either.

K8BL
12-08-2012, 04:30 PM
If they kept it going with their on-line service, it could be enough to keep a person or two busy.

Or, maybe they could contract it out to a work-at-home operation by some bonded person(s).

I think they are making a hasty decision due to the stress of finding cost-cutting ideas as fast as they can. Do you think IRC's are a big expense item for the entire USPS????

-BL

AB2DP
12-08-2012, 04:31 PM
How do I know the right amount of stamps for EVERY DX ENTITY, where do I get them from, how I have them handy when needed and so on. They should have just an automated system or an employee for the entire country in charge with these cupons. In my opinion The ARRL in fact should go and support the IRC's cupons for us. The fact that they are not interested (but instead they want the lotw) is one, and the fact I am a collector of QSL cards makes a significant difference for example.

WB4AEJ
12-08-2012, 04:35 PM
The Post office is NOT part of the US government..

Really? You think not?
They are financed by the government.
Just because the government set them up as a private corporation doesn't mean they are not part of the government.

W5TXR
12-08-2012, 04:51 PM
I think the USPS is making a mistake. If they want to cut costs, then quit giving bonuses to the top heavy leadership within!
As a ham, I buy them a hunderd at a time because I have discovered that I get a substantially higher return on my QSL cards than with cash-ola.
(I actually did a semi-scientific study on this for a period of 5+ years.) I only compared contries with the same countries.
Cash - 67% return aveage IRC - 82% return average
www.w5txr.net (http://www.w5txr.net) "click on "UPU International Reply Coupon
or http://www.w5txr.net/UPU-International-Reply-Coupon.html For valuable and historical information on the IRC.

W5TXR
Mark A. Lacy, CEO
W5TXR Electronic Labs
New Braunfels, TX

ARRL Asst. Technical Coordinator
ARRL Certified Teacher/Instructor
ARRL OES
ARRL & W5YI VE

K4RDE
12-08-2012, 04:56 PM
Really? You think not?
They are financed by the government.
Just because the government set them up as a private corporation doesn't mean they are not part of the government.
NO they are not, I know this as a fact.

K4RDE
12-08-2012, 05:03 PM
I just went on-line and ordered some IRC to add to my collection , I think they are good
through 2013.

N9SWR
12-08-2012, 05:18 PM
USPS stands for the United States Post Office, I think you are mixing it up with UPS.

The United States Postal Service (USPS), also known as the Post Office and U.S. Mail, is an independent agency of the United States government responsible for providing postal service (http://forums.qrz.com/wiki/Mail) in the United States. It is one of the few government agencies explicitly authorized by the United States Constitution (http://forums.qrz.com/wiki/Postal_Clause). The USPS traces its roots to 1775 during the Second Continental Congress (http://forums.qrz.com/wiki/Second_Continental_Congress), where Benjamin Franklin (http://forums.qrz.com/wiki/Benjamin_Franklin) was appointed the first postmaster general (http://forums.qrz.com/wiki/Postmaster_General_of_the_United_States). The cabinet-level (http://forums.qrz.com/wiki/United_States_Cabinet) Post Office Department (http://forums.qrz.com/wiki/United_States_Post_Office_Department) was created in 1792 from Franklin's operation and transformed into its current form in 1971 under the Postal Reorganization Act (http://forums.qrz.com/wiki/Postal_Reorganization_Act).
The USPS employs over 574,000 workers and operates over 218,000 vehicles.[4] (http://forums.qrz.com/#cite_note-postalfacts-2011-4) The USPS is the operator of the largest vehicle fleet (http://forums.qrz.com/wiki/Vehicle_fleet) in the world.[5] (http://forums.qrz.com/#cite_note-Postal_Facts_2010-5) The USPS is legally obligated to serve all Americans, regardless of geography, at uniform price and quality. The USPS has exclusive access to letter boxes (http://forums.qrz.com/wiki/Letter_box) marked "U.S. Mail" and personal letterboxes in the United States, but still competes against private package delivery (http://forums.qrz.com/wiki/Package_delivery) services, such as UPS (http://forums.qrz.com/wiki/United_Parcel_Service) and FedEx (http://forums.qrz.com/wiki/FedEx).
The USPS has not directly received taxpayer-dollars since the early 1980s with the minor exception of subsidies for costs associated with the disabled and overseas voters. Since the 2006 all-time peak mail volume,[6] (http://forums.qrz.com/#cite_note-6) after which Congress passed the Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act (http://forums.qrz.com/wiki/Postal_Accountability_and_Enhancement_Act#Changes_ under_the_Postal_Accountability_and_Enhancement_Ac t_of_2006)",[7] (http://forums.qrz.com/#cite_note-7) (which mandated $5.5 billion per year to be paid into an account to pre-fund retiree health-care, 75 years into the future—a requirement unique to this agency[citation needed (http://forums.qrz.com/wiki/Wikipedia:Citation_needed)]), revenue dropped sharply due to recession-influenced[8] (http://forums.qrz.com/#cite_note-8) declining mail volume,[9] (http://forums.qrz.com/#cite_note-9) prompting the postal service to look to other sources of revenue while cutting costs to reduce its budget de

K2ADK
12-08-2012, 05:29 PM
Really? You think not?
They are financed by the government.
Just because the government set them up as a private corporation doesn't mean they are not part of the government.

The USPS is in the worst possible position for any business. They are told what to do and what not to do by the Congress (which is acutely dysfunctional.) They have been told to 'forward-fund' their pension system, something no other branch of government, and virtually no private business, has ever done. The sole reason for this forward funding is so the Congress can use that fund as collateral in funding our 'continuing resolutions'. The only thing the USPS can do without interference is decide how big to make the stamps.

Emmett
K2ADK

AA7EJ
12-08-2012, 05:40 PM
To all of you ham radio “all knowing and will discuss anything with authority” operators, I would suggest to check this link


http://www.ask.com/wiki/United_States_Postal_Service?o=3986&qsrc=999


It may clarify some misguided opinions.


It also appears that nobody caught that somehow public opinion was solicited.
The vast majority of replays were for to continue selling of IRC by USPS and a DEMOCRATIC decision (?) was made to the contrary.


Why did they do it if it does not make any difference?


And since the USPS apparently knows how to count, how about letting us know HOW much SAVINGS there will be in discontinuing “the service”?


I suppose nobody cares about that either.

PS I think 10 meters is open ... QSY...

K4RDE
12-08-2012, 06:06 PM
To all of you ham radio “all knowing and will discuss anything with authority” operators, I would suggest to check this link


http://www.ask.com/wiki/United_States_Postal_Service?o=3986&qsrc=999


It may clarify some misguided opinions.


It also appears that nobody caught that somehow public opinion was solicited.
The vast majority of replays were for to continue selling of IRC by USPS and a DEMOCRATIC decision (?) was made to the contrary.


Why did they do it if it does not make any difference?


And since the USPS apparently knows how to count, how about letting us know HOW much SAVINGS there will be in discontinuing “the service”?


I suppose nobody cares about that either.

PS I think 10 meters is open ... QSY...
Savings? Nothing at all, if you buy them off the internet they charge you shipping. Everyone should order some that might send them a message.

KB5IAV
12-08-2012, 07:28 PM
I havent bought any IRC's in years . I have some that are expired I think from about 20 years ago :).. 2 bucks in an envalope with a sase works for me and has for years but I got in when it was cheap to send mail to dx stations. I have used the stamps also. The best thing to happen to dxers is LoTW. I do hear the complaints all the time but it works and its getting better. LoTW is a pain to get working but once you do its great. I commend the ARRL for helping us all with the rising cost of postage and wanting confirmations for our awards. If your just collecting the cards then its a different story. I am 4 from having them all DXCC mixed and I also have the cards but my dxcc cw and phone awards will never have all the cards just because its cost prohibitive . Lotw will hopefully help me get to the top.
Dave N8DC

I haven't bought any in a long time either. I buy foreign stamps online usually at a lower cost than IRCs cost, and send the DX station an SASE and that has worked well for me. For PSK31 QSOs, I have a return rate of 85.11%. I also use LOTW, which has helped me in not having to get cards checked or send them off to the ARRL. I got PSK31 WAS with only having to send one card for checking thanks to LOTW.

A ham I knew many years told me of how he had lived in Bolivia and was active there. He always had hams sending him IRCs, but the only post office that would redeem them was main post office in La Paz. Since he traveled there once a month, he always had a big stack to redeem. Some receiving post offices don't know what to do with them, or simply don't want to bother with them, so they don't always help in getting that QSL.

With LOTW, easier ways to send money overseas, and DX stamp dealers, that along with the decline in shortwave broadcasting(many SWLers/DXers are also big consumers of IRCs), I can see why the demand for them is in decline so the USPS is making a business decision to stop selling them.

It's unfortunate, but we just have to adapt.

VR2BG
12-09-2012, 12:20 AM
Since redeeming IRCs must continue (it is a requirement of participation in UPU, which countries sign up to by treaty), I am not sure what savings there are from discontinuing sales - there is still all the backoffice work of settling accounts between the issuing & redeeming postal authorities as well as UPU.

So if there is a savings, it comes from not stocking & distributing to post offices what apparently was not available at a lot of post offices already.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ieuBkWHfCuc

73, ex-VR2BG/p.

AC7DX
12-09-2012, 03:22 AM
I usually have IRC's for sale...If countries stop using them, then as a manager, I will stop accepting them.
73
Ron

AA7EJ
12-09-2012, 04:34 AM
I usually have IRC's for sale...If countries stop using them, then as a manager, I will stop accepting them.
73
Ron
Immaculate logic, Mr Spock.

N8YN
12-09-2012, 06:04 AM
I think the decision really SUCKS!!!

N8YN

AE6YB
12-09-2012, 08:53 AM
Really? You think not?
They are financed by the government.
Just because the government set them up as a private corporation doesn't mean they are not part of the government.

Actually, we are not financed by the Govt. The only thing that makes us a government agency is that we are regulated by Congress.

MW1CFN
12-09-2012, 12:40 PM
USPS could've chosen to supply IRCs from a central location, with an automated ordering system. There would've been minimal human contact.

Not every sender AND receiver has Paypal. Money Orders will have to be used.

I'm not against electronic QSLs but, IME, ARRL has a vested interest in IRCs going away. Ya think? vy 73,


He he. Not everybody WANTS to use ploypal. 'Customer Protection' and all that jazz that just leads to hair-pulling when it goes wrong.

This is a missed opportunity; issued online centrally, IRCs could surely have made money at a reasonable price to the cusomer, because there would be very few overheads in providing them that way. If e-QSLs estimate of saved postal charges is anywhere near accurate, that's a lot of money the tax man has not had a cut from.

Then again, there always is e-QSL; not the same as a physical card when you would like one, but still, provides the essence of what we need, all for free as a basic service, and about $12 for their first tier of paid service. Linking to their awards is a bonus, though you do miss out as very many are not registered.

KB8NXO
12-09-2012, 01:13 PM
Just another example of the USPS's idea of customer service.
I don't know about where you live but here 98% of corner mail boxes have been removed. Mail gets sent to several wrong places before arriving at the correct adders. And now this. What is our benefit for all this? Increased postal rates.

WS4E
12-09-2012, 04:42 PM
So, can I trade the IRC's that I still have in for some USPS international stamps or something?

K4ED
12-09-2012, 08:36 PM
As of January 27, 2013, the U.S. Postal Service no longer sells international reply coupons.

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Time to go out and buy a few, and store them in archive quality plastic. 50 years from now - Profit!!!!

KD5EW
12-10-2012, 04:33 PM
I think the USPS is making a mistake. If they want to cut costs, then quit giving bonuses to the top heavy leadership within!
As a ham, I buy them a hunderd at a time because I have discovered that I get a substantially higher return on my QSL cards than with cash-ola.
(I actually did a semi-scientific study on this for a period of 5+ years.) I only compared contries with the same countries.
Cash - 67% return aveage IRC - 82% return average
www.w5txr.net (http://www.w5txr.net) "click on "UPU International Reply Coupon
or http://www.w5txr.net/UPU-International-Reply-Coupon.html For valuable and historical information on the IRC.

W5TXR
Mark A. Lacy, CEO
W5TXR Electronic Labs
New Braunfels, TX

ARRL Asst. Technical Coordinator
ARRL Certified Teacher/Instructor
ARRL OES
ARRL & W5YI VE


I have had similar success with IRCs--a bit over 80% confirmations. With LoTW, however, I've had only 164 confirmations out of 638 QSO entries--only about 25%. I do not see LoTW as a replacement for IRCs and "pasteboard" QSLs at this time.

Greg
KD5EW

VE7IG
12-11-2012, 02:25 PM
One alternative that works well is to obtain postage stamps for the correct amount of return postage from a service such as PlumDX.
(plumdx@msn.com). His prices are reasonable and he also sells pairs of airmail mailer envelopes.

KB5JSB
12-11-2012, 03:57 PM
The Postal Service has to do "something" so they chose something easy by discontinueing IRC's instead of tacklng the real problem of government waste. Maybe UPS or FedEx will come up with their own "IRC". They seem to know how to make a profit.

KB5IAV
12-12-2012, 03:28 AM
One alternative that works well is to obtain postage stamps for the correct amount of return postage from a service such as PlumDX.
(plumdx@msn.com). His prices are reasonable and he also sells pairs of airmail mailer envelopes.

Another good place to get DX stamps is James Mackey, http://www.airmailpostage.com. He also sells air mail envelopes.

W9MSL
12-12-2012, 05:56 PM
Sorry, I am old fashioned, but it is a sad day when you can't buy IRCs. I bought out the local post office. They were happy to sell their supply. They said I was the only person in town that ever purchased them anymore!

AC7DX
12-13-2012, 02:25 AM
I have a few packets of 10 ea correctly stamped post paid to USA for $17 per packet. Personal check okay
As a manager, I usually always have them. Email me first.
73
Ron
AC7DX

AD6W
12-13-2012, 06:38 PM
IRCs are the only way I've found to get a card out of some countries. I hope I'll still be able to obtain them from sources other than the PO. They should have made them available from an online outlet.

I enjoy my collection of 10,000+ cards very much, and I send direct or OQRS requests for cards I'm interested in receiving. I also upload my log to LOTW because I often want a confirmation without a card, and it's the easiest way to provide confirmations for people that want that from me. LOTW is one of the most valuable services ever offered by the ARRL, right up there with defense of spectrum, acquisition of additional spectrum, technical books, and online access to archives of Ham Radio and QST. LOTW has saved me about $2,100 so far, money I spent improving my station. With the average mailing to a foreign country at $3.05 per request, it doesn't take long to add up. I often wait months or in some cases years for a requested card, so waiting 8 days for a LOTW confirmation doesn't seem like much of a problem.

K4WAL
12-13-2012, 09:10 PM
Just last year I started collecting QSL's. I use 10-20 / mo. Our local Post mistress gladly ordered them for me. She is a jewel!!

K4WAL
12-13-2012, 09:16 PM
He he.
Then again, there always is e-QSL; not the same as a physical card when you would like one, but still, provides the essence of what we need, all for free as a basic service, and about $12 for their first tier of paid service. Linking to their awards is a bonus, though you do miss out as very many are not registered.
ARRL doesn't accept eQSL for DXCC do they? how about the AG QSL's?

W5DQ
12-13-2012, 09:26 PM
USPS stands for the United States Post Office, I think you are mixing it up with UPS.

I think you got it mixed up with the Government.

USPS is an acronym for "United States Postal Service" and is a privatized enterprise and has NOTHING to do with the US Government! Congress has oversight into their operations but does NOT control them, at least to the best of my knowledge.

Gene W5DQ

W5DQ
12-13-2012, 09:35 PM
Well, I am not exactly urban, or even suburban, but I grant that there are surely places more remote than here.

Still, the only way I could get a Domino pizza would be if they mailed it to me:)

But if it isn't there in 30 minutes, don't you get it FREE ??? :)

WB4AEJ
12-14-2012, 04:41 PM
NO they are not, I know this as a fact.

Just because they do the paperwork doesn't make it so.

For example, people that list their commercial properties as belonging to LLCs doesn't make the property any less their property than if it was listed in their own name.

There is no difference here. 'In name only'.

K4RDE
12-14-2012, 05:56 PM
Just because they do the paperwork doesn't make it so.

For example, people that list their commercial properties as belonging to LLCs doesn't make the property any less their property than if it was listed in their own name.

There is no difference here. 'In name only'.
What?
They are not part of the US Government. Have worked there.

K5RIX
12-15-2012, 07:35 PM
Maybe USPS could move IRC's over to, say, the Amtrak ticketing system. Consolidate the losses yet offer a product. Or, better, put a 2 mil tax on junk mail to subsidize a legitimate function of the postal service. Government is sadly laughable while tragic.

KL2LR
12-15-2012, 08:08 PM
It so unfortunate that every thread seems to turn into an anti-government rant by many.

AD1B
12-15-2012, 08:48 PM
If the USPS wishes to discontinue over the counter sale of IRCs, fine. However, they should continue to sell IRCs via their web site.

K3XA
12-16-2012, 12:20 PM
IRC's can be purchased on line from the USPS Stamp Fulfillment Services facility in Kansas City, MO. I ordered 6 at $2.20 each and they added $1.25 S/H. The order arrived within a few days of order placement. As of this morning, the site reflects current IRC's (good till 12/31/2013) are in stock. The site address is: https:store.usps.com/store/ (search IRC at the top of the site and click on the first "IRC Results" listing to go to the IRC order page.

FYI - The USPS sells International Money Orders, however they are very expensive. The currrent price for the M/O is $4.45, and not all countries accept them.

W8BZN
12-19-2012, 07:53 PM
It is VERY SAD that our government is so self serving that WE THE PEOPLE find the need to remind others of this reality ! ! ! The USPS IS under the sanction of our government, and thus SOMEONE needs to MAN UP ! ! And justify that which effects their CLIENTS ! ! !

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