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1. The best way is using green stamps, not IRCs, because IRCs cost more than one US$, but they have a final value, for the DX stn, of only around 60 cents(please ask your post office how much you get for a foreign IRC: you will have the confirmation); IRCs are also stolen by post clerks, so are not surer; IRCs are NOT changed into stamps in the ex-USSR republics, so, despite the name, they are not international.|
2. About national stamps, I can tell you that I have received lots of useless stamps, of France, Andorra, Italy, USA, Great Britain and also a few stamps of my country the Principality of Monaco, but NEVER the right value, always less, because the fares go up, and they have old mail price lists. Please note that, from January 1st 2002, the whole Europe has changed currency, switching from the national currencies to the EURO (see note below); so most of the stamps (without double value in National currency and EURO) cannot be used any more. Every country has still national stamps, but the value is always expressed in Euro; it does NOT mean that you can use german stamps in France, for exemple; every national mail service has his stamps, and only these have to be used inside the country. I suggest not to use this system, if you really want an answer.
|3.On my experience, I think you should explain to the DXers that: - writing the SAE, they should leave enough place to put a stamp (incredible, but very usual problem); - writing the SAE, they should remember that the envelope will be mailed from overseas, so the State and ZIP code are not enough, the Country (example: U.S.A.) is necessary also; - when sealing an envelope, please think that someone will have to open it, so: put inside the SAE in a way, it will not be damaged opening the letter; remember that the green stamp makes everything green, so its best place is inside the SAE; do not put scotch or glue or "PostIt" to fix the IRC or the GS at your QSL: remember that you are EXCHANGING your QSL card against the QSL card of the DX station, so your card should arrive in "mint conditions", because your card will go in a collection, not in the waste paper basket, exactly as the DX QSL card goes in your collection, and we all like beautiful cards, in perfect conditions; - a self-adhesive sealing SAE is very much appreciated (try to seal ten or twenty conventional envelopes, and you will understand!!!); - please do not kill the DX station, if you receive very ugly stamps: like that, all the letters arrive; but if I put our beautiful and collectible stamps, only 85 to 90% arrive. Are we hams or stamp collectors?|