Yes, this hobby does cost some money...
Without the correct amount of postage on your envelope, your letter may
be returned or the celebrity will have to pay the excess amount to get
the letter; it is difficult enough to write to a celebrity and get a positive
response without them paying the postage. Along with that, postage
on the returning envelope (the SASE) is important in that if the celebrity
does send you back something, I'm sure you would want to make sure it
Depending upon your post office, they may deliver the returning envelope
with insufficient postage but, they will leave a bill for the remaining
amount to be paid by you or you may just get a note stating that they
are holding a letter for you until you pay the remaining amount.
The first chart below will show the approximate weight of items that
you are sending. Use this chart to calculate how much the total
weight will be and use the second chart to figure out how much postage
is needed to mail it. I have compiled this list from using the rate
calculator at the United
States Postal Service web site which calculates both domestic and
international postage amounts. Although I have weighed the items
myself, you should use these weights as approximate.
Domestic postage (from one US address to another)
The third chart shows the amount that you should use on the SASE.
For a standard size envelope, the first ounce will cost $0.34 and each
additional ounce is $0.21 cents. For any envelopes larger than a
standard size (and over an ounce in weight), the initial postage is $0.55
with each additional ounce costing $0.21.
International postage (from a US address to an address outside
of the US and it's )
US postage will work on letters mailed to the address outside of the US
but, US postage cannot be used on the SASE. There are three ways
to pay for postage on the SASE:
Apply stamps that are from the country that you are mailing to.
You can write to the main post office of the country and purchase
stamps from them. I haven't tried getting stamps this way so
you are on your own on this. Here are a couple of addresses
to get more info about purchasing foreign stamps:
Royal Mail Direct
20 Brandon Street
Edinburgh EH3 0SP
National Philatelic Centre
75 St. Ninian St.
Antigonish NS B2G 2R8
Phone: 1-800-565-4362 (you can purchase stamps with a credit card)
IRCs (International Response Coupons). These are small coupons
(see picture) that can be purchased at most US post offices.
They cost $1.05 each and are redeemed at foreign post offices for
minimum postage. Each IRC will cover about 15 grams (a little
over 1/2 ounce) of airmail postage. This is probably the easiest and
most common method to use if your post office carries them.
If they do not, ask them to order them. As a rule, it is always
good to send at least 2 IRCs for a standard sized SASE and
3 IRCs for a 9x12 SASE to ensure that there is enough for return postage.
Send cash. This is more risky because you may never
see your money again. IRCs may not even be redeemable in some
countries (I believe the German Postfache - post office - doesn't)
and if you can't get foreign stamps, this may be the only way.
|3x5 index card
|Single sheet of paper (letter)
(w/weight and destination charges)
|10x13 envelope, 9x12 SASE, 2 index
cards and letter
|10x13 envelope, 9x12 SASE, 8x10 photo,
cardboard backer, plastic sleeve and letter
|9x12 envelope, 9x12 SASE, 2 index cards
|Standard envelope, 9x12 SASE, 2 index cards
|Standard envelope, standard SASE, 2 index
cards and letter
SASE Postage (US and UK only)
|9x12 envelope and 8x10 photo
|standard envelope and index card(s)
UK Postage Rates
||BP (British Pounds)
|consider purchasing UK stamps
from the Royal Mail for letters
greater than 200 grams
If you still have questions about postage rates that
aren't answered here visit the USPS
web site or call your local post office for more details.