In the last pricelist, I offered a repaired Scott #122 at a very affordable price for this elusive stamp. A customer bought it along with one of the large lots of worldwide material. This was early December, right before the Christmas season. The large lot contained an album of stamps. To protect the #122, I put it in a stock card and taped the glassine with the card to the inside of the album so that it wouldn’t be damaged.

I used nice stamps on the package. The customer received the heavy package in damaged shape. The side was torn open. You guessed it, the #122 was missing. The rest of the contents of the package were present. There is no way that #122 just slipped out. Someone in the USPS saw the nice stamps and decided to go Christmas shopping a little early. They saw the invoice which included my note saying where to find the #122. They found it and removed it. I am 100% convinced it was a theft. The trouble is, I’ll never find the thief. It’s gone for good.

I began to question myself. Should I continue using nice stamps on packages and letters to my customers? Nice stamps attract attention. Should I use meter stamps instead? However, I get many nice comments from customers saying that they appreciate the stamps that I use on their orders. What to do?

Then it hit me. A few weeks later, I received a large package from an auction house where I made some bids. The package was completely wrapped up in heavy duty packaging tape. There was no way that package could just “become damaged.” I found my answer.

Spending a couple of dollars on some strong packaging tape is an expense I can afford. It will make it very difficult for packages (or letters) to “accidentally” become damaged while in transit with the USPS. If someone wants to open it, they are going to have to work awfully hard to get to the goodies inside.

The good news is that I will continue to use nice stamps when sending out material. The bad news is, you’re going to have to use some scissors or a heavy duty letter opener to cut through some of the packaging. I will work hard to do it in a way that doesn’t damage the stamps or cause you grief. I want to make it easy for you to get to your purchases, but hard enough to detract the few crooks who infiltrate the USPS.

If you have any other suggestions, I’d like to hear from you.