Philosateleia
Kevin Blackston
PO Box 17544
San Antonio TX 78217-0544
United States of America

APC flag error labels surface on mail from New York

I’ve written in the past about Automated Postal Center or Self-Service Kiosk labels, a form of print-on-demand postage that can be purchased from kiosks at USPS locations here in the United States. Errors with designs printed on the wrong paper or even with no design at all are far from unheard of, but it had probably been a couple of years since I’d run across any.

A couple of years, that is, until last week, when I received a note mailed from New York, New York, using one of the preprinted U.S. flag labels with the USPS logo printed on top!

Cover bearing APC U.S. Flag label with USPS logo printed on top
APC U.S. Flag label with USPS logo printed on top on cover

This is obviously an example of the sort of label produced by a machine that has had preprinted paper stock loaded in it, but that has not been reprogrammed by a post office employee to properly print only the barcode and related information.

Interestingly, my correspondent included a SASE bearing another label presumably printed at the same time and location. Whereas the example on the cover mailed to me was a Forever stamp, this one is a $1.15 label intended to pay international postage. It has a full-size barcode with other information printed over the flag.

APC U.S. Flag label with barcode and text printed on top
APC U.S. Flag label with barcode and text printed on top

As I’ve written previously, the market for this sort of material is pretty thin even though the basic labels are listed in the Computer Vended Postage section of the Scott Specialized Catalogue. Nevertheless, these “error” labels are fun items to have when you run across them.

Published 2018-09-04

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