"I find it interesting that the meanest life, the poorest existence, is attributed to God's will, but as human beings become more affluent, as their living standard and style begin to ascend the material scale, God descends the scale of responsibility at a commensurate speed" Maya Angelou
Happenings of the USPS
No new stamps to write about this time. Of note the international letter rate for one ounce letters is at $1.20, if you have not noticed. There is some rumblings that the first class letter rate may be going up or down soon!
Some Thoughts on Successful QSLing
For successful qsling, first look at what the DX station wants in return for a qsl card.
The first choice here for information is qrz.com or the HAM CALL DATA BASE. These DX listings indicate the most accurate source of information on addresses and also specify what should be done in return for a qsl card. Most times the station or stations will say nothing, which leaves open the door to direct qsling, the bureau, or possibly OQRS, and least but not lost, LOTW. These listings also indicate whether the QSL manager is involved. The listings that indicate direct, i take it to mean direct and not via the bureau, usually work in securing the card.
The next question is what should be used for return postage, stamps, IRCS, or dollar bills. I don't recommend dollar bills but if the station indicates pay pal as an alternative for payment, then that may be the most secure. If the station says direct, do not send the card to the bureau because that will probably lead the qsl card into file 13 on the other end. The bureau can be helpful if a long wait is not a problem, or if you live long enough. If the station says qsl via registered mail, send it that way as this is the safest method of all. Chances are there is a reason for asking for this method on the other end.
I have found that, in thirty years of qsling, that return postage works best. We offer a rather extensive listing of postage, FAIRLY PRICED on our webpage. Bill Plum offers the same down in New Jersey. Bill Plum offers discount postage that works great on getting the QSLS to the DX station. He even offers global forever stamps at a discounted rate!
IRCS are available. The USPS no longer sells them but most qsl managers do and want an arm and a leg for them! Proceed cautiously. They work great as long as the station says no IRCS. If the station says no stamps, no IRCS, and offers no alternative, then look around for another station to put in the log from the same entity. You are wasting your time with this station.
Most of all, look back at the past issues of this newsletter to see some of the things that USPS does not recommend to be sent OVERSEAS. Foreign currencies are high on the list of no nos to most places.
We offer an established and proven service for obtaining qsl cards. Details are on our website, www.airmailpostage.com
If you are a bit reluctant on qsling direct or via the bureau, try our system. We will do the qsling for you. IT WORKS!
information on our qsling system can be found in our database. This base is a complete disclosure of our qsling since its inception in November 2013. It lists the stations for which we have obtained cards from, the length of time each transaction took, the postage involved, and the qsl information. It is updated bi-weekly. If you don't see the station listed, we haven't QSLED it direct. Use our CATEGORY 1 service.
Use this database to decide what your cost will be for this service and the amount of postage to use if you purchase units. Also, how long your wait will probably be for a return can be found on the database.
Our envelope line is also recommended for overseas mailings. See our webpage for pricing and availability. The euro cover/return combos work best! these are fairly priced!
Mailing to Cuba
As we have done in the past, we look at international mail regulations as they apply to Cuba. Note that the currencies issue is once again mentioned.
Table 1: Mail Log from 13 June 2015 - 24 June 2015