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For broadcast on CBS Radio Network stations 
November 6-7, 1999:

Using stamps on your mail.

The Stamp Collecting Report, I'm Lloyd de Vries.

What's the purpose of a stamp? At least theoretically, it's 
to show that postage has been paid and to get a letter or 
parcel from one place to another.

Stamps, though, have many other purposes: Giving us 
something to collect...honoring people, organizations and 
causes...and raising money for postal agencies.

Sometimes it seems as if postal services have forgotten 
about the primary purpose, though, moving the mail. When 
you try to use stamps to mail a package, faster than you can 
say "increasing the bottom line," the clerk slaps a meter 
label on it. Ask for a sheet of the highly-publicized new 
Aardvark stamp, and you get a blank stare.

If stamps don't carry the mail, and are only sold to 
collectors, they're STICKERS. That's what happened to the 
Soviet Bloc countries; collectors lost interest.

Don't be afraid to insist on stamps for your letters and 
packages. Tell the clerks you'll want that new Widgets 
souvenir sheet coming out next week. Be insistent.

You're the customer.

And that's stamp collecting this week. 

I'm Lloyd de Vries, CBS News.

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