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New Contributor
Glgist
Posts: 2
Registered: ‎12-08-2010

Can you find out the origin of a letter by the PB postage meter stamp?

Is it possible to determine the origin of a piece of mail by just the postage meter stamp?  I have two pieces of mail, one from a known source and the other from an unknown source.  Both were mailed using a PB postage meter from the same zip code.  Can anyone tell me how, or if you can, decipher the other markings on the stamp to determine if these two pieces of mail were stamped by the same PB machine?  Thanks in advance.

Frequent Contributor
karios
Posts: 155
Registered: ‎05-13-2008

Re: Can you find out the origin of a letter by the PB postage meter stamp?

Glgist,

There should be a series of 10-12 characters on the meter stamp that identifies the meter. On most PB meters, the numbers are located to the left of the date. On Neopost meters, the series of alpha/numeric characters appear at the top of the meter stamp. I have seen some PB meter stamps with only 7 digits, but most, if not all, of the 10-digit numbers are preceded by three 0's so they are essentially 7-digit codes. The identifying codes for Neopost meters typically consist of 12 characters.

I hope this helps!

Moderator
ShannonS
Posts: 421
Registered: ‎08-05-2009

Re: Can you find out the origin of a letter by the PB postage meter stamp?

Welcome to the Community, Glgist! We hope that karios has been helpful in answering your question- thanks karios!!!

 

While you're here, please be sure and stop over to our Welcome Thread and Introduce Yourself

 

If you have any other issues or concerns, please do not hesitate to ask!

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New Contributor
Glgist
Posts: 2
Registered: ‎12-08-2010

Re: Can you find out the origin of a letter by the PB postage meter stamp?

Thanks Karios for the quick reply!  There is a 7 digit number preceeded by 3 0's on both stamps though they are not the same.  Does this mean that they were mailed from two different machines?  The first piece of mail was delivered in 2008 while the second was just recieved.  I guess its possible that the machine was replaced in that time.  If it was mailed from a post office, as the second piece of mail is claimed to have been mailed from, do post offices us PB postage machines?  Do they have more than one? Does this ID number stay with the machine for the entire period of use?

 

Thanks again for the responses!

Frequent Contributor
karios
Posts: 155
Registered: ‎05-13-2008

Re: Can you find out the origin of a letter by the PB postage meter stamp?

Glgist,

Yes, if the meter stamp on the two mailpieces have different numbers, then they were metered on different machines. As for whether they could still be from the same company, I believe the answer is yes, if their office has more than one machine. Or, as you stated, the sending company's postage meter may have been replaced within the last two years. I am fairly certain that the ID number on the meter stamp is unique to each machine - not to the location. I could be wrong, since my office has always had only one machine; we have other offices with postage meters, and I'm sure their machines have different identifying numbers. But the number for each machine remains constant.

I don't know what machines the Post Office use, or if it varies. The best way to find answers to your questions since you are questioning whether the second mailpiece was metered at and mailed from a PO, is to contact the local PO where the mailpiece originated and ask whether the ID number on the meter stamp belongs to one of their machines. PB should be able to trace the ID number on any PB machine, but I doubt they could do this upon request.

Another thing to keep in mind...I recently saw my boss with a pane of metered stamps which looked exactly like the ones the PO prints from their machines. When I asked him where he got them, he said the Post Office. I don't see on their website where metered stamps can be purchased, but it's another possiblity -- that the sender of the mailpiece in question bought stamps that were printed from the PO's machines and had them for use in the office. The PO could tell you for certain whether metered stamps are sold that way.

I hope this information is helpful.

Frequent Contributor
FNSBSDmailer
Posts: 146
Registered: ‎09-09-2008

Re: Can you find out the origin of a letter by the PB postage meter stamp?

 


Glgist wrote:

Is it possible to determine the origin of a piece of mail by just the postage meter stamp?  I have two pieces of mail, one from a known source and the other from an unknown source.  Both were mailed using a PB postage meter from the same zip code.  Can anyone tell me how, or if you can, decipher the other markings on the stamp to determine if these two pieces of mail were stamped by the same PB machine?  Thanks in advance.


 

That 7 digit number is the serial number of the meter. You can determine the origin by just using this number, but you'll need a subpeona.

 

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