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Do Envelopes have bar-codes?

Posted by arleneb (My Page) on
Wed, Dec 3, 08 at 14:11

Hi Everyone, I have lurked here off and on for a couple of years and now I have a question that I think perhaps someone here might be able to answer for me.

Often times we get empty envelopes with a billing or similar mailings we receive. I have not thrown these away, but I save them. I just hate to waste something.

Many of them are just plain envelopes, which I have used to mail things. But also many of them have lines like a bar code on them. I am wondering if these lines are a bar code and would send the envelope to a pre-arranged address. So I haven't used them just in case.

Does anyone know about these lines/barcodes?
Thanks,
Arlene


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Do Envelopes have bar-codes?

I think those bar codes include the info for postage since most are prepaid;could also be the return (pre-arranged address) Just take a black marker and cover them up.


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RE: Do Envelopes have bar-codes?

Why worry about it? When you put the label over the preprinted address just make sure it covers the bar code or at least part of it.


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RE: Do Envelopes have bar-codes?

Thanks for your prompt replies calirose and dilly_dally.

Gosh such a simple solution, putting a black marker cover-up, I should have thought of that.

dilly_dally, these are the envelopes with the little windows, I usually just address on the back of whatever I am sending so that the address shows through. The barcode bars are up by the stamp or in the lower left. I am think ing the magic marker might be the answer. Hopefully the eletronics won't read the bars through the ink.
Thanks,
Arlene


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RE: Do Envelopes have bar-codes?

OK. I misunderstood you to mean the solid envelopes with the bar code and address.

Yes, just using a black marker will make the code unreadable to scanners. They do that in stores with bar codes when something goes into the clearance bin. You just need a line through it.


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RE: Do Envelopes have bar-codes?

In our Canadian system, there is frequently a series of lines, usually light orange colour, similar to a bar code, that run across the lower right side of the envelope, about 3/8" up from the bottom. They tell the automatic routing machines through which channels to send that piece of mail in order to arrive at its designated destination.

These are on letters addressed to me.

Often I get letters asking for donations and they usually include a return envelope, no window, pre-addressed to the address of the sender (I'm not sure whether there's usually a bar code on them, but I think not) but they have a box at top right showing their post-paid information, including a number that the P.O. uses to calculate whom to bill for that letter.

If you use an envelope with a return-postage-guaranteed envelope like that (usually with no window) and you cover up the origianl returnee's address to add one of your choice, you'll need to cover over the return postage box at the top right - a stamp will suffice.

Thanks for reusing things - our trees are the replenishers of the world's oxygen, so deserve being preserved ... in their original form, that is, rather than being turned into envelopes.

I developed a habit early on after entry into this world, to which I've become thoroughly addicted, called "breathing" ... and it's my earnest desirethat I should be able to continue to benefit from this addiction for some additional time.

Actually, my farm-owner Dad, who suffered from pretty well chronic bronchitis and was developing incipient asthma, moved from this fairly humid and substantially polluted area over 60 years ago, to farm on the Prairies, and had 40 years of good health, in that drier, cleaner atmosphere.

Good wishes for good health to you and your loved ones.

ole joyful


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RE: Do Envelopes have bar-codes?

Back when I was working, our secretary was getting really frustrated because mail she forwarded by marking through the address and putting on the correct one, kept coming back! She was marking out the bar code too.

I called the post office and they said the scanner can see through the black marker. They said you could stick something over it or to use a china marker (aka "grease pencil")

If something is postage paid and you put a different address over the original -- I think that's illegal so be sure not to do that.

And -- LOL -- I know someone who gets so irritated at all the junk mail he receives that when he gets a postage paid envelope he tears up all the rest of the stuff that came with the envelope, stuffs it in the envelope and off it goes in the mail. :o


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RE: Do Envelopes have bar-codes?

If something is postage paid and you put a different address over the original -- I think that's illegal so be sure not to do that.
That's true, it's a theft. In fact, technically if you receive a pre-stamped envelope (with a stamp on a plain envelope) with an address on it, you can't change the address. You're supposed to take it to the post office and get it exchanged. But who does that?

And -- LOL -- I know someone who gets so irritated at all the junk mail he receives that when he gets a postage paid envelope he tears up all the rest of the stuff that came with the envelope, stuffs it in the envelope and off it goes in the mail. :o
Oh yeah, been doing that for a long time. And I sometimes will include some extra junk mail for them, for their trouble. Gives me some satisfaction when I get it over the one ounce size so they pay more yet, on top of the penalty postage. I've also used them to send opt-out instructions. It worked in several cases.

The black marker issue is more of an issue of "shades of gray". If there's enough difference, certain scanners can read through the marker. They're set up for reading on colored envelopes so it really depends on how well it's covered. It's like when you do mark over something and make a copy of a copier or scanner. Sometimes it can detect the difference. A scrap strip of paper and a glue stick works wonders on them too, especially if it's marked over on top of it.


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RE: Do Envelopes have bar-codes?

Thanks for all of your replies folks. I was thinking that the black marker was the way to go until I read the posts from ilene_in_neck and cynic that the scanner can see through the black marker.

But I do have another solution that I will share with you.

I never throw away the sticky paper around the sheets of labels etc. In fact, I do volunteer work in an office putting labels on things and I save the empty left over sheets. Once I bring them home, I find lots of uses for them, including hand written labels on folders, cd covers, VHS covers, and I even covered an old address on one of those big yellow padded envelopes so I could reuse it. I cut them into small squares once for garage sale price tags and I use them for anything that I need a sticky for. It's sort of like I get a bang out of not spending money on a needed item and using something I already have. I love to find second uses for items.

So my plan now is to cut a strip of this sticky "label" paper and cover the bar code lines on the envelopes, thus saving around three dozen of the envelopes I have accumulated. I was pretty sure the bars meant something is why I hadn't used them before. But now, I feel good that they will be used. Thanks for the suggestions and input folks.

BTW--Hi cynic--at least I think you are the same cynic I know from long ago here at the forums. Nice to see you.

Arlene


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