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Bruce Paige wrote:

IRC's are International Reply Coupons, current cost is $1.75 in the U.S.  They are purchased from a post office and are sent to someone overseas. That person can then present the IRC at their post office (in a participating country) and exchange it for a First Class Airmail stamp for the return letter.
IRC's come in two flavors. The newer ones are about the size of a qsl card. The older ones are about 3" by 4". The older ones have a longer life span than the newer ones.

Wayne replies:

IRC's are not stocked at all U.S. post offices.  My local post office (serving a town of 31,000 people) does NOT stock IRC's, and refuses to special-order them.  You may have to go to a big post office to find IRC's.  My guess is that if the post office is big enough to have a passport office, they will probably stock IRC's.

In most cases you can send a "green stamp" (dollar bill) or two for return postage.  $1 is sufficient for most countries, but $2 is required for countries like Germany that have high postage rates.  Here's a web site that tells you how many IRC's or Dollars are required for return postage to the United States:  http://www.qsl.net/n6dhz/irc-chart.html <http://www.qsl.net/n6dhz/irc-chart.html> 

Keep in mind that both IRC's and cash have value to thieves, so you should take measures to discourage theft.
1.	Don't put any callsigns on the outside of the envelope.
2.	Use security envelopes to make it harder to detect the cash/IRC
3.	Put the cash or IRC inside your addressed return envelope.

Wayne Estes
Mundelein, IL, USA 
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