Unused US postage stamps may often be purchased from a local stamp dealer or collector at a slight premium over face value or, if the seller is over stocked, occasionally at a discount.
If unused US postage stamps are not readily available, the patron abroad has but two remedies for this dilemma. The first, which the Librarian recommends, is to use a trading partner or correspondent in the US as an intermediary. The second is to purchase International Reply Coupons, or IRCs, at your local post office and include them with your tapes. These coupons may then be exchanged, at the librarian's local post office, for return postage at the rate of US $0.60 per coupon. Be forewarned, some postal authorities charge exorbitant fees for IRCs. I am told that Canadians are charged $3.50 each. Regardless of what you pay, they are redeemable for but $0.60 in postage on this end.
Be advised that redeeming IRCs requires a trip to the post office. The trek is made but once each week. You will be notified when your parcel has actually been posted.
Here's how it works:
1) Weigh your parcel and convert the weight to ounces (one ounce = 28.3495 grams ) if necessary.
2) Determine US Small Parcel rate to your country according to the weight arrived at above (see link to "US International Small Parcel Rates" below).
3) Purchase the requisite IRCs (Make sure that the postal clerk applies the appropriate cancel!) and include them in your parcel. Take note that if return postage exceeds the redeemable value of IRCs sent, posting of your parcel may be delayed until sufficient IRCs have been received. If you send too many IRCs they will not be returned or credited. As the Library keeps no books, they will go towards making up another Patron's deficit.
6) Seal your parcel; post it; and hope for the best.
If you are still confused, see the link to "An Example" below.