Online Sellers: What is Counterfeit Postage? How to Avoid it!

Online Sellers: What is Counterfeit Postage? How to Avoid it!

Posted by Big Brand on 3rd Dec 2021

It's always exciting to find business supplies online for cheaper than you would pay if you were to buy direct from the dealer, but when it comes to postage, NEVER click "confirm order".

Counterfeit postage is a MASSIVE problem that is plaguing USPS and driving up real postage costs.  So, what exactly IS counterfeit postage?

Counterfeit Postage looks so much like legitimate postage that most people would assume it's real! Looking at the image below, can you tell which is the fake?

Here's the answer:

As you can see, both rolls of stamps are so similar that, unless you are very educated in Stamps, you wouldn't ever be able to tell them apart. Truthfully, I couldn't tell them apart and I have shipped stuff every day for 16+ years.  Check out this example from Reddit:

Fake Postage isn't only limited to stamps.  It also comes in label form.

Counterfeit postage has become so common that there are websites dedicated to providing templates that allow people to print fake postage from home.   It's disgusting and this crime really hurts good, honest sellers.  

And if you're thinking, "Meh, it's just a couple cents", you are wrong.  Over a handful of years, a single eBay seller can rack up a half million dollars of shorted postage!  Think about that multiplied by thousands, or a hundred thousand sellers! 


As you probably know, the USPS is a branch of government.  This means if you get busted, it is a felony!  In fact, you may even be hit with multiple felonies and you will likely get at least 4 years jail time, plus you have to pay back all of the missing postage! 

The solution is to only buy postage through reputable places that include

  • USPS
  • A mail printing system, such as
  • A chain store, like 7-11
  • A chain grocery store, like Kroger, Meijer or Walmart

And most importantly, NEVER buy postage or pre-printed labels off of eBay, Alibaba or other websites. For the love of God, never buy through China.  Even IF the postage looks real, there's absolutely no way to truly know it's legit and it just isn't worth the savings.  

Want to read about a massive postage fraud case?

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