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Is the End of Stamps Near?  
 

 
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Posted 03/20/2017   7:24 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this topic Add dkucyk to your friends list  Get a Link to this Message
After reading a few articles in Linn's over the past month addressing the relative ease of counterfeit production and distribution of stamps makes me wonder if we are not going to see the end of "stamps" in the near future. Seeing that the Postal Service is not too concerned about doing a lot about it as one article alluded to just strengthens my belief that something is in the works to do away with stamps for postage altogether. Thoughts.

Doug

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Posted 03/20/2017   7:30 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add DJCMHOH to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
In another stamp forum I wrote a few weeks back that it would not surprise me to read the news that "Country X has announced it is phasing out the use of postage stamps" thought I was thinking more about countries like Denmark or Finland where internet penetration is even higher than in the USA in terms of use to pay bills etc.

But with these latest rounds of forgeries coming to light, who knows. Though the amount of forgeries being made suggests that demand for stamps still exists in the USA (where payment of bills etc by internet is not as frequent, especially in rural and lower income communities) so who knows.

At same time, the Diwali forgery I think could very well have been made to sell to unsuspecting collectors in South Asia who collect anything India/Hinduism related, and where stamp collecting in currently enjoying a "boom" in popularity, as it is to defraud the USPS of payment for services.
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APS #173088
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Edited by DJCMHOH - 03/20/2017 7:32 pm
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Posted 03/20/2017   8:48 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add jkelley01938 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Part of the problem is that the USPS issues so many different stamps each year. They can be easily counterfeited and hardly anybody would even notice.

In fact, you could come up with your own design and nobody would probably notice that either!

Jack Kelley
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Posted 03/20/2017   10:56 pm  Show Profile Check eyeonwall's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add eyeonwall to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
All these forgeries should be detectable by the postal processing equipment due to their lack of tagging. so have they turned the tagging detectors off or are they ignoring the results???

While they are losing probably 10's of thousands, that is a drop in the bucket for he USPS, and so far they arechoosing to ignore the problem (which means it will continue to grow).
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Posted 03/21/2017   12:21 am  Show Profile Check TheArtfulHinger's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add TheArtfulHinger to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply

Quote:
While they are losing probably 10's of thousands, that is a drop in the bucket for he USPS

No doubt. The bean counters probably figure it'll cost more to go after them than they'd save. The number of postal patrons buying their postage on eBay is beyond minuscule in comparison to those who buy their stamps at the post office or their local postal kiosk at the grocery store, etc. And given that the perpetrators are apparently in China, it would be next to impossible to stop them, anyway.

But to the original point of this post, I think stamps will be around at least another decade or two for postal use, and they'll probably continue to be sold as collectibles long after their postal use stops.
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Posted 03/21/2017   07:09 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add angore to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Stamps will be like commemorative coins or proof coins...a way to get money from collectors.
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Al
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Posted 03/21/2017   08:05 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add molanderusa to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Stamps are still a source of revenue for the USPOD, particularly for collectors. The attractiveness of some new issues (such as the Oscar De La Renta issue) also are purchased by non collectors who stop by the PO to pick up a package, drop of mail, etc. While at the counter at my local PO, I witnessed two people at other counters who had no clue that these stamps had been issued and then bought sheets of them because they liked the look of them.

With the ability to purchase new stamps online directly through USPS, there will always be a market for the international collectors.

Also, I believe that US commemoratives will continue to be produced to help educate and honor America.
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Posted 03/21/2017   08:14 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add wheelman to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
So if stamps go away does that mean the hobby becomes more interesting as there will only be a limited amount available or does it mean the hobby becomes obsolete? IMO more interesting.
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Posted 03/21/2017   10:25 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add txstamp to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
"Out of sight, out of mind", comes to mind.

If stamps, themselves, are less ubiquitous, then it seems that fewer people would even know to collect them. The USPS itself, I would guess is probably one of the biggest promoters/enablers to collecting stamps that there is.
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Posted 03/21/2017   10:50 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add angore to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
The hobby will never be obsolete. It is collecting history and people do that all the time with stamps and other items.

What would likely happen is the industry around stamps (catalog, album makers) will see dramatic reductions in revenue, etc. A rare Jenny will always be rare and likely someone will want to own one.
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Posted 03/21/2017   12:42 pm  Show Profile Check TheArtfulHinger's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add TheArtfulHinger to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply

Quote:
If stamps, themselves, are less ubiquitous, then it seems that fewer people would even know to collect them.

I'm not quite sure what effect the obsolence of stamps will have on the hobby, but it probably won't be positive. The hobby has survived for over 150 years through massive social and technological changes, across many different cultures. However, the one thing that all those times and places had in common is that stamps were used to pay for postage. It's hard to say what'll happen if stamps themselves are no longer necessary and people aren't familiar with them.
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Posted 03/21/2017   5:38 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add dkucyk to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
If "stamps" were to go away my guess would be that there would be a big interest in what remained out there.

Going to the PO to pick up a stamp/mail a package/envelope is a hassle for the majority of the public except the collector and then its not like I can go there and get the stamp I want. Doing something online without the interaction with a human at the PO is much easier as long as the PO get the revenue. That is if they are still in business. Surely some smart Uber/Facebook/Snapchat/AirBnB future CEO kid is already thinking of the solution to this and take it off the government roles.

Doug
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