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End Of Press Sheets?

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Pillar Of The Community

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Posted 03/03/2016   07:20 am  Show Profile Bookmark this topic Add Glenn Estus to your friends list Get a Link to this Message
The March 3, 2016 Postal Bulletin lists the Sarah Vaughn Press Sheet (with die cuts) with a print quantity of 200 and no press sheets without die cuts. What does this portend for the future of press sheets (both die cut and no die cut)?
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Posted 03/03/2016   07:50 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add blcjr to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Impossible to say what it portends, since it is impossible to see any rhyme or reason to USPS actions. Looks like decisions are being made by kindergartners. Ever watched a bunch of them play? Now try to guess what anyone of them will do next. Impossible.
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United States
4052 Posts
Posted 03/03/2016   08:26 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add ikeyPikey to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
To be fair to the USPS, how could they know what to do?

We can't tell them to just deliver the mail in the most cost-effective manner, period, or that might be the last of the new issues.

We can't tell them to profit-maximize (although we do) their input to our hobby, because no one knows what that would look like.

So, they begin experiments, end experiments, try printing more, try printing less, try sharing information, try burying information, test this, test that ... and drive us all nuts.

I think that contrived rarities & lotteries ought to be against the law.

I think that printing only 200 of something (anything) ought to be against the law.

I think that stocking something (anything) for less than one year ought to be against the law.

I think that any plan that requires more than, say, U$D 120 to buy one of everything each year to be complete ought to be against the law, even though I have nothing but Evil Things to say about Completionism.

But I won't pretend to know what would be profit-maximizing for the USPS.

Cheers,

/s/ ikeyPikey
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Posted 03/03/2016   10:32 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add blcjr to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
ikey,

There are just too many recent examples of USPS people acting clueless to be very sympathetic to their plight. Now we are looking at the USPS from the standpoint of collectors. Who does the USPS have among their decision makers who understands the standpoint of collectors? As a collector, I'm not going to second-guess the majority of business decision they make that have little or nothing to do with collecting. (I am also a retired economist, so I might have some opinions from that perspective.) But when I see decisions being made that affect collectors being made by people clueless to the point of view of collectors, I get frustrated.

As to your list of things you think should be "unlawful," I understand your point of view, but might demur a little. I don't look at question of press sheets and especially no die cut press sheets as trying to create contrived rarities (unlike the upright Jenny episode). There is a certain level of collector interest in these, and they are profitable to the USPS. So the USPS should have somebody in a position of authority who understands the nature of this collector interest and can help the USPS to rationally satisfy this collector interest. That doesn't seem to be the case. The blind are leading the blind.
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United Kingdom
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Posted 03/03/2016   10:37 am  Show Profile Check GeoffHa's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add GeoffHa to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Sarah Vaughan? Ditch the stamps and get much more pleasure for much less cash:

http://www.amazon.com/Sarah-Vaughn-...p/B0000046NB
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United States
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Posted 03/03/2016   11:13 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add TheArtfulHinger to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
It must be remembered that the major concern of the USPS is their bottom line, financially. They only care about what collectors want insofar as they can make money off of them. For better or worse, they do try to run themselves as a business and they should be looked at as such. Now, given the profit margin on press sheets, which has to be approaching 98% or more (assuming they never get used as postage), one would certainly think they'd make more of them available. I'm sure there's a business reason behind the limited quantities, although I don't know offhand what that would be...
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United States
97 Posts
Posted 03/03/2016   1:30 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add msfong to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
I called USPS at 10:15am PST today and the agent told me the Sarah Vaughan Press Sheet (with die cut) is sold out.
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Posted 03/03/2016   2:00 pm  Show Profile Check 51studebaker's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add 51studebaker to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
To be fair the USPS is the worst kind of "business"; it has to adhere to an unfunded mandate from Congress. What other "business" has to do this? The ugly truth is that USPS financial hands are completely tied by the 2006 Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act. This law requires the Postal Service pay in $5.4-$5.8 billion per year into a retirement fund for future employees. I would hazard a guess that they do whatever they have to do to try to meet their budget given this unrealistic legal requirement. I assume that many strange financial decisions are driven by this stupid law.
Don
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Posted 03/03/2016   3:48 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add blcjr to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Don,

I cannot imagine how having to deal with the unfunded mandate would account for the incoherent decisions USPS seems to be making wrt press sheets. Unless...thinking back to my previous post, this so consumes their operational decisionmaking that it explains why they don't have anybody who understands the point of view of collectors making these decisions. But like TheArtfulHinger said, even assuming that these decisions are being driven by some kind of business reason, it is hard to understand what it is.

Basil
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United Kingdom
5838 Posts
Posted 03/03/2016   4:11 pm  Show Profile Check GeoffHa's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add GeoffHa to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Don

Ah, post office pensions. A problem the world over!

http://www.if.org.uk/archives/4280/...nsion-scheme
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Posted 03/03/2016   4:13 pm  Show Profile Check 51studebaker's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add 51studebaker to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Good Day Basil,
Unless we had an insider at USPS, there is no telling how the bean counters impact various business decisions. Bean counters usually have the final say in most business decisions, and this often makes the outside perspective look odd.
Don
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Edited by 51studebaker - 03/03/2016 4:14 pm
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Posted 03/03/2016   8:05 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add jkelley01938 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
USPS? I hate them. I just hate them.

Jack Kelley
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United States
4052 Posts
Posted 03/03/2016   8:56 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add ikeyPikey to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply

Quote:
... This law requires the Postal Service pay in $5.4-$5.8 billion per year into a retirement fund for future (correction mine) employees ... this unrealistic legal requirement ... this stupid law ...


The customary strategy in America is to partially fund future obligations for current employees (op cit New Jersey, which is not even meeting the 70% 'standard'), while the post office is being compelled to fully fund future obligations for current employees.

I don't get the 'stupid' part.

Cheers,

/s/ ikeyPikey
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United States
153 Posts
Posted 03/04/2016   10:18 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Leejb1 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
The quote: the law requires the Postal Service pay in $5.4 a $5.8 billion per year into retirement fund

Is incorrect, the money was to pat for retirement pensions but to pay for Future employees health benefits.
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Posted 03/04/2016   10:43 am  Show Profile Check 51studebaker's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add 51studebaker to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
ikey,
Stupid because USPS is singled out. Does the US Mint, as one example, have to operate under the same 'rules'? (no) Do other Federal groups also have to adhere to this law? (no) In my opinion if the law is good for the USPS it should be good for other Federal groups. I have yet to see or read anything which explains this inconsistency.

Leebj1,
I am confused. Your quote isn't correct, my statement was "This law requires the Postal Service pay in $5.4-$5.8 billion per year into a retirement fund for future employees." which appears to be the same as your statement.
Don
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Posted 03/04/2016   1:33 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Leejb1 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
The fund does not pay for the pensions, but pays a small percent of the health insurance which the USPS pays for all employees. For this year the percent of Heath benefits changed for retirees and my health insurance more than doubled.
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