Glenn Estus, and others with similar concerns,
What was the total cost for a subscription to the Press Sheet Program last year for the No die cut sheets? So far this year it would be the cost would be about $300 for commemoratives with another almost $1100 for the two definitives. Does the subscription program include both the die cut and no die sheets? Can you subscribe to only the no die cut sheets?
The total cost for one of each no-die-cut press sheets last year would have been $2577.20. The subscription cost would have been $200.00 cheaper because the $2.00 Patriotic Waves stamp was not included in the subscriptions.
Stamps that are priced above the Global Forever rate, currently $1.20, are not included in subscriptions. Because of that, the $2.00 Patriotic Waves stamps were not included in the subscription program last year. Also, the two definitives this year, the Priority Mail and the Express Mail stamps were not in the subscription program. They had to be ordered separately.
The subscription program can be set up for either die-cut and/or no-die-cut stamps. You can sign up for one or the other, or both. There is also the option to sign up for commemoratives only and or definitives only.
You have to be careful with the last options. As I stated in my new book on no-die-cut press sheets, the people at Stamp Fulfillment Services do not seem to know the difference between a commemorative and a definitive, and what they determine is a commemorative might be different than what we think. So, if you have a commemorative only subscription, you might actually miss out on a press sheet or two because SFS had determined that a particular sheet is a definitive and visa versa.
Another problem with the subscription program is that the press sheets are only mailed out in groups, generally 4 or 5 times a year. As of today, no one with a subscription has received any of the press sheets this year. If you want to be selective and not get all the press sheets, then you are at the mercy of the market and you will probably miss some because of early sell outs.
Yes, the cost is high to get all of the press sheets. I would guess that no more than a hundred or so collectors are collecting the full press sheets. Dealers generally can sell enough of the cut up press sheets in a timely manner to finance the purchase of future press sheets. Some collectors only want a single, a pair or a full pane, and going through a dealer is the way to accomplish that.
And last but not least, my book, which is 80 pages in color, covers the no-die-cut press sheets from July of 2012 to the end of 2015. The title is "A Guidebook and Checklist, U.S. Postal Service No-Die-Cut Stamps, 2012 to 2015." It's for sale on Amazon.com
at $14.99 plus shipping. To find the book, type my name, Jill R. Ambrose, into the search bar. If you want to order directly from me and get an autographed copy, I am selling them for $11.00 plus $3.14 postage.