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USA Philatelici Catalog & Best Source For Recent Stamps?

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Posted 06/01/2019   6:27 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this topic Add DrewM to your friends list Get a Link to this Message
Every once in a while someone asks what happened to USPS catalog, "USA Philatelic". Let me be the latest.

I used to be a subscriber but it came so inconsistently, I was never sure. I did order a few times, but I haven't seen it in a year or two. Is it still published? Other countries like Sweden, Switzerland, and so on, have excellent stamp subscription services and very good websites I've used. But the USPS just doesn't seem to care. It's a mystery to me.

I've browsed the "collector" part of the USPS website. But t's so loaded with "collectibles" and other things, it's difficult to find just stamps. So I rely on my local post office, but they don't always have everything. I"m mainly interested in single stamps, some blocks, mini sheets or sheetlets (or whatever they're called), booklets, and not much more. Just the basics.

Buying, or subscribing to, your own country's stamps should not be this difficult. My subscriptions to the stamps of many other countries come regularly and without any problem. What is wrong with the USPS?

Besides my local post office, what are the best sources for buying recent U.S. stamps. I use eBay at times. But are there any good new issue websites, dealers, or other sources?
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Edited by DrewM - 06/01/2019 6:31 pm

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Posted 06/01/2019   7:45 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add rogdcam to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Last year the USPS sold 625 million dollars in stamps and stamp products by mail, telephone and online. That does not include counter sales or printed postage etc.. Perhaps they are not feeling the need to "do better".
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Posted 06/01/2019   9:14 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add DrewM to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Understood. But they're also always running a deficit and repeatedly have to ask Congress for more money. So, even with those sales, they need to do better.

It doesn't seem all that difficult to do this. I've never understood why other countries seem to be able to sell stamps to collectors efficiently and easily, and apparently make a profit, but the U.S. can't do that. It's not that hard to operate a good website that lists all stamps currently for sale. Other countries do it. I currently subscribe to stamps from at least six other countries. I used to subscribe to over 20 countries' new issue services. These new issue services are run efficiently and well. And each country got a lot of money from me. Why doesn't the USPS do that? I'm happy to give the USPS my money -- but they don't want it? That's nuts. I can even buy stamps from the postal service of Mongolia on their (pretty bad) website!

But my main questions aren't this. They are:

1. Is the USA Philatelic catalog still published?

2. What are the best sources (besides the USPS website) for recent U.S. stamps?
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Edited by DrewM - 06/01/2019 9:19 pm
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Posted 06/01/2019   9:28 pm  Show Profile Check 51studebaker's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add 51studebaker to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
1. yes
2. The 'Cave' (US Postal Service's Stamp Fulfillment Services center in Kansas City, Mo.)

Pretty sure that if you order stamps from the 'Cave' they will automatically start sending you the USA Philatelic.
Don
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Posted 06/01/2019   9:50 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add DrewM to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
If "yes," I sure can't find the catalog on the USPS "collector" website. I just wanted to have them send me a copy.
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Posted 06/01/2019   10:08 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add rogdcam to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
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Posted 06/01/2019   11:24 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add DrewM to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
I searched that website twice and could not find it. So thanks very much, Rogdcam!

Let's see if I actually get the catalog -- and if it comes more than once or twice before I'm dropped.
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Posted 06/02/2019   06:28 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add angore to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
I do not get the catalog on a regular basis but I figured I was not ordering regularly.

There are many items for sale but not on the website so best to call.

Yes, USPS web site needs improvement.

For example if you want to subscribe to the souvenir pages (now called something else) it is near impossible to find.
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Al
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Posted 06/02/2019   07:43 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add jogil to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
rogdcam said: "Last year the USPS sold 625 million dollars in stamps and stamp products by mail, telephone and online."

Is this for new issues to stamp collectors? It would be interesting to know how much in total all postal services around the world sell to stamp collectors.
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Posted 06/02/2019   08:14 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add rogdcam to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Jogil - They do not break it out so the percentage to collectors is anyone's guess.
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Posted 06/02/2019   08:43 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add angore to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
The question is how much profit they make. The intrinsic cost is the cost to print and the expense of packaging (cellophane, cardboard stiffeners, cave labor expenses). Then there are costs for disposal of unsold stamps. They have no revenue until sold. The whole operation when you factor in all expenses (direct and indirect) may make it less profitable than one thinks.

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Al
Edited by angore - 06/02/2019 08:46 am
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Posted 06/02/2019   09:35 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add rogdcam to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
The upside for them is that every time a stamp is purchased and not used the service and it's associated cost promised in exchange for that purchase is zero. (As long as it stays unused)

I use old postage to mail things which probably irks the USPS at some level since those stamps that were purchased decades ago pop up and want full service now.
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Posted 06/02/2019   1:22 pm  Show Profile Check 1typesetter's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add 1typesetter to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
If you're wondering why the postal service is always in the red, this doesn't help:

https://about.usps.com/who-we-are/f...10_4_002.htm
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Posted 06/02/2019   1:23 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add eligies to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
The last Philatelic I received was the 2019 Spring issue. They have significantly changed the format, which is somewhat troubling to me. I also use the USPS Home site for new Issues & the accompanying side products of FDC & DCP for their issues. I check their site every 10-14 days for product availability. Note that the FDC & DCP will not be listed until after the issue date & you must 'drill' into the site to find them. They also do not list some of the BLK4 or 25 coil strips offered (as noted in Linn's). Sometimes I find myself calling their 800# to confirm a product number if not listed on their site. I do find that they have cut down on their product inventory type (such as blk4 ) and I think that is to induce a special order for that type of item to enable the surcharge of $2 for the 'special order' (more revenue). There was a change in Management at the Fulfillment Center some time ago & changes made which were made to not only cut their costs but induce more special ordering for increase revenues. I avail myself of the Fulfillment Center because I think face value is better than upcharge value from dealer or services. If you go to the left menu column of the USPS site & drill in I think you can find the Philatelic item #s & also subscription issues for panels etc.
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Posted 06/05/2019   5:13 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Perf10 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
The Philatelic catalog is pretty to look at but routinely arrives 3 to 6 months out of date. I find the web site difficult to navigate to obtain the USPS order numbers. Thankfully Virtual Stamp Club puts all the stamps of a given year and their order numbers on one page, such as at http://www.virtualstampclub.com/2019usnew.html
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Posted 06/10/2019   6:43 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Perf10 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
My favorite philatelic catalog era was the 1980s/1990s, sample attached. Before that the stamps were not pictured. More recently the catalog does not depict all stamps available.

As a side note, how collectible are these catalogs? When was the first one issued by the USPS?
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