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Iceland's Philatelic Office Postphil To Shut Its Doors

 
 
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Pillar Of The Community
United States
505 Posts
Posted 08/20/2019   5:55 pm  Show Profile Check docgfd's eBay Listings Bookmark this topic Add docgfd to your friends list Get a Link to this Message
Dear friends

Iceland Post, Stamp and Philatelic Department (Postphil) will be abolished at the end of this year after about 90 years in operation.
We still have two stamp issues left this year, on September 12th. and October 31st., but when they are done the department will be closed down
for good and will stop serving stamp collectors, domestic and foreign, altogether.

The fact that the number of our philatelic customers have constantly been decreasing year after year has lead to years of deficit for Postphil.
Iceland Post has got a new CEO Mr. Birgir Jonsson, who is cutting down everything that is not profittable in this company, including Postphil,
and that is due to the fact that Iceland Post currently has severe operating difficulties.
To-day, August 20 Iceland Post is laying off about 50 people throughout the company.

The current management of Iceland Post Ltd., prefers if possible to stop issuing new stamps altogether, but on the basis of current law,
Iceland Post cannot unilaterally decide to do so. However, there is some uncertainty as to how these matters will be handled in the future and the
company is waiting for answers from itīs owner, the Icelandic state. If the company must keep on issuing new stamps in 2020 and onward
the number of new stamps will be very few each year and there will be no service for stamp collectors.
According to CEO Mr. Birgir Jonsson this task of producing and issuing new stamps could be given to outside contractors.

I will leave Iceland Post Ltd., in September after 20 years in charge of Postphil.
From October to December there will only be 3 people working at Postphil so operations will be at minimum
Kind regards,
VILHJALMUR SIGURDSSON
HEAD OF PHILATELY
POSTPHIL | ICELAND POST
TEL: +354 580 1050 | DIRECT: +354 580 1051 | MOBILE: +354 825 1051 | STAMPS.IS | facebook.com/icelandicstamps | ***email address removed***
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423 Posts
Posted 08/20/2019   6:11 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add codehappy to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Sorry to hear it, I've always enjoyed Iceland's stamps.
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Valued Member
United States
358 Posts
Posted 08/20/2019   6:13 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add rdavid to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
This is not good. Iceland has very many collectible stamps, often very well engraved.
I suspect it will result in fewer collectors of this fine country.
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United States
1294 Posts
Posted 08/20/2019   8:00 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add cjpalermo1964 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Rather than taking public shots at CEO Mr. Birgir Jonsson, they should be asking, what is it about our products that no one wants to buy, why do we have so few customers and what can we do about it, and/or why are our labor costs so high that we have to cut people. Their recent issues look like the typical glossy stickers we see from today's postal agencies, and there are far too many of them. They had a stand at the NY2016 bourse, but what marketing has been done since then?
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Posted 08/20/2019   8:22 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add amccleaf1 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Mr. Sigurdsson:

Sorry to hear this. Thank you for your service to this organization. I have collected some of these fine issues, and will in the future, regardless of what happens with the decision to print new stamps.
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Posted 08/21/2019   11:49 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add angore to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
This comment is the most telling to me.


Quote:
According to CEO Mr. Birgir Jonsson this task of producing and issuing new stamps could be given to outside contractors.


It is akin to the USPS getting rid of Stamp Services division and have an external company produce stamps. Now, how a company counts P&L is often magic depending on the answer the exec wants.
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Al
Edited by angore - 08/21/2019 11:53 am
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Posted 08/21/2019   12:07 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add bookbndrbob to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Anything is possible. Traditional mail service In total could become outsourced, and it all could be accomplished by private couriers.

In the U.S., final destination has become, or is quickly becoming for everyone a stack of mail boxes down at the corner.
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Posted 08/21/2019   2:47 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Bujutsu to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
I too am very sorry to hear this. Just another stake in the philatelic coffin I'm afraid. I sure hope that there can be some alternative plans created before their intended plans are completed?

Iceland is one of the few countries I decided to keep after scaling down my collection some years ago.

I hate to say this, but, 'some' philatelic entities are pricing themselves out of business.

Chimo

Bujutsu
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Posted 08/21/2019   11:09 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add floortrader to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Iceland is just one of many countries that over produce their stamps and issued too much for the collectors market . I think in the past year I been picking up countries like Canada and Sweden stamps MNH and many in complete sets at less than 25% of face and the U.S. postage is having a hard time selling at 50% of face for values under 25 cents face .

The stamp auction houses are not selling bulk lots of new issues unless it is to the 2 cents each sellers on eBay .Why buy new issues if after a few years it is selling for half price at auction ?

------Interesting note that their sales have been going down for years but the staff has stayed the same .....and losing money for years .
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Posted 08/22/2019   08:48 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add angore to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
floortrader but they have high catalog value!
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Al
Edited by angore - 08/22/2019 08:49 am
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Posted 08/22/2019   2:54 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add codehappy to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply

Quote:
Iceland is just one of many countries that over produce their stamps and issued too much for the collectors market


This is nearly every country in the world right now. Fact is, postal services could go to 100% meter imprints tomorrow and stop issuing stamps entirely, and collectors like us, and a few other smallish hobby groups like Postcrossers, would complain vociferously about it, but life would go on. First-class mail in the US is nearly dead, and besides collector money, stamps still exist mainly for the people that mail out personal checks or money orders to pay their monthly bills, instead of paying online. As that mail volume dwindles to nothing (and it's decreased every year for decades) I wouldn't be surprised if the postage stamp goes as well.

Evidently the collector money coming in for Iceland's stamps wasn't enough to justify maintaining their philatelic department, and in the long run, economic realities are always going to win against tradition. It's really too bad -- Iceland's stamps are lovely, and reflect both the wild scenic beauty and long history of that nation (if you've never been to Iceland, visit if you can, it's a wonderful country) -- but it's not at all surprising. The list of postal services that have done away with their philatelic bureaux over the last 20 years is long.

It's not all bad news for philatelists, though: many private postal services that issue stamps have emerged over the last couple decades, and meter stamps are themselves an interesting specialty (try finding as many modern postal rates as you can, for example -- very difficult, some rates are hardly ever seen, and retention rate for obscure bulk/presorted mail covers not bearing stamps will be tiny.) And of course, if you are a WW collector trying to "catch 'em all", a reduction in volume of new issues isn't necessarily a bad thing...
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Posted 08/22/2019   5:42 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add angore to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
First Class mail is declining but still 56,714,000,000 pcs were handled in 2018 (around the same as 1978). Is that dead?

The real issue is it has been the primary source of of profit for the USPS plus increasing costs. It is the USPS that is in trouble.

If a private enterprise took it over without rules, expect a lot of changes such as fewer employees, fewer post offices, remote delivery location will end or cost more, free mail for Congress, and likely higher prices, etc.




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Al
Edited by angore - 08/22/2019 5:44 pm
Pillar Of The Community
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Posted 08/23/2019   12:21 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add floortrader to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Now expect them to clean out inventory .....Look to large lots of MNH
sheets showing up at stamp auction firms and C-T-O kilo lots being sold thru various stamp dealers across the globe .
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