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Stamp Retention Figures

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Pillar Of The Community
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Posted 10/04/2021   7:52 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add John Becker to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
I have no such data and I am not going to waste my time looking for it, but I have a very high confidence level that the USPS knows exactly what quantities of each issue are sent to each PO and what is sold, regardless of customer observations. Stand by as long as you wish.
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Posted 10/04/2021   8:03 pm  Show Profile Check eyeonwall's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add eyeonwall to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
They may not track sales of single stamps, but they do indeed scan in the bar code for sheets, booklets and coils and such sales far outweigh individual stamp sales, so while they may not have a complete total by issue, they do have a very good handle on which items are selling well, and furhermore, they do an accounting of any that are destroyed when the issue is withdrawn from sale, so they know how many were sold in total.

As for asking JB for sales data from the USPS, you know he can't provide it because the USPS refuses to provide such data any more. You are goin to be standing by for a Lonnnnnnnnnng time.
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Posted 10/04/2021   8:26 pm  Show Profile Check 51studebaker's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add 51studebaker to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
I hate to post this because it is such a personal casual observation, but over the years I have noticed that some used stamps in sets seem to be less common than others. US commemorative sets, where the same number are issued, always seem to have one stamp that is not as common. Is this just me or have others seen this? Does this mean that some stamps in the set were not as popular and therefore were not used as often? Did these stamps end up in the back of the drawer and eventually ruined or otherwise never used?
Don
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Posted 10/04/2021   8:29 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add John Becker to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
I have seen it with se-tenant booklets, where the stamp closest to the tab seems less common to find used.
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Posted 10/04/2021   8:41 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add rogdcam to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply

Quote:
...over the years I have noticed that some used stamps in sets seem to be less common than others.


I have seen this where the stamps were of different denominations and always thought that the reason was driven by what denomination was most commonly needed.
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Posted 10/04/2021   8:50 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add rogdcam to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
John-Eye - LOL!!! Not a problem. Part of why my view is that the USPS really does not have a handle on what has sold, besides personal experience with small PO's, is that they consistently overproduce stamps. Greatly overproduce stamps. Stamp production cost was one of the primary reasons given by the USPS for initiating the Forever stamp. If they had a handle on what was likely needed I doubt that they would do such a thing.

As per John-Eye's directive I will cease standing by and save my standing at attention energy for working out tomorrow AM.

All the best and if you happen across that sold by issue data please post.

Cheers!
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Posted 10/05/2021   07:53 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add jossanders52 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Don,

I observe the same in Thailand used stamps, some values in the set are very difficult to find.
However I also observed that in Thailand, the high values are missing, but overseas, the USA and Europe its reversed, high values are easy to find and the low values more difficult. Due to differences in postal rates for domestic, airmail and packages, high values end up overseas and lower values domestically.
Above is valid for Thailand stamps, but a same thing could happen for USA stamps
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Posted 10/05/2021   08:56 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add jconey to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
I have three relatives that have been/are career postal employees, two retired post masters and one clerk, all three from different regions. All tell me that the USPS is absolutely militant about accounting for stamps. The controls rival cash handling in every respect and exceed it in some ways. So I have no doubt that thay know exactly how many of what are sold. Inventory levels are continuously monitored, seriously.

Incidentally, all three have no sense of humor when I say, I count them as part of my postal history memorabilia collection. They also think stamp collectors, myself included are nuts.
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Posted 10/05/2021   2:37 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add joe1225us to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply

Quote:
They also think stamp collectors, myself included are nuts.


Is that a widely held view amongst Post Office employees? I thought so for a long time, but I wondered about that.
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Posted 10/05/2021   4:48 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add jconey to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
I don't know and my relatives comments above, weren't real serious about it but they don't understand it and think of it like throwing money away. In my experience, the majority of USPS people are nice to collectors and I've seen some go out of the way the help but there again, I'm not sure they "get it" or are just doing their job and being polite.
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Posted 10/05/2021   7:07 pm  Show Profile Check eyeonwall's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add eyeonwall to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
"they consistently overproduce stamps. Greatly overproduce stamps"

They indeed were greatly overproducing stamps, but they finally clued in years ago and significantly reduced production, but of course we don't know if they are currently at the correct level.

Part of the problem is some issues no longer get an automatic distribution and some POs only want to stock the Flags. If an issue isn't presented to the customer they can't buy it.
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Posted 10/05/2021   7:39 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add rogdcam to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
This is from an Inspector General's report entitled Stamp Manufacturing and Inventory Management Audit Report, Report Number MS-AR-12-006 July 23, 2011 (the entire report is well worth reading for anyone interested in stamps; link at end of excerpt):


Quote:
The Postal Service does not have complete visibility over national stamp stock inventory
levels throughout the lifecycle of stamps. The Postal Service's current inventory control
system, SSS, tracks stamp stock distribution from the SDCs to the PRUs. However,
SSS does not interface with POS One,7 the system that records stamp sales and return
transactions at retail units. Because data do not move between the two systems, Postal
Service managers manually compare distribution data from SSS with stamp sales
transactions from POS One8 to generate reports, track stamp sales nationally, forecast
stamp requirements, and plan distribution.

The lack of integration between the two systems inhibits national visibility over PRU
level inventories, which is needed to effectively manage and efficiently optimize stamp
inventories. Without this visibility, Postal Service managers are unable to identify and
redistribute stamps from PRUs with excess stamp stock to those with depleted
inventories. Sharing stamp stock among PRUs would decrease unnecessary
destruction and reprinting costs.

Further, when retail units return stamps to the SDCs for destruction,9 the stamps'
identity (type and individual value) is not recorded in SSS and only the total value of
stamps destroyed is recorded.10 Therefore, the Postal Service loses continuous national
visibility into the total inventory of stamps in two places during the lifecycle: first, when
stamps are sold at retail units and second, when stamps are redeemed for destruction.
According to policy, the Postal Service is required to monitor and manage national
stamp inventory levels from point of receipt to withdrawal from sale.11 However, the
Postal Service cannot effectively monitor national stamp stock inventory levels because
of this lack of end-to-end visibility.


https://www.uspsoig.gov/sites/defau...R-12-006.pdf
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Posted 10/06/2021   7:47 pm  Show Profile Check eyeonwall's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add eyeonwall to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
They've had 10 years to fix this. Wonder if they have?
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Posted 10/07/2021   08:55 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add jconey to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
At one point, my uncle (retired postmaster) said that they do know but don't want congress to have the data as they are afraid they will loose control of stamp subject selection and production or process anyways. Postal management thinks congress will smell profit and take it even further than USPS wants to go.

That sounds like a reasonable explanation, after all the on a good day, USPS and congress have a tenuous relationship at best.
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Posted 10/07/2021   7:13 pm  Show Profile Check eyeonwall's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add eyeonwall to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
I just saw something in a Joe Brockert article in Linn's that put recent retention figures at aroudnf $250M.
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