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USPS Website Stamp Availability

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Valued Member

378 Posts
Posted 01/08/2022   03:12 am  Show Profile Bookmark this topic Add Torin to your friends list Get a Link to this Message
I've noticed over the past month that the Raven Story story stamp sheet has appeared and disappeared from the USPS website. What explains this?

Is the USPS emulating video game console companies by creating artificial demand? The Sun Science, Heritage Breeds and Message Monsters series, all from 2021, are not available on the USPS website. What is the likelihood of those becoming in-stock again?

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United States
108 Posts
Posted 01/08/2022   09:23 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add percyjgp to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
I think they discontinue some stamps after a certain amount of time. What I found interesting is that the 2021 commemorative year set is listed as discontinued now.
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Valued Member
188 Posts
Posted 01/08/2022   10:48 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Perf10 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
AFAIK, once discontinued they don't come back. Your best bet now might be one of the year packets, though it's never been clear to me which packet, if any, contains all stamps issued within a given calendar year.
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378 Posts
Posted 01/09/2022   12:47 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Torin to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
The Message Monsters sheet for example, was issued in September 2021 and it's not available at the USPS website. It's hard to believe that all 18,000,0000 Message Monsters stamps have sold. If so, that's fantastic news for the USPS balance sheet. I think the USPS should make each commemorative issue available for at least a year or until all sold.
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United States
53 Posts
Posted 01/09/2022   12:54 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add BaldEagle to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Was talking to a retail clerk at the local post office last week and he said the Message Monsters stamps were popular sellers at his office. This was at a PO with many older customers, so maybe they were sending them to grandchildren as Christmas presents.
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Valued Member
United States
90 Posts
Posted 01/09/2022   09:47 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add paulyann to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
The 2021 stamp yearbook is already listed as discontinued on the USPS website! It was issued on Dec 17th and already sold out?! How many did they print? Obviously not enough to meet demand. Ridiculous! Look for them now on the secondary market at a huge markup! I am done with new issues from USPS. My US collection will end with the year 2020!

jUST checked eBay. One for sale for $149.99 Nice profit! Thanks USPS!!!
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Edited by paulyann - 01/09/2022 09:52 am
Valued Member
United States
431 Posts
Posted 01/09/2022   4:21 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Cephus to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
I stopped collecting new U.S. issues in 1993, both because I hated the change to self-adhesive stickers and because it was painfully obvious that the U.S. was just releasing an ever-increasing number of stamps every year aimed at screwing collectors. It's gone from "let's commemorate actual historical events" to "look! Pop culture!"\

No thanks.
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Pillar Of The Community
United States
1274 Posts
Posted 01/10/2022   12:18 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add erilaz to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
2005 was my cut-off. The pop-culture stuff doesn't bother me, but the ever-increasing number and price of new issues, combined with the near-impossibility of buying single stamps from the USPS, not to mention the cost of album supplements and mounts, made me throw in the towel. Nowadays I only buy those new issues that particularly interest me from a topical standpoint, maybe two of three issues per year.

When I was still collecting new U.S. issues, I relied on the Stamp Yearbooks to get the individual commemoratives (without dealer markup) and the frequently odd-sized mounts to house them. If the Stamp Yearbooks had had such limited availability back then, I probably would have stopped collecting new issues even earlier.
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United States
165 Posts
Posted 01/10/2022   2:38 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add moneil to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Oh wow. I have purchased the U.S. Mint Commemorative Sets every year since 1974, up through 2019. I don't buy the "high values" and have been rather hit and miss about the regular mail use stamps.

Initially not the least cost way of doing things but I didn't have to keep track of new issues, it was really convenient, for most of the years I could always buy the set at my local post office so I didn't have the nuisance of online ordering (most post offices don't carry them anymore), and the sets came with the mounts. When self-adhesive stamps were introduced the commemorative sets provided singles when I didn't want a whole sheet. Since 1999 I've printed Steiner pages for U.S. stamps (a free download now) rather than purchasing supplements.

When this thread appeared I remembered that I still needed to purchase the 2020 commemorative set … it isn't even listed anymore and the just released 2021 set is already discontinued, as was mentioned. I notice that the 2016 - 2019 sets are available, but I already have those. Fortunately, and by coincidence, I had purchased sheets of 2020 – 2021 issues I found most attractive and / or interesting, including Enjoy the Great Outdoors, American Gardens, and Heritage Breeds. I am curious if the very recent 2020 and 2021 mint commemorative sets not being available, while the four years before them are still available, is because not as many of the 2020 – 2021 sets were produced or because more people were buying them.
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Posted 01/11/2022   06:53 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add angore to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
It could be they were not selling well so they just reduced how many they produced in the last few years
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Al
Edited by angore - 01/11/2022 06:53 am
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United Kingdom
6391 Posts
Posted 01/11/2022   07:22 am  Show Profile Check GeoffHa's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add GeoffHa to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Presumably the printing costs of a yearbook substantially exceed those of printing stamps, so the financial risk to the post office is much greater, hence the erring on the side of caution.
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Posted 01/11/2022   07:53 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add rogdcam to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
This from Linn's regarding the 2020 commemorative yearbook:


Quote:
According to the USPS, one big difference for this year is that the book has a "limited-edition run" and "each copy is individually numbered." USPS spokesman Roy Betts told Linn's that 13,000 books were being produced.


https://www.linns.com/news/us-stamp...for-preorder
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Valued Member
United States
165 Posts
Posted 01/11/2022   12:18 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add moneil to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply

Quote:
Presumably the printing costs of a yearbook substantially exceed those of printing stamps, so the financial risk to the post office is much greater, hence the erring on the side of caution.


The strange thing about this "logic" is that I'm guessing that many, if not most, really don't care about the book. From 1974 (the first year I purchased) through 1980 the accompanying "yearbook" was in a folio format with fold out wing pages. From 1980 - 1991 it was a paperback booklet. Hard bound year books appeared starting in 1992 (thicker and with more text than the previous editions), except the 1996 edition was an oversized paperback that sticks out from a bookshelf. I have all the "yearbooks" which I never look at. Some of the information is interesting but can be found elsewhere. What I found useful about the program was getting all of a year's commemorative stamps in one packet with mounts. After self-adhesives came out the packets provided the singles, blocks, and strips I needed without having to buy an entire sheet or booklet. I would rather they just skip the book and make the stamps and mounts available in a packet.

It is one thing for an enterprise to have excess inventory on the shelf and the associated production cost on the books, but it is another to not have sellable merchandise available when there is market demand. I hope they figure this out.

I stopped by my small rural post office yesterday. The postmistress, who alone can get into the safe, was off but the regular substitute clerk noted the stamps I needed and will call me when they check the safe for them. In the past they have also put out a search request to other post offices in the "district" and have found stamps I needed that they didn't have.
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378 Posts
Posted 01/12/2022   01:04 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Torin to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
I think it would be great if the USPS were to list how many remaining of each item there are on their website, as well as indicate which post offices have each issue in stock.

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United States
108 Posts
Posted 01/14/2022   3:30 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add percyjgp to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Interesting enough. The 2021 yearbook is back on sale again on the USPS website.
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76 Posts
Posted 01/23/2022   9:55 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add chris s to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
As I began stamp collecting only in 2020, I find it more enjoyable to pick and choose commemoratives and definitives I want. I also like the mosaic patterns formed by sheets containing 4 or more designs. However, I like the idea of saving money -- especially on purchasing less panes as it does add up.

My question about the Stamp Yearbook, do they include all commemoratives as well as definitives both low and high valued ones?

On a sidenote, I do like this product as you get two duck stamps from different years, a nice cancel and the card is well-done. Cost is $70 which seems fair.

2020 - 2021 Migratory Bird Stamp Artist Commemorative Card
https://store.usps.com/store/produc...ard-S_542125








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Edited by chris s - 01/23/2022 10:09 pm
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