Think stamps are only worth the paper they’re printed on? Philatelists will tell you to think again. The tiny One-Cent Magenta stamp, now on display at the National Postal Museum, recently sold for $9.5 million. 

Of course, that sole-surviving stamp of the British Guiana penny issues is the rarest stamp in the world. Other stamps deemed collectible by the philatelic community are also worth a pretty penny. 

Take the 1918 Inverted Jenny 24-cent airmail stamp. It is one of the world’s most collectible stamps because a sheet of 100 misprinted stamps showing an upside-down biplane was accidently sold to a customer. In today’s market, an Inverted Jenny stamp could fetch close to $1 million. 

Yes, collectors are passionate about their stamps. Indeed, stamp collecting even has a month – October – designated to recognize an activity that can range from a hobby to an obsession. Two years ago to celebrate National Stamp Collecting Month, the U.S. Postal Service reissued 2.2 million Inverted Jenny souvenir stamp sheets. The souvenir stamp sheets feature six $2 stamps and sells for $12. Collectors could buy the stamps at select postal retail counters and through USPS.com, eBay.com, and by ordering via a toll free phone number. The Postal Service’s goal was to sell all 2.2 million stamp sheets in the first 60 days for $26.4 million in revenue. As of March 31, total stamp sales were about $13 million.

To generate interest in stamp collecting and engage new generations of stamp collectors, the Postmaster General requested that the Postal Service create 100 additional stamp sheets that showed the biplane upright. Seventy of these Un-Inverted Jenny stamp sheets were distributed to be sold in the top 50 markets along with 1.2 million Inverted Jenny stamp sheets. The remaining 30 Un-Inverted Jenny stamp sheets were to be randomly distributed in the first 60 days of release.

While an innovative idea, this action had the unintended consequence of creating and improperly distributing a philatelic rarity, our recent management advisory noted. The Postal Service strongly and inappropriately influenced the secondary market by creating a rarity, the report said. In 2014, at least two Un-Inverted Jenny stamp sheets sold for more than $50,000 each. Our report recommended the Postal Service develop a formal process for philatelic promotions. 

What reaction did you have to the issuance of the upright Jenny stamp? What types of activities do you think would enhance support of the philatelic program? 

Comments (380)

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  • anon

    Thanks for taking the time to express your opinions, Ronald. We’ve seen a pattern emerge with the number of stamps issued, the face value of the stamps, the distribution/availability of those stamps, and a strong desire to return to soakable stamps (at least in some form).

    Sep 03, 2015
  • anon

    USPS should not be in the business of creating rarities--period. Any stamp that is printed should be made available to all customers. This includes not only "random" distribution like the un-inverted Jenny, but I'm also very wary of stamps made available only as part of a much larger purchase, such as the Circus stamp that could only be purchased as part of an annual set. I'm not quite as opposed to limited issues, i.e., only so many will be printed and it's first come-first served.

    Aug 27, 2015
  • anon

    Merlin, as others before you, you have expressed displeasure over the Circus stamps. We appreciate your comments and will consider all blog comments for potential future audits or reviews in the philatelic area.

    Sep 03, 2015
  • anon

    I love creativity and innovation. I have no problem with the USPS dong something new and different. I am always in favor of doing something that can help balance the financial scales in favor of profit rather than loss. But if the stamps were sold to customers under false pretenses then that is not right and should be corrected in some way with the purchasing patrons.

    Aug 27, 2015
  • anon

    There's nothing wrong with USPS creating rarities. The Mint does it all the time. However, the way USPS did the Jenny was subject to manipulation. Why didn't they just do an online lottery? If they want more revenue from collectors, then charge $1 or something for each online lottery ticket. Then you can have as many rarities as you want. I know there's that rule that USPS cannot intentionally create rarities. Answer? Change the rule. The USPS already creates rarities. Look at press sheets. Issues of 500? That's not that rare, but it is intentionally limiting supply. Listen, if USPS issued ONE (that's right, ONE) example of a stamp, and held an online lottery for that stamp with lottery tickets costing $1 and letting everyone buy an unlimited amount of tickets, they would make millions off that one stamp. Hey, states have lotteries all the time. Why not USPS? Think it over, USPS.

    Aug 27, 2015
  • anon

    Thank you for your suggestion. We’ve received several comments both for and against the lottery concept. We appreciate customers and collectors expressing their viewpoints and caring enough to become involved.

    Sep 03, 2015
  • anon

    I was bewildered when I heard the Postal Service made a printing of only 100 sheets. Was this ethical or even legal to create a postal rarity? Then to lie about all 100 sheets being randomly distributed to post offices and finding out months later that they withheld a quantity (we don't know how many-it's still a secret) and gave away a few only increased their degree of deceitfulness. Someone needs to be fired over this stamp issue.

    Aug 27, 2015
  • anon

    David, 70 of the 100 Un-Inverted Jenny stamp sheets were distributed to Postal Offices. The remaining 30 were held at the Stamp Fulfillment Services. At the time of our audit, 23 Un-Inverted Jenny stamp sheets remained in inventory at the Stamp Fulfillment Services. The Postal Service is currently developing a plan to address that inventory by August 31, 2015.

    Sep 03, 2015
  • anon

    I think that the inverted/upright Jenny is helping to invigorate the stamp collecting hobby. I enjoy looking for the 'gold at the end of the rainbow'. I also think that stamps should be printed using soakable backing.

    Aug 27, 2015
  • anon

    Hi Robert… thanks for your positive comments. Again, very interesting the various viewpoints collectors seem to have. Many have requested the rebirth of the soakable stamp.

    Sep 03, 2015
  • anon

    I think it's a bad idea to sell the non-inverted sheets as a sort of lottery. I'm also very unhappy about the circus souvenir sheet only being available for purchase when buying the year set. What a rip off. I've been a stamp collector as long as I can remember and the USPS has made literally tens of thousands of dollars of pure profit from stamps I've bought that go directly into my collection/stock folders. If the USPS prints it, it should be available to everyone. This also means providing ALL stamps through Stamp Fulfillment. Stop gouging stamp collectors!

    Aug 27, 2015
  • anon

    Thanks for taking the time to express your opinions, James. We appreciate your involvement.

    Sep 03, 2015
  • anon

    The Jenny issue has been a slap in the face to stamp collectors. I've bought way too many of these sheets and use them as quickly and as possible. If this "scam" is in fact illegal or improper under the Postal Services own rules, than why wasn't it stopped from even being put into production and marketed? This is really a matter of the USPS "eating it's own". It is perfidious how the non-invert 100 were "seeded" in such a despicable way. It is even more outrageous that the Postmaster General "gifts" sheets to customers. I buy consistently large orders from Stamp Services, but even I have a budget. Very bad judgment motivated by a blinding greed. I say Reprint the right side up version and to heck with the stamp dealers. Let freedom ring!

    Aug 27, 2015
  • anon

    I felt from the start that the intentionally scarce upright Jenny sheets we a cheap gimmick, commercially exploitive, and uncharacteristic of the USPS. Must the USPS resort to hucksterism for survival? What's next, lotteries for stamps?

    Aug 27, 2015
  • anon

    A stamp commemorating the Inverted Jenny was a nice idea, but like most everything the USPS has been doing, goes beyond any reasonable perspective. A $2.00 stamp was overboard. A souvenir sheet of 6 X $2.00 stamps was six times overboard. It could have been done in a much more measured way. The gimmick of putting out 100 random non-inverted Inverted Jenny sheets went against every principle of philately that the USPS used to uphold. Instead of creating excitement, it created scandal. It was completely exploitive, and made the United States look like a cheap nation without any standards. And, of course, it really didn't work that well, either, which is not a surprise. If the USPS is making stamp decisions with any philatelists' input, it doesn't show. Any philatelist would have warned against this tawdry scheme. If the USPS thinks it's going to realize huge gains from retention of the Inverted Jenny sheets, I would like to note that I have bought a number of sheets and use them as much as I can on mailings -- because that's what stamps are actually for, to mail things. They are not going to be hoarded. Those days are over, nobody is going to be investing in large amount of U.S. .postage like people did before.

    Aug 27, 2015
  • anon

    Martin, thanks for your comments. Like you, others have suggested philatelist involvement in some way. This may be an idea to pursue.

    Sep 03, 2015
  • anon

    Dear Postmaster General: Thank you for your concern regarding the issuance of inverted Jenny along with 100 intentionally produced upright Jenny stamp sheets. I think the Postal Service erred in this issuance. I do not believe that the inverted Jenny was worth issuing and then to have the Postal Service intentionally issue 100 sheets of an "error" version of the stamp borders on criminal activity. I feel the Postal Service should never intentionally issue an error version of a stamp and they should also never flood the market with error versions if an unintentional error is found. Please pursue this matter and please see that the Postal Service implements controls so that we do not have these types of issues in the future and that they follow their own rules already in place. While on the subject of stamp issues, I also believe that the Postal Service is printing far too many copies of far too many various varieties of far to many different subjects each year. I believe this is being done to generate financial support of the Postal Service on the backs of collectors because our congress will not take appropriate action to allow the needed streamlining of the Postal Service in this day of changing communication methods. Thanks for the help and Best Regards; Tom Geren (collecting since 1957)

    Aug 27, 2015
  • anon

    Thanks for your comments, Tom. Your comment was written to Megan Brennan, Postmaster General. In the spirit of fair disclosure, we want to clarify that while Ms. Brennan may have read this blog, it is the OIG that is responding, not the Postmaster General. The Postal Service is currently developing responses to all of OIG’s recommendations and anticipates complete corrective actions by December 31, 2015. Additionally, we appreciate your comments on the number of stamps issues each year, and the variety of subjects used.

    Sep 03, 2015
  • anon

    I think it is terrible that the USPS has printed stamps that is not available to the general public. As a stamp collector it is bad that they create a rarity that is highly priced on the secondary market. All stamps issued by the USPS should be readily available to order and secure without the need to purchase additional stamps. It is no way for the USPS to encourage us stamp collectors and appears to just be another example of the USPS extracting additional funds from the public. It is a terrible situation that should be addressed and remedied by the USPS to be more customer focused and friendly.

    Aug 27, 2015
  • anon

    the PO forgets the furor of the Farley era when Jim Farley and FDR gave samples of the national parks issues to friends complete with autographs, etc and had to reprint the "Farley issues" in the late 30s and the missing color that was reprinted so "each kid collector" could have a treasure in their collection. The PO should issue stamps properly and when an error happens let it be instead of non collectors coming up with ideas that just compound the problem. I have collected for over 70 years and learned to count to 5 on the Army-Navy issue and had to learn to go to 10 on the parks. If the PO continues to issue the commems that they are now issuing and get them to all the Post Offices and made it easier for ordinary patrons to purchase the instead of setting the computers to make it hard to sell commems to the general public we would have more people enjoying the hobby. Make it easy for kids of all ages to soak and collect they will get more collectors and move more stamps. Remember the commem quarters, you don't have to buy a whole roll to get one. It is tough enough to make little pieces of paper compete with electronic images for beginers so lets not make it more difficult than it is.

    Aug 27, 2015
  • anon

    This should never be done again. It makes a mockery of stamp collecting. It is no better than what Jim Farley did as FDR s Post Master General and the remedy should be the same. The marketer who thought this up have commercialized philately in a way which has harmed every US collector. We are now obliged to guess what the PO will do next instead of research the intracacies of history. This was a monumental mistake base on ignorance of the history of collecting

    Aug 27, 2015
  • anon

    While the creation of intentional rarities is not something that should ever be done by a legitimate postal service, this one has been done. The remaining sheets being held need to be distributed or those that are already our there will become even scarcer (and more highly manipulated). This type of tactic needs to be avoided in the future. My biggest concern, however (which has not been addressed to my knowledge), is that the inverts were printed by fixed-plates; that is, a single printing sleeve with the blue and red inked in by rollers. To produce 100 non-invert panes, this means that an entirely new printing sleeve had to be created, with a separate press run. This is not an inexpensive process. Has this aspect been examined?

    Aug 27, 2015
  • anon

    Hi Wayne. Our objective did not specifically address the costs associated with this print run. We focused on regulatory and statutory compliance and the overall process used to manage innovative ideas related to stamp promotions. At this time, we do not plan to audit the costs associated with this print run or costs associated with commemorate stamps. However, we may consider that for a future follow-on audit.

    Sep 03, 2015
  • anon

    Thank you very much for your response. I wouldn't normally question the cost of a commemorative print run. However, the creation of the 100 non-inverts necessitated the unnecessary creation of an entirely new press run, complete with a new printing sleeve, set-up, the actual press run and clean up, which would run into the thousands of dollars for 100 items.

    Sep 03, 2015
  • anon

    Is it possible to obtain the dollar amount of the cost of this additional project without having to go through FOI Act?

    Sep 06, 2015
  • anon

    Hi Wayne. The costs associated with this philatelic initiative were not disclosed in our audit report. You would have to submit a FOIA request to obtain any information not published in our report. Thanks.

    Sep 15, 2015
  • anon

    I think the upright Jenny was a terrible idea. The USPS should create stamps solely to accommodate the needs of the mailing public. Using the stamp program to serve promotional or marketing goals is diversionary and ultimately harmful to stamp collecting, because it alienates old-school stamp collectors like myself without bringing new collectors to fill the void. I started collecting U.S. stamps in 1945 when the Presidential series was in wide use. Abuse of the stamp program by marketing-oriented USPS hucksters caused me to stop collecting new U.S. stamps sometime in the 1990s. I now concentrate on 19th century U.S. stamps. No intentional errors there, and no Elvises.

    Aug 27, 2015
  • anon

    Thank you for sharing your viewpoint, Michael. And good luck with your 19th Century stamp hunt.

    Sep 03, 2015
  • anon

    I do not like the idea of actually manufacturing stamp errors. However, I do appreciate the idea behind the "Jenny Gimmick"; the USPS wanted to manufacture excitement, and it did. For the first time in years, I actually saw a major news source (CBS) have a segment on stamp collecting. It was a great segment. We need more of that PR. It would also be nice to have a "normal" stamp collector on the advisory board. I am not sure that we have that now. I do know that we have to get young people excited about this great hobby or our future stamp shows are all going to be held in Good Samaritan Homes.

    Aug 27, 2015
  • anon

    Thanks for your comments, Joe. The CBS Sunday Morning segment was very interesting.

    Sep 03, 2015
  • anon

    I thought the whole thing was a fun idea--but poorly executed. There are not many everyday uses for the $2.00 stamps. I have bought many of the sheets in hopes of getting a right-side-up Jenny, and now I'm stuck with stamps that I can use only on packages. Further, I now learn that my local post office probably wan't on the list to get these stamps in the first place. It was unethical (and problably illegal) marketing. The whole project would have been ten times more effective if the stamps had been 49-cent stamps. Then everyone could have participated in the fun without having unused and unusable stamps lying in a drawer. Read Charlie and the Chocolate Factory for ideas on how to get people excited about this kind of promotion.

    Aug 27, 2015
  • anon

    Mark, thanks for your comments. Several comments on the face value of the stamp.

    Sep 03, 2015
  • anon

    I'd just like to take this matter off in a slightly different direction. I am the artist that designed and fabricated the neon that became the image for the very popular Celebrate Forever stamp. I believe the postmaster has a poster of this stamp hanging in her office. I propose we redo the inverted Jenny image in neon. The original inverted Jenny and my stamp have both set precedents so the combination of image and rendering medium, I believe would result in an amazing collectible stamp! I can render the aircraft as a 3-Dimensional object within the flat plane of the surrounding design and it would be photographed to replicate the original configuration. I think it is worth thinking about!

    Aug 27, 2015
  • anon

    Thank you for your suggestion, Michael. The Celebrate stamp you designed is one of my personal favorites. I appreciate your talent!

    Sep 03, 2015
  • anon

    We live in a country where lotteries and gambling are an accepted fact of life. Why on Earth can't the Post Office use a promotion like this to draw attention to collecting stamps? The old rule of not creating a rarity may be obsolete. I am all for creating the fun of a treasure hunt. What could do a better job of firing up interest in this wonderful hobby and also raising awareness of the USPS, especially at a time when the government seems bound and determine to let it wither on the vine?

    Aug 27, 2015
  • anon

    Thank you, Frank. Your viewpoint is very interesting. We appreciate the polar opposite opinions that collectors have. It does stimulate additional thought.

    Sep 03, 2015
  • anon

    I object to the USPS issuing stamps or other USPS artifacts with the intention that they are creating a rarity for collectors. The upright Jenny was a huge mistake in my opinion. Things that are "created" for collectors eventually become non-collectable. The upright Jenny is an exception in that it is so limited, and with a popular topic, that someone will pay the price. If the USPS carried the logic to an extreme, issue say 10 copies of a particular design every years and auction them off through eBay. Most serious collectors wouldn't be interested. Speculators would be all over it followig the "bigger fool" theory. One suggestion I have for the USPS to enhance phiatelic interest is counter-intuitive. Reduce the number of new issues per year substantially. Not only should that save the USPS some costs, but it would reduce the annual expenditure a collector would have to pay to obtain all the issues for that year. And please go back to soakable stamps so that used stamps off paper can be collected. Younger collectors and those who can't afford to tie up funds in mint, unused stamps might then be enticed to collect stamps if they were readily available as used stamps. One final suggestion: Offer printed album pages for the year for all the stamps issued that year. With a reduced number of new stamps per year, the number of pages could be small and the cost to a collector would be small. If the pages were offered in small size format as well as large size format, that might get some interest. In addition, USPS could offer the pages in digital format off their website for free so that a collector could print their own pages on whateve stock sheets they wanted. AL

    Aug 27, 2015
  • anon

    Thanks for your comments, Al. Another shout-out for soakable stamps! You’ve offered some good suggestions for collectible stamps. We will consider your comments for possible future audits or reviews.

    Sep 03, 2015
  • anon

    It pleases me greatly that your office has taken interest in the restricted upright Jenny sheet issue. My immediate reaction to the first news of the limited quantity was one of sincere concern that it would accomplish exactly the opposite of the intent . . . . to create interest in USPS products and U S philately. Both philately and numismatics, the collection and study of coins and medals, are suffering from a real drought of new, young adherents, due to all the amazing outlets for free time activity made available by the explosion of electronics technology. I recently attended an annual first day cover show in Columbus OH. I don't think anyone in that hotel event room was under the age of 40 years during the more than two hours I was in attendance. When instant rarities are created, absolutely beyond the reach of the great majority of collectors for all time, I think a negaticve impression is cast in concrete. The deck is stacked, ensuring there is no possibility of aspiring to a complete collection inmany categories, U S special sheets, aircraft on stamps, the issues of the particular year, modern issues by contract printers, etc. The United States Mint has been in the limited edition business, as well, with low mintages and, unique, never before used, finishes on Silver Eagle coins. The whole concept of limited special issues, and the limited edition Circus sheet is another example, is, in very simple term, undemocratic. Why should agencies of the peoples' government be in the business of limiting emissions and making just some citizens special profiteers?

    Aug 27, 2015
  • anon

    I think this could reflect another Farley scenario. The only just thing would be to mass produce these sheets to devalue those given inappropriately to friends and family of certain Postal Service employees. Further, prosecution should be sought against anyone suspected of breaking the law. In general, I am not a fan of the Postal Service creating lottery type promotional events.

    Aug 27, 2015
  • anon

    I buy stamps only from the Kansas City fulfillment center. I purchased a number of the invert sheets with a limited hope of getting one of the right-side-up sheets. I feel that fraud has occurred in this matter - both in how specific post offices were selected or not selected to receive the upright sheets as well as how the remaining upright sheets were not mixed in with the general population of inverted sheets at the fulfillment center. It is my guess that the person(s) responsible for this will keep their jobs another 10 or 20 years and retire with full honors - despite the fraud.

    Aug 27, 2015
  • anon

    Hi Michael. There have been many comments about fraud. Fraud is a legal term and is generally addressed by the OIG’s Office of Investigation. This blog is in response to the OIG’s Office of Audit’s report. The Office of Audit neither proves or disproves fraud, that is for the courts to decide. Our audit evaluated compliance with Postal Service regulations and statutory requirements, and reviewed the process for managing innovative ideas related to stamp promotions. The Office of Investigations is responsible for employee investigations and ultimately, any legal actions that may or may not be imposed.

    Sep 03, 2015
  • anon

    I feel that the way this stamp issue has been handled brings discredit to the USPS and collectors who spent their hard earned money in the forlorn hope of receiving one of the non inverted special panes. Immediate refunds should be given to all who purchased this farce, and would like their money back because of this false and mis leading stamp program. For once do what is right! Also I would like to see more historical themes on stamps and less movie characters.

    Aug 27, 2015
  • anon

    Now only was the production of these intentional rarities wrong, but the distribution process was dishonest. I bought numerous copies of the sheet (at $24 each I might add) thinking there was a random distribution of the non-inverts through the population. The availability of these was neither evenly distributed nor random. The office of the Inspector General should require the postal service to make amends by producing and distributing additional non-inverted stamps. Yes, speculators will lose money, but that's why they're call speculators. As your office and Postal Regulations note, the postal service should not be in the business of creating rarities, Appropriate remedial action and reparations needs to be ordered.

    Aug 27, 2015
  • anon

    Thanks for your suggestion, Mark. Printing additional Un-Inverted Jenny stamp sheets is a popular solution among collectors.

    Sep 03, 2015
  • anon

    I think that with all the technology and the way things are printed, this is an intentional act by postal employee. I worked in the printing industry for a number of years, and for only a few to end up upright is very difficult. Off set of printing plates does happen when the registry does not a line. But with computer alignment it is hard.

    Aug 27, 2015
  • anon

    1. Re the upright Jenney stamp: Deliberately creating scarcity or rarity is a fraud and diminishes the role of stamp issuance and the hobby of stamp collecting. It is a more despicable marketing tool than I've seen from the USPS in a long time. 2. The above is symptomatic of the U.S. Post Office and it's offspring, the U.S. Postal Service. The number of issues is excessive and does not seem to be driven by postal need. Commemorative stamps ought to commemorate something of significance to our Society. They no longer do so in my view. The situation with definitives is even more obscene. The USPS is issuing multiple varieties of the same design - for instance the U.S. flag issues - with different perforations, different gums or adhesives, different printing firms, shades, colors et cetera that have no honest postal purpose other than to "fleece" the collector. Why do we need a flock of new definitives every year? Why do we need definitive stamp issues with more values that the IRS code has pages? Maybe this is one of the reasons why youngsters aren't taking up philately as a hobby. 3. The appearance of live persons on U.S. stamps violates a long term policy regarding stamp issuance and serves no legitimate purpose. Why are there Harry Potter stamps? If popularity is your guideline, why not issue stamps honoring cocaine or heroin to use an argumentum ad absurdum? 3. The upshot is that I quit collecting late 20th and early 21st century U.S. stamps since in the words of the Scott catalogues from years ago, they are not issued for valid postage purposes. After collecting U.S. stamps for 68 years, you've lost me. Try not to turn off the youngsters.

    Aug 27, 2015
  • anon

    The inverted Jenny is another example of "wallpaper" that turned off collectors of postage stamps. I've been a collector for 60 years. I stopped buying new issues years ago because there are so many and don't commemorate anything. They are just WALLPAPER. The Post office would save millions of dollars if they would get out of the business of trying to print stamps that they think collectors would buy and then end up destroying them. They are turning off collectors instead of creating new ones. Thank you.

    Aug 27, 2015
  • anon

    The idea of the inverted Jenny issue, in and of itself, was a wonderful idea. Where the USPS went astray was in the creation of the 100 panes of the "uninverted" stamp and then really left the reservation with their announcement of how it would be distributed and made available. With the announcement of the 100 panes of the uninverted stamp, the USPS stated they had ALL been randomly inserted throughout the entire run of the regular issues, that they had gone to the point of masking the identity of the stamps through the use of sealed cellophane wrapped around plain cardboard to ensure no one would be able to have any advantage over another and to make this an entirely random process. Just like many other collectors, I've purchased many panes (around 70 to date) in the hopes of receiving one of the elusive right-side up panes. Unfortunately, this was a sham. After reading the excerpts from the UPS IG report in the philatelic press, I came to the sad realization that I had been duped. Granted, that while under the guise of the original explanation of this distribution I may have never had much - if any - chance of receiving one of these panes, the sad reality was that the REAL distribution made this a literal hunt for a needle in a haystack. I started to question the veracity of the distribution when all over sudden three panes were given away to randomly selected customers. I had asked myself "How was it that someone in the USPS could possibly know where to find one - let alone three - panes if they were ALL randomly distributed in completely unidentifiable packaging?" Now, we all know the truth. There was a token random distribution, but the USPS knew where a great number of these panes were at all times. Fortunately for myself, I had a way of using the stamps I had purchased in excess of what I needed for my collection. Still, this was just wrong. I find the way the USPS went about this to be very disheartening. As a life-long stamp collector, I feel abused by the very entity who produces the product I collect. It is not a pleasant feeling. Had I, or any other private citizen, conducted a scam of this magnitude we would be facing criminal prosecution for fraud (at the least) and would have been publicly denounced in the press. This is one of the largest governmental groups, and yes, I know the USPS is a quasi-governmental group. The whole affair will be quietly buried in bureaucratic red tape with investigations and reports and analyses of the investigations and reports and further reports on these reports, with the end result being that the process of getting to the bottom of it will become so mired in the bureaucracy's system that sufficient time will pass, interest will wane and little, if anything, will ever come from it. What does this mean for me? It means I've lost confidence in the USPS. It means that for me another government agency has betrayed the public trust. It means that an agency which has wailed at how they are struggling financially for so long has wasted the manpower, the brain trust and the goodwill on this failed venture when they could have been addressing more pressing issues. If the USPS wanted to increase revenue and cut costs, try putting stamps in post offices. I have noticed a trend to limit the availability of postage stamps in post offices with some which almost never have anything recently issued ever available. Let's take this a step further. Why not STAMPS ONLY? I understand the draw of computerization, but the USPS is costing itself a fortune with two systems. There are the stamps which have already been printed and delivered to the USPS. Why do they need meters? This second system requires the machinery to print the meters, which in turn, means they will need maintenance, repair, ink, paper and eventual replacement as the government constantly chases the latest technologies. Think how much could be saved if one or the other system was eliminated. If the USPS were to eliminate stamps, there would probably be an outcry from the public, and a rather significant source of revenue would be forever lost. The amount of money in collections of stamps which were purchased from the USPS and the USPOD is staggering. On the other hand, if the meters were eliminated and only stamps used, it will slow the customer service some, but the added revenue as people keep a few of the stamps they purchase, as a few more become collectors, and the fact that the images created for the stamps would continue to serve their extrinsic purposes would offset the slower lobby times. If the figures for decreased first class mail are correct, this should not be such a major problem. The other saving would come from the costs associated with the maintenance of the meter machines and the supplies necessary to feed them. Thank you for providing a forum which allows us all to vent our frustration and outrage with the way in which the inverted Jenny was handled. I look forward to following the progress of your office's inquiry into the matter. Perhaps, for once, I could be pleasantly surprised with what the outcome is.

    Aug 27, 2015
  • anon

    Greg, thank you for taking the time to respond. To clarify, 70 of the 100 Un-Inverted Jenny stamp sheets were randomly distributed to retail Post Offices. 30 of the 100 Un-Inverted Jenny stamp sheets were held by the Stamp Fulfillment Services. A majority (70%) were in masked circulation. Only 30% of the stamp sheets were held in a secure location within the Stamp Fulfillment Services. As an oversight agency, the OIG closely monitors our recommendations. We hold the Postal Service accountable to take appropriate actions to address the recommendations. Open recommendations are reported to Congress twice each year in our Semi-Annual Report to Congress.

    Sep 03, 2015

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