• Reply to: Jenny Come Lately   2 days 2 hours ago

    when I found out that the 100 "uninverted Jenny" sheetlets would be randomly distributed, I purchased 20 Jenny invert sheetlets, hoping that I would get lucky and receive one of these. Imagine my consternation when I found out in the literature that the Philatelic Service sent 2 as gifts to customers. If these 100 sheets were randomly distributed, then how could the even FIND the ones they sent out? How can we now be sure that the other 98 were distributed? Perhaps only 21 were distributed (because these were actually reported as found in the press), but 70+ are being held by various privileged bureaucrats who will use them at their convenience for whatever purpose they wish. I would consider the whole scheme as a scam to get collectors to buy the inverted Jenny sheetlets with practically NO chance of actually receiving an uninverted one, and as such this is like selling lottery tickets where there is no winning number. I feel that every individual who purchased a sheetlet should be allowed to return these to post offices for a refund, and I would not be surprised if the Postal Service is served with a class-action suit for such purpose.

  • Reply to: Jenny Come Lately   2 days 3 hours ago

    In the history of bad USPS ideas, the USPS purposely creating rarities to fleece collectors climbs near the top of spectacularly bad ideas. The only decision I can think of which is worse is self-stick stamps that can't be soaked off paper. Because of that, I don't collect recent U.S. stamps. Pretty much period.

    I did make a sole exception in the case of the Jenny souvenir sheet. Let me be clear, it wasn't to win the ridiculous USPS 'lottery' though, naturally, I would have loved the quick cash (I wouldn't have kept the rarity) but because this is the closest I'll ever get to the inverted Jenny error. It's cool in its own right though the $2 x 6 design is a pure rip-off that nearly prevented me from making that one exception. It's the only USPS new issue I've kept as a collectable in over 5 years.

    A core point is stamp collecting should be for the average person.

    We want to encourage children to get into the hobby. Certainly grossly overpriced $12 souvenir sheets are not the way to introduce children to philately. Kids - who we need to grow into lifelong collectors - aren't going to spend a lot of money buying new issues at their local post office. As a kid, I got into the hobby soaking stamps my grandmother had saved up over the years. That option doesn't really exist outside of buying old kiloware lots most kids aren't going to get unless an adult purchases it for them. My grandmother wouldn't have known what "kiloware" meant.

    With the age of collectors rapidly going up, high priced and artificial rarities are not a way to keep retirees collecting U.S. stamps either. When you create ridiculously scarce rarities that I and the vast, vast majority of collectors will never be able to own it frustrates and even enrages us.

    I do still buy U.S. commemoratives but they all go on bills and the rare correspondence. It's stupid stunts and practices like the right-side up Jenny debacle and un-soakable new issues which drove me away.

  • Reply to: Jenny Come Lately   2 days 4 hours ago

    I think that this was an unfortunate ploy to sell many mainly unusable
    stamps in an effort to win an impossible gem.
    As a collector for almost 60 years I have become increasingly frustrated
    by the huge numbers of new issues and difficulties in maintaining
    a complete "modern" US collection. This will make it impossible when Scott
    recognizes it in the "catalog".

  • Reply to: Jenny Come Lately   2 days 4 hours ago

    I spent over $20,000. buying the inverted Jenny in hopes of winning one of the right side up sheets.

    Now I learn that I had no chance because the panes were not randomly inserted into the distribution of the panes as announced. I find this action by the persons in charge of this program to be criminally irresponsible. What happens now to all the undistributed uninverted Panes?

    The persons involved with this program should all be fired. It was ill conceived and very poorly promoted. Had the program been run as initially announced, I would not have objected. However, the giving away of uninverted sheets to selective clients is morally unjust. Such programs should not be allowed. There are better ways to promote stamps to the general public!

  • Reply to: Jenny Come Lately   2 days 4 hours ago

    First of all I loved that the stamps were actually engraved like the good old days. Made all the stamps have a very special feel and look about them. The lottery aspect, especially at 12 dollars of pop seemed at times like a 'cruel lottery,' but of course no one was forced to play. The one thing I would request for this kind of thing in the future would be to make the stamps Forever International stamps. It would be a way to generate considerable money, and the stamps would be more practical for everyone who bought them.

  • Reply to: Jenny Come Lately   2 days 4 hours ago

    I think it was a bright marketing idea. I have 4 packs which I haven't yet opened. The problem with the stamp collecting community (which I suspect is the chief source of criticism), is their stodginess.

  • Reply to: Jenny Come Lately   2 days 4 hours ago

    I think it was the wrong thing to do. The last time an error was made, they printed athe wrong person on a sheet. So instead of destroing all the sheets they had a lottery which was a fair way to dispose of the error sheets. Now they print a sheet on purpose and they wanted the collector to spend a ton of money to try and find one. With many the crooked postal personel out there what are the chances the collector have? What should have been done is print a larger quantity and again offer a lottery so anyone that was looking for one of these Jennies would have a fair chance at one. But the PO wants to make money so they dispenced of a few and gave away a few and hid the rest just so the collector would have to buy more of the none rare item and get the true collector very angry..

  • Reply to: Jenny Come Lately   2 days 4 hours ago

    As a collector 50 years I was appalled by the creation of a rarity in this manner.
    As a taxpayer each and every individual should have access to each product produced by the United States government on an equal basis. There is no historical basis for the production and distribution of the upright Jenny panes as produced and distributed.
    I feel this is on terms with the Farley's, which were distributed privately and then distributed widely as a result of the public outcry. my suggestion is print more the upright Jenny panes and make them available

  • Reply to: Jenny Come Lately   2 days 5 hours ago

    I welcomed the issue of the upright Jenny. I feel that anything that illustrates American culture is welcome on postage stamps. I didn't really expect to "win the lottery", nor do I sympathize with people who hoped to win. I am fine with the idea behind this issue.

    Where are all the 100 panes of uprights? It doesn't matter to me whether there were 100 or only 25 in circulation. It's still a gamble to find one in your post office. Gamble, gamble, gamble!

    By the way, I like all the issues of the Post Office.

  • Reply to: Jenny Come Lately   2 days 5 hours ago

    The IG's report notes one violation after another of postal rules and procedures. Most egregious is the fact that the distribution was not random. Giving away a sheet to a collector chosen at random was the equivalent of giving that fortunate individual a gift of $50,000.00.

    In the end, after all the violations were noted, there is no one who is being held accountable. No one at the USPS will lose a job,or be demoted. No one even seems to have suffered a slap on the wrist.

  • Reply to: Jenny Come Lately   2 days 6 hours ago

    The USPS should not be in the business of creating artificial rarities. The Dag Hammerskjold error was created accidently. Then the Postmaster General at the time ordered the BEP to print millions of copies of this real error, thus making it more commonplace than the non- error stamp. His reasoning was that this would permit every collector to have an error in their collection. The net effect was to drive collectors away. I know, I was one of them. Before that there was PMG Farley who distributed special sheets to his friends. Even in 1901, the 4 Cent Buffalo Worlds Fair invert stamp was created by order of a 3rd assistant PMG to sell for his own profit after he discovered that the USPOD had released 1&2 cent accidental inverts at the fair. Nothing to see here move along. As can be seen, activity that could be considered fraudulent has been prevalent at the post office for a long time.

    Now, in the real world accidental error stamps actually occur rather frequently. I know I collect them. In my case errors of color which by the way are much more spectacular than just being upside down. Most collectors of these have learned to keep their mouths shut about them for as long as possible to keep the clueless marketing types from being able to ruin a good hobby by creating to much more of a good thing.

    Want to improve the image and attract collectors?
    1)Issue booklets of definitive self-sticks as you do now for regular commercial use. Tell your printer that you want them to be soakable from an envelope. For the past two centuries new collectors (often children) have gotten their start by soaking used stamps from envelopes If your printers can't or won't do this fire them. " All commemoratives should be "lick and stick" .
    2) While engraved stamps may be expensive they are more beautiful than the current trash that looks like they came from an ink jet printer label program. Issue several commemoratives in the engraved format each year.
    2) No living persons on stamps please. Bill Cosby and O.J. Simpson come to mind as obvious reasons that this is a bad idea.
    3) Quit spending money on issuing over a hundred new issue stamps per year. Enough already! Start with no more than fifty per year. You might find that less is more.
    4) Never ever issue "collectable" stamps. If it is labeled "Collectable" it is not. Think of Bradford Exchange and Franklin Mint whose "collectables" sell for about 10-20% of what their buyers paid for them. This is a great way to drive away potential collectors from any hobby.

    Last but not least, do the hobby a favor and take all the Inverted Jenny and "Right side up Jenny stamps and have a bonfire and wiener roast with them. Thank you for the opportunity to comment.

  • Reply to: Jenny Come Lately   2 days 7 hours ago

    I personally think it was totally wrong to create 100 Upright Inverted $2 Jennys. You have printed a stamp which very few collectors will ever be able to obtain. The only people who will benefit are the mega-dealers who have the huge amount of money to buy when a sheet surfaces. The lie told that they would be randomly distributed is also wrong. Only major markets may have the chance to get a 'random" sheet. If the Philatelic Service could give away 3 error sheets to 'randon' people, that makes me think that they know where all the errors are. There was nothing random about the distribution. Didn't Franklin D. Roosevelt and James Farley get into a bunch of trouble issuing special stamps for special people. The Farley Issues are now highly priced issues, again becoming a great income source for dealers.

    Just issue fewer stamps with more valid historical value. The 5 Chefs, Janis Joplin and Jimi Hendrix stamps are totally unnecessary. And the new Elvis Presley stamp is also unnecessary. He already has a stamp and he was not the perfect model of a perfect citizen. He was an iconic singer but just an average American.
    Another gripe is the self stick stamps and especially the Convertible Booklets. We are forced to buy a whole booklet just to obtain a single stamp or more often a set of 4 or 5 stamps. If you are going to continue issuing PSA, make them single sided and perforated so we can buy just what we want to collect.
    One last thought...if you are going to make PSA's, make the stickum water soluable so youngsters can cheaply start collections of cancelled stamps. To save them on cut paper makes albums unnecessarily bulky and thick. In case you haven't noticed, new stamp albums are not cheap anymore. My first Scott National Album cost me less than $100 and now a basic National is just under $1000.

  • Reply to: Jenny Come Lately   2 days 7 hours ago

    It think it was a fun idea and prompted me to buy quite a few of the panes in hopes of finding an upright version. I use them for postage. What is troubling to me is that apparently not all of the promised 100 panes were distributed. That needs to be corrected. I also think that giving these panes to selected individuals as gifts is wrong. Those panes should be returned.

  • Reply to: Jenny Come Lately   2 days 8 hours ago

    An innovative idea poorly executed resulting in more harm than good. An interested philatelists in USPS management would go far in providing guidance in formulating future programs.

  • Reply to: Carriers as Conduits   2 days 8 hours ago


  • Reply to: Jenny Come Lately   2 days 8 hours ago

    I have been collecting postage stamps, new and used for about 75 years.! The printing and distribution of the Upright Jenny $2 stamp was the biggest disappointment in my stamp collecting memory. Not only did the Postal Service print those 100 panes, but they gave away sheets after someone had bought and sold such for over $50,000.00. Stupid, stupid, stupid!! My son and I spent over $300 purchasing these stamps from the Philatelic Sales! The distribution method of these stamps was not made available to the general public until much later! This pointless issue has left a very bad taste in my mouth to the point I have stopped my daily, weekly, monthly purchasing of stamps. I have on occasion, bought a couple sheets of certain issues, but for the most part my Collection is finished!! I'm almost 82 years old but I still have my senses unlike some of your Staff.

  • Reply to: Jenny Come Lately   2 days 8 hours ago

    I would like to see the remaining panes (it sounds like a bunch have been set aside in Kansas City at SFS) actually RANDOMLY mixed in with the remaining stock, so that those of us who purchase these for use actually have a chance of getting one. It's sad that everything was advertised up front as the panes having been randomly distributed within the print run, so that your chances of getting one (no matter how or where you purchase) would be about 1:20,000. It sounds like the actual distribution was not really random.

    Here's what I would do - take the remaining panes that you can actually identify (it sounds like they are stored separate from the others that are at SFS), and mix them in with those remaining at SFS. That way, anyone ordering from SFS would actually have a chance to actually get one.

    It sounds like there are also some panes that cannot be identified, still out at post office counters, waiting to be purchased (which if so, is fine - let people buy them, and find them).


  • Reply to: Jenny Come Lately   2 days 9 hours ago

    As a dedicated US collector for over 50 years, I was appalled at the intentional creation of such a rarity. This error has been compounded by the mis-management of the distribution of these rarities. I suspect senior USPS officials will all somehow end up with a copy while collectors spend $ in vain trying to "luck" onto one of the very few (much less that the advertised 100) copies distributed. The best solution to correct this situation is to produce and sell at least several thousand of the upright Jennys so that any collector that wants one has a chance of obtaining one. But, of course, that won't happen because the powers that be all have their own copy of the rarity to cash in sometime latter when they leave the USPS.

    You can't solve the financial problems of the USPS by "soaking" collectors with gimmick issues like the upright Jenny or the "no die cut" press sheets. Stop issuing stamps that try to cover every ethnic group imaginable and solve every social issue. Return to commemorating historical events and figures, beautiful landscapes or artwork. Stamps should not only serve a mailing purpose, but also provide educational information and aesthetics. They do not have to always be "politically correct" or seek to solve some social problem. Thats my two cents on improving stamp sales.

    Please do something about this upright Jenny situation. It is really unfair to all the dedicated collectors out there that they will forever have a hole in their album where the intentionally created upright Jenny rarity goes but can not be afforded. Suspect that has lost more collectors than it has encouraged in terms of sales.

  • Reply to: Jenny Come Lately   2 days 9 hours ago

    I think it was a BIG mistake, and caused a lot of "distrust" and concern for current and future collectors. Followed by the "selective" gifts of some of the "errors" by the stamp Fulfillment Office, both of which seem to be against states Post Office policy. Has anyone been reprimanded? Has anyone learned from this mistake?

  • Reply to: Jenny Come Lately   2 days 9 hours ago

    I think that the post office should print up a million or so upright sheets and offer them for sale to the public.
    What they did was criminal in my mind as they selectively gave out sheets to some people. No random placement in this
    The actions by the post office has got me one step close to stop stamp collecting. Currently I make two large purchases a year.
    The other action that I totally disagree upon was force the public to by the year set in order to get the circus souvenir sheet. What a rip off to the public!!!

  • Reply to: Jenny Come Lately   2 days 9 hours ago

    Because of the promotion, the packaging completely hid the nice design of the stamp. Many postal employees I asked didn't even know about the stamp and I had to explain what to look for. The $2 cost made them not useful for normal postal patrons and limited the audience to those stamp collectors that knew about them and the chance to "win" a prize by buying them. I would have much rather seen that great design used for a more common postal rate and promoted more for the design, rather than the lottery. The non-random distribution of the 100 panes was and is a turnoff also. As more details came out, I became more disappointed with the promotion. The three that were given away through the philatelic desk were completely wrong.

  • Reply to: Jenny Come Lately   2 days 9 hours ago

    The USPS issued the 12 dollar 'invert' pane and failed to sell all of them.

    The purchase dates and locations of less than a third of the contrived 'upright' panes are publicly known. Some 'upright' panes were knowingly sold to particular patrons of the USPS, ie the well heeled and regular, high volume customers.

    The USPS should allow for refunds of any unused panes of jenny stamps, in that the USPS mislead the public, ie defrauded the public, and in particular the earnest stamp collectors who were led to believe by the USPS that the 'upright' panes were in circulation at a frequency in alignment with the frequency of 'error' panes printed.

  • Reply to: Rethinking Mailbox Access   2 days 10 hours ago

    If delivery companies want to discuss stuffing your mailbox with their packages, then that discussion needs to start with why mailboxes are reserved for the Postal Service in the first place.

    The fact is that exclusive mailbox access isn’t some kind of gratuitous privilege. Rather, it reflects commonsense ways of helping the Postal Service shoulder its enormous and unique responsibility: namely, delivering mail and packages to every home and business in America at affordable prices, and not just delivering packages to the most profitable addresses or with hefty surcharges.

    Regulators, courts, and experts who have studied the issue in depth agree that exclusive access provides many important benefits to the American people, and that open mailbox access would take away those benefits.

    • Security: Open mailbox access would make it an everyday occurrence for third parties to enter private mailboxes. It would be much harder to distinguish legitimate actors from common criminals. The RAND Corporation, a leading think tank with national security expertise, found that “relaxing the Mailbox Rule will have a negative effect on public safety and mail security,” as it would increase criminals’ opportunities for mail theft, identity theft, and explosive attacks.

    • Efficient delivery of mail: Open mailbox access would cause clutter and confusion in customers’ mailboxes. Most of what goes into the mailbox today are letters, catalogs, and magazines. If unlocked, curbside mailboxes were open to package delivery companies, however, a mail carrier would not be able to fit those very items into the mailbox, or to distinguish between outgoing mail and privately delivered items. At the very least, the carrier would have to spend extra time at your mailbox in order to figure out what’s what. This would slow down the entire mail delivery process, increase the costs of mail delivery, and ultimately raise the price tag of mail for customers.

    • Universal service at affordable and uniform prices: Whether you are sending a regular letter or card across town or across the country, the same Forever stamp will get it there. Exclusive mailbox access helps make that possible. By contrast, open mailbox access would make it easier for competing delivery services to strip certain profitable types of mail away from the Postal Service, such as catalogs and certain types of advertising mail. The Postal Service would be left delivering less profitable types of mail to less profitable areas, and yet it would have less of the more profitable types of mail with which to support those deliveries. This sort of “cream-skimming” competition would gut the Postal Service’s ability to support universal service and to keep it affordable.

    Exclusive mailbox access goes hand in hand with the sort of secure, efficient, universal, and affordable mail service that the American people expect and require. Mailbox access cannot be “rethought” without realistic consideration of how else to provide Americans with the efficient, universal delivery of letters and other mail: a public service that the Postal Service currently performs without taxpayer dollars. And yet, virtually every expert report and customer poll to have discussed the issue is unanimous in supporting continuation of exclusive mailbox access as a way to support universal postal service.

  • Reply to: Jenny Come Lately   2 days 10 hours ago

    In spite of all the teeth knashing by the old phogies, I think this was a good idea. The hobby got lots of publicity from this and it couldn't hurt. Now the fact that there are rumors that a few "insiders" wound up with one of these sheets is disturbing. What about a contest among the public (not the pro illustraters) maybe every 5 years to make an intentional error with 100 sheets out of 13 million imprints?

  • Reply to: Jenny Come Lately   2 days 10 hours ago

    I view the Un-inverted $2 Jenny as a non-postage stamp and more like a self stick $2 raffle ticket that harkens back to Farley's Follies of the 1930's.
    Activities to enhance the philatelic program would be to reduce the amount of new issues by at least 50%, and a return to water soluble glue.
    I am an advanced stamp collector with over 55 years of collecting experience and have no interest in the overwhelming amount of new issue self stick stamps, don't collect them, and never will, as my collecting budget will be better spent on older issues when stamps were printed to actually move mail and not empty collectors pockets.