USPS is being criticized for reissuing of the rare stamps

USPS is being criticized for reissuing of the rare stamps
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StampNews.com got info that USPS Post is being criticized for reprinting the most famous stamp error in history, known as the Inverted Jenny to boost stamp sales and kick-start public excitement about collecting.

The inspector general (IG) of the United States Postal Service has sharply criticized the agency's creation of the 100 panes of upright Jenny Invert stamps that were supposed to be randomly distributed along with the 2.2 million normal $2 Jenny Invert panes in 2013.

Now the agency's watchdog has called the instant, manufactured stamp rarity issued in 2013 a huge mistake that broke the agency's own rules, which prohibit postal officials from intentionally creating a rare stamp just to make money.

"The Postal Service created and improperly distributed a philatelic rarity", a management alert issued last week by Inspector General David Williams said. Postal officials "strongly and inappropriately influenced the secondary [stamp] market by creating the rarity".

Inside the Postal Service, reprinting the stamps seemed like a smart move as the marketing office tried to enhance the visibility of new stamps to engage collectors and lure entice new, younger ones. The trend included commercial stamps like a Harry Potter series and Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, which came out around the same time as the Jennies.

The marketing staff came up with a modern twist on the error: A run of 2.2 million stamps with the airplane face down, but just 100 sheets with the plane face up. Those would thrill collectors.

But the intentional Jenny misprint, which have a face value of $2 for six stamps ‒ infuriated collectors. They called it a gimmick, because the chance they would stumble on the new sheets was tiny. Still, one upright Jenny Invert pane sold for $51,750 and another for $55,000 in 2014, the inspector general noted. The office received numerous complaints from collectors about the re-issue.

But in this case, the Postal Service's governing board, former postmaster general Patrick Donahoe and the agency's general counsel were aware of the plan to reissue the rare stamp. The plan to distribute it was not approved by the legal department, and that plan got into trouble, investigators found.

Each stamp sheet is individually wrapped, so no one can see the stamps before they are bought. A note is included with the right-side-up rarities, alerting buyers that they've hit a philatelic goldmine.

The Postal Service hoped to sell all 2.2 million stamp sheets in the first 60 days, bringing in $26.4 million in revenue, the report said. But as of four months ago, sales had raised only $13 million. Because of that, staff that was fulfilling online orders forgot to randomly include one of the 30 un-inverted Jenny stamp sheets on a weekly basis. In fact, staff only handed out three un-inverted Jenny stamp sheets to random orders.

To correct this situation, USPS randomly selected three customers who purchased the inverted Jenny stamp sheets through the Internet and gave those customers the un-inverted Jenny stamp sheet at no cost in addition to the inverted Jenny stamp sheet.

The IG says Postal Service policy prohibits employees from giving away stamps.

Sourced by washingtonpost.com

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