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United States/Covers & Postmarks : Makes ya wanna cry!

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BenFranklin1902
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Tom in Exton, PA
06 Jan 2017
12:33:24pm
Here's a mailer that delivered a new book to me yesterday. I was very happy to receive "New Jersey Postal History", but this mailer made me wanna cry!

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The sender tried to give me some nice stamps. He even had them all hand cancelled. Then the package hit the mail stream. Through various bumps and conveyor belt rides, nearly ALL the stamps got damaged. Either black rubs or bent and half pulled off the package!

The entire bottom row of the UPU se-tenants got bent up, as did the Love stamp. The smaller 45 cent fish is okay as is the 1929 George Rodgers Clark commemorative (yea!)

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On the back, that full sheet of Roosters would have been cool, but the whole thing has black conveyor belt smudges on it as well as a crease from being put on the mailer over the flap seam. The two blocks of four suffer the same fate.

It's like teasing me! Here's nice stamps... no you can't have 'em! Time Out

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GeoStamper
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Steve
06 Jan 2017
01:35:42pm
re: Makes ya wanna cry!

Ouch!

The US Post Office has done little to promote the hobby since the 1970s. The introduction of numerous 50-stamp sheets and other types with multiple plate numbers was the first turn-off for me. As a teenager working part time, how could I keep up? At Wits End

Then came the self-adhesives. At Wits End At Wits End

And now we are in the era of "Consistent Parcel Manglement" (CPM). At Wits End At Wits End At Wits End

A few years ago I considered starting a "Hall of Shame" in which we could share our most grievous cases of CPM. But it would quickly fill, and to what end? It would just lead to increased and shared levels of frustration. I know misery loves company, but do we really want that much misery...

As a small concession to the US Post Office, they are in competition with FedEx, UPS, and other services that don't use stamps. I suppose they could just up and decide tomorrow that stamps are archaic and expensive and eliminate them completely. That, in my humble opinion, would be worse.

-Steve

PS I don't think "manglement" is a real word... yet.


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"What are you waiting for? Those stamps aren't going to collect themselves."
michael78651
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SOR Auctioneer
06 Jan 2017
05:27:44pm
re: Makes ya wanna cry!

Can't really blame the post office for the creases on the stamps on the back, or the belt marks. On the front, if the stamps lifted from the envelope, they may not have been adequately moistened to stay down.

As for the "bruises" on the stamps. Media Mail should have gone through a package sorter. They may have gone through a large envelope sorter instead, and the equipment grabbed and scuffed the stamps.

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tomiseksj
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06 Jan 2017
06:15:29pm
re: Makes ya wanna cry!

Quote:

"The US Post Office has done little to promote the hobby since the 1970s."



What is it that the post office used to do to promote the hobby that they are no longer doing?
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michael78651
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SOR Auctioneer
06 Jan 2017
07:16:06pm
re: Makes ya wanna cry!

I think the biggest things are not providing all new stamps to all post offices, sending limited quantities to some, and closure of most (if not all) of the philatelic outlets/windows in post offices.

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"My book, "The Whitechapel Fog" is available on Kindle!"

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GeoStamper
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Steve
07 Jan 2017
11:58:28am
re: Makes ya wanna cry!

Quote:

"What is it that the post office used to do to promote the hobby that they are no longer doing?"



Good question, especially in light of the discussion in another thread on the 7-1-71 topic. I started collecting in 1965-66 at a very young age. Into the 1970's and my teenage years, I saw a full-court press by the USPS to provide glitzy collectible products. These included large 50-stamp sets, plate blocks that take up a whole page, annual mint sets in folders, stamp history books, etc.

At the time, I didn't know of the 7-1-71 switch from the Post Office Department to the USPS, or that it had come with the goal of promoting stamp collecting. I thought it was just the 1970's--a time when everything was odd. That period makes me think of Farley's Follies or the $2 Upright Jenny--crass moves by the Post Office that are unrelated to delivering the mail.

So back to the question... Before the 1970's, the Post Office, for the most part, did its job delivering the mail and at the same time providing attractive stamps that people could collect. When a collector bought stamps, he was buying a part of daily American life, not a collectible produced solely for collecting. Other hobbies saw this transition to heavy opportunism that takes advantage of, and turned off, collectors in the 1970's and 1980's. Comic books with multiple covers so collectors feel obligated to buy multiple copies of the same issue, for example.

Before the 1970's, with the exception of Farley's Follies, when the Post Office issues stamps geared toward collectors, they were relatively modest and well done. The 1932 Washington Bicentennial and stamp exhibition souvenir sheets come to mind. I can go through my US album and see a very nice progression of stamps through the years until there is a minor explosion of sizes and types beginning in the 1970s.

My two cents worth...

-Steve





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"What are you waiting for? Those stamps aren't going to collect themselves."
ikeyPikey
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07 Jan 2017
01:06:02pm
re: Makes ya wanna cry!

Quote:

"What is it that the post office used to do to promote the hobby that they are no longer doing?"



Quote:

"I think the biggest things are not providing all new stamps to all post offices, sending limited quantities to some, and closure of most (if not all) of the philatelic outlets/windows in post offices."



Which all amount to centralizing philatelic services, so that they can be formally conducted, managed, and accounted for.

Having a designated "I am the clerk who puts up with collectors" clerk at major post offices was kinda nice but, then, even in junior high, I could take a train or bus "into town" to do my business.

The subsequent suburbanization of America, and the rise of the two-income-mom-works family, have made it much more difficult for the average pre-teen to make it to a major post office ... let alone monthly.

All in all, from the raw mechanical get-that-stamp-into-your-hands point-of-view, most new issues collectors are probably better off with the centralized service, sad as that may be, and even though it means that the average postal counter clerk no longer has any idea what we're talking about.

Cheers,

/s/ ikeyPikey
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"I collect stamps today precisely the way I collected stamps when I was ten years old."
Snick1946
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APS Life Member
07 Jan 2017
03:00:09pm
re: Makes ya wanna cry!

At least your mailing arrived intact. I had one yesterday from a 'stampstogo' seller that arrived sliced in half. Every stamp was damaged or missing. Never had anything similar before, not in forty years of collecting.

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