US Stamps

Automatic distribution of new U.S. stamps nearly stops

Jun 18, 2021, 11 AM
The United States Go For Broke commemorative forever stamp issued June 3 was not sent automatically to post offices.

Philatelic Foreword by Jay Bigalke

Looking for the latest new stamp issue shortly after its date of release?

If so, you may have noticed that it recently became more difficult. However some planning and making friends with local postal employees might help.

In early June, collector Steve Bahnsen of Chicago shared what he experienced when he tried to purchase the new Go For Broke stamp. That commemorative forever stamp was issued June 3, and he visited 11 post offices before finding it. Many postal clerks had not heard of the stamp and seemed to be relying on past automatic distributions. One clerk even said that the post office had not received new stamps for more than two months.

The key for postal employees, one that apparently gets overlooked, is a section within new stamp announcements in the Postal Bulletin titled “Availability to Post Offices.” That section tells postal employees if the new stamp issue will be sent to post offices automatically. But starting this year, nearly all new issues have included this text: “Stamp Fulfillment Services will not make an automatic push distribution to Post Offices. Post Offices may begin ordering stamps before the first-day-of-issue through SFS Web at sfsweb.usps.gov.”

All four of the new stamp issues announced in the June 17 Postal Bulletin will not be sent automatically.

Linn’s contacted the Postal Service for comment on June 17 and had not received a reply.

From my experience, it takes becoming friends with the employee who places the stamp orders at your local post office. It takes buying the stamps regularly from that office, too. And even with all that, I occasionally have problems getting the latest stamp issue at my local post office.

Sometimes it is just easier to place an order online or by phone with the Postal Service to get new stamps.

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