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Not coming soon to a post office near you.

The Stamp Collecting Report, I'm Lloyd de Vries.

When criticized about the increasing number of commercial and pop-culture subjects on
U-S stamps, the Postal Service counters that it still issues historical subjects.

Good luck trying to find them!

I recently visited several post offices in my area trying to buy this year’s Civil War
stamps. None had them. Worse, the clerks told me they hadn’t been issued yet, even
though they had been.

Linn’s Stamp News has the answer: The Civil War stamps were only sent to what the Postal
Service calls “premier” post offices. Others could order them... if they knew about them.
But postal people often don’t know what stamps are being issued or when. Window clerks
are told to “upsell” customers on insurance, delivery confirmation... but stamps? What
are those?

There’s a list of these “premier” post offices on the U-S-P-S-dot-com website, but it’s
well hidden.

Even if a post office ordered the Civil War stamps, that wouldn’t guarantee they got them.
I’ve been told all stamp distribution to local post offices is now handled by the central
facility in Kansas City. The clerks there are swamped. Many are working 12-hour days,
some pulled from other jobs, and still behind.

I’ve also heard there were printing problems with this year’s Civil War stamps, further
hampering distribution.

I suppose next we’ll hear that historical issues don’t sell well. Certainly not — when
you can’t find them.

I'm Lloyd de Vries of The Virtual Stamp Club. For more on stamps and stamp collecting,
visit virtual-stamp-club-dot-com.

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