“Simpsons” Stamps Don’t Sell

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The U.S. Post Office isn’t doing well these days and even Bart, Homer and the residents of Springfield couldn’t help them out.

The Post Office printed up 1 billion stamps commemorating The Simpsons at the cost of $1.2 million.   Turns out customers didn’t want Homer on their letters.  The New York Post reports that  only 318 million were sold in 2009 and 2010.

To quote Homer, “D’oh!”

The stamps came in five designs featuring Homer, Marge, Bart, Lisa and Baby Maggie and commemorated the show’s 20th anniversary on Fox.

The Postal Service recently reported a loss of $5.2 billion in its third quarter — and may lose $15 billion in the year ending Sept. 30, according to the report.

 

Comments

  1. Hardly use stamps any more and when I do they are the forever stamps. Another way life has changed I guess.

  2. In addition to problems of new technologies and increased competition, the main reason that the post office is losing billions of dollars is that in 2006, Congress and President Bush set out to destroy the postal service (more specifically, the postal service unions) by requiring it to prepay billions of dollars of retiree health-care benefits. No other organization is required to make such prepayments. Without that (and without Congressional meddling in operational decisions), the post office would be doing fine.

    All of that not withstanding, let’s do a little math. The stamps cost $1.2 million to print, and let’s throw in another million to distribute. The quantity sold is 318 million, which is roughly $150 million in revenue. Let’s say that half were used for postage and half were saved by Simpsons fans. That leaves the postal service with a profit of $73 million on these stamps. What’s the problem here?

    • Your math presumes that it doesn’t cost the post office anything to handle the letter the stamp is attached to. Stamps _need_ to cost the post office next to nothing. The cost is for the service, not the paper. Yours is the same argument that people use when they fail to understand why e-books aren’t practically free. The actual physical value of a paperback book is also nearly zero. It’s cheaper for the publisher to have a bookstore destroy the book and reprint it later than to pay for having someone take it out of a box, check the condition and put it back in the right place for reselling. It’s all the people involved in getting it there that costs the money.

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