D’Oh! More than 600 Million Simpsons Stamps Left Over

WASHINGTON, DC—Perhaps Homer Simpson doesn’t think his family is bigger than the Beatles, but apparently the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) felt Homer, Bart, Marge, Lisa and Maggie were at least twice as popular as Elvis.

The USPS churned out one billion stamps of “The Simpsons,” Fox’s iconic animated family that has been gracing the television for nearly 25 years, in 2009. The problem is, according to the USPS inspector general’s report, only 318 million were sold, resulting in a $1.2 million waste in printing costs.

The report illustrated a trend of stamp overproduction that is plaguing an agency with significant financial problems. The inspector general said the USPS could save $2 million a year by ending overproduction of commemorative stamps.

In a sense, the problem has alleviated itself through the creation of the “forever” stamp, which makes it valid for postage anytime in the future, whereas “The Simpsons” stamps were released in 2009, when stamp face values were fixed.

Homer & Co. aren’t the only family to run afoul of the overprinting epidemic, according to The Washington Post. That same year, the USPS overprinted stamps commemorating the lunar new year, civil rights movement figures and Supreme Court justices, among others.

Elvis is still the king, however; the 29-cent stamp released in 1993 on what would have been his 58th birthday, ranks as the best-selling commemorative stamp of all time.

  • Jeff

    Cant they just declare this a forever stamp and use them? They would lose some postage money but nowhere near 1.2 mil…

  • Phoenix

    Jeff, you need to do the math, there is 680,000,000 stamps that were issued at $0.44 but today it costs $0.45 so the 1 cent difference amounts to $6,800.000 if they issued them today at $0.44 and said they are now forever stamps.

    If you are implying that they sell them at $0.45 and say that the stamps are forever going forward then they wouldn’t lose money but it would be confusing. In the long run the best solution is to not put a value on a commemorative stamp and sell them until they run out but limit the run size to far less than 1 billion and if you sell out then issue a second run.