USPS Opens Store on eBay; Rare Philatelic Items on Auction
WASHINGTON, DC–September 16, 2013—In a move to expand its reach to domestic and international customers, the Postal Service announced that it has opened a Postal Store on eBay at ebay.com/stamps. In making the announcement, the Postal Service’s Chief Marketing Officer also revealed that the Postal Service is auctioning rare stamp-related collectible philatelic products and items from the Postmaster General’s Collection (which began on Friday, Sept. 13) at this link on eBay.
“This powerful alliance with eBay allows the Postal Service to showcase our unique collection of stamp artwork on one of the world’s largest online marketplaces,” said U.S. Postal Service Chief Marketing, Sales Officer and Executive Vice President, Nagisa Manabe. “As the premier collectible marketplace, eBay is a natural fit to launch one of the world’s largest online Postal Stores. International stamp collectors will now have a new convenient way to purchase U.S. stamps and philatelic products.”
The current auction, that launched on Friday, Sept. 13, has more than 100 philatelic items, and expires at 3 p.m. EDT, Monday, Sept. 23. No stamps from the collection are being auctioned. More philatelic items from the Postmaster General’s collection will be available at a later date.
“The Postmaster General’s collection is a stamp collector’s dream that includes rare postal artifacts found nowhere else in the world,” added Manabe. “By limiting our auctions to duplicate philatelic items, we continue to preserve the integrity of the Postmaster General’s Collection. Whether a serious or recreational stamp collector, this online experience will be exciting and will open the doors of the wonderful world of stamp collecting to a whole new generation of eBay customers who shop everyday online.”
Some noteworthy philatelic items of historical interest that are currently being auctioned can be seen in the photo tab in the upper right.
The Postmaster General’s Collection began in the 1860s as a modest set of Post Office Department files filled with records and a small sampling of stamps, and continues to evolve today. Now, thousands of stamps later, the archive has become a one-of-a-kind stamp collecting resource with unusual, rare and unique holdings. To preserve the integrity of the collection, only duplicate items will be auctioned.
The 30,000 items consist of two distinct elements: stamps and original stamp artwork and includes many pre-production items, including proofs (quality control samples) and essays (either rejected or not finalized stamp designs), black-and-white models and uncut press sheets (typically six to eight sheets of stamps from a single sheet that is not perforated for individual stamp removal).
Early proofs were made from the original steel dies on which stamp designs were engraved. The dies were then pressed onto transfer rolls which were used to create the plates for printing stamps. Later with lithographic printing, designer or production prints were mounted to replicate the earlier die proof standard. Many of these were autographed for approval by the Postmaster General when they were created.
The stamp collection also contains many rare and unique items, including full sheets of early high denomination stamps, experimental paper issues, die proofs (quality control samples) of the inverted Jenny airmail stamp and mail postmarked on the moon. Very few of these items have been seen by the public.
The stamp art collection originated in 1942 and includes the original art commissioned by the Post Office Department and U.S. Postal Service for more than 3,000 U.S. postage stamps. The collection includes original artwork by Norman Rockwell and hundreds of other artists who have volunteered to create the art that would be used in miniature form on U.S. stamps. In addition to the approved artwork, the collection includes thousands of concept designs as well as many preliminary sketches. For the Elvis Presley stamp, for example, more than 50 original designs were submitted by various artists to the Postal Service for consideration.
The eBay/Postal Service Alliance
Headquartered in San Jose, CA, eBay is one of the world’s largest online marketplaces, connecting people with the things they need and love virtually anytime, anywhere. With more than 120 million active users globally, eBay is one of the U.S. Postal Service’s largest package mailers.
The Postal Service and eBay relationship is based on providing value and convenience to the eBay marketplace. Unlike most traditional brick and mortar retailers, eBay doesn’t physically handle the products that consumers purchase. Instead, eBay’s marketplace serves as an online platform, connecting sellers directly with buyers worldwide. In this model, sellers rely on the Postal Service to provide superior delivery performance combined with shipping products that are easy-to-use, price-effective and convenient.
For a wide selection of stamps and related collectible products, please visit the official Postal Service Store on eBay at ebay.com/stamps.
The Postal Service receives no tax dollars for operating expenses and relies on the sale of postage, products and services to fund its operations.
About the U.S. Postal Service (USPS)
A self-supporting government enterprise, the U.S. Postal Service is the only delivery service that reaches every address in the nation: 152 million residences, businesses and Post Office Boxes. The Postal Service receives no tax dollars for operating expenses and relies on the sale of postage, products and services to fund its operations. With more than 31,000 retail locations and the most frequently visited website in the federal government, usps.com, the Postal Service has annual revenue of more than $65 billion and delivers nearly 40 percent of the world's mail. If it were a private-sector company, the U.S. Postal Service would rank 42nd in the 2012 Fortune 500. The Postal Service has been named the Most Trusted Government Agency for seven years and the fourth Most Trusted Business in the nation by the Ponemon Institute.