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Controlling the Market

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

The U-S Postal Service is really going to town on marketing its Baseball All-Stars stamps
this summer.... including offering something called a "press sheet." It's six of the sheets
of stamps you can buy at your post office, but not cut apart into separate sheets.

Potential customers were told these 54-dollar items were a limited edition -- just a
thousand of them would be produced. And so they sold out in pre-orders... more than a month
before the stamps went on sale.

Before the successful buyers could pat themselves on the back, though.... the Postal Service
announced another printing of 25-hundred more. These, too, are now sold out. Will there be a
third print run? I wouldn't bet against it.

The Postal Service, you see, is a business first, not an altruistic government agency. Right
now, it's strapped for money. Stamp sales aren't a very big piece of the pie, but every
little bit helps.

There's a precedence for this sort of market manipulation: In 1962, a collector found an
upside-down sheet of stamps, potentially worth millions. The Post Office printed thousands
more of the mistake, worth two dollars.

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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