D’oh. You can add Simpsons-themed stamps to the list of financial woes plaguing the U.S. Postal Service.
USPS wasted $1.2 million printing 1 billion stamps with the likenesses of Homer, Bart, Lisa and other Simpsons characters, according to Bloomberg. The problem: The agency only sold 318 million stamps, leaving a glut of 682 million leftover Simpsons.
The Postal Service’s bet that the Simpsons’ stamps would be twice as popular as Elvis Presley stamps apparently hasn’t paid off, and the fiasco comes at a time when the agency could really stand to stop losing money. USPS lost $57 million per day last quarter -- totalling $5.2 billion -- and is at risk of missing its next payment to the U.S. Treasury. It defaulted on a payment for the first time in history earlier this month, failing to put up $5.5 billion.
Some have blamed Congress for the agency’s woes, because lawmakers went to recess without passing legislation to help mitigate the Postal Service’s financial obligations. The agency’s troubles could mean cuts to Saturday delivery and post office closings across the country.
When the Postal Service first unveiled the commemorative Simpsons stamps in April 2009, the agency predicted they would provide a boon for stamp sales. USPS generated buzz for the stamps by inviting fans to vote for their favorite, according to a Reuters report at the time. David Failor, USPS executive director of stamp services at the time, told Reuters he hope the Simpsons theme would boost overall interest in stamps, particularly since Bart is a stamp enthusiast on the show.
"Issuing 'The Simpsons' stamps, which includes known philatelist Bart Simpson, will serve as a great opportunity to interest youngsters in stamp collecting,” Failor told Reuters at the time.
Check out the Simpsons stamps below: