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Monday, August 2, 2010

Smilers Overprints - Your View

Recently we posted this entry which has raised a few heckles.

Rushstamps are selling the (2004) set of four Elvis Presley sheets produced by Benham overprinted in Silver with the wording 75th Birthday Anniversary - 1935-2010 - Limited Edition of 75, priced at £75 a set of 4 sheets. The sheets will be given the Smilers Catalogue Numbering BC-034a, BC-035a, BC-036a and BC-037a.

Some of you wrote to us expressing your views and we wanted to give Smilers Collectors an opportunity to express their view directly to the sheet producer.  Here is your opportunity...


  1. So I guess all sheet producers will now overprint there unsold stock to try and sell them out.do not buy them.

  2. i agree with the previous comment this is a way of bleedin collectors dry by leading dealers where will it end ? the overprint is not even jazzed up , boring, plain, and a rip off.
    boycott these sheets dont buy them

  3. As with all things people can spend their money how they like. But I've always thought that Business Smilers Sheets are a rip-off - if you want an Elvis Poster, buy an Elvis poster. It doesn't need stamps on it.

    Likewise the railways series and many of the others - the stamps have absolutely no relevance and the producers probably make more money from these than they do from first day covers - which they are now producing in fewer varieties because demand for those has dropped off as well.

  4. Totally agree with the first two posts. The overprint is a way to get more money for a Smiler that has not been sold.... not original and just a rip off.

    Vote with your feet and don't buy them.

    On Ian Norvis post, I disagree that business smiler sheets rip-off. Recent examples of business smiler sheets are proof that they are serving a purpose as per the Royal Mails original use for them i.e. promoting your business.

    The future of Smilers, for the RM and for collectors, is not overprints, steam engines or world war 1 aces, but by collecting unique one off business sheets.

  5. This is just a way for a producer to take a
    second bight at the cherry at the collectors expense.Do the sums - £75 x 75 = £5625 - not bad for an addon using unsold stock at hardly any expense.
    I believe that Business Sheets should be produced for businesses as per THE ROYAL MAILs
    original intention.

  6. Just coming back to Art-Boss, I agree that some sheets are used to promote businesses, but not many. I am also absolutely of the opinion that people can spend their money on whatever they like.

    But from the time the Manchester United, Rangers, Everton, Norwich City, Dr Who, Elvis sheets appeared there was absolutely no relevance to a business promoting itself, and the stamps on these sheets are an irrelevance. Like I said, if you want a Man U poster, go buy one, but it doesn't need stamps on it. These have no place in a philatelic collection.

  7. I think all stamp sheet sellers must show proof of how many sheets they issued from royal mail.as many are out there way more then then the 100 they say.

  8. i agree with ian 100% however the problem comes when you have a complete collection and need the mentioned sheets as an example to complete the collection you have to buy . myself i wont buy overprinted sheets.

  9. as i expected rush stamps to gutless to answer critics

    boycott these sheets

  10. as long as they are given Smilers Catalogue Numbering rush stamps will continue

  11. @bubbleman

    If you exclude all Business Sheets you can stil have a complete collection as issued by Royal Mail - as long as you also exclude their own B-S aka Commemorative sheets, which are another rip-off, although in some cases very popular with the non-philatelic market.

    The big 4 Bs are making more money from B-S that from their FDCs now, methinks.

  12. WRT to Yisrolm's comment - I think allocating a reference number may incite them to overprint more but they will soon stop if pople don't buy them - this is the key .....

  13. Where will it stop, hand drawn smiler sheets?

  14. it will stop when they are not asigned numbers

  15. i agree with yisroelm dont assign these rip off sheets numbers .

    i dont agree smilers info .

    dont buy anything from rush stamps , boycott all of there sheets

  16. i find it a shame that we dont get more people posting comments about this latest swindle by rush stamps. seems to me there are only 5 people who show any real concern or is it that so many people have stopped collecting that rush stamps have finally slaughtered the smiler market?

    oh yeah keep smiling........ yeah right

  17. Hi all, it's been a while since I checked out the Smilers Info website. I had to give up collecting all but 1 producer at the start of 2009. It became too much money to invest whenever one of the 4 Bs had another tenuous subject to sell. I had no idea that they's now started this overprint lark! I agree - boycott them, they're taking the collector for mug. I tend to agree that giving them a catalogue reference lends a degree of 'legitimacy' them (sorry Smilers Info). I gave up on the complete collection idea when small producers issued 100 or so sheets at ridiculous prices. I'll now just collect RM generic sheets and the RM customised sheets (I think they are well done). I'll probably quit the one remaining 'B' at the end of this year, it's no fun anymore. In my opinion, the producers have killed the format.

  18. to come back on paul , i agree with you paul however the smaller producers whilst they want more money atleast the edition runs are a numbered run of 100. they dont seem to find another previously forgotton 100 sheets and they dont suddenly produce an overprinted sheet like some others . many of the sheets are broken up and whenever i order from these companies i always have a stamp and label from one of there sheets attached to the envelope

  19. firstly apologies for not responding earler, have only just seen your blogs, thank you....the elvis opts have nearly all been sold. we have an elvis following and very little else has been issued to commemorate this memorable birthday, this issue was not aimed specifically at smilers collectors, however, from experience our customers do wish to know what is on offer and can make up their minds, in fact half decided to purchase this very attractive and well produced set of 4 sheets.....we are doomed if we do and doomed if we dont !!!!!! the national stamp day opt is very significant, being the 6th may at london 2010, not economic to produce new design and therefore utilised this very attractive sheet.....no further overprinted sheets are in the pipeline.. we wish the smilers future well however
    all the producers incl RM are "over doing" it as opposed to "overprinting" and to ensure survival they should "slow down".. all smilers collectors are not millionaires.......watch this space for the worlds 1ST EVER 3-D SMILERS SHEETS(DUE 1/4/11........ALLAN GRANT

  20. In reply to stampex - 1/4/11 is clearly APRIL FOOLS DAY - Is this what you think of your loyal customers?
    Are you having a joke at their expence or are you simply saying that you don`t give a fig at what your customers think?


  22. Stampex: What printer do you use for over prints? Just curious to know how I can potentially rip off others in case (and I hope this never happens) get as greedy as you.

    Boycott these stamps.

  23. In reply to Stampex yet again.
    If I am not mistaken,this is probably the largest and longest blog on a single smiler subject.Clearly collectors are very concerned about the over-printing.Your response is to tell us that you have almost sold out of the said sheets and then make fun of your potential customers.
    Very reassuring.

  24. 'all the producers incl RM are "over doing" it as opposed to "overprinting" and to ensure survival they should "slow down"..'


    Your production of Smiler Sheets via overprinting is a joke yet you have the audacity to pass jugdement on others.....please explain which companies are 'over doing it'.

  25. hold on i think ive found some rare unnumbered ,overprinted, just been found, didnt remember we produced them music sheets , anyone want one .

    oh hold april fool

    yeah right..........

  26. on a serious note to come back to paul ,
    what do want from a sheet producer?

    i know what i want , i want a low numbered print run which is clearly numbered, i want a sheet that is produced as a true buisness sheet not just made up to rip the market. when the run is numbered 100 or 500 etc , i dont to find out at a later date that either the run was not as big as first published or that another 100 or so sheets have just been found( lets face it who believes that). i also get peeved at the sudden appearance of newly overprinted sheets or the release of unnumbered sheets which have started to hit the market. what amazes me is that sheet producers produce sheets stating a numbered run of whatever and then start releasing unnumberd sheets . no ethics , no scruples and just spunking off the collectors

  27. Agree with much of the above. Let producers overprint anything they want - we either buy or reject - that's the best regulation of the market. Agree too with bubbleman - openess and honesty are the keys. For limited editions, print the number it says on the sheet and no more or less. We all know then how many there are and whether we want to buy or not. CompareTheSmilersMarket.com - simple eh?!

  28. I reckon there were at least 50 Music Sheets - not the original 15 plus the 'lost' 15 - I have traded around 20 of the originals myself! Sheets MUST be individually numbered and state how many were issued.
    Quality and rarity will always win out - that seems to be slowly being learned with, for instance, the Da Vinci Philatex Sheets in Presentation Folders being a prime example - although the final 10 ought to have also been numbered for the sake of openness and reassurance as they are selling for over £500 each now.
    I do agree that the market will eventually regulate itself but too many Coillectors may well have been hurt along the way - many Sheets are now not even reaching their issue price with occasional ones even selling below face value.

  29. i agree with andrew however rush stamps are ripping off the collectors. george krizler works for rush stamps in the back room when hes not composing a new symphony.

    i paid over £300 for the first music sheet because it was so rare only to find they suddenly found a load more . i feel ripped off and cheated and will never buy from rush stamps again.
    once you have conned once by these firms its very hard to go back as any trust or faith is gone.

    i am currently buying planet print sheets at least these are numbered 1-100 clearly and they always use a stamp and label from one of there sheets and every now and again you get the surround suck to the back of the envelope.
    and finally they have not released any lost or overprinted sheets.

  30. Let rush stamps be busy over printing miniature sheets and leave us smilers collectors alone.

  31. Even numbered sheets it's hard to trust as they can print 1-10 twice so they now have 20 .

  32. Smilers collectors looking for something different to turn their attention to could look at something actually produced by Post Offices for operational purposes, namely Horizon Labels and Post & Go labels (and Faststamps).

    Whilst the pictorial Faststamps may be seen by some as a gimmick there is a huge worldwide following for these, especially in continental europe, and I would urge all collectors to hold on to any they receive on their correspondence.

    Many are aware of the new gold Machin head counter-produced labels, but these are already obsolescent having been replaced by unperforated ones. See the PostagelabelsUK blog and my own - http://norphil.blogspot.com - for more details.

    And any of these labels that you do not want, we can find a home for if only to keep track of what is out there!

  33. Oh, how ironic that George Kreizler should end his diatribe (see Smilers-info-news page) with the words:
    "Stamp collecting should be treated as a hobby and not as a speculative investment ...."

    Earlier in his message Mr Kreizler states:
    "The Museum Presentation sheet, of which they were 10; only 6 available to the philatelic market; were sold at around the £350 to £400+ mark." and "Each of the 4 were issued in different presentation folders. Very little profit was made from this venture as the cost of the licensing fees alone were just under £5,000, alterations to the artwork by Royal Mail a further £700 plus and the cost of the folders at £15 each."

    I'll ask Mr Kreizler, then:
    - how did the production of these benefit stamp collecting or philately?
    - what advantage was there to anybody in having stamps in these souvenir posters?
    - why were they produced if not for profit?

    Business Customised Sheets were fine when used for their original purpose by Eagle Coaches and later by Fiat. The only purpose in producing any of the others was to make money for the producers and their agents.

    Forget speculators: I know several ordinary stamp collectors who have bought much of the output of the major producers but who have given up due to overproduction and escalating prices.

  34. It would be nice to know all people who have the museum presentation sheet as we all know they are more then 6 out there.I have 1 my self.

  35. Has anyone else here got the museum presentation sheet?