US Mint to Halt Mail Orders

by Darrin Lee Unser on December 17, 2015 · 6 comments

US Mint Mail Order Form

The U.S. Mint is ending the use of mail order forms, like the most recent one in its Holiday 2015 Catalog

Mail ordering from the United States Mint is about to go the way of the dodo bird. A memo from the bureau this week announced ending dates for sending and acceptance of mail order forms and explained the reasoning.

According to the memo, the U.S. Mint will stop distributing the forms after Jan. 1, 2016 and it will stop all mail order sales on Sept. 30, 2016.

"The reality of the digital environment means that paper orders placed through the mail are increasingly not accepted as inventory is depleted quickly through online and telephone channels in real time," Michael White, United States Mint Office of Corporate Communications, explained in the memo. "By eliminating mail orders and encouraging all customers to shop online or by phone, the Mint will be offering more ordering consistency and eliminating those hard copy orders that take longer to receive, process and fulfill."

This means that no U.S. Mint marketing materials in 2016 will include the familiar ordering forms. Instead, they will direct customers to place orders by calling 1-800-USA-MINT (872-6468), visiting catalog.usmint.gov or shopping at U.S. Mint stores in Washington, Philadelphia or Denver.

After the Sept. 30, 2016 cut-off date, any mail orders the Mint receives will be returned with a note to order by phone or online.

Update: The U.S. Mint on Thursday, Dec. 17, issued the following revised statement:

Mail Order Forms & Mail Order Processing

This is a revised Note to Editors on mail order forms and mail order processing.

The United States Mint is currently analyzing a policy change to discontinue the distribution of mail order forms in 2016.

Although the next mailing of U.S. Mint product brochures scheduled for January will highlight the online and phone ordering process, mail orders will continue to be accepted as usual.

Updates on the policy will be announced in 2016.

{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

Buford December 17, 2015 at 1:30 am

Some old timer collectors won’t like this change!

Richard December 17, 2015 at 7:26 am

I know, Buford, but things change. I still occasionally sit down and physically write people real letters. My Millennial students think that’s crazy, and some big organizations don’t seem to know what to do with them. Anyway it hasn’t been the same since the Mint got rid of its sequential system of registering collectors by when they initially set up accounts to order by mail. There was a letter and a six digit number. I was also rather proud of being in the “A” list of early collectors. But that was a long time ago.

jim December 17, 2015 at 10:01 am

Well it’s a step towards not hanging onto coins/sets that were minted years ago but are still available to order. I can’t imagine anybody being in a big rush to order a 2013 congratulations set and would use mail order instead. Another blow for the US Postal Service.

Now if they would only stop making pennies.

Seth Riesling December 17, 2015 at 10:12 am

Buford & Richard.-

I have similar sentiments about this news as ypu do . But as i heard one stand-comedian say “Time marches on & sometimes it marches right over your face!”
I remember as a teenager in the late 1970s living on a NSA base in Gernany & awaiting those U.S. Mint (called the Bureau of the Mint at the time) mail order forms in the U.S. Postal Service. I couldn’t wait to fill out the form & decide how many items i could afford with my limited budget from working in the summers on base under the U.S. Department of Defense student hire program. They only had 3 products back then. – the annual clad Proof set, annual clad Uncirculated Mint Set & a number of bronze medals! You were assigned a customer # and had to write that # in the upper right hand corner of your check or money order (the only forms of payment accepted at the time!). There wasn’t even a customer service telephone # and all correspondence was done by snail mail. And it typically took 2 months to receive your order by USPS mail.
The Mint is going the way of most companies offering only internet & phone orders. This will save the Mint money & time and maybe they will pass on the savings to its customers.- NOT! The Mint is under congressional mandate not to cost the U.S. taxpayers one cent on its Numismatic Program & all profits are deposited into the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s General Fund for use by Congress for any purpose since under the U.S. Constitution the Congress controls the purse strings. That is a good thing IMHO. I haven’t used a mail order form in 25 years, but it is nostalgic looking back on how things change. A walk down memory lane.
Happy Collecting everyone!

-NumisDudeTX

Norman Lang December 17, 2015 at 11:57 am

More human employees to bite the dust. Hope they have saved enough and have enough skills to get another job.

Joe C. December 17, 2015 at 2:33 pm

Ahh, progress! Forward and backward.

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