🇬🇧 in Blog 908 I mentioned the set of stamps, miniature sheet and retail booklet which Royal Mail intends to release on 14 March 2017 to commemorate the late David Bowie, a British performer of popular music. In addition to all of that stuff Royal Mail will also sell to collectors and enthusiasts of Bowie's work additional miniature sheets and various collectibles in order to exploit to the maximum the opportunity to cash in on Bowie's popularity.
I will not deal with the various covers and packs which collectors can thoroughly enjoy discovering for themselves on Royal Mail's Philatelic Bureau website but I do highlight here what Royal Mail describes as "Fan sheets" and the price does indeed leave oneself in need of a fan to fan away the heat generated by it - the first sheet, the "David Bowie Album Art Fan Sheet", contains all 6 basic stamps from the set with a total face value of £6.48p but is being sold for £12.95p.
There are 3 other sheets - "David Bowie Hunky Dory Fan Sheet", "David Bowie Aladdin Sane Fan Sheet" and "David Bowie Heroes Fan Sheet" - each containing 5 x 1st Class domestic rate stamps (64p) total face value of each sheet therefore being £3.20p - but each sold for £7.50 - that is - more than 100% above face value. Presumably such items will not receive full Catalogue status from Stanley Gibbons Catalogue. The selling point here apart from Bowie's popularity, I suppose, is that the "Album Art" sheet is sold in a limited edition of 10000 and the 3 other sheets are sold in limited editions of 7500 each and the "rarity" justifies the huge mark up in price.
This is clearly gross exploitation of collectors and Bowie enthusiasts but I'm sure the marketing boys at Royal Mail must know that they can move this stuff and that there are enough people out there willing to dig deep into their pockets to add these "Fan Sheets" to their stamp collections or collections of Bowie memorabilia. So if there's an easy profit to be made who can blame Royal Mail from exploiting the opportunity?
The total cost of the basic set + miniature sheet +booklet + "Fan sheets" amounts to £50.09p. Exploitation. But there are many out there who will buy all the stuff as willingly as lambs to the slaughter.