Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Gratuitous December Post

I've been trying not to blog anything purely personal--i.e., stuff with no possible utility to anyone else. But being afraid 2009 would come and go with no posts for December, I'm breaking my rule to comment on why I haven't added more than a handful of stamps since the summer. My excuse is eBay. I'm still trying to secure one more International Volume 1 or its equivalent which is sufficiently comprehensive that I can extract at least a thousand stamps for my album, preferably more. Unfortunately, in spite of the complaints on some of the lists I read about eBay stamp sales tanking, the eBay market is hot this year for good classic era collections.

By way of comparison, for about a six month period in 2008 I kept a spreadsheet tallying the over 100 worldwide collections offered on eBay during that time frame that had significant coverage from 1840-1940. The most expensive item during that time period sold for $870.00. Just this month in 2009, there is an "Antique Stamp Collection in Scott Brown Album..." that sold earlier today for $3100. A 3 volume international (1840-1949) sold a few days ago for $1326. Two Scott browns sold at the beginning of the month for $2024 and $2950. Now admittedly these particular collections have Scott catalog values of 10 times or more the selling amount, but we're still looking at almost all of the large collections selling for over $1000 during the past few months versus none fetching above $1K for at least half of 2008. Most of the higher priced collections are being offered by NYStamps who provides an estimated catalog value (often in Euros for some reason) and generally a couple of hundred photos. This is contrast to the sellers in 2008 who usually did not give catalog values but often provided a ballpark count but not necessarily much in the way of photographs.

As I can't justify spending a couple of thousand at one time for a collection (even if I expect to recoup a fair amount of that when resold), this is motivating me to work through most of the albums I've accumulated to prepare them for sale on eBay. The reason I've been holding on to them is that these albums still hold stamps that are not in my edition of the Scott International and I've been dithering about whether to ignore stamps for which there are no spaces or save them on stock pages. I'm finally decided to go the stock page route, aided by Subway having a great sale on double sided black stock sheets (buy 5 packages at a reduced price and receive a 6th free). Hopefully, I can complete this project within the next couple of months and use the proceeds to help pay for one large collection. Then I'll switch over to bidding on single country/regional collections for awhile and see how that goes.

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