Over the past 6 weeks, I've added about 500 stamps to my Blue. My collection is now large enough that buying large albums is getting to be prohibitive, so I've begun to search for other cost effective and efficient ways to fill in the remaining spaces. One possibility is to look for sellers who have broken up an International, Minkus Global or comparable album into individual countries. Another is American Philatelic Society Circuit Salesbooks. I'm currently exploring both.
I thought it might be interesting to compare the cost of acquisition of each of these methods, recognizing that my experiences so far may be so limited as to be misleading. But I'll keep records and refine this over the coming years.
Vis-a-vis the first option, there were perhaps three dozen countries from a Blue offered recently on eBay. I managed to win 11 of these. Now a prudent collector in deciding what to bid would no doubt have guesstimated the approximate catalog value of the stamps that weren't in his or her album. But I couldn't get enthusiastic about the time required to do that, knowing that I wouldn't win everything I bid on. Instead, I did a rough count of the number of stamps shown in the eBay images that were missing from my album and based my bid on that. So how did I do? I spent $181.11 to add 489 stamps, paying 35% of catalog or 42 cents per stamp.
In the following table (also known as a Haul Matrix), 'Cost' is what I paid on eBay. 'Catalog' is the 2007 Scott Catalog value of the stamps I actually added to my album. 'Avg' is the average cost per stamp I added. '% Cat' is the percentage of the 2007 catalog value I paid. '# to Sell' are the stamps I didn't need for my Blue.
|Country||Cost||Catalog||Avg||% Cat||# to Sell|
|St. Pierre & Miquelon||$22.05||$52.56||$0.31||47%||34|
|St. Thomas & Prince||$19.00||$64.00||$0.90||30%||34|
Looks like I overbid on the Ivory Coast and probably Lithuania, Middle Congo, and St. Pierre & Miquelon. Ah well.
How does the cost of acquisition for these individual countries compare to buying entire albums? I don't know the catalog value of the stamps in the albums I've purchased, but I do know my cost figures to 8 cents or so a stamp. So my brief foray with buying individual countries has so far come out to more than five times that of buying entire albums. That doesn't sound good. However, my actual cost will drop some as I'm preparing to sell the stamps I don't need through the APS. I have 400 stamps to sell and assuming I can get as much as $100 total when all is said and done, that will drop my actual cost per stamp from individual country pages down closer to twice what I've been paying for stamps from the whole albums. That sounds better.
Next week I'll post my early experience with buying stamps from the APS Sales Circuits.