Saturday, January 7, 2012

Blue Volume 1 sells for $8700 on eBay 1/1/12

This was covered in nice detail a week ago by Jim on his Big Blue blog (be sure to also read the comments) but I finally decided I should at least reference the sale here for the record. I have been monitoring worldwide albums on eBay since January 2008 and this album realized far more than any that I am aware of. I estimate that the volume held between 23-25,000 stamps with many key items present. My experience is that the average eBay Volume 1 has fewer than ten thousand stamps, usually much fewer. Once you hit fifteen thousand, you are talking about only one or two collections a year. There was a volume with 30,000 stamps offered in 2008 with a starting bid of $7500 which eventually sold for $4750 after several relistings. Unfortunately, I didn't save any pictures of this collection.


Cartoon Peril said...

I saw that album and looked at it closely. I even bid on it, but MUCH less than it eventually sold for. The album itself was a goner, but the stamp density was like nothing I'd seen before. I agree there could have been 23 to 25 thousand stamps in the album. Many stamps were double mounted, whether as recognized varieties or not I couldn't say. The U.S. collection alone was substantial, with lots of revenues and things you don't see very often. A lot of money and I wish I'd had enough to make a serious bid. Realistically, considering what people spend on hobbies and sports, it wasn't so bad. But it depends on what you like. If you yanked your cable TV for seven years, that would cover it, plus you (or your estate!) could sell the collection later.

Bob said...

You know, I wasn't really even thinking about all of the "extra" stamps as I don't count them in my own collection.

One thing this has brought up is at what point does buying a large existing collection start taking the fun away of building a collection yourself. In this case, the owner (if they were a collector) would still have ten thousand or so stamps to acquire, so still a challenge. But I find I pay a lot more attention to each stamp now that I am buying more one-on-one than when I was adding hundreds if not thousands at one time.

I'm still of two minds as to whether the successful bidder got a bargain, but I do like the final price as someone who is trying to build a similar collection.

Cartoon Peril said...

I'm a real cheapskate so I hunt around on Ebay for the best deals, that's part of the hobby now I guess. Based on what i've seen, .20 per stamp for the classic period is a good estimate of a going price for basic stamps exclusive of rare items, etc., I'm so cheap I generally don't bid more than .20 cents a stamp, and even then I have to think carefully before I bid on 100 or 200 stamp collection.

Recently I saw a pre-1940 collections of 97 Hungarian occupation stamps go for $70 and a 454 stamp collection of Persia go for $140. These issues are almost aways forgeries when sold "as is", yet the Hungarian stamps went for .70 cents each and the Persian went for just a bit less than .30 cents each.

Fill Atley said...

Ebay Item no. 360402877189 and related 4 lots were a five-volume set of Internationals with 1940s and 1950s/1960s pages interleaved alphabetically. Together the five volmes went for $2300.00 in October and had 40,000 stamps. A sixth volume, V-Z countries was missing (the seller informed me that his seller never delivered the last volume).

Had it been complete A-Z, it might have had 50,000, 1850s to 1960. The Ebay seller gave stamp-counts for each volume, so the 40,000-50,000 figure is pretty firm. And at 6 vols. $2700.00 would have been an equivalent to the $2300.00 for 5 vols.

But, of those 50,000, perhaps 2/3, perhaps more, were post-1940. So it probably had fewer 1840-1940 than the one that went for $8700.00. Certainly its earlies were nowhere near the equivalent of the one that just sold.

But granting that, the difference between 2700.00 and 8700.00 is far greater than the difference between perhaps 18,000 1840-1940 in the five volume set and 23,000-25,000 in the "Bulging BB" that just sold.

The difference lies in the earlies, in the front-loading of the Bulging BB. The 5-volume set from October was backloaded--relatively weak in late 19thc for an 18,000 stamp pre-1940 collection that it seems to be and conversely, very strong from the 1920s to 1950s, trailed off in late 1950s.

A smaller 5-volume one sold together (Item No. 270834378162) went for $2500.00 even though it had only 15,000-25,000, max and went well into the 1960s. Far inferior to the 40,000-stamp one for $2300 (2700), it sold for more, presumably because it was clean, a full A-Z collection?? Selling the larger one volume by volume ended up realizing less overall than this intact, smaller, inferior one.

fredbee said...

It appears the pictures other than that of the main album have been switched with another lot. Is it possible to post any page pictures anyone saved.

Bob said...

FredBee, I can email you a set of the images in the form of a 50Mb zip file. If you would like me to do this, you can send me your email address in a comment (which I won't publish).