Still extremely new to this part of collecting. I see a dramatic decreased value for some precancels vs. the same stamp in Scott. As an example number 537 is valued considerably more in my Scott catalog than the PCSS catalog. Can someone please shed a little light? Thanks much.
You are right. There is often a great disparity between the value of the stamp and the precancel value in the catalogs.
Scott values are based upon the stamp itself whereas the PSS catalogs are valued for the least expensive stamp with that precancel. For example, if you have Winston-Salem North Carolina precancel on Scott 632, there is no problem as this is a minimal value stamp in Scott's. However, if you have that same precancel on Scott 537, I would not anticipate getting the stamp with the precancel for .10.
I've often wondered why the values in the PSS catalogs are not stated as added to the base value of the stamp, but it appears that this valuation model has been in place since the inception of precancel collecting and no one wants to change it.
On the plus side of this, there are some die-hard precancel sellers through the APS who price their book offerings strictly based upon the PSS value, irregardless of the catalog value of the stamp.
Would I buy a Scott 341 with a Philadelphia PA precancel (PSS L-2 E) for the PSS catalog value of $1.00 if someone were to offer it? You betcha! If a knowledgeable seller offers it through sales circuits, and most sellers are knowledgeable, the price they set is what THEY value it as.
Would I offer the same stamp and precancel for $1.00? Never. This is a clear case where the basic stamp's value exceeds any value of the precancel and I would base MY price upon the value of the stamp itself.
I collect precancels and am involved with most dealers. What I have noticed is the cheap things sell way under catalog, expensive way over. Catalog in precancels is based on whats (numbers) in know collections by a few individuals. Although, at our conventions, every thing trades at catalog. It is certainly true condition isn't as big, just notice the recent 596 Kansas City (good or avg condition at best) sold for $120K + 15%
The 596, while precanceled, was based upon the value of the stamp, nothing on the precancel. In that instance, the presence of the precancel would have been a corroborating factor in determining the authenticity of the stamp itself, unless I'm missing something.