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The Focus On "Worth"

 
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Valued Member
United States
61 Posts
Posted 05/19/2019   6:35 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this topic Add StatesmanStamper to your friends list Get a Link to this Message
A few weeks ago I mentioned to a coworker that I was getting back into stamp collecting after a number of years focusing on other things. The first question he asked me was whether I had any stamps that were worth anything.

I have run into this in the past and it has always been something that I have found curious.

Have you encountered this when telling others that you collect, and how have you responded?

I've always thought the focus on value was misguided because something is really only worth what someone is willing to pay.

I look forward to reading your thoughts on this.

Dale
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Posted 05/19/2019   6:48 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add rogdcam to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Human nature. People assign worth and judge based on dollars. Billionaires are smart, that car must have cost a bundle, is that watch real gold ("must have cost a fortune") etc.. As long as we enjoy our possessions without worrying about other peoples assessment of them we are in a good place. Too much credit card debt in some cases is driven by buying things that people cannot really afford but they need the attention/affirmation of others.
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United States
61 Posts
Posted 05/19/2019   6:56 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add StatesmanStamper to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
In this case, my coworker buys old guitars to fix up and resell if given the opportunity.

He and his wife also frequent thrift stores and auctions looking for items such as dollhouse furniture, model airplanes, and other items that I would never look twice at.

To each his own as they say. I think I'll stick with my stamps.

Dale
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Australia
1103 Posts
Posted 05/19/2019   9:04 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Bobby De La Rue to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply

Quote:
Too much credit card debt in some cases is driven by buying things that people cannot really afford but they need the attention/affirmation of others


From the ghost of George Carlin: people buying things they don't need with money they don't have to impress people they don't like......

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United States
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Posted 05/19/2019   9:50 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add gettinold to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Statesman

I think the only time the general public hears anything about stamps is when they read something in the paper or hear on the news that a particular stamp sold for a record price somewhere. I would get the same question from my co-workers. I would just tell them no, but I'll never have to buy another stamp from the Post Office again.
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Posted 05/19/2019   10:24 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add DrewM to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Most people think stamp collecting is the search for rare stamps, I guess. They don't understand the different degrees of rarity or how a stamp's quality is judged, let alone perfs, shades, condition, or anything else about stamps. It's the same with art. For the hordes of people who know nothing about art ("But I know what I like!") how much a painting cost determines its artistic value. This misses the point completely since it's art, not a bank account. And even some art collectors treat art purely as an investment. It's human nature to judge by price. An ancient artifact worth fifty bucks is not nearly as interesting as a similar artifact worth $5 million. Stamps aren't any better understood by most people. But they have heard about rare stamps. So that's what they ask about. It's pretty innocent, and at least they're trying to be interested. But since it's based on lack of knowledge about stamps and sees stamp collecting purely as a financial investment, it's a bit dopey, maybe a bit insulting.
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Posted 05/19/2019   10:24 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add floortrader to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
"ANY STAMPS THAT WERE WORTH ANYTHING " Interesting question ,the problem is there are a lot of different answers .

Value can be explained in a lot of different ways .But we here are focused on stamps.Each one of us can claim a certain dollar value to their collection but is that the price you can get tomorrow or is that the price you think you can get once it is mounted and everything is organized .

How many times have you come on here and someone states I have a copy but I can't show it because I can't find it right now .

Having a collection that is mounted or organized has much more value than boxes and boxes piled up in the closet that is to be worked on over the
next couple of months .

Any buyer is going to pay more and sometimes it is way more for something that is organized and easy to resell .So now you see where I am going with this whole idea of value .
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Australia
1103 Posts
Posted 05/20/2019   12:04 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Bobby De La Rue to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply

Quote:
Having a collection that is mounted or organized has much more value than boxes and boxes piled up in the closet that is to be worked on over the next couple of months.

Any buyer is going to pay more and sometimes it is way more for something that is organized and easy to resell .So now you see where I am going with this whole idea of value.


Very well said floortrader
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United Kingdom
678 Posts
Posted 05/20/2019   03:12 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Ringo to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
I am forever bemused by the obsession with value, even mildly annoyed sometimes. Even on this forum, there are repeated enquiries - someone's close relative lovingly assembled an album of stamps, and the first question is, what can it be sold for.

I used to collect records, and if you had a rare or unusual record, fellow collectors would be interested in it - how you came by it, where it was manufactured, who was behind it, etc. No-one would immediately ask what it was worth, although that might come up in conversation.



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United States
404 Posts
Posted 05/20/2019   09:48 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add modernstamps to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Interesting discussion.
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Valued Member
United States
279 Posts
Posted 05/20/2019   12:50 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add rismoney to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
I think it is a perfectly reasonable question. It is no different with any other collectibles. People ask what it's worth, because within their own knowledge stream the primary reason to buy collectibles is for future price improvement. They believe you collect stamps, coins, or baseball cards with the hope to sell them for more money later. The idea of buying collectibles for the enjoyment of reading a comic book, reading stats on a card, or learning about history is not relevant to them. Why would you buy a $100 baseball card for enjoyment, is a foreign concept to them.

They want to know if the hobby is working for you, from a monetary perspective to gauge whether it's something they should investigate as an alt investment themselves. Or other folks who want to judge your collecting ability, to assess whether you are someone savvy enough to buy $10 stamps worth $1000s. Or whether to use this polling to validate for themselves that collecting is stupid, and they made the right choice for staying away.

In fact, I often wonder if every stamp collector flat out lied, and said their stamps have appreciated significantly, or share secrets to flipping stamps for profit, if more people wouldn't flock towards it. It's a fine line whereby multiple small social conversations turn viral into a mania.





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Posted 05/20/2019   2:10 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add rogdcam to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Rismoney - You are way overthinking it. Most people are not asking in order to analyze whether or not they need to start collecting in order to diversify and boost there portfolio. Not even close.
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Posted 05/20/2019   2:35 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add txstamp to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
I usually dodge the question, and answer by telling what I personally get out of the hobby, which, in essence, is what its worth to me.
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367 Posts
Posted 05/20/2019   2:36 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add funcitypapa to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
From my perspective, people who are not collectors and start off the conversation by asking a collector what his or her item is worth do so because they just don't know what else to ask. And whereas two collectors talking to one another might get around to the value of the item later on because they have other things in common to talk about ( where item found, provenance, dealer vs auction etc), the non collector does not.
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United States
1716 Posts
Posted 05/20/2019   2:45 pm  Show Profile Check Stamps1962's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add Stamps1962 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
This seems to be something with Americans in particular; if you cannot make money doing something, it isn't worth doing.

I see this constantly on here. Some new member signs up to post twenty pics of some old collection they found; they're told it has little value but are encouraged to pursue it as a hobby. Usually they never are heard from again. Happens over and over.
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Edited by Stamps1962 - 05/20/2019 2:46 pm
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Posted 05/20/2019   3:14 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add rogdcam to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
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