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Bought US Collection For $425 On Ebay To Start Collection. Can You Give Your Experienced Opinion?

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Posted 07/08/2020   12:08 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this topic Add niosurfer to your friends list Get a Link to this Message
My life is kind of boring right now and stamps are one of the few things in life that gives me pleasure and satisfaction. My dopamine receptors are long exhausted for most of the other life activities. With alien invasion coming, covid-20, meteors, solar flares, earthquakes, etc. I might as well have fun with my stamps before it is too late.

Jokes apart, I would like someone with good knowledge in US Collections to give me his/her sincere evaluation of this collection. You should keep in mind that:

- I have experience with stamp collection. I collect South America, mainly Brazil, where I have most of their stamps from 1843 to 1980 in Palo Premium Hingeless albums. Most mint hinged. Working or getting more mint never-hinged but that is going to be a long-time project.

- I have zero experience with US stamps, even thought I'm a proud American Citizen living in the US. I would like to start a serious and professional US collection in the right track. I currently have zero US Stamps of any kind.

- I intend to collect mostly mint (when realistically affordable to me) US stamps from 1847 to 1984, on Mystic Hingeless Albums (Volumes I to III).

- I'm not too concerned about paying a premium (more than the market value) to get a good starting collection. I'm more concerned about buying something descent for starting in the right direction with my US collection.

What I like about the collection I've just bought, which you can see here: https://www.ebay.com/itm/US-19th-ce...047675.l2557 is:

1. All stamps, even the cancelled ones, are mounted in mounts, no hinges. Easy to remove and hoping they are in good condition and that the mint ones are never hinged.

2. It looks like there are a lot of *mint* stamps, at least most of the commemoratives stamps all the way to late 80s.

3. They also have some of the old more expensive stuff, which are cancelled and probably are not worth much, but it is a start for me, so at least I have some old stamps pre-1934. I can then work on improving that part, my sanity and budget allowing. Getting more stamps pre-1934 and if possible in mint condition. I know they are expensive.

4. Should be easy and fun to transfer to the Mystic Hingeless albums, mainly because all stamps are mounted without hinge.

So my questions to you, and please be 110% honest and sincere, since this seller offers a 30-day return policy, and although I don't intend to, I do have the option to undo the deal in case I did something stupid here.

What are the pros and cons of buying that US collection for someone that has zero experience with US stamps but has a lot of experience with stamp collection?

Is is a decent / professional looking US collection to start with or something that any kid would have?

Not too concerned about money, but was that a good deal (only on eBay, not when compared to other auction sites) or I could have buy something much better for that price on eBay. If yes, can you point me out an example of something better currently on eBay that I should have considered?

I will deeply appreciate, from the bottom of my heart, any help that the more experienced US collectors in this forum can give me about this lot I've just bought.

Again, the US collection I bought was: https://www.ebay.com/itm/US-19th-ce...047675.l2557

Thanks!






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Edited by niosurfer - 07/08/2020 12:15 pm

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Posted 07/08/2020   12:47 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add redwoodrandy to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
My first impression was that the earlies are a bit off center. As the collection progressed I was more favorably inclined. I think this is a fine collection to transfer to a Mystic album. I like it. As for early mint US stamps the cost combined with reperfs,regum,thins etc. worries me. More discussion will be needed. Go for it and have yourself a blast.
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Edited by redwoodrandy - 07/08/2020 12:52 pm
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Posted 07/08/2020   12:52 pm  Show Profile Check 51studebaker's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add 51studebaker to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
There is a difference between buying something as an investment vs. buying something for enjoyment. So I recommend that you consider it this way; divide the $400 into how much enjoyment you will get from the purchase. Compare it to spending $400 on some other leisure activity. if you get $400 or more worth of enjoyment, education, and intrinsic value then you made out just fine and even better, when you go to disposition it in the future it will be 100% profit.
Don
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Posted 07/08/2020   1:20 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add floortrader to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Just to add to what Don wrote that $400.00 is for enjoyment and also
for education . Don't discount the education part . Your first few years of collecting U.S. is a learning experience so don't be so quick in deciding what you want to specialize in . Take your time, enjoy it as a escape from everything in life .
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Posted 07/08/2020   1:22 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add ScottEnglish to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply

Quote:
There is a difference between buying something as an investment vs. buying something for enjoyment. So I recommend that you consider it this way; divide the $400 into how much enjoyment you will get from the purchase. Compare it to spending $400 on some other leisure activity. if you get $400 or more worth of enjoyment, education, and intrinsic value then you made out just fine and even better, when you go to disposition it in the future it will be 100% profit.


I don't think this can be said enough. I've come across enough $1 - $5 covers that have given me more entertainment and education than a $10 movie ticket and still have something left when it's over.

Scott

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Posted 07/08/2020   2:05 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add DV75 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
I understand the principle of enjoyment value but no one wants to pay more than they should have. I don't know if $425 is a good price for this lot or not. It might be. I would add up the face value of the mint stamps and use that as a base value. Then I would check the catalogue value of the older stamps and not count any that had major defects like a couple of them with corners cut off. Adding the face value of the mint stamps to the catalogue value of the older stamps would give me an idea of whether $425 was a reasonable price for a buyer (you wouldn't be able to generally sell at the price you bought a stamp except for premium quality rare stamps which I didn't see in the album).
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Posted 07/08/2020   2:17 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add rogdcam to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
As the saying goes, if you do not have anything good to say... And so I will only advise that when the collection arrives you quickly pull most of the mint commemoratives from the late 20's onward out and examine the backs because there are a whole bunch of stamps that have something strange going on with the perfs. Like sides that are full of blind ragged perfs over and over. My guess is something adhered to the backs. Hope I am wrong. Don't know why they would be in black mounts if they are screwed up but they could have been replaced. Anyway, enjoy your purchase and keep us posted.
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Posted 07/08/2020   2:34 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add niosurfer to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply

Quote:

As the saying goes, if you do not have anything good to say... And so I will only advise that when the collection arrives you quickly pull most of the mint commemoratives from the late 20's onward out and examine the backs because there are a whole bunch of stamps that have something strange going on with the perfs. Like sides that are full of blind ragged perfs over and over. My guess is something adhered to the backs. Hope I am wrong. Don't know why they would be in black mounts if they are screwed up but they could have been replaced. Anyway, enjoy your purchase and keep us posted.


Keep in mind that this is a starting point collection, not the final thing. If most of the stamps are in good shape then I'll be happy. If most of the stamps are in bad shape ore are irrelevant because they are extremely cheap, then I've done a bad move.

Feel free to correct me If I'm wrong, but this one looked worse to me: https://www.ebay.com/itm/US-Much-MI...047675.l2557

As much as this one with those old mounts: https://www.ebay.com/itm/US-Mostly-...047675.l2557

What do you think?



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Posted 07/08/2020   3:12 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add danstamps54 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
I assume you've been looking around and were satisfied enough with this collection to pull the trigger. Don't get wound up in buyer's remorse. Yes, you might find a "better" collection down the road at a lower price ... or you might not. The bottom line is, are YOU happy with it?

It's not a "kids" collection. If it were, the stamps would be hinged and mostly used, not mint in split-back mounts. The original collector was familiar with stamp collecting.

I've never priced a US collection but it is the type of collection I buy when I start a new country. The collector took some care with the collection and it can serve as a good backbone for developing the collection to a new level. Think of it as carrying on where the original collector left off. That's what I do.

Like some of the other posters have mentioned, use it to educate yourself on US stamps. Replace the clunkers with upgrades and start looking for the key stamps that are missing. To me, that's a lot of the fun of collecting stamps.

The point of a hobby is to enjoy it.

Dan








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Experienced stamps need a home too. I'd rather have an example that is imperfect than no example.
I collect for enjoyment, not investment.
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Posted 07/08/2020   3:13 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add rogdcam to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
I think that you are in a hurry and overpaid. A lot. Be patient is what I advised in other threads. But it is your endeavor and your money. You are asking for honest opinions though and so I offered one. I see quite a few stamps that are common that nonetheless have straight edges, missing perfs and corners, heavy cancels etc.. The centering overall is pretty bad. This is a 5% of catalog value collection at best. The face value is irrelevant because there is little face value to be counted. At $400 five percent of catalog value would be $8000. There is no way this comes within a football field of $8000. If you based the purchase on face value you probably paid multiples of face value. IMHO this collection is worth about $50 to the right person. I just do not see remounting any of the stamps in a nice hingeless album. It is like shoving a Yugo engine into a Bentley.

I am not trying to be mean but I am not going to blow smoke.
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Posted 07/08/2020   3:24 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add niosurfer to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply

Quote:

assume you've been looking around and were satisfied enough with this collection to pull the trigger. Don't get wound up in buyer's remorse. Yes, you might find a "better" collection down the road at a lower price ... or you might not. The bottom line is, are YOU happy with it?

It's not a "kids" collection. If it were, the stamps would be hinged and mostly used, not mint in split-back mounts. The original collector was familiar with stamp collecting.

I've never priced a US collection but it is the type of collection I buy when I start a new country. The collector took some care with the collection and it can serve as a good backbone for developing the collection to a new level. Think of it as carrying on where the original collector left off. That's what I do.

Like some of the other posters have mentioned, use it to educate yourself on US stamps. Replace the clunkers with upgrades and start looking for the key stamps that are missing. To me, that's a lot of the fun of collecting stamps.

The point of a hobby is to enjoy it.

Dan


Well said, thanks Dan!


Quote:

I think that you are in a hurry and overpaid. A lot. Be patient is what I advised in other threads. But it is your endeavor and your money. You are asking for honest opinions though and so I offered one. I see quite a few stamps that are common that nonetheless have straight edges, missing perfs and corners, heavy cancels etc.. The centering overall is pretty bad. This is a 5% of catalog value collection at best. The face value is irrelevant because there is little face value to be counted. At $400 five percent of catalog value would be $8000. There is no way this comes within a football field of $8000. If you based the purchase on face value you probably paid multiples of face value. IMHO this collection is worth about $50 to the right person. I just do not see remounting any of the stamps in a nice hingeless album. It is like shoving a Yugo engine into a Bentley.


I appreciate your honest opinion, but correct me if I'm wrong not all stamps are as bad as you are describing. The bad ones can be replaced for better ones. If they were all mint, centered and perfect, this collection would be worth $2000+ and would be out of my budget for a starting collection. Notice that there were a previous bidder at $420 behind me.


Quote:

I am not trying to be mean but I am not going to blow smoke.


Not worries, again I appreciate your sincerity. I was indeed in a hurry, you are correct about that. And that's why I was aware that I was gong to be paying a premium above the market value. That's ok. But at the same time, I've looked a lot and I did not find anything better at Ebay. If you did, please share the Ebay link here for our education.

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Edited by niosurfer - 07/08/2020 3:28 pm
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Posted 07/08/2020   3:40 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add mootermutt987 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
In this time of COVID, I have found myself buying more on eBay. I like to buy small collections and integrate them into my WW collection. In this process, I have discovered the seller of your USA collection (actually, I discovered him perhaps a year ago) and have bought a number of small collections from him. I have a couple on the way to me, as I write this. FWIW, I have nothing bad to sat about this seller.

As to the collection you bought, it looks fine to me. In ANY collection of this size, you can expect to find faults, especially on the earlies. I would expect the bidding has already reflected that. I used to have one of those albums, and I always thought it looked good - I liked the layout, but that is a very subjective thing.

It is hard to tell, but it looks like the stamps are mounted in Showguard mounts - they have the black backing split in the middle (two flaps). Similar looking mounts are Hawid mounts, which don't have a split black backing, but are open at the top. Personal like, but I prefer the Showguards because they tend to hold the stamp more firmly. I always glued one flap to the page (rather than both flaps) so I could still have relatively easy access to the stamp. Anyway, if you expand upon this collection, you should expect to spend some $$$ on more mounts. Scott also makes similar looking mounts, but I don't know their layout (one flap, or two?).

Keep reading these forums (this is the educational part of my post) to learn more about what to watch out for. For example, you should be very leery about the coils of the 1910's (Washington-Franklin coils) since they are very often faked. Many are quite valuable, compared to the similar imperforates or fully-perforated stamps of the same era. Many unscrupulous people have found it profitable to perforate an imperforate stamp, or trim of perfs from a fully-perfed stamp to make them look like coils. Learning will involve mistakes - we have all been through it. Just learn from the mistakes. Hopefully, they are not too costly. (I am NOT implying this is one of those mistakes - it looks like a decent starter collection, with typical quality for what is there) Whoever put this together, did it carefully - the mounts look generally well-centered and straight.

Enjoy your purchase!
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Posted 07/08/2020   3:41 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add DV75 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
"The face value is irrelevant because there is little face value to be counted."

The mint stamps are largely complete from 1926-1987 although there are more missing stamps near the later years. I haven't counted it but I don't know how a substantially complete collection of mint stamps for 60 years could be said to have little face value.

Also, saying something is worth 5% of catalogue value is irrelevant because while dealers may buy at 5% of catalogue they don't sell at 5% of catalogue for poorly centered stamps and ones with straight edges. I would happily put a lot of expensive stamps in my album with minor faults at five cents on the dollar. If there is such a dealer who would sell a $1,000 stamp with a minor fault for $50 please let me know who they are.
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Edited by DV75 - 07/08/2020 4:01 pm
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Posted 07/08/2020   5:10 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add floortrader to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
This has been a learning experience and your going to have a lot more of them .Build off this experience.I don't know a collector who did everything right with their collection .
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Posted 07/08/2020   5:40 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Andyrich74 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
You probably overpaid a bit, but if you wanted to start with a lot of stamps, go for it. You probably saved a lot in shipping on the 40's-60's commemoratives by not buying them by year. There is always going to be a better deal somewhere down the line; so have fun!

Would much rather be in the position of what do I/did I pay versus I've never even seen the stamps I'm looking for and cannot find them anywhere; which is where I am at with one country.
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Posted 07/08/2020   5:54 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add DV75 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
I've bid on some of that seller's auctions and may have won some (I don't keep track) but he gets top dollar for his lots and has a lot of bidders. Tough to find a bargain with him. I like to look for lots from sellers that don't deal mainly in stamps. Once I picked up 300 modern USPS souvenir pages for $8 plus shipping from a guy who didn't deal in stamps.
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