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Does Anyone Have A Suggestion On What To Do With A Massive Collection Of 1950s-60s Plate Blocks

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Posted 01/09/2021   2:31 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add mootermutt987 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
I agree with the others - all collectors - that it would be too bad to destroy the collection. Ask the general public, and they may see it differently. Like the others, I, too, use them on mail -- too many weigh down the envelope (adding postage to pay for the extra weight of the postage), but I tend to use one at a time as a 'commemorative label'. The letter already has 55c stamp(s) on it, but an extra 3c commem to dress it up is always nice.

Face facts, though. You have 1000's of low-face stamps - you will never be able to use them all on mail - and will have to consider some type of disposition of the majority of them.

ETA: I just remembered that when I was a kid, a family friend (stamp collector) gave me a Champions of Liberty plate block - it helped 'snag' me into philately. You may have 3 or 4 albums of 'goodwill' there!
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Edited by mootermutt987 - 01/09/2021 2:38 pm
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Posted 01/09/2021   8:56 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Willwood42 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
With the new tax structure, write offs are more difficult (elimination of SALT, increased standard deduction, etc. ).
I have plate blocks , mostly 6c to 15c on White Ace pages, including the botanicals and the historic flag issue, really quite nice stamps. I also have hundreds of my mother's, many in her generation thought they would be valuable some day. Oops. If you wait long enough and everyone else uses theirs as postage, who knows what the future will bring.
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Posted 01/10/2021   03:42 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add DrewM to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Well, you could "give" them away for the shipping cost, I suppose. Or offer them on eBay (or here) for a low price. Someone may want them. I'd hate to see them used for postage, but of course that's your business.

I have a huge FDC collection I somehow managed to accumulate over the years even though I never considered myself a FDC "collector". So how in the world did that happen? Accidentally, I guess. Probably worth very little, of course. Many collectors have other tangential areas they collect that have little value but which they like. Your plate blocks might appeal to someone like that.

It's funny how things that were hot at one time go out of fashion. Either everyone buys into collecting them which makes them a drug on the market or people just lose interest in them over time. That goes for plate blocks and First Day Covers. Even most U.S. stamps since about 1940 or so have next to no "investment" value, if that's the right word. A lot of people collected entire sheets of them, assuming they'd make some money. That didn't work. There's a lesson there somewhere. Maybe it's do what other people aren't doing and don't do what other people are doing. I prefer to just collect what I like and pay no attention to eventual value.
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Posted 01/10/2021   1:23 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add mootermutt987 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply

Quote:
It's funny how things that were hot at one time go out of fashion. Either everyone buys into collecting them which makes them a drug on the market or people just lose interest in them over time. That goes for plate blocks and First Day Covers. Even most U.S. stamps since about 1940 or so have next to no "investment" value, if that's the right word. A lot of people collected entire sheets of them, assuming they'd make some money. That didn't work. There's a lesson there somewhere. Maybe it's do what other people aren't doing and don't do what other people are doing. I prefer to just collect what I like and pay no attention to eventual value.


My grandfather collected between the 1940's (maybe earlier) to 1964, when he died. I was given his collection about 10 years after he died. He collected everything US. Mint singles, used singles, PBs, some FDCs, sheets, etc. They were all popular when he was collecting. In the 1980's we sold his sheet collection for less than face - we LOST money (if you think of this in terms of $$$) on a 40 year old 'investment'. Oops. At some point, we sold the FDCs - probably the same story, but I don't know what he paid. There were some notable exceptions - 1930s 2c Red sheets (Nice!) and a couple sets of Presidential FDCs, but other than the exceptions, these areas were monetary losers. I was hooked on the PBs and singles. I felt compelled to limit my collecting, and arbitrarily chose to collect USA up to 1964, only. The PB collecting went dormant for a few decades, until a couple years ago, when I started buying again.

FWIW, I have noticed that 3c PBs sell for a slightly higher % of face than the later PBs, not counting the more valuable issues (Se-tenants, mostly). I have seen on eBay lots of 50x/100x 3c PBs selling for a bit over face. They sell - there is no problem with stagnant stock, unless you want more than they are normally selling for, though. There IS demand for PBs of this era - at the right price. Demand falls off precipitously as price goes up.

Would you do better by hanging on to them for 10 or 20 years? Of course I don't know, but I would doubt it. After all, we all can see how they have done over the last 50-75 years since they were issued. PBs WERE popular, but I don't see that popularity 're-sparking' anytime soon. I hope I am wrong there.
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Posted 01/10/2021   1:36 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add rogdcam to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
With one or two exceptions all of these era commemoratives were printed in quantities of 100 million plus. Demand will never outstrip supply. For perspective Russia stamps of the same era were printed in quantities of around one million. Multiples are still plentiful on the market including full sheets. I realize that the number of US collectors is far greater than the number of Russia collectors but that is still a gigantic number of stamps to absorb into the marketplace.
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Posted 01/10/2021   1:47 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add bookbndrbob to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
...and, their usefulness as "make up" postage will continue to decline as rates increase.

So, unless you collect them, you are left to play the children's card game of "Old Maid".
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Posted 01/10/2021   4:51 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add mootermutt987 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
In a broader sense, low-face stamps' usefulness as "make up" postage is nearly nil. It's been about 10 years since the USPS started issuing Forever stamps. They issue very few denominated stamps nowadays - a 40c - 50c stamp would be useful for stamp collectors with tons of low-face stamps of 'yore' to make up 55c. Nowadays, a 3c rate increase doesn't cause a rush to buy 3c stamps - everybody runs to the PO to buy Forever stamps and simply continue to use them through the rate change. Collectors who wish to use their 'excess' low-face postage are in a bind. From now on, we are probably stuck with the highest regularly issued denominated commem being that of early 2010's.

FWIW, there ARE eBay sellers that sell by the denomination - like 100x 37c stamps, say - at around or below face. Get 'em while you can!
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Posted 01/11/2021   05:54 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add DrewM to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
"In the 1980's we sold his sheet collection for less than face - we LOST money (if you think of this in terms of $$$) on a 40 year old 'investment'. Oops."

I know you don't mean this to be taken literally, but no one really "loses" when they sell their stamps -- at least if you consider them to be things you bought rather than "investments". I can't get back a single penny on clothing I bought or on food or books or CD's or nearly everything else I buy. On a car, I can get back maybe half what I paid for it, maybe. Among common purchases, only a house increases in value - usually. Most purchases produce no return on investment. Yet stamps are typically thought of like stocks and bonds. It's pretty weird if you think about it when most stamp collections bear no resemblance to real investments.

Because we put stamps into the "investment" category, we except to make money on them. Why are they investments? I don't think they are most of the time. I'd wager that well more than 90% of stamp collections sell for much less than they cost the collector to buy, often for only a tiny fraction of what the collector paid. How does that make stamps "investments"? They really aren't, and if they are, they're pretty bad investments at that rate. As the sheet buyers and the plate block and FDC collectors of the 1940s, 1950s, and 1960s discovered.

I buy stamps I like with no expectation of ever making money. If my heirs get some money from selling my collection, they will make 100% profit on it since they've invested nothing. That's about the only way most stamp collections pay off for anyone -- and it's not the collector who profits. I think the problem in these discussions is the idea that a stamp collection is some kind of "investment" rather than a hobby. Occasionally it's an investment, but very very rarely. I wish the whole "investment" excuse for collecting stamps would just get dropped from the hobby.
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Edited by DrewM - 01/11/2021 06:00 am
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Posted 01/11/2021   09:12 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add pcerio to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
PM sent to OP
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Posted 01/11/2021   09:14 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add blcjr to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
DrewM wrote:


Quote:
I think the problem in these discussions is the idea that a stamp collection is some kind of "investment" rather than a hobby. Occasionally it's an investment, but very very rarely. I wish the whole "investment" excuse for collecting stamps would just get dropped from the hobby.


I think most collectors realize this. Philately becomes an investment only when you start collecting items worth five figures and above. Even then, it is speculative, not something you put retirement money into. That kind of collecting is usually limited to those who have serious amounts of disposable income.
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Posted 01/11/2021   10:30 am  Show Profile Check rlsny's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add rlsny to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
I've had a few people message me of their interest. I have decided to try eBay. So I'll take a bunch of photos and put it up basically just for shipping cost as a starting bid. I'll post on the "for sale" forum once it's up. (Probably next weekend.) I'm hopeful it can find a home where someone can so something interesting with it rather than break it up. Cheers.
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Posted 01/11/2021   12:26 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Perf10 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
One of the few certain opportunities to "make money" on US stamps is coming very soon. The Additional Ounce stamp sold at 15 cents now is going up to 20 soon. I have purchased a bunch, and next month will combine two of them with five 3 cent stamps to make the 55 cent first class rate.
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Posted 01/11/2021   1:14 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add adamscheer to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
I too had a bunch of plate blocks that I wanted to sell. They were from the late 40's through the mid 70's. I grouped them into lots of 50 different blocks and sold them off on eBay through both Auctions and BIN. They sold for between $8.00 and $12.00 per lot. I did sell all that I had (aprox 800) over time. Good luck.
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