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Kelleher's David Coogle Editorial On The State Of The Stamp Market Now

 
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Posted 01/19/2021   4:26 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this topic Add rogdcam to your friends list Get a Link to this Message
From the most current issue of Kelleher's publication, Stamp Collector's Quarterly:

David Coogle:

The most common question collectors and dealers ask us is "What's hot now?". The answer used to be quick and simple: China, British, quality US, France and Colonies. Much of this remains unchanged, however, the China Market seems to have become unhinged due to the worldwide COVID 19 pandemic. In-person trading has virtually come to a halt in Hong Kong (and the rest of the world), severing supply chains and seeing the first-in-a-decade softening of the heavily promoted PRC and Classic Chinese items. Perhaps China's virtual abrogation of its 1997 Hong Kong Treaty and other naked acts of hubris begin to have real consequences! A year ago the stamp market appeared to be stuck in the doldrums of a long and slow softening. But, 2020 saw a surprising jump-start and a sharp reversal in the fortunes of the world's noblest hobby. Suddenly, we find ourselves in the midst of a trading boom not seen since the 1970s and 1980s. Year-on-year, our revenues are up nearly 40%. Much is due to the surge of interest in our hobby. Also, fortuitously, two Landmark properties were brought to market by our firm. The stock and private holdings of William S. Langs—featuring US and Possessions Proofs, Errors, Stamps and Postal History—and the Leo Malz extensive holdings of South America, Middle East, Space, Topicals and Worldwide. With less than 20% of the Langs Holdings having been offered, and nearing completion of the Malz property, some clear standouts in "What's hot?" have burst upon the philatelic world. Mongolia for one—a market as mysterious and under-serviced as China was three decades ago—reached heights that are truly mind-boggling. A single lot from the Malz collection realized $96,000.00 (buyer's premium included). Langs items achieved strong and healthy realizations across all categories. We are also pleased to note a 22% increase in the number of participants and bidders in our auctions (again year-on-year) with double-digit price increases. Our client list as well as the American Philatelic Society's membership is swelling. It's always hard to put into perspective how "once-in-a-lifetime" holdings affect the market, but historically these offerings have boosted normal markets and stoked up those on the rise. With declining markets, such as China, good material tends to hide, or is placed on the shelf. We project that the quality material that does come to market from this area will enjoy new upward price adjustments with increased demand and scant supply, especially for quality items and postal history. The Scott Catalogs boast many new price increases. All these rising indicators point to 2020 as a bellweather year for both increasing demand and surging values for collectibles. This expansion, by the way, has not been limited to postage stamps. Just about every collectible category has shown promise, with many (such as sports cards) showing exponential gains. Traders and trading platforms report huge growth in collectibles. Online sales and demand for tangible items—from groceries to electronics to collectibles—seem insatiable. We do not see this ending anytime soon. In fact, many economists point to possible inflation or a stock market adjustment. In either scenario, collectibles are a recommended mix to hedge financial bets. With a vaccine being distributed even as we write this, there are great hopes that the pandemic will subside and be put behind us by summer 2021. It is our opinion that the current increased demand is more than a bubble, but an increase
in the awareness of quality-of-life issues and the satisfaction that hobbies such as Philately provide. Physical travel may be limited but the joy of virtual travel to far-off places and different eras (without leaving one's home) via paintings or small philatelic artworks will show continued and continuing appeal. Zoomed meetings and remote gatherings or exhibitions may well fade into memory when we have conquered the coronavirus, but we will always remember the small joys and solace our great hobby provided us in the grim and terrifying days of this pandemic. We will cherish this, and we will know that we can always return to our tongs and our albums—and to the friends and cohorts who have shared our philatelic pursuits—whenever we want to or need to. This will be our true and abiding connection—the thread that knit and held us together during our World's darkest hours, and it will sustain us and allow us to move forward and flourish, again and again. As we approach 2021, this could well-be one of the most historic years we will ever have seen, as we successfully conquer COVID, and begin seriously to heal our environment—socially, physically and spiritually. Both buyers and sellers will enjoy a renewed interest in their hobbies, benefiting not only from increased demand and the elasticity of price, but from an even larger community that will embrace others when it is safe to do so. We look forward to this and in wishing you our very best for the Holiday Season, and a HEALTHY, HEALTHY, HEALTHY New Year to you all! Everywhere social gatherings have vanished, but solitary pursuits have boomed. Without warning, 2020 has become the golden era of picture puzzles, crosswords, marathon TV binges, video games and-yes-stamps!
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Posted 01/19/2021   7:05 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add jleb1979 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Sure wish I'd bought Mongolia futures....
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Posted 01/20/2021   07:54 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add GeoffHa to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
"Roll up, roll up, see Little Egypt do tthe famous dance of the pyramids... "

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Posted 01/20/2021   7:31 pm  Show Profile Check eyeonwall's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add eyeonwall to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Google is only partially right that higher prices are s the new normal. It all stems from Covid and much of it is only temporary and will go away when we get it under control. Travel restrictions have feed up time and money, but travel will return. The government has been giving away money - money that did was extra for many collectors because they were already retired and thus did not have a job to lose. The helicopter money will end. With no shows and no in person club meetings, auctions became a more important way to buy for both collectors and dealers. Shows and club meetings will return. A lot of house cleaning/weeding has taken place and some of those people discovered dormant collections. The one thing that will have a lasting effect is returning collectors who took resumed collecting (or nw collectors who ook up the hobby to fill their free time) as some of them will have caught the bug and will continue after we have the Covid situation under control.
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Posted 01/20/2021   8:41 pm  Show Profile Check rlsny's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add rlsny to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Though the jump in auction results might be due to covid-19, the pandemic also brought many new collectors. I see plenty of new collectors on Reddit. There's a contest on now for people to show stamps with "farm animals." They aren't contributing to auction results... yet. But if we breed a new generation of collectors out of this crisis, than the impact may be much more long-lived.
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Posted 01/20/2021   8:56 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add rogdcam to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Interesting points of view. One thought that I have is that the hot auction market cannot be painted with a broad brush. Yes, individual items and areas are hot but is that really from new collectors that suddenly picked up a hobby and are dumping tens of thousands of dollars into it within a period of months? Collections and bulk lots mean more I think because that material is feeding the bread and butter collectors for which the hobby is a relaxing lower dollar pastime. All good as things go. Compered to the pre-pandemic narrative of a hobby in decline I think that we are in a better place. There are more people in the hobby and a percentage of those folks will stay in the hobby. Not all will but it will be a net gain.
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Posted 01/20/2021   9:38 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add GMC89 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
All assets are climbing higher, think Robinhood and the stock market. Tesla is now one of the most valuable company's of the world. We are awash in cash, with limited means of spending due to Covid. The cash of course comes thanks to the FED buying 120 billion worth of treasuries a month. That 120 billion is then used by the US Treasury to pay the U S Governments bills that are in excess of tax receipts. As Sandy Weil of Citi famously said in 2006 "while the music plays we all will dance".
Stamps are a reflection of the larger picture, the economy.
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Posted 01/21/2021   08:22 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add rogdcam to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Good article on philately and the pandemic:

https://www.newsday.com/lifestyle/r...c-1.50027508
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Posted 01/21/2021   7:51 pm  Show Profile Check eyeonwall's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add eyeonwall to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Of course I meant Coogle not Google, but saw it too late to make an edit.

Rog - not suggesting new collectors are spending huge, but someone has to supply them and those suppliers have to obtain stamps to supply and they are paying more than in the past.

GMC - what the Fed is doing is artificial and can not go on forever If they try to stop there will be another taper tantrum and if they don't stop the whole thing will eventually collapse under its own excess and we will all be in deep doodoo.
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Edited by eyeonwall - 01/21/2021 7:52 pm
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Posted 01/22/2021   07:40 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add steevh to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
As far as Covid goes, I think most people by now have realized that the huge upswing in demand is due to lots of people coming back to the hobby with time on their hands due to lockdown.

One factor that seems to be as yet under-appreciated is a concurrent fall-off in supply. A lot of auction houses are unable to do business, and those that remain operating have been forced to make radical changes in how they operate. But more than this, is that recent estates are simply not making it into the supply chain at present, because Covid has messed everything up. Active dealers are really struggling to source new material (for all types of collectibles, not just stamps), and this is further boosting prices.

While the huge new interest in collecting will probably only fall off slowly once the pandemic eases, at some stage a lot of stored-up material will appear on the market, with a consequent effect on prices.
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