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Is This A Good Time To Buy Stamps (Assuming Inflation Continues) Or Sell Stamps?

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Posted 01/17/2022   07:07 am  Show Profile Bookmark this topic Add Paris Exhibition to your friends list Get a Link to this Message
Another new Topic: With current inflation, is this a good time to buy stamps (Assuming inflation continues) or sell stamps (assuming inflation recerses)? Or is stamp purchasing and selling independent of inflation or whatever any government administration holds for monetary policy?

Serious question. I have a big stamp collection but I have not bought or sold a stamp for about two decades.
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Posted 01/17/2022   11:49 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add oldboldandbrash to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Well it's all about markets. If you're trying to sell Netherlands good luck getting what you probably paid for it, if you're trying to sell Qatar or Belgian Congo or something then you can set the price you'd like. It's all about demand. I've gone through old outdated flip racks with prices from the 90s when some used Italian sets seemed to cost 3$ and now go for 80$. Forget inflation, you gotta track what people are actually looking for
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Posted 01/17/2022   11:59 am  Show Profile Check GeoffHa's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add GeoffHa to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
I'd assume that the average stamps of most countries have had their day - some, eg UN, Israel, will have had more precipitate falls than others. Colonies have probably held up better. And China - do you sell now before the bubble for common stamps bursts, or do you hang on?
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Posted 01/17/2022   12:10 pm  Show Profile Check 51studebaker's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add 51studebaker to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Some would argue that there is not a 'bubble' in the China market, that the growth of the 'middle class' is something that will continue for a number of years to come. And beyond that, the huge Chinese middle class interest in their heritage (and ability to buy it) will continue for years beyond the class growth.
https://www.brookings.edu/wp-conten...s_dooley.pdf

Don
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Posted 01/17/2022   12:27 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add NickIreland to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
The only time I have made money on stamps is having brought bulk numbers of lovely Irish Europa stamps printed N or W eight years ago which I am still using and the current postal rates having almost doubled.
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Posted 01/17/2022   1:37 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add rogdcam to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
This is undeniably in general a seller's market with many new and reengaged collectors seeking material and sellers trying to find new supply. That being said take a look at auction records from 2008. Talk about a bubble. The sold prices are stunning and have never reached anywhere near those levels since. Wish I was a seller back then.
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Posted 01/17/2022   2:22 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add danstamps54 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
The other posters were correct. It really is about supply and demand. Some countries get "hot" and others go down for a number of reasons.
There's also another factor to consider. During inflationary times, people look to "hard assets" as a hedge against inflation. Some people consider collectables like stamps to be in that category so they bid the price up.
That's one reason you see so many older collections with sheet after sheet of MNH stamps from the late 1970's and 1980's. "Hey it has to be a hedge against inflation, right?" Um.. no, not always...

Dan
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Experienced stamps need a home too. I'd rather have an example that is imperfect than no example.
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Posted 01/17/2022   2:35 pm  Show Profile Check KRelyea's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add KRelyea to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
IMO right now is an excellent time to sell a collection. As mentioned in other topics the collections in the last Kelleher collections sale went for extraordinary prices. I sold 12 collections on eBay over Christmas and got much more than I expected.

Ken
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Posted 01/17/2022   2:59 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add floortrader to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Let me add to K RELYEA statement ------- It is a great time to sell accumalations and bulk lots also

Go and look at any main stamp auction firms recent auctions and those bulky lots at the end of the auctions and see what they are getting .
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Posted 01/17/2022   4:46 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Paris Exhibition to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
I am glad I asked this question, since most of the answers were not what I was expecting.

Sure, China is going nuts, and it is obvious they have a Billion and a Half people and a huge amount of them are or are becoming middle class. And unfortunately the US is moving in exactly the opposite direction. We are losing our middle class and our popilation except for illegal aliens is decreasing.Middle class blue collar jobs are dwindling, so many of the U.S. stamps that I bought have either just barely held their value or have lost value.

In my collection, I would say I am very strong in stamps up to 1940. For example, I have what I think is a very nice South American collection, up to 1940. Snd looking at the Scott values they seem to agree with me. Some stamps that were not worth anything when I got them are now worth, according to Scott, up to a few hundred dollars. Some of the old junk stamps are worth more than a thousand. I posted a 1917 Mesopotamia stamp in another thread that Scott says is worth over $1,000.

So, as you now undoubtedly know Mesopotamia no longer exists amd the valuable stamps are from te British Occupation. One British dealer on eBay was selling one that I wanted to acquire for 1.5 times Scott Value. I contacted him and offered to give him Scott Retail value, amd he wasn't interested enoug to even make a counter offer. He thank me for my interest and went on his way. That tells me there is a market for Mesopotamian stamps. But who besides me wants to buy them? I like stamps from countries that no longer exist. But why are other people interested in them.

THe same I think is true with old South American, and also French, British and Portuguese Colonies. All of these used to be at the backbone of inexpensive but interesting collections. Anyone else seeing what I am seeing?
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Edited by Paris Exhibition - 01/17/2022 4:49 pm
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Posted 01/17/2022   5:07 pm  Show Profile Check GeoffHa's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add GeoffHa to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
The early stamps from the British occupation have always been expensive, I think. This scruffy one was recently offered at 1,000, but didn''t sell.

https://www.warwickandwarwick.com/a...hived/280732
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Posted 01/17/2022   6:52 pm  Show Profile Check eyeonwall's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add eyeonwall to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
While there is a large and growing middle class in China, there is also speculation in some China issues.
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Posted 01/17/2022   9:29 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Noocassel to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Iknow many mainland Chinese students and have known groups of them in the UK for nearly 20 years ago, I get the impression that stamp collecting is beginning to tail off as a major interest. 6 or 7 years ago most knew what a penny black was and were excited to see one and have a photo takenof it and even a selfie to show they had been in the presence of one. Now younger (early 20s) Chinese people say their parents or Grandparents collect but they don't nad they show little interest. A chinese collector in his mid 30s tells me he thinks interest in stamp collecting is diminishing in China. In late march 2016 I visited the harbin stamp and banknote exchange, it was about 50 permanent booths in one large room and they all sold Currency and Stamps or sometimes just one of these. Stock was mint never handled stored in thick wads of identical stamps or bills straight from the printers. very few stalls had any used stamps and this would usually be a printed ledger book with generally 2nd rate used hinged stamps. collecting as I know it didn't seem to exist there it was about hoarding and investing. My Chinese collector friend was only interested in immaculate mint stamps and would study each stamp minutely for any imperfect centring , imperfect perforation etc. Personally I think stamps as an investment are a very poor risk. If you are investing in stamps sell and and get expensive advice from an investments expert with a good track record.
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Posted 01/18/2022   12:58 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add mootermutt987 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
If I were selling my stamps 'sometime', I would consider right now. I think things are inflated due to COVID and restrictions and closures, etc. I believe my heirs will have to sell them. Too bad, so sad for them. Seriously, right now looks like a sellers market.

As for China, I see both sides of the argument. My personal take on it is that the stories about this guy's friend or that guy's uncle saying Chinese stamps are no longer of great interest, are isolated stories. With a billion and a half people, there are a lot of separate stories. I DO think there have been plenty of 'popular' Chinese stamps that have been driven by speculation. If you look at other Chinese collectibles - ceramics, jewelry, furniture, etc - they have been going gangbusters. I think they are in a lull right now, but I would expect the lull to abate. If China can become a stable member of the world order (there are many of their frontiers that are on the verge of war), then I would expect only good things from the Chinese collectibles market - stamps included. I do NOT mean that as a political statement - I believe the basis of a healthy collectibles market has some basis in stability. If people live without worries of war, they are freer with their discretionary income. (Don, if I APPEAR to have crossed a line, I will be behind the shed waiting for my lesson of the day.)
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Edited by mootermutt987 - 01/18/2022 12:59 am
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Posted 01/18/2022   06:10 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add DJCMHOH to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
If you are interested in building a Western or Central Continental European collection and are not looking for a return on investment then now is a great time to buy as there is a glut of material on the market.
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Posted 01/18/2022   07:50 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add rogdcam to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
This Forbes article illuminates what drives the Chinese philatelic market:


Quote:
As a way to mitigate the impact of the tariffs on the volume of Chinese exports, their government has chosen to devalue its currency by over 10% so that local manufacturers can sell to their US buyers at a dollar price which is 10% lower and still deliver the same number of Yuan to the Chinese seller. This, in effect, negates the economic effect of the tariffs on US demand and frustrates our attempts to force China to adhere to our trade demands. It ignores the fact that 10% tariffs can quickly be raised to 25% tariffs, a level which cannot be negated with currency devaluations without severe disruption of the Chinese economy. It also does not offset manufacturers fleeing China for other Asian countries not subject to US tariffs.

The above scenario is background to the subject of this article, how will this tariff war impact the stamp market, specifically, the market for Chinese stamps. The Chinese stamp market has been the biggest growth market in philately for the past 20 years. As China has grown wealthy, its citizens have sought places to invest their wealth in a country which limits investment options and has a banking system which is restrictive on foreign remittances and totally transparent to its autocratic government. Hence, stamps have become an attractive way to create portable wealth not subject to government surveillance and control. It is also a convenient underground currency in a country where doing business means greasing the palms of all levels of government officials in a covert manner. This is not an easy thing to do when serious amounts of money are involved.

The currency devaluations which result from the tariff war will have a direct impact on the Chinese stamp market both inside and outside China. Inside the country the demand for stamps will jump since people know that price inflation is the normal result of the current and possible future tariffs. Also, the securities markets will be less attractive as an investment outlet and the real estate market likewise, but for other reasons. There will also be added demand for stamps for purposes of smuggling money out of the country, hence the more expensive a stamp, the better.


https://www.forbes.com/sites/richar...6c081d4d4bf1
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