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

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Pillar Of The Community
United Kingdom
6388 Posts
Posted 01/18/2022   07:57 am  Show Profile Check GeoffHa's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add GeoffHa to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
I just hope the people who've made a few eBay days for me by spending 30-50 on lots of extremely ordinary Chinese stamps make some money!
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481 Posts
Posted 01/18/2022   09:34 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Sorsh to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
it's the same as anything, know your market.

sure there's inflation in Denmark as well, highest for many years, but it really has no effect on prices. but still, there's a really high demand for stamps here, and prices on collections and bulk material reach some insane levels. But this is because of the amount put up for sale the last 3 years. Corona hasn't had anything negative effect on the every day guy's finances, and thus no need to speculate on selling collections/spare material.
But Corona did put a limit to the influx of stamps from other countries, so professional dealers have had a hard time filling their shelves. This means they compete amongst themselves (and collectors) pushing up the prices.

this doesn't mean that retail prices have budged much at all, collectors as a bunch are still cheap old men who nearly suffer heart attacks each time the leather has to leave the back pocket.

so in Denmark now is a good time to sell your collection, accumulations you have gathered over years, and might never get around to working on...

but, wether or not it's the same story where you live - you'd have to figured out by talking to people who know what they talk about (and you can trust)
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Valued Member
United States
39 Posts
Posted 01/23/2022   4:28 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Paris Exhibition to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Thanks, guys, we got some really good comments. I like the old Wall St Saying:

When everyone around you is buying, sell!
When everyone around you is selling, buy!

I'm buying.
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Posted 01/23/2022   5:24 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add rogdcam to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
I like to use Russian material as an example because I know the market pretty well. In 2008 we were in the same type of philatelic market albeit crazier. Demand was strong and bidders were throwing money around. I have been fortunate enough to have acquired items that can be traced back to sales back in 2008ish. I paid on average one quarter of what those items went for back then. If you look at auction records people were even paying multiples of cv for material that had problems.

You need to research your purchases if you are going to spend any money beyond what you would consider average for a purchase. Know your market. This is not about investing in stamps. It is about not throwing money away.

Still, at the end of the day it is your decision.

For myself I am contemplating as I get older transitioning into collecting low value stamps and postal history that are interesting, but which leave me free of thinking about the financial aspect. I am not poor but neither am I Bill Gross (not even close).

PS: On the flip side I sold my US collection over the past two years and did well.
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Pillar Of The Community
USA
9748 Posts
Posted 01/23/2022   7:34 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add philb to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
i started collecting the Netherlands stamps and covers in the 1960s /70s and paid close to full catalog for better semipostal sets. I should have waited 40 years or so. On the other hand...Many German classics like the large Kaisers Yacht which I thought were out of reach are now readily available at a good price. I remember Ghana,Israel and Vatican City and Japan when they were the hot potatoes. I guess if you want to make money on stamps...don't hang on to them too long.
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APS 070059 Life Member International Society of Guatemala Collectors I.S.G.C. #853
Valued Member
United Kingdom
360 Posts
Posted 01/23/2022   7:46 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Noocassel to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
I still think that as Chinese people become more used to the social entertainments we have been accustomed to with computers, and more consumer goods traditional collecting fields will follow the same patterns as in the "west". I see the Chinese population as taking a sudden interest in collecting hobbies that were seen as bourgeois and politically suspect in the 1960s to the 90s and having disposable income they go on a spending spree, now they are realising cars, tv, and more sophisticated things are fun and I think stamp collecting is diminishing as a Universal hobby.
Collecting anything for it's cash and investment value is to miss the point of collecting in my view. (unless your a debt collector)
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United States
431 Posts
Posted 01/23/2022   8:46 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Cephus to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Very true. Personally, I'm getting really sick of people showing up on forums and subreddits, concerned only with what stamps are worth and not why they should be collected. There's a vast difference between collecting and investing. It's really sad to watch how many shallow people there are out there.
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76 Posts
Posted 01/23/2022   10:34 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add chris s to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Cephus - I second what you said. I will not deny I LIKE to see the stamps I bought sell on eBay for a higher amount, or to pursue acquiring high FACE value stamps of beauty with the encouragement of the markets showing they are selling for a nice premium (well for ultra-moderns, in particular the priority mail express stamps from 2008 onward). But I want a stamp FIRST for its design, beauty and history (cultural/political). There are only a few you tube channels that do NOT concentrate solely on the investment potential of stamps and here are three I recommend highly: Ted Talks Stamps, Exploring Stamps, and, one of the simplest but informative channels who simply like getting recent US stamp issues, L:ooking At Stamps. For an excellent channel on philately and that covers classic stamps and modern trends in philately - Conversations With Philatelists is highly recommended. I think you would find these channels refreshing in their enthusiasm and integrity.

As for original poster's question, I don't know whether it is the best time to buy or sell, I am too new to give an informed answer. However, with collectibles such as stamps and coins, the risk is moderate to high on the prospect of losing money - it depends on the area you collect and, most important, present demand. I would rather ask these questions: Do you need to clear things from your house? Do you enjoy the collection or is it mostly forgotten? Did you collect originally with the aim for a return on your investment? If you simply see the collection as an encumbrance, go to a reputable stamp dealer (and this board likely will have some experts in appraising stamp value) to see if it is attractive to a dealer or the majority of it should be donated/sold online/or used.

I was directed at this board to a great charity which accepts donations of stamps for wounded soldiers -- they send you a receipt and determine the value of your donation upon Scott catalog valuation. I provided only a few stamps but was happy to know someone in need would get some small enjoyment from my stamp duplicates - https://www.stampsforthewounded.org...ince%201942.
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Edited by chris s - 01/23/2022 10:37 pm
Valued Member
United States
52 Posts
Posted 01/24/2022   12:06 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add poofo to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
I don't have a good answer to the OP's question; however, I have been pretty shocked at final bid on the last dozen or so E-bay items I've bid on.

Stuff I would have expected to go for $30 selling for $130.
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Posted 01/24/2022   12:13 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add rogdcam to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
This not rocket science. It is very much a sellers market.

Being financially aware and smart in collecting AND enjoying the hobby are not mutually exclusive either. Do not become a prisoner of two ideas.
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Valued Member
United States
39 Posts
Posted 01/24/2022   12:44 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Paris Exhibition to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Rodgcam,

You say it is very much a seller's market, very likely because you can get more for your stamps than you thought you could. There are some stamps where that is true for me, but for my two most complete countries, France and Greenland, that is not true.

Using Scotts pricing as the middle, i.e. about the right retail price, I can say that I have bought or made an offer on two stamps recently that I would like to have, one a French stamp that I would consider a high value stamp ( Scott retail is over $500) and one not, a Mesopotamian Stamp whose Scott retail value was $300, but it was being offered for about 1.5 X its Scott retail.

As for the French stamp, I purchased it for about 1/3 its Scott value. As for the Mesopotamian Stamp I offered Scott value but the seller was not interested in even discussing it.

To state the situation another way, the countries that I am near completion on. France where I need sixty mpre staps to be complete to 1960. (Not in BOB's though) one of which sells for Scott retail of about $12,000, which I never have and never will spend on a stamp (Also my wife would kill me of I did) Anyway, I have not seen that stamp offered for sale since I remember. However, I need a total of 59 other stamps to complete the French collection, about 20 of which are pricy (Scott value over $500), and I now have one of those.
The stamp I just purchased was Scott valued at over $800, so I knocked off one of the pricy ones. About 20 of the 60 were Scott priced betweem $100 amd $500, but many I have noted were available for under $100. so I am not worried. And the last 20 were less than $100, most less than $50, but I just have not seen them for sale. So, yes, I am in buy mode for France.

Also. Greenaland. Small country, small collection. All I need is 5 more Parkka Porto stamps to complete that collection from before Greenland No 1 (A German Airmail Stamp used in Greenland - long story) to past the year 2000. The prices for these stamps is incredibly low compared to what I remember from many year ago, so I am bullish on buying for Greenland.

Also, everyone is talking about Denmark being cheap, but I haven't looked at them yet.

Anyway, my Chinese collection is just junk. I have one stamp that maybe is worth something. If anyone knows how to sell a single Chinese Stamp, please let me know. I am also happy to show that single stamp (actually a pair) so some of you out there could save me from embarrassment for even thinking it was worth money.
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Edited by Paris Exhibition - 01/24/2022 12:51 pm
Valued Member
United States
39 Posts
Posted 01/24/2022   1:36 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Paris Exhibition to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Bytheway, my definition of "BOb," i.e. Back of Book is what is BoB for Schaubek Albums, which is mostly what I have. Schaubek generally puts semi-postals and Airmail in with regular postage. The Back of the book stamps are everything else, i.e., parcel post, military stamps, postage due. The 60 stamps I need for France are all mostly in regular post, with 5 airmails missing, and no semi-postals missing, that I can think of. I also have all of the military stamps.I do not much French Postage Due or Parcel Post. The incredibly expensive stamp I talked about is a French airmail. I would love to see that come within reach.sd
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Pillar Of The Community
United Kingdom
6388 Posts
Posted 01/24/2022   1:53 pm  Show Profile Check GeoffHa's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add GeoffHa to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
There aren't many French stamps that don't come up for sale fairly regularly - some of the early Ceres, particularly the unissued ones, come to mind. The pricier airs pop up all the time - you just need the money to blow on them. Yvert has offered two used - not particularly attractive - copies of the Sage Prussian blue recently. One of the few auctions I follow had two scarce stamps - the 1928 Ile de France 10Fr on 90c and 10Fr on 1Fr40 last weekend, but neither hit the respective reserves of 1,100 and 4,500.
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United States
39 Posts
Posted 01/24/2022   2:02 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Paris Exhibition to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Speaking of auctions, a stamp I am looking for priced over $1,000 by Scott, but which I have been seeing at less than half that just sold for $64!

I so wish I had been in on that auction!e

Here it is (I expect to get this for around $400 from what I have been seeing. But $64 would have been better. I wish I had known about this auction.

France 1927 Stamps MNH Sheet Yvert N2 Strasbourg Exhibition SS
Condition:--
"MNH**Mint Never Hinged"
Ended:Jan 23, 2022 , 4:11PM
Winning bid:
GBP 63.99
Approximately US $86.74
[ 24 bids ]
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Posted 01/24/2022   2:20 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add rogdcam to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply

Quote:
Rodgcam,

You say it is very much a seller's market, very likely because you can get more for your stamps than you thought you could.


No. It is because I closely follow all of the auctions in detail. Not eBay because that is not where sellers are sourcing their inventory. eBay and other internet platforms like Delcampe are not good indicators for single item sales because there are often quality and ID issues. High quality and high cv items are ridiculously priced and sit around forever. Real auction prices are up on average because sellers need more material to feed buyers. Individual collectors are buying. There are more buyers in the market. Are there Countries that are soft? Yup Does that change the big picture? Nope

I am not trying to sell the market. It is what it is. The question was "is it a good time to sell". The answer is an unequivocable yes.

If the original question was in regard to specific Countries it should have been asked that way.
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