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Disposing Of Large Precancel Collection

 
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Valued Member

Canada
413 Posts
Posted 02/10/2023   5:18 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this topic Add studystamps to your friends list Get a Link to this Message
Cleanup in Aisle 12!

I have been holding onto an extensive precancel collection (started by my father), housed in about 85 three-ring black binders.



Here are a couple of sample pages:




My interests are primarily Canada and I just don't have the time to maintain the precancel collection any longer.

What is the best way to dispose of this collection? As a whole or by state?

Robin Harris
Manitoba, Canada

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Pillar Of The Community
United States
8417 Posts
Posted 02/10/2023   6:06 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Petert4522 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
One suggestion - check with the precancel society - www.precancels.com


Peter
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Valued Member
United States
280 Posts
Posted 02/10/2023   6:10 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add oldboldandbrash to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Ebay? Most definitely sell it state by state or even city by city if there's enough of any. Or sell to one of us...
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Australia
38679 Posts
Posted 02/10/2023   9:52 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add rod222 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply

Wow!
what a beautiful sight! tis a wonderous thing.
Well done Dad
Hope you get due recompense for the work that went into that.

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Pillar Of The Community
5013 Posts
Posted 02/10/2023   10:24 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add John Becker to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Of course the best return is usually made by breaking any collection down into fairly small parts, typically by state for precancels in this apparent quantity. Looks like the mounting was done in acquisition order, rather than by catalog number.

The fact that this is a US precancel collection located in Canada, complicates the shipping logistics and costs to many potential buyers. It would be far easier if this were in the U.S., so selling in-bulk to a U.S. collector or dealer may be the best option. And NOT to ship the actual binder.
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Valued Member
United States
27 Posts
Posted 02/11/2023   12:05 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add JustAnotherSwell to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Hi,

Hats off to your Dad.

My experience buying precancels on eBay indicates that sorting out the stamps with the highest PSS value (buy catalog at the precancel society) and selling them in small related lots or series will get you the most value, but you may find the time involved for a collection that size would be prohibitive.

Next best in my estimation, would be to sell them by state in lots of 72 (8 across by 9 down fits on a sheet) trying to keep the towns and types (by sight instead of catalog) different for each stamp. I just won a bid and lost a bid for 2 of these lots today from the state of Maine. Winning bids were in the $27-$28 range.

Lastly, would be selling by town within a state (again in lots of 72) with minimal duplication (best attempt by you). These seem to go for $5-$12 with the larger cities eliciting the least dollars. I've also seen lots of 30 (5 rows by 6 across) go for $2-$4 for relatively common big city types.

Precancels from Alaska, Hawaii and the intermountain states seem to carry a premium to other states.

Check it out on eBay.

Hope this helps,

Greg






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Pillar Of The Community
United States
6559 Posts
Posted 02/11/2023   12:27 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Cjd to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
That's a fun collection. I imagine that it's neat to have, and probably a bit of a twinge to say goodbye, combined with the freedom that comes with moving it on.

As you no doubt know, like Spinal Tap, precancels have become more selective in their appeal. I think that the average dedicated precancel collector will have most of the easy ones, only needing relatively few of the offerings. Will they pay a fair price for an entire state to get a few that they need?

Would you be willing to divide it up by city to move it along? That's a lot of work.

How about going through the collection with a catalogue and pulling out all of those with a value over $X and selling them individually, and then moving the rest as one lot? Also a lot of work.

Sure would be nice to keep it together, but that's a tough sell, I bet.

ETA: JustAnotherSwell posted while I was typing, and obviously has more experience with this material, so, what he said.
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Edited by Cjd - 02/11/2023 12:29 am
Pillar Of The Community
United States
2498 Posts
Posted 02/11/2023   04:56 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add chasa to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Echoing JustAnotherSwell , two basic options. #1 a lot of work, break it down to 'city complete' lots and sell on ebay. Pictures for EVERYTHING. You don't need to figure out catalog values - buyers will sniff out and pay for anything special - but only IF there is a picture.. Option #2, look through the Precancel Stamp Society online resources for precancel dealers. The big ones will be happy to make an offer for the whole collection. Sell intact. If there are scarce items you will get reasonable compensation.

Option #2 would be my choice, I have a dealer suggesion but would rather not show it here. If you value your time at more than 10$/hour, option #1 is a loser. Trying to look up the value of everything is NOT an option unless you are doing it for fun.

Feel free to email me (I'm an ex-President of the PSS). PS the collection looks great and could be very valuable.
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Valued Member
Canada
413 Posts
Posted 02/11/2023   09:41 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add studystamps to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Thanks to everyone for the suggestions. It is kind of what I expected.

For those that are interested, a bit more of a 'back story'

My father (he died four years ago) was a member of the PSS and loved working on his US precancel collection. Every couple of years he would buy bulk precancels from someone in the USA (I can't recall who/where) and spent countless hours sorting them by state, then by town. Anytime I visited him at his house he was sorting/organizing/mounting, having a great time.

As seen in the previous photos, he made his own 5x5 grid on the computer (using WordPerfect) with the appropriate title for each town. At the front of each state he had a table listing all of the known town/cities in that state where he included running counts. Each column in the table was updated from time to time as he added more material. (i.e. each column was a different date when he added new items, ranging from approximately 1998 through 2016 or so - my dad kept meticulous counts of all aspects of his collecting)

[In addition to the collection house in binders, there are also several boxes of duplicate material, as every collector can attest to.]

Both he and I could never figure out whether certain precancels were Bureau or Local! Even with the various catalogues at our disposal we had a difficult time with this. I wished we could have attended a stamp show/convention to get one-on-one help on this particular aspect of US precancel collecting.

Since his death, his collection has been housed at my house. I had always hoped to add to the collection, but due to my other collecting interests, I just don't have the time since nothing is being done with the precancels, my wife would like the shelf space cleared up for other gardening/canning purposes (before you 'blame' my wife, having the shelf space freed up *is* a good thing).

So, time to dispose of the collection. An all-in-one sale would obviously be the best. I have thought of the eBay approach I will take some time to browse and follow this area of eBay to see how others are selling off material. Breaking up the collection by state can work as time is not a problem on my end.

---

Since Alaska and Hawaii were singled out (in a previous answer), here are the 'stats' of those specific states:

Alaska: 94 different from 66 towns
Hawaii: 117 different from 41 towns


Thanks again everyone!

Robin Harris

[Chasa I will e-mail you in the next day or two; going to take a closer look at eBay first.]
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Pillar Of The Community
Israel
1010 Posts
Posted 02/11/2023   10:00 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Rob Roy to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Question about precanceled: Are they limited to one or a few series? Of what years?
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