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Are Prices In Catalogue Realistic

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Posted 08/31/2021   3:02 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this topic Add Bujutsu to your friends list Get a Link to this Message
Hi all

Can anyone here tell me if these prices are realistic? I came across this website and nearly fell to the floor when I saw the price - the website is https://www.mysticstamp.com/Listing/United-States/

Thanks a lot

Bujutsu
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Posted 08/31/2021   3:25 pm  Show Profile Check johnsim03's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add johnsim03 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
No. I would classify Mystic's prices as high (high) end.
On the plus side - their sales catalog is a nice reference catalog.

John
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Edited by johnsim03 - 08/31/2021 3:30 pm
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Posted 08/31/2021   3:37 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add jconey to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Mystic is definitely higher priced "retail" but John is correct it can be a good reference. Although I did like their American Heirloom albums back before I started making my own.

Another catalog that I like to use for reference is Siegel's https://siegelauctions.com. It's a great resource.

EDIT: just for reference though as it's higher retail too.

If you want a decent "go by" for market or street prices go to eBay sort for what you want and on the left hand side scroll down and select "completed items" or "sold items". That will show the recent sales and their prices in green.
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Edited by jconey - 08/31/2021 3:42 pm
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Posted 08/31/2021   4:03 pm  Show Profile Check 51studebaker's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add 51studebaker to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
And even eBay 'sold' prices sometimes have to be taken with a grain of salt - it is not unheard of to see 'sold' listings where a seller buys their own material using multiple accounts (sometimes 3-4 times in a row over a month).
Don
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Posted 08/31/2021   4:25 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add classic_paper to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
It's a retail price list (and Mystic is notorious for being overpriced), not a catalog. For actual value, check eBay or any number of philatelic auctions (such as those on Stamp Auction Network). Otherwise, expect to buy at 25-50% of what you see in catalogs like Scott, Michel, etc.
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Posted 08/31/2021   4:37 pm  Show Profile Check johnsim03's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add johnsim03 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply

Quote:
It's a retail price list (and Mystic is notorious for being overpriced), not a catalog.


Hate to nit-pick, but price catalog (catalogue) is an accurate description of what it is... I mean, I get what you are saying, but catalog (catalogue) is an appropriate usage...

John
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Posted 08/31/2021   5:16 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add classic_paper to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply

Quote:
Hate to nit-pick, but price catalog (catalogue) is an accurate description of what it is... I mean, I get what you are saying, but catalog (catalogue) is an appropriate usage..

Fair enough, though catalog in this hobby is most often the word used to describe the reference publications fromScott, Michel, Yvert, Sakura, et al. And what Mystic publishes is nothing like those.
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Posted 08/31/2021   6:23 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Bujutsu to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Thank you all for the inputs. I thought I would be worth a fortune at those prices lol.

Chimo

Bujutsu
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Posted 09/01/2021   03:01 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add WillUK to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Hi Dangerous to comment when I am not a long-standing serious stamp collector. I will tell you my observations though.

The catalogue prices are indications - they have little relevance at the lower end. I think 10% of the catalogue is a good starting point for most items - if listed at $20 I will try to buy for a few dollars.

I think if you are talking an expertised sample from a reputable dealer or auction with pedigree then for scarcer items the catalogue may have some more relevance.

I can show you examples on eBay where stamps from well-followed dealers sell for more than the entire year set mnh from others!

Plethora of offerings, people follow dealers with stock and good reputations, therefore your good deal can sometimes be sitting there.

Countries - oh, as with any series some have a ready collector market so a US or Newfoundland stamp will find a market fairly quickly and may track a bit higher on eBay.
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Posted 09/02/2021   6:34 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Bujutsu to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
I have noticed that some stamps are listed at $10.00 or #20.00 while Scotts lists them at 25 cents!! Something is sure out of whack.

Chimo

Bujutsu
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Posted 09/02/2021   7:20 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add rogdcam to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
The market changes constantly. Catalogs such as Scott do not. Also realize where values come from. Dealer price lists drive most of the values. For truly scarce/rare items auction sales are used but even then catalogs are not updated at every publishing.

I collect Russia and can tell you that catalog values mean very little. How often a given item shows up is more important to what it is worth. There are some so-called common stamps that are very hard to find that command full catalog or more and there are highly catalog valued stamps that can be found everywhere at any time and sell at small percentages of catalog.

It all boils down to supply and demand.

I will add that Mystic has some of the largest overhead to support of any philatelic retailer. Substantial infrastructure, over 100 employees, large inventory and a whole lot of marketing. I repeat, a whole lot of marketing to pay for. Mystic cannot discount material and have their legacy operation work.
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Posted 09/02/2021   7:28 pm  Show Profile Check 51studebaker's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add 51studebaker to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
I have always wondered...are stamp catalogs following the market or setting the market?
Don
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Posted 09/02/2021   7:41 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add funcitypapa to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
When you are talking about higher quality items, either defined by graded examples or rarity another reference range besides what has been mentioned is SMQ. If you purchase from Rupp Brothers from their retail price list, Christopher Rupp will often use the SMQ as a base reference guide to his asking price. Of course, not all Scott #'s are listed in SMQ. For example, non grill 1869 pictorials are not listed there. For these issues Siegel archives are an excellent reference.
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Posted 09/02/2021   8:13 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add rogdcam to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply

Quote:
If you purchase from Rupp Brothers from their retail price list, Christopher Rupp will often use the SMQ as a base reference guide to his asking price.


I built my US collection in large part working with Christopher and have never known him to price anything based on an SMQ value unless it had a graded certificate. Perhaps I misunderstood the comment above?
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Posted 09/02/2021   8:29 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add rogdcam to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply

Quote:
I have always wondered...are stamp catalogs following the market or setting the market?
Don


Ye old chicken or egg.

Personally I think that it is circular and mutually beneficial. The dealers set the prices, Scott (for this example) uses the data and the dealers prices are therefor affirmed. Rinse and repeat. The only rub to my own assumption is that some catalog prices do decrease. Usually in more arcane areas though. I cannot recall a catalog prices dropping for classic US material or any US material for that matter. In other words popular areas with a large market seem immune from downward pricing. Italy comes to mind. For most of my time collecting their has been a large disconnect between Scott Italy values and what the market is willing to pay. Not talking rarities here but good quality bread and butter commemoratives etc.. Western Europe is like that. Same for BNA, Canada in particular.

Another interesting observation is in my current collecting area of Russia. Large delta's between Scott and Russia/Soviet specialist catalogs such as Zagorsky. In this case Scott is actually light in their pricing compared to Zagorsky and prices realized often align more with Zagorsky. Who knows where Zagorsky's prices come from. Updated editions are infrequent at best. Why do the values seem to be more accurate?
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Posted 09/02/2021   8:56 pm  Show Profile Check 51studebaker's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add 51studebaker to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
I think the majority of stamp catalog values are the 'minimum' value stamps, and most catalogs state something like "the minimum catalogue value of a stamp is XX cents to cover a dealer's costs of purchase and preparation for resale" which sounds a lot like they are trying to set market values. Of course Joe Collector selling his extra stock online does not have to be too concerned about overhead like rent, labor, etc. And it certainly could be argued that Joe Collector selling online may now be more common and have larger total sales than real dealer totals.

Yet catalog publishers have not reacted to this significant change?
Don
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