The Stamps of Life

Discussion in 'Stamp Chat' started by charlesakinney, May 7, 2017.

  1. charlesakinney

    charlesakinney New Member

    I wanted to write and say that over the last 52 years I have run into many people all over the world. There were the couple bad apples selling snake oil stamps at high prices, of course I didn't buy into it. lol

    By and large the Philatelic world has been an upstanding community based solely on the topic. All walks of life. It has been a continued refreshing feeling to be involved even when why I really haven't contributed much.

    My advice to young or older collectors who are just starting out is figuring out WHY you like Philatelic items. Is it for investment, just plain fun, or do you just like to see a whole world of stamps and things in boxes, albums and the like.

    I have changed over the last several years. My favorite which would surprise a lot of people is Liberia. I have been a general world wide collector all my life and did at one time collect US stamps. I gave that up pretty much to concentrate on how stamps looked, the topic and the like. I guess I went Topical in a sense.

    Over the early years, young people were sometimes told the stamps they had were worthless, it was all about value. Such a harmful thing to say to young people or even older "new" collectors of this great hobby. Please, don't make that mistake to new collectors. It's about what appeals and not so much about value, UNLESS you get into the hobby to try and make bunches of money (or think you will) 30+ years down the road.

    All items in this hobby are important to someone. Remember that when you decide to lend a hand to a new collector. Ask them questions to get a feel of why they chose Philately as a hobby and what appeals to them and leave out value. It doesn't hurt to tell them later about value but not when they are first starting out. I have had kids run up to me and show me a penny stamp but it was an animal or bird or flower. I thought it was great to see such a huge wide smile on a kid's face. THAT is why my Uncle helped me when I was 5. He saw the awe in my eyes, the big grin and knew that he just started a new collector on his way. BTW, my uncle at one time had a collection worth about 1.5 million dollars but "retired" at 49 to move up north in Michigan with his sister (my mom), me and my sister. The stamp market took a deep nose dive and his stamp collection value was toast. Most would offer to give him 50-75% less than what he paid for them.

    So you see it's not about value of the stamp. It's about the value to the hobbyist collecting the stamps.

    Just some random thoughts about this great hobby. I hope you find it useful in some way.

    Thank You!

    James-2489 likes this.
  2. Werner Salentin

    Werner Salentin Well-Known Member

    Hallo Chuck,
    I totally agree to what you write about children´s collections !

    But,as far as I am aware,there are no child-members in this
    forum.So if any collector,whether "new" or "old" puts up a
    question:"What is it worth ?",I think,he is entitled to expect
    a realistic answer.
    If it is cheap,almost worthless stuff,it is not mean to say so.
    If there are better stamps,but in such a poor condition,what
    makes them worthless,it would not be fair to say otherwise.

    To your uncles collection:
    Your uncle must have been quite wealthy,if he spent 1.5 millions
    on his collection.I do not know what kind of collection it was.
    However I rember,that stamp-prices of West-Germany took a
    nose-dive in the early 80th,from where they never really recovered.
    It would be interesting to learn,what kind of collection your
    uncle had and when the "nose-dive" happened.

    But aside from that,many collectors,myself included (!),have the
    habit to over-estimate the value of their stamps.
    I take f.i. dealer´s pricelists,mostly Frank Geiger´s,to estimate
    the value of my stamps.Where Geiger cannot help,I look
    elsewhere or,if that is fruitless,I take Scott,Michel or S.G.
    But I also,of course,know,that dealers pricelists show selling-prices.
    If I would like to sell,I could not expect more than about 30 %,
    maybe up to 50 %,if lucky,of Geiger´s prices.
    That is for "better" stamps.
    Cheapies,like f.i. used US-commemoratives in duplication are
    nearly worthless,if you would attempt to sell them.But you still
    might count them,when calculating the value of a stamp collection.

    Many older collectors seem to go for topics in their later years.
    But often these "topics" are quite different to what younger
    collectors and the trade think topics are.
    My "topics" are engraved and classical stamps and all others
    that appeal to me,regardless of their themes.
    So maybe that is the circle of life,going back to the childhood
    idea of stamp-collecting: looking for beautiful stamps.


    James-2489 likes this.
  3. Larry L. Taylor

    Larry L. Taylor Active Member

    I never got into stamp collecting for the 'profit' I might have envisioned sometime in the future. In fact, it's akin to buying a boat - a hole in the water into which you pour your money.

    But over the years, I allowed myself to trying to fill blanks, and in some cases the higher value types (like the Zepps). It wasn't enough for me to have a 'complete' collection of US stamps (mint from about 1920 onward), so then I focused on doing the same thing with plate blocks. And now the US stamp issuing entity (and therefore album supplements) 'demand' sheets to complete a page. Ugghh! And that was just the US. I've lost interest in trying to keep a Canadian collection 'completed' - mint or used; I keep the album(s) current with supplements, but the pages remain blank.

    My world-wide collection is housed (currently) in 30 volumes of the Minkus Global series of albums. Personally, I think the set of albums may be worth more than the ~100k of stamps contained therein, since I do not currently see any worldwide albums in anything more than maybe a thick 1 volume album. Last time I talked to a dealer that had a 9-volume set of Minkus global albums, he stated that people generally don't want to buy large collections. Furthermore, he said he mostly pulls those kinds of collections apart and sells them off by country. Bummer dude !
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