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Sunday, February 05, 2012

US Stamps from a European Estate

Taking a bit of a sidetrack, today.

Note: Today's entry is about some classic US stamps I am selling on eBay. If you just want to skip the personal story behind them and go look, here's the link: Click here for Classic US Stamps eBay auctions (Opens a new browser tab)

My 93-year old stepfather passed away recently-- outliving my mom by about a year. They were retired and lived on a golf course community in the south of Spain. Most of their "stuff" was recently shipped to me, here in the US.

On occasion, my stepdad would "fiddle around" with a (rather messy) collection/accumulation of US stamps. In later years, his eyesight, steadiness of hand and mental clarity somewhat declined, so the "collection" eventually became more like "wads of pages with stamps on them." There were also some cigar boxes with stamps, envelopes with stamps, and some ancient salvaged stock books.

Not "rare," but nice quality!
I don't expect that I'll find any great RARITIES here, but there are certainly lots of "mid value" stamps-- from $1.00 to $25.00 in Scott (a few higher-- maybe to $150.00 CV)-- and some are actually in pretty nice (and even superb) condition. There are also thousands of cheapies, and thousands of damaged-- those will just be tossed into the "sorted" box.

I don't collect US, and I know nothing about US stamps (beyond what I can learn from opening a Scott catalogue)... and I have no "attachment" to this collection. I also know my stepdad was very "thrifty," and would NOT have wanted me to just hand the whole mess off to "some dealer" and get $50.00 for my effort.

Thus, I have decided that what I'm going to do is take "the best" of what I find, and put it out on eBay. I can make high quality scans, hopefully to somewhat compensate for my lack of knowledge about this material. I'll identify the stamps to the best of my ability, which may not be good. Issues such as the "Washington-Franklins" and some of the classics with all their printings and papers and grills completely baffle me.

What I am also going to do is turn everything into "penny auctions." That is, every lot-- regardless of quality or catalogue value-- will open on eBay at ONE CENT, and the market can decide what the stamps are worth. Risky? Maybe... but my experience has been that the stamp market is pretty "intelligent," and good quality material will achieve a fair price. It's the junk nobody bids on. And I'm only going to bother with the better quality material-- the junk I may sell "by the pound," at the end.

So, there are thousands of worthwhile stamps in the two boxes now in my office. So, I expect this little "project" may take me a few years. My plan is to "chunk" the stamps into groups of 100+ individual listings, so people can benefit from cheaper postage costs-- since some of these probably wll sell for a buck or less.

There are also some superb cancels!
My first set, which I have sent to eBay this afternoon, has 148 lots, mostly older used US. Lots of those "in-between" stamps that are too expensive to be in packets, but too cheap for MOST sellers to bother with.

Click here to go have a look at these listings now (Opens a new browser tab)

What might add some "interest" as well is that my stepdad was British and lived in Europe, and was NOT a "specialist." Much of this material has not been in the hands of US collectors for half a century or more.

Anyway, if you happen to be stopping by this page... and US stamps are "your thing," bookmark/subscribe or make a point to come back, from time to time... I'll announce as new listings of these US stamps go up for grabs. By the way, I am not using my normal stamp selling account on eBay-- I usually sell Scandinavian stamps, and I don't want to confuse my "regulars." I'm using my "private" eBay ID, instead.

It'll be a nice "diversion" from my daily routine... and not to worry, this does NOT mean I'm suddenly abandoning writing about Scandinavian Philately!


Kah-Wai Lin said...

Nice blog you have here! I am collector of Swedish stamps and FDCs too.
Welcome to visit my new philatelic blog:

drewby said...

Well if you need any help, I am a U.S Collector, Actully more like a World collector.I would buy some but I am broke. Sorry.

Patrick Jackman said...

I respect the honesty of the US collector. Your info is always well received and appreciated. Worldwide Collector Tefloncinco.