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Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Classic US Stamps on eBay

Occasionally, I will take a sidetrack from what I normally write about, here.

At the beginning of 2012, I first wrote about my stepdad's stamps (which I'd inherited) and about my efforts to slowly sell them off through eBay and other venues. You can see the original post here, if you're interested. You can also skip this story and go directly to looking at the stamps.

US Scott 185 in top condition
Anyway, the long and the short of it is that I have a couple of moving boxes with untold thousands of mostly older US stamps, generally in stock books, on random album pages and in glassines and regular envelopes.

I don't collect US, and never have had much interest. That also means I really don't really know anything much about US stamps... aside from what a somewhat advanced collector of areas can glean from looking in a Scott catalogue. Some stamps-- like the "bank notes" and "Washington-Franklins" are somewhat of a mystery to me... and I am really not prepared to spend days and weeks learning the finer nuances of these.

My stepdad did get a lot of enjoyment from his stamps... and even though he never really formed an actual "collection," his accumulating habits kept him busy in latter years.

For me, the "easy way out" would have been to hand all this off to an auctioneer or dealer (and I thought about it) and just take whatever offer I'd get. Based on my life-long experience with collecting and trading stamps, I expect I'd have been offered about $200-300 for it all, since this is very much what you might call a "job lot."

Maybe I'm just sentimental, or maybe I am following in the footsteps of my stepfather's tendency to be very "thrifty," so I decided to take on the "leg work" myself. Of course, it will take me several years to do all this... but that's OK.

Scott 394, 3c Washington coil, perf 8.5 A difficult stamp to find
in ANY condition, and this is quite a nice copy. CV $67.50.
I'm not going to go to a huge amount of trouble here-- just trying to skim off and offer the best to collectors. I expect there are no great rarities here, but there are certainly lots of "mid value" stamps-- from $1.00 to $50.00 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.

In my original post about these stamps I wrote that I would 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.

I'm not doing this with the purpose of "making money," as such... although I do have some secret ambitions to put all the proceeds into my grandson's college fund (he's three).

Anyway, this week I am offering up my second group from this old hoard (the first went up for sale in March of 2012), consisting of 81 lots with mostly USED older US. As I said earlier, starting price is ONE CENT for all lots, regardless of value.

Also-- if you're a fan of US stamps-- it might interest you to know that all these stamps were collected in Europe, and most have not been seen by any US specialists for maybe 50+ years. I really have NO idea what might lurk...

... and last, but not least, I am not using my usual "Scandinavian Stamp Specialist" seller ID, but my private account I use mostly to buy and sell non-stamp stuff from our attic. Anyway, hope you'll have a look!

The auctions end on Sunday night, July 21st, 2013. Here's the link to an overview of all lots.

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