Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Over-Abundand Blessings!

I've picked up a dozen or so lots from my good friend Shayne Clinard's Web-Collector eBay auctions over the last two weeks. Some of them were great, some were 'adequate'- I got enough stamps out of them I could use to make the purchase price reasonable.

I also like to trade stamps. I try to keep up to ten or twelve copies each of all duplicate stamps I get. I keep them sorted down by using the old material I started with when I tried to make a living as a stamp dealer (and failed...). I've run across an uncomfortable phenomena this past week, one I'm having a hard time dealing with. I not only have gotten enough stamps for my collection and my trade stock, but literally HUNDREDS of extra copies.

One of the things I try to do is to also "recycle" material I buy within the local community. Shayne helps with this by offering an in-store table where we can sell our lots. He takes a 10% transaction fee, which is quite reasonable. However, few people other than me are nutty enough to want, or even accept a hundred or more copies of the same stamp. I've bundled up tens of thousands of stamps on several occasions, and sent them to Beverly Fox at Weeda Stamps, for her online weekly bidboard. The quantity of duplicates I've gotten recently is even too much for that. I've tried to always bundle ten or more collectable copies of each stamp, and offer from 300 to 1000 different in the lot. I try to keep the exact number of each stamp at 50 or below. With what I've gotten in the past two weeks, I have as many as 400 copies of a single stamp - far too many to recycle, either through Weeda or Shayne's shop.

If anyone's looking for a wholesale accumulation of stamps from Australia, Australian Antarctic Territory, and Finland, get in touch with me. I've got at least 50 stamps in the 50-to-400-copy range, and more to sort!

Sunday, November 13, 2005

Weekly review

Last week, I published that I had updated 122 listings. That wasn't exactly correct. I fould I'd put up two listings that were still in the "working" stage - China (ROC) and St. Lucia. I hope to have both revised and corrected in a couple of weeks.

I've bought something like 85 POUNDS of stamps in the last three years. I've also spent much of that time doing other things than working on my stamp collection. Now I'm trying to play catch-up. I'm working on China this week (part of the review process I should have done BEFORE posting the listing). I hope to do France, and to update all the "F" and "G" countries next week, or the week after.

I'm also finding more and more to be frustrated with re Scott's stamp catalogs. The people that edit and publish these catalogs need to listen to the collecting community and start making long-overdue corrections. I'd also like to find if there's a consensus in the collecting community about the listing of "dated" definitives - something more than just mentioning that they exist. I've found the information in Scott's to be confusing and frequently wrong about several groups of these. If anyone at Scott's or Amos Press reads this, I'd highly recommend setting up one group just to listen to collectors' complaints, recommendations, suggestions, and corrections. It would do wonders to increase the usefulness of your current product.

I haven't had the opportunity to go through all the Nigerian defintives I have from the 1973-80 set in three variations, but I have learned a few things. There's only one set that's watermarked, and the watermark is fairly easy to see against a dark background. The other two sets can best be determined by checking the imprint. The lithographed stamps have a sharp, clear imprint; the photogravure issues have a blotchy and blurred appearance. I've also found that there are quite a number of other color variations than those mentioned by Scott, and in many values where there's no indicator of any color variants. The 50k with black background (#305) really stands out and is easy to recognize when compared to the 50k with dark brown background (#305a, 305b). With the 20k, the fluid in the bottles is purplish in the first issue (#301), either purplish or almost black in the second issue (#301a), and greenish with a pink cast in the third issue (#301b). There are other variants I haven't had time to verify yet among other stamps in the issue.

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Want List Updated

I've updated, created, or modified 122 files since my previous update. Some of these are very minor, some are major changes, and others constitute new lists. I'm looking for one or two new trading partners.