Sunday, October 28, 2007

How to get totally snowed under

Jeff Goulette, of, has had some tremendous lots for sale during the past four months, and I've done more than my share to get what I could. I've bought at least 70 lots from him in the last three months, most of them 1" or 2" boxes of stamps, some on paper and others off paper. I've also bought many of his lots on stock pages - anywhere from three to twelve 8.5"x11" manila stock pages crammed with anything from worldwide stamps to specific countries. I haven't been able to get all of those stamps sorted or mounted, and they've built up on me. Right now, I have about a quarter-million stamps on my desk that need to be sorted down. Sorting down 250,000 stamps - a conservative estimate - is not an easy job. Nor can I just dump them in boxes and re-sell them - there are too many of them I need.

A one-inch box contains about 6000 stamps off paper, and about 2500 on paper. A two-inch box holds about twice as many, unless they're like two lots I bought this summer, on "dealers' squares". Each of the two-inch boxes I bought had about 8,000 stamps in them. Each stamp is hinged to a paper square about 1.5 inches square. Since many of the stamps in these boxes catalogued over $1 each, and some of them catalogued as much as $75 each, it's worth it dealing with all those paper squares. Many of Jeff's stock-card lots had as many as 500 to 700 stamps per stock page (REALLY stuffed), while others had as few as 100.

I've started sorting all of these stamps down onto some of those manila stock cards I've gotten from Jeff, or that I had on hand. Sorting stamps down by country makes it easier to catalogue and price what you have on hand, but it's time-consuming. Some of the material I've bought were in glassines, which are easier to sort down, even when they're five or six different sizes. Alphabetizing the glassines takes a little time, but not as much as pawing through 600-700 of them to find a particular country. Two of the lots I purchased during the summer were in P-102 cards - those little white cards that have a clear pocket on the front. I sort down most of the stamps I have for trade into P-102 cards, so having those not only makes it easier to sort down, but also easier to store any duplicates. Believe me, I have LOTS of duplicates! In fact, I have more duplicates than I have the ability to store them, which is my next big problem from buying too much all at once. How am I going to store all these stamps I now have for trade?

I'm working on it. P-102 cards cost about $38/1000, but if you write on them in pencil, and have access to some of the nifty white plastic erasers, can be easily reused. I'd rather spend the money on stamps, but I have to do something to store all the stamps I have. I did buy a box of dealer stock pages that fit into those nifty three-ring binders, and a smaller lot of the smaller six-hole stock pages, so I can use those to take some of the material. I actually store Belgium, US Possessions, Monaco, Indonesia, Czechoslovakia, and Thailand in those types of pages, so that will help considerably. My consolidation of material by country is freeing up a number of manila stock pages, which I can use to store some more material. I have about 20 countries I keep on those kinds of pages. I need some blank ones to redo Romania and to finish off Russia, two countries where I keep my duplicates on those kinds of stock pages. Some of the stamps on P-102 cards I bought are duplicates, and once I get them all sorted down and taken care of, I'll have some cards free for other material. Some of the material I have already exist in my duplicates files, and adding more won't be a problem. It's just the new material, stuff I didn't have as duplicates before, that will be a problem. Unfortunately, there are probably 10,000 stamps that fit that category. I'm going to have to improvise, and that's going to take considerably more time and effort.

Getting snowed under is both good and bad - good because you add a LOT of new material to your collection, but bad in that it takes a huge amount of effort to dig your way out. Maybe I'll be able to see daylight by Christmas - IF I don't buy too much more in the meantime!


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great to see you posting again. AND I can somewhat related to your feeling snowed under, but apparently not at the same level as you seem to be. :)
One question: you mentioned the old style manila stock pages. Do you know where some of those can be purchased? I did search eBay but to no avail. Thanks!

8:44 AM  
Anonymous Old Patriot said...

Jeff Goulette (now JCExchange, vice has a box up for sale this week here
You just have to keep your eyes out. I get a few used ones from a couple of dealers I know where I also sell my excess. You might check around in your local area.

9:50 PM  

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