Trends in Stamp Collecting Market

As regular buyers and sellers at major stamp auctions as well as full time stamp dealers for many years, we closely watch the market for buying and selling trends. Most of our information comes from watching auctions, from other dealers, and from our buying and selling trans-actions with our customers.  In the past two years auction realizations for collections have substantially increased. Better collections sell at much higher percentages  of catalog value than average collections.  Mint hinged and never hinged collections always sell at higher percent-ages of catalog than used collections.

Austria – The overall market for Austria has been very steady for the past 10 years.  Prices for most singles and sets have slowly declined during that period. Only great rarities command high prices. The back of the book stamps have been bringing especially strong results at auction and are my best sellers. There have been very few substantial Austrian collections offered in recent auctions and those few have been selling at a high rate with realizations at or close to expectations.

Germany – Early German related issues are doing well at auction and modern issues have declined sharply. Better singles and sets of Germany proper and most German areas have been selling at constant prices after a decline of 5 to 10% several years ago. Unused German states and never hinged German WWII occupation singles and sets have been bringing significantly higher than normal realizations. Mint hinged collections of Germany proper prior to WWII have been bringing 5-10% more than just  a few years ago but used collections from the same period have declined by 10-15%.  Post WWII Germany, Berlin and DDR are holding steady at prices which declined about 25-30% in realizations several years and lesser collections still do not sell well at any price. Collections of German colonies, WWII occupations, and better German states have been bringing realizations 10% – 20% higher than in recent years – an upward trend that has continued for many years. Post WWII occupation material also have consistently brought high realizations. There has been a decided upsurge in the market for all better German stamps. Single stamps and sets cataloging $200 and up have been selling at the highest rate we’ve seen in the past 20 years.

Liechtenstein – The Liechtenstein market has declined greatly as fewer collectors seek this country.  Better singles and sets bring respectable prices but collections sell at much lower prices than they did 5-10 years ago.

Luxembourg – Surprisingly Luxembourg stamps continue to do very well for us and at auction. We believe one reason for this is that there is not a lot of better Luxembourg material to be found in dealers’ stocks. Older stamps in sound condition are scarce and are sought by serious collectors.