R SCHNEIDER’S THIS AND THAT
Despite the fact that we did not mail a price list for July, July was a very busy stamp sales month. I must admit that I did very little stamp work except for filling orders. We have lots and lots of recent acquisitions that we need to list on our web site. Updating our web site is our number 1 objective for August. We will be adding many new items to our listings and adding a lot of photos to our site also.
Thank you all for your encouraging comments about my health – they were very much appreciated.
This month we finally finished our Austria Part III price list which includes the back of the book, Bosnia, and occupations issues. Next month we will update our German Area Part III price list which includes issues from Romania through Zara.
Stamp Market Trends
Over the past 20 years the market for European stamps has been very quiet. Stamp values have risen overall but for the most part slowly throughout. Of the 4 countries we stock. Germany has done best on the market with Austria and Luxembourg following far behind. Liechtenstein stamps have done the worst with many values today being the same as those 20 years ago.
It is easy to make sweeping generalizations when discussing market trends – many of which turn out to be wrong! The German area stamps have wide variations in how stamps have been valued over the years. Overall more expensive stamps have increased in value substantially more than the more modestly priced stamps. Stamps from DDR, Bund and Berlin have remained very stable in prices and in many cases have declined significantly. It is fairly easy to say that stamps from these areas are generally not good investments. (Note that the better values of Berlin declined in the 2016 Scott across the board.)
Mint never hinged stamps have increased in value far more than mint hinged and used stamps in all European countries. Collectors strongly prefer never hinged.
Sound copies of 19th century stamps have increased in value steadily year after year whereas the same stamps with slight defects continue to be sold for steep discounts. Both mint never hinged and mint hinged 19th century stamps have appreciated far more than used copies.
Austria Scott 11a Mint hinged in 1990 catalog value was $550 2015 catalog value $2265
In the German area, stamps from the German offices and colonies, the German private post, pre-WWI Michel listed varieties, and WWII occupations have been consistently popular among collectors and have shown many price increases. In Austria the 19th century and very early 20th mint, postage due, and Austrian occupations have done best. In Luxembourg the mint stamps of the early 20th century are most in demand.
A recent trend in auction sales is that better collections are bringing higher bids than are lesser collections and singles and sets. Better singles are bringing lower bids now than they were 5 years ago. Buyers have the advantage now when seeking better singles and sets! So far this year collections have been selling at a higher rate than during the past several years. Singles and sets are selling at about the same rate as in the recent past – if there is any trend, it is that sales of singles and sets is slightly weaker than in the recent past.
SCOTT 2016 VOLUME 4
As has been the trend in recent years, the new catalog shows very few price changes among German area, Liechtenstein and Luxembourg issues. If you have a catalog issued within the last 5 years, it is not yet time to invest in a new catalog.