We are experiencing a real scorcher this summer. The unusual part is that the humidity has been consistently higher than normal which makes it much more uncomfortable. On the positive side every day is bright and sunny which makes it much easier to get started.
This month we have updated our Austria Part A2 list price list which covers Austrian regular issues from Scott 494 through the 2019 issues. There are a lot of new items on this list and a lot of price changes.
Next month we update Germany Part 2 which covers the German semi-postals. There are a lot of price changes on this list – again most are price decreases.
We continue to add items to our web site. The total number of individual listings online is up to 40,000. That includes singles sets and year groups – a whole lot of stamps!
Austria – Ferchenbauer Catalog
Ferchenbauer Handbook of Austria 1850-1918 – published in Austria
in 2008 is the most complete catalog in the world of Austrian philately for the years covered. This handbook/catalog is published in four hardbound volumes and totals well over 2000 pages of information. This catalog includes everything philatelic pertaining to Austria during the years 1850-1918. It includes images of stamps and covers in the most accurate colors of any philatelic publication. One can identify shades accurately by comparing stamps to the handbook’s images!
Although in German, the catalog listings are easy to use because of the detailed descriptions and the clear images. (The Austria Philatelic Society (US) has translated a good portion of this catalog already.) This catalog is for more advanced collectors who are acquiring covers and cards, or collect the many varieties that exist among the early stamp issues
The Handbook is available in the US only from our firm. The price is $380 Postpaid. (We just restocked but have only a few sets on hand.)
BUYING STAMPS DURING COVID 19
There have been a lot of changes in how the stamp market works that have occurred due to the Covid19 epidemic.
Philatelic gatherings have stopped. Local stamp club meetings are close to non-existent and regional stamp shows have been cancelled indefinitely. Trading and buying stamps at these gatherings is no longer possible. Predictions on when these gatherings will resume vary greatly but it sure looks like nothing is going to change until a vaccine is widely available – most likely next year.
Stamp auctions have slowed down and many have been rescheduled from late spring to early fall. There are rumors among dealers that some long standing auction houses may close – reducing the number of auctions being conducted. European auctions have been affected more than US auctions because international mail has slowed immensely. Letters and parcels to and from Europe can be delayed more than 60 days. If a collector pays for an auction via mail it can take 4 months plus for his auction lots to arrive.
For the same reasons buying and selling with overseas dealers can be equally slowed .
Good news is the APS stamp approval circuit is back in operation after a relatively short cessation.
Buying and selling with US based dealers has been affected by slower postal service but not as severely as when international mail is involved. I have had letters to certain areas in the US take 7-10 days to be delivered in recent months. Again the good news is that the letters have all reached their destinations.
Collectors are able to conduct transactions via the internet much more quickly than via mail – at least you run the chance of mail delays only one way!
In recent years most of my business has been via my web site and emails. I mail far fewer price lists to customers and receive far fewer want lists and orders via the postal system. Conversely we receive substantially more business overall via emails and our web site. Other stamps dealers who use the internet tell me they are having the same experience.
I ship larger orders to some overseas customers via FED EX to avoid the postal system delays. FED EX is more expensive but their delivery service is fantastic. I have sent and received parcels to Europe which have been delivered in two days – and in one case a parcel was delivered from Germany to us over night.
I will note that letter mail to and from Germany takes about seven days whereas letter mail to and from Austria takes 60 days. Parcel mail to and from both countries is less certain.
I have been giving short reviews of each new Scott and Michel catalog issued for areas we stock. In the past 6-10 years there has been a most significant trend – each year’s catalog is substantially unchanged.
Scott catalogs have fewer changes than Michel but neither have had enough price or listings changes to merit collectors spending the increased prices for new catalogs.
Michel used to thoroughly revise sections of each specialized catalog every year. These revisions would add and delete variety listings and carefully update prices for each stamp in the revised section. These revisions were very useful to most collectors and provided a good reason for buying updated catalogs. Unfortunately these major revisions have occurred less and less often and most of their yearly catalogs are essentially reprints of the previous year’s catalogs.
I just received Scott Catalog Vol 4 listing Liechtenstein and Luxembourg. Neither country’s prices showed any changes form last year’s catalog. The Memel listing also duplicates last year’s listing.
R Schneider Stamps
PO Box 978
Iowa Park TX 76367
Office (618) 213 5004
Fax (618) 213 3596