2020 approaches end – thankfully. We usually reflect on the ending year as having sped by too quickly – certainly not so this year. At least there is light in the COVID19 tunnel with the vaccines coming on board. It will be fantastic to have a family gathering next year. Basically we are skipping the holiday season altogether this year. Gathering the clan is not worth the risk so no one is traveling this year.
We want to thank you all for making this year our best sales year ever. Jill and I have been working feverishly to keep up with the orders. Jill has been doing more than her fair share of work as I have managed to break several bones in the past 14 months and am still working at a reduced pace.
The trend towards most of our customers ordering via our web site continues this year. We get 90% of our orders either directly from our web site or via emails. Times have changed dramatically as to how collectors buy stamps. The internet is winning. We still like to communicate with our customers and welcome phone calls and emails. Unfortunately we no longer sell at stamp shows as I can no longer handle the physical part.
Not only has 2020 been a great year for our business, I can assure you that it has been a great year for action houses. Bidding in stamp auctions has become very competitive this year. We follow all of the major auctions in the US and Europe. Auctions in the US are doing better than those in Europe but auctions ever where are doing well. We are active bidders in many auctions and find ourselves paying substantially higher prices to acquire better material.
The good news is that we have been successful in acquiring new and replacement stock. We have lots of new collections to break down and list. I must admit that it takes me much longer to organize, list new items and scan images now than normal. I an able to use only one hand – fortunately it is my right hand. Still it is amazing how many tasks require two hands!
This month we have updated our German area price list part 1 which starts with Albania and goes through Croatia. Next month we will update our German states price list Part I. This list includes Baden through Hannover. In recent years German states states have increased in popularity and we have had to work very hard to restock sold out items and add fresh material.
Christmas Stamp Want Lists and Gift Certificates
You can influence what you get for Christmas by creating a stamp want list for family members. There is still time to let your family know what you want for Christmas! Some of my customers’ best stamps come to them at Christmas. We always get quite a few orders from family members for Christmas presents – almost always because the collector thought to provide want lists for family members! If you are tired of sweaters and ties for Christmas you might try distributing Christmas want lists for stamps.
Another way to add to your collection is to let family members know they can give you a gift certificate for stamps. We will provide certificates in any amount. (We add an extra 5% to the value of every gift purchase – e.g. a $100 dollar gift certificate costs $95.) We will mail the gift certificates the next day after we receive an order for them.
OUR NEW ISSUE SERVICE
If you collect new issues from the countries we stock , now is the best time to sign up for our new issue service. We are now just completing all new issue shipments for 2019 and are getting ready to line up our 2020 accounts.
We can supply anything philatelic issued by Austria, Germany, or Luxembourg. Most of our customers receive issues as listed by Scott catalog but we can also supply coil strips, sheetlets, booklets, postal stationery, FDC, etc.
We can provide both mint and used new issues. Just let us know which issues you want to receive and we will send issues on a quarterly basis – four shipments a year. Alternatively, we can ship all new issues for the year in one year set as soon as received – normally by early December of each year.
Stamps will be sent with an invoice. You don’t have to pay until you receive the shipments. (Most of our new issue customers though prefer to give us their credit card information and we charge the shipments when we post them – it is also our preferred payment method as it reduces our workload.)
If you would like to start new issue service just let us know what countries you want and we will start the service with the first issues in January of 2020.
AUSTRIA PHILATELIC SOCIETY US
We will be starting our 21st full year of the Austria collectors club in January. The main stay of our club is our quarterly journals and our club auctions held twice a year. (Our auctions contain a lot of better Austria stamps and covers at very attractive prices.)
Now’s a great time to send us your $16 dues for a one year membership in the society. Make your checks out to Jill Steele (our club Treasurer) and send them to me.
Periodically we list the areas that we particularly need to buy. Naturally we buy complete collections too but the items listed below include stamps we especially need.
Deutsches Reich SC 1 through 78 *, ** and also Michel listed varieties * & **.
Germany setenants 1924-35 * , **
German offices and colonies *, ** and also town cancels.
German states – *, ** F/VF or better
Danzig & Memel – *, ** singles and sets and Michel listed varieties *,**,U.
Post WWII locals – Germany and Austria – *,**, U.
German Privat post issues – *, **, U.
Luxembourg 1910- 1935 *, **
PO Box 978
IOWA Park TX 76367
Office 940 213 5004
FAX 940 213 3596