After several slow sales months May turned out to be our best month of the year so far. After nearly 50 years of selling stamps, I still can not find a consistent pattern for when collectors buy stamps. The one trend that is consistent is that more and more of our sales are occurring on our web site rather than from our monthly price lists. We still have a core group of customers though who still don’t use their computers to shop for stamps, so we still prepare monthly price lists.
Buying on line has several distinct advantages for the customer – first his order is received by us in minutes and his stamps are enroute 99% of the time the next day. We try very hard to keep the listings on line up to date – if an item sells out we delete it from our listing the same day – so almost always all of your online order will be in stock. (That assumes of course that we don’t make mistakes – perhaps not a good assumption). We try to scan the expensive items and items which are out of the ordinary and for which pictures help with the decision making.
This month we updated part II of our German colonies price list. Our part I list last month was exceptionally popular and we sold quite a few of the better items. I suspect the same will occur for Part II.
Next month we will try to update one of our Austria price lists – we seem to be getting behind on Austria lists. We have been acquiring some very nice Austria items so our revised lists should have a lot of new listings.
Scott 2015 Volume 2
Volume 2 of Scott catalogs have few German or Austria related areas in it. Those few areas also have even fewer price changes than normal . We found a few price increases among never hinged items in Danzig and almost no other price changes. If you collect German and Austrian related areas only – you don’t need a new Volume 2.
THE AMERICAN STAMP DEALER & COLLECTOR
I have been recommending that our customers give this publication a try. This magazine is the newest and, I believe, the best periodical published today. Published by the American Stamp Dealers Association, this monthly magazine contains articles intended for both dealers and collectors. There is more philatelic information in one 80 page issue than a year’s worth of some other stamp publications.
The magazine has many contributors who write articles in each issue and always has articles on a wide variety of philatelic topics covering worldwide philately. The quality of the printing and photographs is top notch making the magazine a real pleasure to read.
If you subscribe to but one philatelic publication, I would recommend this one.
A one year subscription costs $19.95 from ASDA, PO Box 692, Leesport PA 19533.
The Euro is currently worth $1.09 – that is is a really favorable exchange rate for US buyers! The dollar continues to to be strong against most foreign currencies making collector buyer power the best it has been in many years!
Post cards versus Ganzsachen
Most collectors like to have some covers and cards in their collections – some collectors collect only these items.
When the collector of Germany refers to these items the most commonly used terms are ganzsachen, brief and postkarte.
The term “ganzsachen” means postal stationery and includes officially sold envelopes with impressed postage and post cards with impressed postage. (It also includes many other types of postally printed items such as newspaper wrappers, letter cards, postal savings cards, etc.) Ganzsachen items are listed by Michel in their “Ganzsachen Deutschland” katalogs.
“Brief” and “postkarte” are letters and post cards franked with postage stamps. These are listed in the Michel Deutschland Brief catalogs. The brief catalog price stamps on covers and cards for properly franked items. (Items over franked are valued at the price of the used stamps.)
MICHEL AUSTRIA CATALOG WILL BE RELEASED 5 JUNE
Werner Zielniewicz will have the new Michel Österreich Spezial 2014 (Austria Specialized), in German, includes about 100 pages of postal stationery, about 720 pp total, Illustrations are in color. Price is $76 postpaid to the US,
The release date for new Netto catalog has not yet been announced.
All Michel catalogs are stocked by Mr Zielniewicz and can be ordered from him at www.wernerzielnet.com or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Payment may be made via Paypal or US personal check.
A surprising trend for us is the increase in demand for Luxembourg stamps among our customers. For all of the years we have stocked Luxembourg, Luxembourg stamps have been the slowest selling area. Beginning in the middle of 2014 our sales of Luxembourg stamps have increase dramatically. Our Luxembourg sales are now rivaling our sales of Austria stamps as our second best selling area.
Naturally we are not suer why that is so. We have never promoted Luxembourg stamps when we advertise yet we are gaining new customers for Luxembourg at an increasing rate. I suspect there are not too many dealers who maintain a good stock of Luxembourg and collectors are finding us via internet searches. Once again the power of the internet impresses.
Since of sales have increased, we have been seeking out good Luxembourg collections and have been successful. We have several excellent collections waiting to be integrated into our Luxembourg listings. We hope to update our Luxembourg price list again very soon.
If you collect Luxembourg but have not thought of us for this country’s stamps – please do!
Michel Germany Specialized catalogs – In English
Michel is planning to publish updated versions of both of their English versions of Volume 1 and 2 of their Germany Specialized catalogs. The updated catalogs are currently scheduled for release in September.
The English versions are considerably reduced from the German versions – vol 1 in German has 1150 pages and in English 544 pages. Volume 2 in German has 1406 pages and in English 512 pages. Each volume will be priced at 84 Euro by Michel.
(More to come on these)
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