I’ve been noticing the increase in stamp collecting among my customers for months now but July and August have been our busiest two months ever. Collectors have really been working on their collections! We have been swamped with online orders and want lists as collectors have been filling those blank spaces. We, of course, are happy for the business and for being able to stay busy during these months of isolation. The long running trend for our business is that we get more and more orders on our web site, a steady stream of want lists, and a continuing decline of orders from our price lists. We are getting close to either discontinuing mailing monthly price lists or severely reducing the number of lists we maintain. It is difficult for us to keep both the printed price lists and our web site listings up to date. We have been putting more effort into keeping the web site up to date and adding images. We now try to keep the web site listings up to date with what we have in stock. We add and delete items as we acquire and sell them.
This month we have updated Germany Part D which covers the German semi-postal issues. There have been many price changes most of them downward.
Next month we will update our Germany Price list E which includes Germany back of the book- air mails through Berlin. There will be lots of new items on this list including varieties, Feldpost and propaganda issues. We are also working on our web site cover listings – adding new covers and reorganizing our listings hopefully to make it easier to locate items. It has been a long slow process!
Scott Catalogs 2021 Volumes 4 and 5
Neither of the new catalogs have any significant price changes for any German or Austrian related area. Liechtenstein and Luxembourg listings are essentially reprints of last year’s listings with 2019 issues added. Again I see no good reason for acquiring these catalogs.
As active auction buyers, we watch all auctions in the US and overseas for good German and Austrian collections. The market for collections has been getting stronger and stronger in recent years with a major upturn occurring during this year. Good collections are selling at the highest prices I’ve seen since the 1980’s. .
The trend for the bigger auction houses is to hold their auctions live on the internet. This trend has increased bidding on lots and resulted in higher realizations overall. On line auctions improve the chances of bidders absent from the auction site to compete against floor bidders. Traditionally most of the better material has gone to floor bidders but this has changed. Auction houses also do a much better job of showing images of the stamps in collections on line. This improvement has done as much to increase bidding as live online bidding. Buyers now have a realistic idea of the content and quality of each lot.
In August I placed what I thought was a good bid for an exceptional German states collection offered in the Gert Muller auction in Germany – the starting bid for the collection was 2000 Euros but the online scans clearly showed stamps worth much more. I placed a bid based on the scans and anxiously awaited results – the lot sold for a bid of 22,000 Euros! With commission and fees the buyer spent at least $30,000 US.
Rasdale’s August auction did exceptionally well for sellers also. Every German area lot sold and all lots brought well over the estimates. Some collections sold for three or four times the estimates. There were no bargains and almost all good lots sold to internet bidders.
The auctions that I have found to have the best collections, best descriptions and images are
Rasdale Stamps Auctions Chicago
H.R. Harmer New York
Cherrystone Stamp Auctions – New York
Heinrich Kohler Auktion – Wiesbaden
Wurttembergisches Auktionhaus Wiesbaden
Daniel Kelleher Auctions, Danbury CT