This temperatures have been as hot as last year. So far we have hit 50 100 degree days with quite a few over 110. The summer started out hot but with decent rains keeping everything growing but the last thirty days have been completely dry. We are hoping for more pleasant weather this month. (The same day I drafted this we received a hard shower that was not predicted at all. We got almost an inch in 15-20 minutes. Ten miles away they received no rain. Such is Texas weather!.
I took a break updating our online data base. We are keeping up with removing all items that sold so that customers won’t be disappointed when they order something but we need to finish updating the section not revised so far this year. Our listings are getting so long it makes keeping everything current a real challenge.
We did update our Germany semi-postal listings and also published a printed price list for the semi-postal issues. We are mailed that list to our customers who prefer to order from lists rather than online.
We have been reviewing most catalogs published which list German and Austrian areas. Catalog publishers have been doing very little tracking market changes in prices or revising existing listings when new information is discovered. Both Scott and Michel catalogs are becoming yearly reprints of the previous year’s listings.
We are going to review new catalog releases in the future only when there is something to say. There is little need for collectors to buy catalogs even every few years because there are few significant listing and price changes. (I might add that the market for German area stamps is very strong and market prices for quality material are on the rise.)
As active auction buyers, we watch all auctions in the US and overseas for good German and Austrian collections. The market for singles, sets and collections has been getting stronger and stronger in recent years with a major upturn occurring during the past three years.
The biggest price increases are for the truly scarce stamps and better collections.
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 online bidding. Buyers now have a realistic idea of the content and quality of each lot.
For collections the best auctions are Rasdales, Kelleher, and sometimes Dutch Country. They provide good descriptions and images.
The auctions that I have best overall for Austrian and German material are
Rasdale Stamps Auctions Chicago
H.R. Harmer New York
Cherrystone Stamp Auctions – New York
HBA (Hanseatische Briefmarkenauktionen OHG) Hamburg
Heinrich Kohler Auktion – Wiesbaden
Dutch Country Auctions, Wilmington DE
Daniel Kelleher Auctions, Danbury CT
I should also mention that collectors interested in buying at auction should check out stampauctionnetwork.com. They list most of the major auctions conducted in the US and Europe. One can access each auction from this site which greatly simplifies the bidding process for buyers.
We always offer treasure boxes which consist of mostly German and Austrian area stamps and covers but can contain just about anything philatelic. We constantly buy collections which often contain stamps and covers we don’t need or have the time to go through. As we sort through acquisitions we always have a few priority medium boxes nearby which receive a steady flow of stamps and covers. We try to make sure there is enough value in each box to justify our price and seem to be successful as we almost always get multiple reorders from collectors who order them. The boxes are good for collectors who like to hunt for varieties as well as Scott listed material.
For most of this year I have been resorting stock books and integrating acquisitions into them. In the process we fill up many treasure boxes with stamps and covers, We now have a stock pile of boxes ready to ship.
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