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Is the market really dead?

coinnut86coinnut86 Posts: 1,850 ✭✭✭

I recently came across my husband's stamp collection that he inherited from his grandfather. He's near 50, with boxes of boxes of non cancelled stamps, mostly sheets. I know nothing of stamps and nor does he. They've been in boxes (plastic totes) for years. Do we just hold on to them? Is there something we should be looking for? I've only ever collect coins and know nothing of stamps.

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Comments

  • Time4aGansettTime4aGansett Posts: 383 ✭✭✭

    Really not much over the past 50 years worth much. Best bet is to go library and take out a copy of the Scott US Specialized Catalogue, peruse it and search for the stamps you have, then look up on eBay to see what the stamps are selling for.

  • 291fifth291fifth Posts: 20,692 ✭✭✭✭✭

    The great majority of unused sheets of US stamps from the past 60+ years will have to be discounted well below face value. Your local library probably has a copy of the Scott US Specialized Stamp Catalog in its reference section. Use it to see if you have any of the better issues. The prices in the Scott catalog are retail. You will actually get less, probably much less when it comes time to sell. Regardless. if you have no interest in them I would sell them for whatever you can get. Young people have no interest in stamp collecting so it seems unlikely that there will be any price rebound in the near future.

    All glory is fleeting.
  • CauponateCauponate Posts: 1
    edited December 2, 2019 6:08AM

    Yeah if your not interested in them, you should sell them. There are a lot of sites out there that has a guide of where to buy stamps like wheretobuystamps.

  • pruebaspruebas Posts: 2,824 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @291fifth said:
    The great majority of unused sheets of US stamps from the past 60+ years will have to be discounted well below face value. Your local library probably has a copy of the Scott US Specialized Stamp Catalog in its reference section. Use it to see if you have any of the better issues. The prices in the Scott catalog are retail. You will actually get less, probably much less when it comes time to sell. Regardless. if you have no interest in them I would sell them for whatever you can get. Young people have no interest in stamp collecting so it seems unlikely that there will be any price rebound in the near future.

    I don’t think even “old” people have an interest in stamp collecting either!

    Do local libraries even have copies of the Scott catalog anymore? I wouldn’t count on it. Librarians aren’t fools. Why buy them if few read them?

  • 291fifth291fifth Posts: 20,692 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @pruebas said:

    @291fifth said:
    The great majority of unused sheets of US stamps from the past 60+ years will have to be discounted well below face value. Your local library probably has a copy of the Scott US Specialized Stamp Catalog in its reference section. Use it to see if you have any of the better issues. The prices in the Scott catalog are retail. You will actually get less, probably much less when it comes time to sell. Regardless. if you have no interest in them I would sell them for whatever you can get. Young people have no interest in stamp collecting so it seems unlikely that there will be any price rebound in the near future.

    I don’t think even “old” people have an interest in stamp collecting either!

    Do local libraries even have copies of the Scott catalog anymore? I wouldn’t count on it. Librarians aren’t fools. Why buy them if few read them?

    My own library did have a set the last time I looked. I will have to check and see if that is still the case.

    All glory is fleeting.
  • ambro51ambro51 Posts: 13,480 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Depends a LOT on what denomination these sheets are. Regular 3 cent commemoratives, least valuable of all. IF you have high value stamps, $1 or $5 regular issues....that’s a jackpot. Good Luck

  • It's fun to add one to any stamps you use for postage.
    It probably won't reignite the hobby but it will make a tiny bit of interest to the addressee.
    Maybe.

  • MarkKelleyMarkKelley Posts: 230 ✭✭✭

    I realize you don't want to hear this, but the best use for most of them is to use what you can for postage. If you try to sell them, very few will be worth a premium and the majority will be discounted from face value.

  • JimnightJimnight Posts: 9,310 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I doubt that stamp collecting will die off.

  • JBKJBK Posts: 9,574 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @Jimnight said:
    I doubt that stamp collecting will die off.

    It already has, to a large extent. :/

    Stamps are still as nice and as historical as they always were, but there are so many fewer collectors that for all but rare stamps and a few niche parts of the hobby, the market has crashed.

  • bigmountainlionbigmountainlion Posts: 112 ✭✭✭

    There are way more older coin collectors than younger coin collectors, most collectibles have less buyers than before. There are still stamp collectors, just not as many.

  • Great time to be a stamp collector.
    I can buy most of the stamps issued over the last 100 years in unused condition for face value or less. Just mailed some items out using stamps from the 1930s.

  • pab1969pab1969 Posts: 617 ✭✭✭✭

    I still collect stamps for the pleasure of the hobby and not for profit. It is a great time to be a collector. I can purchase entire collections for pennies. That same collection would have been hundreds of dollars 20 years ago. I enjoy the time I spend working on my collection. I haven't bought a book of stamps from the post office in years. I have enough mint stamps for mailing to last me a lifetime.

  • koynekwestkoynekwest Posts: 8,690 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Coins are my main thing, but I've been collecting stamps longer than coins-I started with stamps in the late 50s. I'm still a casual stamp collector but I mainly like stuff like this one-

  • The hobby is dying but investment grade material (i.e., high grade and classics) are doing quite well.

  • 291fifth291fifth Posts: 20,692 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @LeDandy said:
    The hobby is dying but investment grade material (i.e., high grade and classics) are doing quite well.

    ... but for how long. From what I can see young people have absolutely no interest in stamp collecting. I don't consider any stamps to be "investment grade".

    All glory is fleeting.
  • I wouldnt put any serious money into it. However, I love the hobby and will continue to collect event covers. I’m not interested in the future value.

  • JBKJBK Posts: 9,574 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited April 26, 2021 9:21PM

    I recently purchased an event cover with a cachet and postmark from 1973 commemorating the swearing in of Carla Hills to a cabinet position in the Ford administration. She was the third female cabinet member in our nation's history.

    I then sent it to Carla Hills and she autographed it for me.

    A couple weeks from start to finish and I created a whole new collectable for under $5. :p

  • @JBK said:
    I recently purchased an event cover with a cachet and postmark from 1973 commemorating the swearing in of Carla Hills to a cabinet position in the Ford administration. She was the third female cabinet member in our nation's history.

    I then sent it to Carla Hills and she autographed it for me.

    A couple weeks from start to finish and I created a whole new collectable for under $5. :p

    That’s using the old bean!! Reminds me of a clip from Antiques Roadshow wherein someone Time magazines to the person on the cover for an autograph. Turned out to be an incredible collection and real history.

  • HydrantHydrant Posts: 4,680 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited May 1, 2021 5:16PM

    I knew a man whose last name was Scott. He died awhile back. He told me the stamp market was dead and never coming back. I miss that guy. His last name was SCOTT. Does that RING A BELL? If it doesn't...... it should.

    RIP MY FRIEND
    SEMPER FIDELIS

  • esquiresportsesquiresports Posts: 1,349 ✭✭✭

    With sports cards and memorabilia shifting more from collecting to speculating (in my opinion), I started looking back at some alternative pastimes. Thinking about stamps brought me back to my childhood, and I was very surprised to see the ability to purchase mint/mounted stamp collections going back to the 1930s for significantly less than face value. I have picked up some nice commemorative collections that come with nice background on each stamp, among other items. I look forward to sending to my dad for Father's Day. Maybe I am just getting old, but reading about the various commemorative stamps has been a great way to be reminded about American history.

    As a side note, I feel like the USPS didn't help the collecting community when it started releasing so many different stamps beginning in the 1990s or so. I am guessing that, much like overproduction of sports cards in the 1990s, it really turned off/priced out a lot of collectors.

    Always buying 1971 OPC Baseball packs.
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