Friday, October 26, 2007

Best buys on the net?

Over the years, I have made some terrific finds on the Internet. I made my first purchase of a stamp collection over the Internet while still in college. I responded to an add posted on the Usenet group rec.collecting.stamps. This was in the days before the Internet became the world wide web, when it was all text based interaction, and there was no such thing as E-bay. There was a post to the newsgroup by a gentleman selling a bunch of Israel stamps he had inherited. I think the whole collection cost me $50. Out of this collection, there were some really nice items. There were 2 of the early booklets (B3 and 3a, I believe) exploded with all interleaves mounted on presentation sheets. Additionally, there were some nice FDC's, including an FDC of #55 with a half tab. Not bad for $50.

Once e-bay came along, the number of interesting items available for sale increased dramatically. So to did the bargains. Up until recently, I think the best deal I made on e-bay was when I bought a lot that was only described in the title as "Israel Cover". The description was a little more helpful, and I purchased the cover shown here for the $5 minimum bid. This is a registered FDC for B7, which is worth a considerable bit more then my $5 investment.
Then, this week, I bought a rather large collection on e-bay. It was advertised as 2150 Israel covers and stamps. There were a handful of pictures included in the description, including one that showed a set of 7-9 singles. I must have been looking just minutes after the person posted the lot, because the lot was listed with a Buy It Now price of $195, and the 7-9 singles alone catalog for $400. I quickly bought the lot, and it came in the mail a few days ago. It was 4 large flat rate priority mail boxes stuffed to overflowing. I have just started looking at it, but in addition to the 7-9 set, there are 3 sets of 907-9a, 2 copies of the imperf version of the postal museum souvenir sheet, and 1 copy of the Ardon Windows imperf souvenir sheet included. Among the covers were about a dozen artist signed presentation folders (including 907-9 and 1041). Not to mention the 2000+ covers. Should take me another few weeks to decide what I need from the lot, and what I will break out and list back on e-bay. I think at a minimum, I will be able to get my $200 back, and add a bunch of nice items to my collection.

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