Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Another post, finally

Looks like May is a lousy month for my blogging. I took a vacation last week to the Houston, TX area. I had planned on visiting the 2 stamp stores I found online to see if they had anything of interest. However, neither dealer I e-mailed responded, so I ended up not going to the stores. However, I have been tracking E-bay, and making a handful of purchases, the most significant of these being a set of all 26 plate blocks of C1-6.

Other than that, I bought a small set of the 1.00 Town Emblem plate blocks with different dates, a tabbed FDC for the 1952 Tel Aviv issue, and a 10ag over 32ag accounting tax revenue. Another half dozen or so items off the want list. Only a few thousand to go. If I can ever finish inventorying my plate block collection, I will be able to go through my post office openings collection and really knock the want list down.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Long time, no post

It has been a while since my last post. For the most part, this is because I haven't had much time to work on stamps. I still check E-bay for new items, but in the last few weeks, I have made only 1 purchase, and that was for an $0.80 sheet of blank Massad stamps. I know the seller probably got it for free at the post office (when I was in Israel in 1999, I was able to get one from the clerk for free), but I couldn't resist it for $0.80.

I have been reading on the Virtual Stamp Club message board about the large drop in APS membership recently (over 4,000, nearly 8% of all members). I used to be an APS member, but dropped my membership years ago. I really saw no benefit of staying a member. I didn't use the sales circuits, and the American Philatelist magazine never had any articles that interested me. The magazine was geared to people who would think nothing of spending a few thousand dollars on a stamp, not to the average collector.

This is similar to the reason that I stopped subscribing to Linns. I would read the weekly magazine in under 10 minutes. I guess if my collection was Great Britain or US stamps, it would be more relevant, but the vast majority of the time, there was nothing for an Israel collector. When I let my subscription lapse, they sent a letter saying how the hobby had lost another collector. Nothing could be further from the truth. I am still actively collecting, I just find that I can do so without paying for a Linn's subscription.

How can stamp collecting grow? My best guess would be to capture the average collector. Rather than targeting only the high end, someone should be targeting the 95% of the collecting population that sees buying a one hundred dollar stamp as out of there price range. In my previous blogs, I posted about a lot of items that are harder to find, but the vast majority of them can be found for under $100. I can't recall every spending more than a few hundred dollars for a set of stamps (Doar Ivri tabs, First Airmails), most of the time, I buy items for $5-10 each. I think that is what the vast majority of collectors do as well.