The APS StampShow was in Sacramento this past weekend, and I was there for both Saturday and Sunday. On Saturday, I arrived at 8am for the SIP General meeting. I was disappointed with the lack of attendees. Off hand, I think there were fewer than a dozen people in the room. It was nice meeting witht he few people who attended, but I think only one of the other attendees would be considered a local (from Davis), the others all flew in for the show. I did suggest we try and meet using some of the online meeting tools that are so prevalent now, so let's see if that happens. After the meeting ended, i went downstairs and registered for the show. The lines were long, and the volunteers were not very efficient, so it took about 30 minutes to drop off my registration form and get a badge (not sure why it took so long).
After that, I took a quick trip home to pick up the kids. They both wanted to attend the stamp show, and were driving Mindy crazy asking when they could go. We got back to the show around 1:30, and spent the next 3 hours in the youth area, the buckets of stamps area, and walking around seeing what else was at the show. We visited the cachet makers bourse, where I tried to convince Julie to see what it takes to put her artistic talents to use making cachets. After purchasing a few special covers for the girls, we wandered around the show a bit, but I couldn't really look at much since the kids were there. I did manage to see the 3 auctions that were at the show, and was able to inspect the lots I was interested in.
We left the show around 4:30, and headed home. The kids had bags of stamps (and other goodies) that they got at the show. I needed to go back on Sunday to look by myself.
I got a late start on Sunday, showing up around 1pm. I was able to find 1 special cancel I needed in a box of Israel covers at a random booth. I spent some time chatting with Ed Rosen at his House of Zion booth, and was able to actually sell him some stuff. I stopped at the IGPC booth to see the Israel items they were selling. Unfortunately, the Israel sales booth was staffed by a guy selling Norway stuff, and he didn't know anything about Israel stamps, but I was able to look through the stock they had sent with him to find a sheet I needed.
I went tot he Harmer auction and found that I had won a lot of about 700 Israel first flight covers in the auction the night before, so I was able to pick that up instead of paying for shipping on it. I now have a bunch of work to do to figure out what I have in the box, and more importantly, what is missing. Most dealers were packing up by 3pm, so I bid the show good bye and headed back home.
Not sure when the next big show I will get to is. Maybe AmeriStamp expo in NY? That is in 2016, so it is a bit far away, but who knows.
Monday, August 13, 2012
This year, the annual APS Stampshow happens to be in Sacramento, CA. Since this is about a 30 minute ride from my house, I plan on attending. Saturday, there is a general membership meeting of the SIP at the show as well. Anyone else planning on attending?
Thursday, July 19, 2012
With the third press sheet from Israel just starting to show up on E-bay, I was surprised to see the 2nd sheet (Children's Games) show up on E-bay with a buy it now price of only $93 with shipping of $4. The price direct from the philatelic service was $88 including shipping, so this listing represents less than a 10% premium over the new issue price. The previous low price for this sheet I had seen advertised was $125. Lets hope the philatelic service sees the writing on the wall, and stops releasing these.
Thursday, July 5, 2012
In the June 2012 bulletin distributed to subscribers, the philatelic service is offering a 24 page prestige booklet for the upcoming Tel Aviv 2013 International Stamp Exhibition. This features the birds of Israel. The price is shown as 49 NIS (about $12). I placed an order for one, but it is unclear to me if they will be sent soon, or only after the show. Time will tell.
Sunday, April 1, 2012
I had to travel to Santa Clara California for 4 days of meetings last week. I have been going to Santa Clara pretty regularly for work, but usually it is a quick day trip on the company shuttle. This is the first time that I have had to spend overnight, let alone 3 nights. Knowing that Ed Rosen's House of Zion is based out of Redwood City, about 20 minutes up 101 from Santa Clara, I decided to see if he would have some time to meet. After a few e-mails, we agreed to meet at his office on Tuesday night.
When I got to his office, I was surprised at what I saw. It was a small warehouse filled with boxes and boxes of stamps. He had pulled a few collections of plateblocks out for me to look at, so I started with those when I got there. I didn't find much of what I needed, but managed to fill in a half dozen or so. Then I started going through boxes. I found a box of Israel flight covers that I thought looked interesting. It must have had 300 covers, although many were duplicates. Unfortunately, Ed priced it at $750 dollars, which was a lot more than I was expecting. I guess E-bay has distorted my view of the stamp market, because I would expect a large lot like this to fetch under $300 on E-bay.
Next up was a bunch of Artist signed FDC's. These he priced at $9 each, which is about triple what I would have expected to pay. Just this week, I picked up about 50 artist signed presentation folders on E-bay for less than $5 each, and I tend to think these are much more interesting than just the normal FDC signed by the artist, since each is designed by the artist and expands on the theme of the stamp. Is my sense of the market distorted due to the low prices I can pay for items on E-bay, or is it that the retail prices that I was being charged haven't adjusted to the new reality of the stamp market?
The last box I looked at was a large box that Ed had labelled postage. It was basically just random sheets and part sheets that were sold at face value. I picked up a bunch of plate blocks I needed for my collection here, and probably would have found more had it not been so late. I called it a night after about 3 hours of looking through the warehouse. We will see if I make it back there anytime soon.
Monday, February 6, 2012
In today's Linns stamp news, there was an add by Marlen Stamps offering the entire uncut press sheet for the Children's Games issue for $159. So, if you missed out on the offer to get it from the Philatelic Service (although, I am not sure if it is sold out or not, so you might have a chance to still get it from them), and don't want to chance an e-bay auction (where the lowest start price I have seen is $150), you can get it for just about double the new issue price from Marlen.
Thursday, February 2, 2012
Last year, when Israel released the first uncut press sheet, lots of dealers on E-bay were asking for ridiculous prices for imperf singles, tabs, plate blocks, and sheets. With the release of the second sheet, the same thing was seen for the first few weeks. Now, I am seeing the complete press sheet listed for a buy it now price of $200, and auctions with a starting price as low as $150. While this is still more than 2x the issue price, it is a far cry from the 20x price on the first sheet. When the speculators find that the crazy prices aren't going to materialize, I expect that we will see next years sheet fail to sell out.
Thursday, January 19, 2012
It was brought to my attention today that the 6.10 NIS Chemistry stamp from January 2011 has a plate variety. It is in the tab and not the stamp itself. If you look at the blue block with the C in it, you can see that the year 2011 is printed there. On some of the stamps, the top part of the blue wasn't printed completely, so the year is missing. This is a constant plate variety, and I am not sure how many of the tabs have it, but it is at least 1 on every sheet. Take a look at your stamps and see which variety you have.
While we are talking about plate varieties, the 5.90 NIS New Years stamp also has one. On the bottom row of stamps, the Arabic is different than it is on the other rows of stamps. It appears to be partially cut. All of the tab stamps have the incorrect Arabic, while all the other stamps have it correct. Luckily, I collect both tabs and plate blocks, so I have both varieties covered.