Monthly Archives: August 2010

  1. Colorado Postal History

    Among the many different types of stamps and covers to collect, one of the more interesting is state postal history and covers. Each state has its own rich history and most states have collector societies devoted to advancing collecting of local postal history. Recently, I came across
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  2. The Double Dip

    Double dip used to be two scoops of ice cream on a warm summer night. Now it means a recession that never ends. Economists are predicting a "lost decade" like the one that Japan has been enduring for nearly two decades now, with low economic growth and high unemployment.
    It's hard to know what is really going to happen. Most economic forecasts predict that everything will continue rosy when business is good and that everything will be unendingly gloomy when things are bad. The beginning of the fall 2010 season in philately has begun and there are some trends to report. We had an auction this week, and the number of bidders was up 10%. The average price for what we sold was steady to improving. US stamps show some weakness, especially in the under $200 stamps. Broad areas such as Banknote issues (US Scott #135/229) are very soft and sales are immune to price cutting which indicates further weakness ahead (That is, when you cut your price on these stamps and then cut them again there

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  3. The APS Show

    The APS show that was held in Richmond this past weekend was quite a success. The venue was attractive and the attendance was excellent. Dealers reported brisk sales and lots of interest.
    I always enjoy APS conventions and have only missed a few in the last forty years. When I was young, Apfelbaum was in part a show dealer and we had a show stock and did the bourse circuit, travelling to twenty exhibitions per year. The stamp show circuit is a world of its own. You work Thursday to Sunday, travel home on Mondays and try to take a day off before you are off to the next venue. In the 1970's scores of dealers were on the circuit either as sellers or as buyers who combed the shows for that week's hot items. You saw your fellow dealers more often than your family. Friendships developed and so did feuds. Two old stamp dealers of my acquaintance maintained a feud over as many years as I knew them. The origins of the fight were lost in the mist. Each told me the reasons differently and in

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  4. Saving the APS-Part II

    When it comes to matters of money, people vote with their feet. If a business or organization gives good value it will thrive. The fact that the membership of the APS has been declining has many factors but, most significantly, membership is not seen as important enough by many stamp collectors to spend $45 a year on. The major benefits of APS membership -sales, insurance, and publications can be obtained on line from other sources. We need to make the APS a value again, especially for new members.
    The APS should assemble a new members package similar to the restaurant and store books many cities put together for tourists. I know that Apfelbaum would give a $25 or $50 off coupon on any purchase to new APS members (it costs us far more than that for each new customer that we get from our Linns ads). I am sure that many other dealers would do the same. Linns could probably be induced to offer a subscription discount and maybe a Scott catalog discount. By marketing this idea to APS dealers

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  5. The Last Year

    The annual APS convention (which is this weekend in Richmond) is held each year in August and it provides a good opportunity to look at some of the trends in our hobby over the last year. Organized philately has taken a hit as membership in the APS slid another 10%. If the society keeps up its record of dues increases it will soon find that it has no members at all. In the age of the Internet, one can collect stamps and be part of the philatelic community without philatelic society membership. The APS needs to find some way to make itself relevant to modern philatelic times. I think members want services like fast efficient expertizations, inexpensive insurance, and rapid turn around sales medium. They don't need a philatelic Parthenon in Bellefont.
    Stamp prices and collecting interest have been very stable in this difficult economic climate. Though the dollar has gained about 20% against the Euro, the price of Foreign stamps has remained strong. Unusual or scarce collector material

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  6. The New Apfelbaum Web Site

    We've just introduced our new web site and I invite you to take a look. It provides the usual selling tools (links to our auctions etc) but besides that it has links to Apfelbaums corner a series of articles that my grandfather wrote in the 1960's and 1970's. It has the Apfelbaum philatelic library- a series of intersting stamp articles that we reprinted fom the 1890's and that were selected for interest by the late and great editor of the American Philatelist Bill Welch. There are selling tips and buying tips and new articles and links are added dailey. If you like philatelic reading, be sure to take a look.

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  7. APS convention In Richmond August 12-15, 2010

    The American Philatelic Society annual convention, called Stampshow, will be held in Richmond, Virginia August 12-15. The APS has an annual meeting and convention each summer and moves the event around the country in an attempt to give geographical access to collectors who wish to attend. The APS has fallen on hard times in the last several years. Membership has dipped to a tad over 35,000, from a high of 60,000 plus. An ill conceived and poorly executed plan to move the central office and expand the library has cost the society millions of dollars that it could not afford. Bad hiring decisions led to a weak management team. And all this was exacerbated by a deep recession and the fact that the Internet has made specialty societies and specialty publications far less critical to philatelists than ever before.
    Still, being a life long Philadelphia Eagles football fan has given me an appropriate philosophy. Though always dissapointing and never as good as they could be they are the

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  8. First Issues of Ecuador

    First issues of every country have always been popular with stamp collectors. Many collectors collect first issues of the world and there has always been a tremendous appeal to casual collectors to acquire the first issues of the countries that they collect so that the number ones and twos of most countries sell extremely well. The problem is finding them.
    Ecuador first issues are among the scarcest of any country in the world. The literate population of the country in 1865 was tiny and the commercial correspondence was small. Add to that the fact that any domestic correspondence was unlikely to be saved. In our August sale we are offering a specialized
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