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October 2017

 





Handfull China kiloware sells $A600!
 


 

  The Lemming PERPETUAL dreamers on ebay consistently amaze me.  Stampboards members pointed out September 17 that a handful of China office kiloware had sold for £343 after the usual manic bidding - near $A600 as I type this.

There was lazily, just ONE photo in the auction and that is shown nearby. The description simply
said “CHINA COLLECTION. 90 GRAMMES EARLY KILOWARE”   And in the manner of the typical clueless ebay seller, the entire description only said - "CHINA COLLECTION. 90 GRAMMES EARLY KILOWARE."                          
 

Only on ebay - Bunny Bidder Frenzy!

 

  The strategically placed stamps on this handful, showed mostly 8f letter rate items with a modest SG catalogue value, but clearly some of those were damaged, and being stray stamps from sets of this period, have little actual value in the REAL stamp world outside of ebay, most of us live in.

The seller’s start price was £19.99, and it I owned it I’d had JUMPED at that figure if anyone offered it to me - indeed I’d take far less!  However the weird and wacky world of ebay dreamers, is not the real world most of us inhabit, as we sadly often see demonstrated.

These dreamers, based on ONE staged photo, and a meaningless few word description, went into the usual ebay Bunny frenzy, and bid this handful of office snippings up to £343. 
REAL dealers will sell you a pair of Mint AND CTO 1932 5/- Sydney Harbour Bridge stamps for that hefty sum!

The IQ of these brain dead bidders will probably not add to double digits BETWEEN them.  If you want to play Lotto, you go to a newsagent.  You get a LOT of Lotto tickets for $A600.  And probably more chance of hitting the jackpot than these clowns were betting on.

ONE photo only loaded for the lot, which shows to me it was a carefully orchestrated offering, with anything half decent deliberately placed on top of the heap, or else other images would have been loaded.  No stamps of even MODERATE interest, nor postmarks. Just a range of letter rate value stamps torn off mail at the time.

When buying stamps - the same as buying anything else, you bid on
WHAT you can see.  Not what you "dream" or “hope” might be in the lot.  “Maybe it has a full used set of all the Mao Tse Tung in there as well?”  Idiots.  “Maybe” it has a Penny Black in there, as well as a £2 Kangaroo, and a USA Zeppelin set as well?  Buy those Lotto tickets.

 

Similar price to 1872 World Album!

  Bidding near $A600 based on that mediocre handful of non-sets - you'd need to be totally INSANE.  I listed up today an 1872 Oppen's World Stamp Album, with no stamps added for over 100 years, and real cat about £17,000, for the same kind of price, that some fool has just paid for about £30 SG cat value, of often obviously damaged used China mail snippings.  

Ever seen a 144 year old Stamp Album?

 

  That ancient Oppen's album at least had many dozen photos loaded of contents, to make some kind of informed judgement from!  tinyurl.com/OppensAlb was the link, and I am sure it will sell fast, and is mentioned here as an example of what REAL stamps you can buy for $A600.

Nothing whatever had been added for over 100 years to the old girl.  Indeed I cannot recall ever owning a 144 year old stamp album before.  Pretty cool survivor, and it had a set of Victoria 1d, 2d and 3d imperforate “Half Lengths” and many other classic oldies like that, many from Europe, not often seen in original albums.

 

Monarchs with Moustaches!

  The wonderful thing about stamp collecting is that is allows folks on EVERY budget to participate. The New York ladies shoe seller who paid ~$US10 million for the unique 1¢ 1856 British Guiana on a whim, is the top end of the totem pole for sure. 

Many collectors are time rich and cash poor, and will likely never splash out $10 million on a single stamp!  HOWEVER, they have just as much fun sorting and arranging their stamps, and it is certainly true that a lot of fun can be had even with stamps which only have a catalogue values of just pennies each.

As a living example of that, stampboards has a long thread of 100s of images of stamps where the placement of the postmarks has left some pretty amusing looking stamps, and are a cheap and fun sideline collection to start upon.  None of these stamps shown have any great value.

 

+

“Moustaches on Monarchs” etc!

  Everyone has envelopes or cigar boxes of spares and duplicate stamps, and fishing though those will locate a few cancels that are just as humorous I can bet, and cost to assemble them - near ZERO!  tinyurl.com/StampMos is the discussion, with 100s of similar image examples in there.  I had a good chuckle looking at it right now - take a peek, some very funny cancels shown!

One old chap I know buys a bag of cheap grade kiloware and goes though it a few handfuls a time with his grandchildren when they come to visit.  He says even in this ipad/facebook/youtube/text messaging age, they really have fun fossicking through it all with him, looking for “funny cancels” and kids LOVE soaking a handful of stamps too.

 

Seven Seas “ASC” Cat out now.

  After a hibernation of fully seven years, the most recent 32nd version of “The Australasian Stamp Catalogue” has just arrived (or will soon) into dealer stocks around the world.  The last edition published was in September 2010 in a much smaller sized format.

The long-awaited 2017 edition comprises 400 x large A4-size colour pages, listing, pricing and illustrating the stamps and postal stationery of the Commonwealth of Australia, Australian Antarctic Territory, Christmas Island and Cocos (Keeling) Islands, up to February 2017.

 

First new Edition for 6 years.

  The “ASC”, as it is affectionately known by collectors and dealers alike, lists all perforations, dates of issue, designers, and background information, about all issues.  For the latest version, a much more sensible layout has been adopted with images adjacent or near to, their relevant text listings.

That was a major failing with the previous Edition, where a photo would show on one page, and you needed to scroll back 3 or 4 pages to find the related text and rices. Pretty hopeless to use for all concerned, and great to see that has been sorted out now, and the new edition is laid out very well.

Editor Graeme Morriss said the delay getting this out lied partly at his feet as he needed to get up to speed with the complicated editing software one needs to master, for such jobs.  Better him than me - I’d have no clue how these things are laid out.
 


“InDesign” software to the rescue!

  “First I bought a MacIntosh computer (late 2013) and had to learn how to use it.  Then I bought the “InDesign” editing program, and spent 2014 being totally bamboozled by it.  In February 2015 I went on a training course, and finally learnt what to do” Graeme posted on stampboards.

Many listings show hefty price increases - so buy the new ASC now, and learn which issues have increased in value!  Anyone using the old seven year old version is now way out of date with the market.  Some of the increases are pretty significant. 
 

Japanese inset version ASC $3,000.
 

  The 1970 “Definitives” Post Office pack goes up from $450 to $650, and the scarce Japanese language insert version goes from $2,500 to $3,000.  I have both in stock, and have not had the latter EVER in 40 years of dealing. These really are scarce.

In 1970 Australia issued this GIGANTIC face value pack, and almost none sold.  Add it up - FACE was
$10.47 as you can see.  ‘No big deal’ you might think today.  Well near 50 years back that was huge.  A First Class letter then cost 5¢!  (Witness the 2 different 5¢ Queens here) so $10.47 bought you 210 x First Class stamps.  Today a First Class domestic letter is $1.50, so 210 of those is $A315 in today’s money.

Would YOU pay $A315 TODAY for a new issue Post Office pack?  Of course not, and certainly almost no-one did in 1970, so they are super scarce, and retail MANY $100s despite being on sale nationally at capital city Philatelic Bureaux. 

Better still, the Australian PO had a large booth at the
“EXPO 70” Exhibition in Osaka.  They added a JAPANESE language booklet inside the Definitive pack, outlining the stamp issues, and their background in that local language.  You could only buy this at the show I understand.

MASSIVE flop - almost none were sold!  The Japanese people were still VERY poor then, and slowly rebuilding the country after WW2, and were not about to spent a month’s wages on a foreign stamp pack!  A PO staffer who was there told me in 1979, that only about 40 such packs were sold as he recalled, and the rest were destroyed. 
 


AAT Base Cancel FDC’s popular.
 

  I noticed high prices for AAT packs - from mid-1990 they are often 3 to 5 times face.  Antarctic BASE cancel FDC sets are often up a lot - often double current catalogue levels.  These Base Cancel sets of 4 are eternally popular globally, and not as many were done as you might imagine.

The new edition ASC has a larger type font - and that is VERY savvy given the age demographic of the main reader group.  Like me!  The whole feel of the book is very good I must say, and the A4 size is a TON more comfortable than the old size .

This edition being 400 pages should of course have had hard covers, and not the thin card covers.  I made that suggestion to Graeme well before it was printed of course.  Anyone with the most basic negotiation savvy would have obtained hard covers via the Asia printer by saying -
“OK, we have a deal, just as long as you toss in hard covers”.

Sadly Seven Seas MD John Higgs is lacking such vision, and a golden opportunity was missed to have the catalogue last far longer, and look and feel so much better, for zero extra cost!  I’ve edited and owned and published stamp and coin magazines, and know with printers, cover stock weight is the LEAST of their concerns if it means losing a deal.

The new books already weigh in at a hefty 1.4 kilos, so 100g extra for hard covers would not affect postage even, as PO weight steps are per kilo, after the first Kilo step.  Maybe after good reviews it will sell well, and need to be reprinted and then Mr Higgs can put his negotiating hat on at last - better late than never!

Similarly a golden opportunity was missed to include the Australian States listings. The last A4 versions of the ASC covered all States very neatly in just TEN pages.  The art and text is all done long ago.  Adding 10 pages to 400 adds near zero to print and post cost, but VASTLY increases the global appeal and sales and relevance. 
 

Listed at $2,500 the set 6.

 Seven Seas Stamps in recent years had one of their less inspired ideas to produce a separate “Australia States” catalogue which flopped spectacularly I’d guess, and I sold not a single copy, even though I sell a lot of this material.  Use the “KISS” principle folks - and bring back the perfectly adequate 10 page listing you once had in every Edition, and you are on a winner.  Those are a few “minuses” of this new work.

The main PLUSSES are …

  The other PLUSSES of this catalogue are - it has a very handy Postal Stationary listing from 1913 - very useful for most general collectors. Ditto the long and detailed listing of all Australia FDC, PO Packs, Kangaroo and Koala reprints marginal markings, Decimal Booklets, PNCs (Stamp and Coin Covers) Maximum Cards, and even a full list of the CPS (Counter Printed Stamps.)

The red hot CPS
“30c ADELAIDE 2016” popular Type B set 6 mint is illustrated nearby, and is listed at $A2,500 in the new ASC. This, following the full Stanley Gibbons listing, and Renniks listing at $4,500 a set 6, ensures the global demand gets stronger still.  A true “Postal Emergency” issue, and one with a very bright future I feel sure.

The identical looking set of 6 inscribed
“$1.00 ADELAIDE 2016” sells better than ever these days at $A75 the set I am finding, as those who collect by SG or Renniks or ASC etc, find $75 a lot more palatable to the pocket, than several $1,000s a set to complete their collections! 

Wonderful that real Postal Emergency issues can still occur in 2016, and the important fact the Australia Post Bureau in Melbourne
never sold, stocked, or handled either issue is the reason for the huge global prices and demand for these, as absolutely no foreign agents or standing orders clients ever received either set.                                  
 


 

Catalogued $A160 in new ASC.

  All the official Post Office packs, and postal stationary of Christmas Island and Cocos Islands and AAT are also listed and priced in this new edition which is also a good selling point.  Did you know that the Christmas Island 1970 25¢ Registered envelope is cat $150 mint and $250 used - well you do now!

Even the more easily found 1959 30¢ value Registered envelope shown nearby is Cat $A160 used.  Folks that do NOT own this catalogue often wrongly assume these are akin to Australian stationary of this era that generally has minimal resale value, so
“Knowledge Is Power” as I constantly type.

Very good value at only $A65 plus post, for a 400 page, large A4 format catalogue in full colour, and I’ve mailed out many this week.  ALL readers should support the local catalogues.  Strong sales make for a strong and robust hobby, and $65 is HALF the cost of the current PO Year Album - I kid you not.  Think about it.
 

Obscene parting payment to Fahour

  Australia Post has revealed its former chief executive Ahmed Fahour was paid a total of $A10.8 million after quitting earlier this year amid loud and widespread political and public uproar about his fat pay deal.  The “Herald Sun” Knight carton nearby after it was announced, perfectly sums up Community feeling.                                     

Goodbye and Good Riddance Fahour.
 

  In its remuneration report released this month, Australia Post confirmed that Mr Fahour was paid a total $6.8 million in the 2017 financial year, sweetened by an additional $4 million in long-term incentives awarded from 2015 and 2016.

Mr Fahour's $10.8 million parting pay - which includes $1.75 million in superannuation, is well above the $5.6 million estimate circulating in February 2017, in the lead-up to his abrupt resignation in the face of criticism.  I recall reading future Superannuation payments are also earmarked for this spiv.

The bonuses reflect what the Australia Post Board described as Mr Fahour's
"sustained success" in transforming the government agency from a letter delivery business to a parcels and ecommerce business in line with contractual obligations.

The Australia Post Board should be pushed out as well, for ever agreeing to anything like these sums.  Fahour did not
“transform” anything, except to double the cost of mailing a letter, and slow down EVERYTHING in the near non-functioning mail processing centres.  Ebay and Amazon created the massive parcel post boom - here and in EVERY country on earth.  NOT Fahour.
 

Superb UPU Specimen Book.

  It is always pleasing to see superb new books appear on the market, well printed, well bound, and filled with masses of new material not otherwise accessible in one place.  One such book many readers may not be aware of is James Bendons "UPU Specimen Stamps 1878-1961."  

 

Bendon UPU Specimen book.

 

  The prestigious Royal Philatelic Society London has just awarded it the 2017 Crawford Medal, for "the most valuable and original contribution to the study and knowledge of philately published in book form, during the past two years."  I think that speaks Volumes about the content of this huge tome.

A massive new work - the first Edition for 28 years.  Covering the entire WORLD.  About 534 pages, 1,800 colour illustrations of Worldwide UPU issued Specimen stamps, CTOs and postal stationary.  Superb
"leather look" grained thick covers, hard bound in library buckram, with gold tooling.  Superb British printed and bound quality - not the usual cheap Chinese junk!

A superb and comprehensive book of Global reference.  Weight near 3 kilos, all cello shrink wrapped for gift giving etc. With 2 x blue satin page markers and superb quality BriteWhite paper stock.  A real top quality production, and you’d be surprised how often you will use this - I certainly have been!

My long time dealer colleague James Bendon phoned me from UK, and asked if I wanted a large carton of these, and I said yes as it was such a fabulous work, and they arrived, sold in days, and for 100s of collectors are an essential library purchase.  I ordered many later cartons, as they have sold well - very pleasing.
 

Strong Emphasis Australia & States.

  James spent months liaising with Dr Geoff Kellow, ACSC Editor, on all the UPU cancels and overprints known on Australia and States and Papua etc, and this is the ONLY place all these listings and photos are to be found in the one place.  The CTO cancels are strongly collected here, and get stronger each year.

Read the glowing REVIEWS of this book from "Gibbons Stamp Monthly" and from the Scott Catalogue/Linns Editor Chad Snee, and others etc, etc - tinyurl.com/BendonRev   My price is lower than locals ordering direct from UK, when the high UK postage is added. Many more pix here - tinyurl/Bendons

James is NOT a young man, and as he said to me in his wonderfully plummy English voice - "trust me Glen, this update took me 28 years, and this will definitely be the LAST edition of these I'll be producing!"  I only have a few left from the last large carton from UK, so order NOW if you want it at this price.

 

Rhodesia and Kangaroos in Bendons.

  When they are sold out, this type of book is the type of thing that is eternally sought by future collectors, often at several times the issue price.  James was for decades the main "go to" man for all global UPU Specimen stamps. A specialist dealer in this area, I sold him some rare pieces that came my way, including some from a South Pacific nation PO archive.  He saw it "all" over 60 years or more in dealing.  

More eBay Brain Dead Madness!

  Take a good look at the 1d Cape Triangles stamp photo on the left shown nearby. This garbage is what passes as an “illustration” from many of the ebay scammers and spivs.  NEXT to it, at right we have inserted the REAL stamp pair, that the Queen owns.

A blind man at midnight can see immediately it is a badly damaged cut-out from an old book or postcard, or a trading card set of ‘Rare Stamps’ etc. This rag was thinned, bits torn off, and just plain ugly, and NOT on the “Laid” paper the catalogues clearly tell us this stamp exists on.

This was offered as the Cape of Good Hope “Woodblock” colour error.  A SINGLE is SG 13c, Cat £30,000. and a se-tenant pair of course is more than double a single.  The last one auctioned fetched £75,000 in 2004 at Spink.  Her Majesty the Queen purchased this very pair.  Only 4 pairs of these are recorded.
 


 

eBay quality grade on the left!

  So where would one expect to see such a super rare piece offered?  Feldmans?  Or Siegels, Gaertner or Spink Auctions of course.  Nope - good ole ebay!   And not even an auction … just a mere “Buy It Now” price - a steal at just a Bunny Bait £700, for a £75,000 pair in the REAL world.

This is the entire description from this con -
“1861 QV Cape of Good Hope SG14 4d Pale Milky Blue Laid Paper Used Part Pair - Laid paper is very thin in places (see scans)”  It was offered for £700 as "No Returns Accepted".  (Ebay sellers/buyers are often not very smart, but SG 13c is the 1d Blue error, not SG 14. Durrhhh.)

Never mind, that the merest modicum of research would show anyone with a brain that this exact pair resides in the Royal Collection, so it hardly likely to be getting peddled by Her Majesty alongside all the misdescribed and bogus detritus on ebay!

Idiots. A spiv seller stamp spiv “zafiracar” and a clueless buyer.  Another eBay match made in heaven.  Buyer asked on stampboards if it was genuine, and was told the obvious news.  However like all dreamy
“Bargin Huntas” on ebay, refused to accept his £700 ‘BARGIN’ was not the real deal, despite being clearly told it still resided in the Royal Collection.
 

Donation to Charity scorned.

  StampBoards members proved he’d been conned, and suggested he sent it back for a refund.  I suggested he donate £300 to charity as a ‘Thank You’ to them, for saving himself from his own gross total stupidity, and of course like all these greedy and clueless dreamers, that was never going to occur.  All we got was abuse.

Our genius buyer was planning to mail his piece of landfill garbage to the Royal Philatelic Society London for a
“Certificate” and waste another 50 quid on top of the first £700.  A very experienced FIP Judge on stampboards also strongly suggested he do just that, to make the story ever weirder! 

The IQs of some of these ebay buyers truly does not get into double digits I am convinced.  I reckon he’d buy a scruffy photo of the unique 1¢ British Guiana for £500 if it was offered on ebay.  Full discussion on this mad and sad train wreck for anyone interested -
tinyurl.com/EbaySpiv 

The MINUTE you see these con-men mixing up selling kosher material in the normal fashion, and then nonsense like the Woodblock pair and the Africa fiscals as
"PRIVATE AUCTIONS" you know he has something serious to hide.  I have typed that 1000 times, but many ebay buyers are thick as 2 short planks, and just never get it.
 

 


 

 

 

                                   

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GLEN $TEPHEN$

Full Time Stamp Dealer in Australia for 35+ years.

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 (PTS London) and many other philatelic bodies.

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