7 Real Questions Asked by my Clients
The Stamp Man's Top 7 Recommendations Right Now
The backbone of our business is in the personal relationships we have developed with our clients.
Selling on a one-to-one basis is where we are most at home.
Sure, e-mail and the internet are important to us too…
But, nothing works better for both us and our buyers than a first-name basis personal service.
We take great pride in this service we offer our clients and always do our best to:
- Get to know our clients and what drives them in their collecting desires
- Find the stamps our clients are looking for to build, enhance and improve their collections
- Supply premium quality examples of stamp rarities at a fair price
- Deliver promptly postage free and with a no quibble returns policy
- Make the entire process of using us as a philatelic partner as enjoyable and fulfilling as it should be
Today, I thought I would bring the world of face-to-face client relationships to the less personal electronic world.
I had the idea I could do this by sharing with you 7 real questions clients have asked me in recent months.
And, in this email, I offer you the exact answer I would give today if asked those same questions again.
It is as close as I can get through this medium to a personal service.
First question please…
1. Have you got anything nice right now for under £100 you would recommend?
Let me have a look for you…
Ok, there is one stamp I have that really stands out:
Australia Victoria 1897 'HOSPITAL CHARITY' 2½d (2s6d) red-brown, very fine cancelled-to-order with MELBOURNE 'OC 22 97' first day circular date stamp.
Used. SG 354
I think this is the best value I have for under £100 available right now.
Its design is a work of art and beautifully cancelled.
What makes this one extra-special though is that it was cancelled on the first day of issue of this stamp on 22 October 1897. That makes it extremely rare.
Despite this, I am only asking the normal SG catalogue price of £80. I have not added the premium you would expect to see to take account of it being used on the first day of issue.
It is a much rarer stamp than its catalogue price would suggest. To illustrate, my stamp is the only one appearing on a google search at the moment available for sale.
Available for just £80
2. Do you have any Chinese stamps just now you would recommend as an investment?
I recently added a few Chinese stamp acquisitions to our website. I would suggest this famous set of Chinese stamps is the safest bet I have at the moment as a long term buy and hold investment:
China 1894 60th Birthday of the Dowager Empress (first printing), set of 9 to 24ca rose-carmine with part to large part original gum.
The Dowager Empress stamps were China’s first commemorative set of stamps, issued in 1894.
The Dowager Empress of China, Tzu-hsi is a key historical figure being one of the most powerful women in the history of China.
Obviously, when it comes to future investment potential I don’t have a crystal ball. Nevertheless, I am happy to recommend this to you since:
- This set of stamps has shown over 100% growth in value in the past 10 years as the Chinese stamp market has come of age
- There are estimated to be 20 million stamp collectors in China and growing meaning the demand is there
- I am able to offer you this at a 29% discount today giving you a big margin of safety on your investment
Available for £2,500 (normal price: £3,500)
3. I’m looking to add something to my British Commonwealth collection at around the £500 mark, what would you suggest?
I have a really nice example of a classic stamp from the Falkland Islands, which is yours for £550:
Falkland Islands 1912-20 £1 black/red, SG69.
Top marginal example with part centre guide (R1/4).
Brilliant quality unmounted with original gum (hinge mark on face of margin only).
Typical minor gum wrinkling but now very scarce unmounted.
Only 3,600 copies sold.
I’ve always loved this high value stamp from the country famous for issuing so many great stamps, the Falkand Islands. It is a real vintage King George V design and the colours red against black make it vibrant and bold.
The stamp I have is a top marginal example with full original gum. Despite this premium quality and rarity, I am only asking SG catalogue value for it.
It is a rare stamp anyway with only 3,600 originally printed and most being used.
It is extremely rare in mint condition and especially with all the gum still in place. Add to that the fact this is a marginal example and you have something you would do well to ever find again.
The Falkland Islands has been a really popular and growing area of interest in British Empire stamp collecting ever since the Falkland Islands War of 1982.
Available for just £550
4. What’s your best value stamp for under £200?
This is a really easy one for me as it is one of my own personal favourite stamps of all time. If you don’t have one yet, I suggest you take this chance to pick up four of them!
Canada 1928-29 50c 'Bluenose', nicely centred block of 4, lightly cancelled by individual fine strikes of Montreal circular date stamps, dated '5 JUL 39'.
Folded perforations (causing minor separation at top), and trivial bends, but a scarce and most attractive block of this popular stamp.
The famous “Bluenose” is widely considered “Canada’s finest stamp”. Some collectors think it the finest stamp design ever produced in the world!
Because of this acclaim, it is a hugely popular stamp and will always be sought after by collectors all over the world.
I’m only asking £195 for this beautiful block of four. Used single examples are quoted in the SG catalogue at a price of £52. On that basis, my offer price of £195 is 11% less than the value of the four stamps as singles.
This is excellent value when you consider I have attached no premium to the price to reflect the fact this is a much rarer block of four and difficult to find as such.
It feels almost trivial to also point out the cancellations are very attractive on this piece, making it even higher quality.
All in, this philatelic beauty is excellent value at this price.
Available for £195 (SG Catalogue Value: £220+)
5. Have you got any nice stamps you are willing to do a deal on right now?
In my humble opinion, all the stamps I have on offer are nice. And, they are all priced fairly already. I don’t operate on big profit margins so have limited scope to “do a deal”.
Oh, wait a minute though, there is one stamp I can think of…
I bought it over a year ago and I thought it would sell quickly, but it has hung around. No idea why, as it is a ridiculously rare stamp and looks massively under-valued.
I suppose, seeing as I have not found a buyer for this, I would grudgingly drop my price on this one. Do you want me to show you it?
Here it is…
Cyprus 1880 (1 Apr) ½d rose, type 1 overprint on GB, plate 19, lettered "JE”, fresh colour with above average centring, excellent perforations and full original gum (with just a trace of a hinge mark).
Minor toning but an attractive and desirable example of this key rarity, much above average, with impressive provenance and associations, being the right stamp of the horizontal pair formerly in the Richardson collection (RL 6/7/1960, lot 157), which was once attached to the block of 4 in the Royal Collection.
Only two sheets issued, and most were used. Accompanied with British Philatelic Association certificate (1971).
(SG catalogue price: £5,000) Mint. SG 1
This was the first stamp issued by Cyprus in 1880. It is the Cypriot equivalent to the penny black.
This example is from a rare printing plate where there were only two sheets issued. Most of the stamps from those sheets were used for postage.
It is a major rarity of the British Empire.
It has the highest possible provenance as it originally came from the Royal Philatelic Collection of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. It's a real privilege to own this stamp.
It's bizarre but this stamp has sat in the SG catalogue price unchanged for 10 years at a value of £5,000. It may be that it has not traded in the open market during that time so there is no benchmark against which to gauge its current value.
However, I have held it for over a year now and it has not sold. That might just be because potential buyers don’t know I have it. Who knows…
Because of this, I am letting it go today for the massively discounted price of £3,000 (40% off).
This is a real bargain in my view. Buying at this price gives you huge potential to make big on this stamp by selling in the future at a much higher price.
You can read more about this stamp here:
Yours today for just £3,000 (40% discount)
6. I know you offer some big ticket items, but what would be your star item for under £100,000?
My showstopper at that price level needs no introduction. It is one of the most famous stamps in the world:
Great Britain 1935 Silver Jubilee 2½d Prussian Blue, SG456a. An exceptional and very rare block of four of the unissued colour being the most iconic error of colour in GB philately.
(Very lightly hinged on the top pair).
An exceptional rarity and the first block of four of this famous stamp I have ever seen.
SG Catalogue price for unmounted mint single stamps is £18,500.
Accompanied by a certificate of authenticity from the British Philatelic Association (BPA).
The Prussian Blue is the most iconic error of colour in British philately. This is the only block of four I have ever seen. It is a major rarity and showpiece.
You can read more about this famous stamp here:
I’ve always found the Prussian Blue stamp sells quickly whenever I am fortunate enough to have one. It is so iconic and with such a great story behind it, there are always new discerning collectors looking for one.
As an investment, it has proven a sound bet showing annual double-digit long term price appreciation.
I am willing to sell this philatelic gem for £70,000. When you think that the stamps individually have a catalogue value of £64,500, this is not really a big premium at all for something so much rarer.
Owning something like this would make you the envy of every philatelist. Every auctioneer would relish the chance to have this as the featured lot in their next auction catalogue.
You can be that proud owner today for £70,000
7. If you had to pick one stamp as an investment hot tip for this year, what would it be?
That’s a question where I prefer to leave all emotion at the front door.
When it comes to hard-nosed investment, I would always recommend buying something which:
- Has shown strong recent historical performance
- Is very rare
- Is in very fine condition
- Is in an area currently showing high levels of demand from a broad collector base
- Remains priced below the level which would seem appropriate for its rarity and levels of demand
This stamp ticks all those boxes:
Bushire 1915 (Sept) Coronation 10ch brown and deep green, SG21.
Very fine used example with part '13 X 15' circular date stamp.
Only 66 issued.
Accompanied by a Royal Philatelic Society certificate of Authenticity (1978).
This stamp was issued in Bushire, a city on the southwestern coast of Iran, when it was under British occupation.
Only 66 of these stamps were issued making it exceedingly rare and hard to find in this quality.
Stamps from the Middle East have been showing strong increases in value in recent years fuelled by a rising number of affluent collectors.
This is demonstrated with this stamp which shows growth of 171% in value over the past 10 years. Most of this growth occurred in the last 5 years as the market started to take off.
It is also up from £3,000 to £3,250 in the SG catalogue over the past year. That upward momentum is still very much in action.
Quite often the SG catalogue value (based on the “Part I” catalogue published in August 2018) lags behind current market value.
At the current price of £3,250, this looks a sound investment bet in the near term.
You can secure this today for £3,250
Any other questions?
If you have any other questions you need answered about the stamps featured in today’s e-mail before purchasing let me know.
You can also reach me on +44(0)1534 639998.
I wouldn’t hang around. Clients often complain to me that they try to buy stamps from my e-mails only to be greeted with the “SOLD OUT” sign on the website when clicking through.
I’m sorry about that but there is nothing I can do. I do not have multiple copies of these stamps to sell – just one of each.
Finally, if you have any question of your own you would like to ask me directly, please respond to this e-mail with YOUR question.
CEO, Just Collecting
PS. FURTHER READING - I normally groan with despair when reading what journalists write about stamps. However, I would recommend reading this intelligent piece of journalism from Forbes on stamp investing in the link below.##
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