Who says lockdown is bad for sales?

The Stamp Man

The Stamp Man

2020-10-22 16:42:52

Online Sales of Collectibles Boom During Lockdown

As the UK moves towards different forms of another lockdown, the economy begs for mercy. 

I really feel for those businesses dependent on face-to-face selling. Their position is impossible.

Meanwhile, online businesses are flourishing. The digital revolution is accelerating.

Online auctions and dealers in collectibles are reporting a surge in online buying activity.

At Just Collecting we are recruiting more new customers than ever before.

Our website traffic has doubled and interest for our rare collectibles is leading to more demand than we have supply.

To illustrate this, take a look at some of our recent sales…

Autographs & Memorabilia

Our sales of autographs and memorabilia have more than doubled during the trading period from April to September.

This sale of an exceptional and unique miniature handwritten manuscript from the author of Harry Potter, JK Rowling was probably the most eye-catching…

JK Rowling signed original work – SOLD FOR AN UNDISCLOSED SUM

This is one of those very special items we get excited about. The book contains 31 handwritten pages in JK Rowling’s own hand. 

Inside she lists everything a first year will need at Hogwarts. Also, it contains drawn illustrations and includes JK Rowling’s signature on the title page.

It is the most exciting piece of Harry Potter memorabilia we have ever handled and is now with its new owner in Germany.

The market for Harry Potter memorabilia has been soaring of late. We also had a handwritten note signed by JK Rowling in our July online auction, which realised seven times its estimate.

Another rare and interesting item we sold recently was this exquisite 18k gold ring, which was gifted by Queen Mary to a member of the royal household in 1885…

Queen Mary Gold Ring – SOLD FOR £10,000

Queen Mary was just 18 when she gifted this ring.

It is inscribed on the inner: “From HRH Princess Mary Xmas 1885”. The hallmarks on the inner ring reveal it was likely made by the renowned silver and goldsmith Samuel Whitford in London in 1879.

It also came with superb provenance as it was consigned to us by the recipient’s grandson.

Jewellery from the British royal memorabilia seldom appears at auction. As such, this was a rare opportunity to own an intimate piece of the royal story. It was no surprise to see it sell immediately when we featured it in an e-mail to our subscribers.

Rare Stamps

We are currently seeing a surprising number of people taking up stamp collecting for the first time or rekindling their childhood hobby into something more serious.

Most are retired individuals with substantial savings and investments. They are also motivated by the need to find a safe home for some of their wealth to protect themselves against the terrifying economic devastation caused by the pandemic.

Most notably, we are seeing an increased demand for “the classics” such as this sale of the rare “Cotton Reel” stamp from British Guiana…

British Guiana 1850-51 12c black and indigo ‘cotton reel”– SOLD FOR £25,000

This somewhat understated stamp is considered one of the great stamp rarities of the British Commonwealth. 

The renowned “Cotton Reel” stamps are named for their resemblance to the base of a cotton reel and are considered by discerning collectors as a thing of primitive charm.

The British Commonwealth stamp market is currently showing very strong demand and rising auction realisations, which bodes well for rising prices in the future.

We also very recently just sold a wonderful example of the most famous stamp in the world, which needs no introduction…

1840 1d mint penny black, plate 9 – SOLD FOR £20,000

This is the finest quality you could ever hope to find of a penny black. It is in mint condition with all its original gum still intact and not a single condition defect to mention. 

It is also from a rare printing plate and you don’t see them often in this quality. Plate 9 accounted for only around 5% of the total number of penny blacks printed.

Mint penny blacks have long served as a safe investment in rare stamps and I am confident the new owner now owns something which will prove a shrewd long term investment.

We also sold a mint example of the world’s second stamp, the two penny blue…

1840 2d blue, plate 1 – SOLD FOR £12,500

The two penny blue was issued contemporary with the penny black and therefore shares the distinction of being one of the world’s first two postage stamps.

The two penny blue is, however, 10 times rarer than the penny black.

This example came with exceptional provenance from the Dublin Post Office find and with a 2012 British Philatelic Association certificate of authenticity.

Our client got this for an exceptional price paying just £12,500 compared to the Stanley Gibbons catalogue value of £38,000. A bargain if ever I saw one.

We put our money where our mouth is

It has not been all about selling for us during lockdown.

In fact, I have personally spent much more of my time buying than selling in the past six months.

So much so, we have now invested in securing over 2,000 new high quality rare stamps, autographs and memorabilia during this period.

Such is our confidence in the market, we have been willing to invest heavily in our future. More importantly, we have invested for you so that you can continue to enjoy buying the best quality rare collectibles for both pleasure and investing.

We will progressively add our new acquisitions to our website over the next month, so I suggest you visit our website regularly to see what’s new.

As you know, the most special items always sell fast, so you will want to be there first.

Final Clearance: 50% discount

To make some space for our new stock, I am willing to offer you 50% discount on three rare stamps.

These stamps have sat on our website longer than I would like so I think it is time to let them go at a price you can’t say no to.

I don’t know why these three stamps have not been picked up, but that is the way with stamp dealing…

There are always a few stragglers for no apparent reason, regardless of the quality of your buying.

Now they can be yours for 50% less than they deserve to sell for.

Aden 1949 Royal Silver Wedding 1½a and 10r, in lower marginal blocks of 4, the 10r with imprint, unmounted original gum. Unmounted Mint. SG30/1 

Retail Price: £160

Clearance Price: £80


Falkland Islands 1878-79 4d grey-black, from foot of sheet with imperforate margin, showing "FF" of papermaker's watermark, SG2a.

Mint example with part original gum. Minor toning and gum disturbance, but still fine for this rare issue, particularly with perforations and centring being far above average.

A rarity in unused condition, being the first such example we have handled for many years.

Retail Price: £3,750

Clearance Price: £1,875 


New Zealand Postal Fiscal. 1931-40 "Arms" 35s orange-yellow, watermark 43, "Wiggins Teape" paper, unmounted mint with original gum, SGF181.

An exceptional quality example of this key rarity.

Accompanied with a British Philatelic Association (BPA) certificate of authenticity (2002).

Retail Price: £8,000

Clearance Price: £4,000


To pick up one of my clearance bargains e-mail me now at mike@paulfrasercollectibles.com or call +44(0)1534 639998.

Grab your lockdown bargain today.

Kind regards


Mike Hall

CEO, Just Collecting

PS. If you have high quality rare stamps you are looking to sell or interesting quality rare autographs, historical documents and memorabilia, please get in touch. As I said, we are even more interested in buying right now than selling.

Enjoyed this email? You may also like:

Share on social media
Write a response...

The bookmarklet lets you save things you find to your collections.

Note: Make sure your bookmarks are visible.


Click and drag the Collect It button to your browser's Bookmark Bar.

collect it