Collectors, dealers, volunteers ensure the shows will go on

“The goal of a stamp show is to meet the needs of a diverse constituency.” That quote served as the basis for discussion at the recent “Summit on the Future of Philately” spearheaded by the American Philatelic Society (APS). In reviewing the report that came out of the summit, I’m happy to discover the participants deservingly gave a lot of attention to the topic: The future of stamp shows and dealers – How are we doing planning shows? The discussion certainly reveals America’s leading philatelists are not giving up on local and national stamp shows, even though some in the hobby feel the events are being crushed by online auctions and consumer-to-consumer e-commerce sites such as eBay and Amazon. They identified the need to “rebrand shows to something that may attract new collectors.” Continue reading →

Collectors on the hunt for ‘experimental’ kiosk stamps

The first 18-digit code version of 2016 British-style horizontal artwork postage labels sold briefly from an experimental kiosk machine at a Vancouver specialty Canada Post centre when it opened Oct. 31.

There is a rush on by some dealers and collectors seeking a new series of illustrated “experimental” computer-vended Canadian postage labels. They are being sold from recently-installed dispensers installed on kiosks at three 24-hour “Concept Store” postal stations in British Columbia, Alberta and Ontario. Like the previous program launched in late 2012 and cancelled seven months later, there was no official public announcement about the current stamps. Staff were notified internally about the “New print-on-demand postage service at concept stores!” via Canada Post Magazine in October. The colorful ‘print-on-demand’ issues, which feature five different landscape paintings by Canadian artists, first went on sale Oct. 31 at the new downtown Vancouver main post office.They resemble similar self-stick “Post & Go” labels sold in Great Britain for more than 10 years. Continue reading →

Saskatoon Stamp Club president talks ups and downs of the hobby

Saskatoon Stamp Club President Ernie Wlock at the 54th Annual Saskatoon Coin and Stamp Show and Sale, held Oct. 29-30 in Saskatoon, Sask. (Photo by Kathy Hartley)

Ernie Wlock, the long-time president of the Saskatoon Stamp Club (SSC), recently announced his plans to retire from his role as president by the end of the year. Wlock, who’s also a director-at-large with The Royal Philatelic Society of Canada (RPSC), is known around the country for his philatelic philosophies. Since joining the SSC as a member in 1991, he has encouraged its members to actively participate in the hobby as well as the club’s activities; and since becoming club president in 2004, he has made it his duty to promote the club and the hobby to non-members, too. “I’ve done what I wanted to do with the club,” said Wlock, whose two stints as SSC president ran from December 2004-November 2008 and December 2010 until next month, when he will step down. Continue reading →

Stamp auction results pushing strong market

While it has become somewhat fashionable to talk about how stamp collecting is a dying hobby, the actual market has a very different indication. Logic would tell us that since the number of stamps isn’t going down, a smaller collector base would mean less competition for stamps, and a weak market with prices dropping like a rock. That’s not what I have seen. Recent stamp auctions, such as Eastern Auctions’ sale a few months ago, and Daniel F. Kelleher Auction’s recent New York sale, show us that demand is strong for high quality stamps, with great prices being seen on both sides of the border. It would be easy to dismiss this as investors just getting excited, but investors usually don’t get excited about such obscure fields as postal history and Maritime bisects. They want the flashy stamps with high rarity and predictable demand along with some liquidity. When a collector buys high end stamps, he may be hoping for a payback when he sells, but that is secondary to his collecting goals. Continue reading →

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