Fall Market

As we start the fall the stamp market is pretty good. The economic difficulties of the last five years now have faded from affecting philately too seriously (although it would be nice to be able to say the same about general economic conditions). Prices of more ordinary material is weaker but overall nice properties still find ready buyers. And most importantly, the long made prediction that aging baby boomers would lead our hobby to a new wave of health and popularity seems to be happening. We are seeing more new bidders and buyers in our sales than we have in years. Organized philately crested about 1970. That year Linns had over 125,000 subscribers and the APS had over 60,000 members. It is hard to estimate the numbers of collectors now because in the Internet age collectors can engage in stamp collecting at levels below the radar and so are quite difficult to count. Surely the tens of millions of stamp lots listed annually on EBay must be going somewhere or sellers would stop listing them. My own sense of the stamp market going forward over the next several years is one of optimism. Liquidity and popularity should mark our hobby. And as the Internet age induced phenomena of diffusion of philatelic material continues to occur, prices should rise as well. Thirty years ago we were a hobby of several thousand people each with huge quantities of philatelic material. Increasingly now we are a hobby of many tens of thousands of people holding smaller quantities of better philatelic material. Motivating smaller collectors to sell is proving problematic and should impact prices as material continues to dry up.
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