How prices rise

Stamp prices rise in the same fashion as most commodity prices. Stock prices, home prices, even gold show long term linear price rises that masks the fact that, for most short term periods, prices are quite quiescent and often even decline. For most of the 1990’s home prices were very stable after the run up in the late 1980’s and the decline of the early 1990’s. Home prices have declined in the past several years though they are still above their 2000 levels. But does anyone seriously doubt that, baring great economic collapse, home ownership is a good long term investment? Stamps move in a similar fashion. Long periods of stability with prices moving in a narrow range followed by a quick rise. We are seeing more new collectors in the market now as the baby boomers are entering the prime collecting age of 70-85. At this stage of life, intense physical activity becomes less enjoyable and the natural ageing process leads one to more inward looking pursuits. Dealer stocks are at historic lows and dispersed over a wider set of small dealers (both factors caused by the liquidity allowed by the Internet). As demand increases there will be little supply to match that demand. Prices should rise, perhaps quickly. Then collectors who have bought fine stamps during the period when they were more plentiful will be glad they did.

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