Market Predictions-2021

It is always interesting to speculate on future winners and losers in the stamp market. Philatelic popularity is ever changing. In 1900, foreign postal stationery cut squares were a serious specialty that looked likely to continue in popularity. Today, almost no one collects them. In 1950, US precancels were avidly collected. Today there are few fans. In 2000,  numerically graded “perfect quality” common stamps were the rage. Now, after serious losses, collectors see them as the marketing sham that they were. Tens years from now I think the biggest loser will be US First Day Covers. FDCs are a relic of the 1950s when they first gained popularity. They were a nice adjunct to a regular US collection largely because the United States issued so few new stamps (In 1953, the USPS new issue total was three). Collectors looked for ways to expand their appreciation of new issues and First Day Covers were one way (as were plate blocks). Now with hundreds of issues per year, FDC collecting is the hobby of only a dedicated few (and those huckstered into it by mass marketing mail order houses). The resale value of FDCs is low and declining, especially lately. In large units we struggle to get 15c each for them (and the collectors have often paid several dollars each!). They are a bad performer and will continue to be. The winner in collecting popularity ten years from now could well be the stamps of Mexico. Mexico has all the hallmarks of a market waiting to explode-little concentration of better stamps in dealer hands, increasingly strong home economy, increasingly educated and successful expatriates. Its easy to predict increasing prices for China or India, but Mexico could be the real sleeper.

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