Philatelic Year 2010

The stamp market has ended the year on an up note. The year started strongly and had some weakness mid year but has come back quite well towards the end. Since the recession began three years ago prices for most material has come down 20-30%. This was a large decrease to absorb (though less than the housing market) and it kept many collectors from selling over the last few years. It is hard to know where prices are going to go in the next few years but most buyers and sellers have adjusted to the new price levels and we are seeing much more fresh new material on the market than we have seen in quite a while. Fresh material spurs collector interest which increases buying of all sorts of philatelic material so it is a market positive at all levels. A market negative is EBay. Its increasing fees and difficulty to do business with is pushing many of its sellers to the brink. One of the prominant growth engines in the stamp market over the last ten years has been the increase of sellers on EBay. These sellers need inventory and demand from this quarter has made up for the decline in show dealer buying as philatelic shows have dried up. Hopefully, as the middle class market in stamps improves this area will begin to show stength. Right now, unusual and high quality philatelic merchandise quickly finds a home at very good prices. But commercial, relatively common stamps in average collectible quality continue to languish.

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