The State of the State Market-Autumn 2011

As we start the fall ,the stamp market is really pretty good. The economic difficulties of the last five years now have faded from affecting philately too seriously. Prices of more ordinary material is weaker but overall nice properties still find ready buyers. And most importantly, the long made predictions 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 that we have in years. The conventional wisdom is that philately crested as a hobby about 1970. That year Linns had over 125,000 subscribers and the APS had over 60,000 members. Those numbers have declined over the years but in the Internet age collectors can engage in stamp collecting at levels below the radar that were never possible before. 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. Engaging in any activity fifty years ago was more time consuming. One needed to subscribe to specialty magazines and go to clubs and stores. The Internet has made us a world of dilettantes. Buying sneakers, writing movie reviews or collecting stamps are each only a click away. We should not lose sight of this when we evaluate our hobby’s strength. One can collect casually now in a way that was not possible in the past.

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