NEWSLETTER JUNE 2019
I was pleased with trade during May. Two very good Fairs and better than average postal sales. There were more new customers this month than usual and some returning as well, partly due to the Wants List Book that I produced a few weeks ago. More than ever, the variety of countries being collected is notable.
I have decided to press on with more items for the www.robstineextra.com site and to widen the coverage to include many cheaper items. It is good to show the better stamps and sets so you can see what you are buying but such items can be above the budget of many collectors.
I was away twice during May. Firstly I had a birding holiday in Belarus followed by four days birding around Devon and Cornwall. Both trips were very successful and I did not think about stamps at all apart from answering a few e-mails. It is amazing to think that I can be in a forest in Belarus and see when an order is coming through on an e-mail!
UPDATES ON STOCK
Australia new issues: QE2 Birthday, Anzac Day and the mini sheet for the Perth Stamp Show plus a set for the Research Station from AAT.
Canada new issues: two items, desserts and baseball.
Commonwealth. This month I have devoted some time to the pre 1936 lot as such stamps are in high demand. The colonies sorted were: Sudan, Swaziland, Tanganyika, Trinidad + Tobago, Turks + Caicos, Zululand, Zanzibar, Uganda, Transjordan and North + South Rhodesia. Lots of high values as well as near complete run-throughs of this period. More to come next month!
I priced up a lot of Norfolk Island which took my stock from 1990 to 2000 plus filling many of the few existing gaps.
Denmark, Finland + Norway. More new issues for these three countries. This year, the theme for Europa stamps is birds and the Danish stamps featuring Mute Swans are excellent. As usual, the face value of the stamps is high, making them expensive but they are nice pictures!
France. Another dose of recent France in my effort to catch up. Many of these stamps were issued in 2014 and 2016 although I also filled a small number of gaps in my earlier range.
German States. My German contact sent me some good Prussia and Lubeck as I continue to expand my range of these issues. Condition is always a concern with such ancient stamps but his material is always crisp and clean.
Germany 1872-1936. I already had most stamps during this period but in splitting a collection I did find a few new items.
Germany “Areas”. A small lot of some of the occupations during the first World War such as Poland, Romania, Belgium and “Ob Ost”
Germany: Saar. This was the best lot of Saar I have ever seen, being almost complete in fine used condition. Just missing about three stamps with excellent condition throughout. These have already proved popular at this month’s Fairs.
Greece. As Greece has been quite popular lately, I was pleased to get this lot which expanded my range up to 1936.
Haiti. Previously I had created a small stock of these but not listed them. So while adding new material, I was able to create the required list and you can see it in Latin America E-N. They did like their overprints!
Hawaii + Guam. Just a small lot of quite pricey stamps. Very hard to find.
Hejaz-Nejd. These stamps were the forerunners of Saudi Arabia and I have never had them in stock before.
Honduras. A nice little lot of pre 1936 stamps which managed to find many of my gaps in my existing stock.
Hungary. I have been neglecting Hungary but this is the start of the “fight back”! I have four other collections and lots to work on. Time is the barrier but I will get around it.
Iran. A range up to 1936 provided me with several new stamps.
Lebanon. I did not realise how few of the French period I had in stock. This little lot helped to rectify that although there is a long way to go.
Netherlands. There were just a few new items for stock in this early range but the condition was good and the coverage strong.
Philippines. The first time I have had any stamps of this country. In truth, I had two lots sitting on my shelf for some time but I have just got around to pricing them up. You could never call this lot comprehensive but you have to start somewhere and where do you see a comprehensive lot of the Philippines?
San Marino. This was like gold dust: a collection with many of the older sets and singles, all in superb condition. No mint stamps in sight! These stamps are very hard to find.
Quite a good month with an above average number of orders. Sales of Australia and Commonwealth were again strong rivalled by France, Canada, Poland and Italy. Apart from that there were strong sales of “the rest of the world”.
Just two Fairs during May but both were exceptional. The monthly Wokingham Fair was even better than good recent events. The Potters Bar Fair was similarly busy with many good sales. This was particularly reassuring as it was the first Fair I have organised on my own. Of course, Christine and I ran fairs in many venues for 15 years up to 2006, but the stamp world is very different now! There are less customers and less dealers. Fairs are now very quiet in the afternoon when previously we had things to do up to 4 p.m. The venue itself, the Wyllyotts Theatre, was good apart from the fact we needed two rooms and some customers do not realise there are two rooms despite signage! There are two more Fairs in Potters Bar later this year (1 September and 17 November).
I hear retail sales in the country are flat, but for me at least stamp sales are solid. Long may it continue!