NEWSLETTER SEPTEMBER 2018
I really enjoyed the hotter weather. My office is on the cool side of the house with the sun only coming round at about 5pm, so working conditions have been pleasant. On the other hand, many customers have taken the summer off and sales have been down accordingly. As you will see below, I have been able to add to my stock lists during the month and have plans to continue.
www.robstineextra.com is now coming into its own and I am increasing the range of items to be seen on it. We are now up to 2750 or so.
I did take a short break birding in Norfolk and meeting birding friends there. That was excellent as was the Bird Fair the previous day.
UPDATES ON STOCK
Australia. More new issues this month: Frogs and Reef Safari which are very attractive.
Canada. Previously I had updated my stock of Newfoundland and New Brunswick. This month I worked on the remaining Provinces: Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island and British Columbia.
Channel Islands. I have finally got around to listing these areas. So far, I have listed all the Alderney and about half of the Guernsey. My stocks are fairly comprehensive from the start to about 2013-4.
Commonwealth. I have made some progress on the excellent collection of QV-KG5. Some of the areas are: Bahamas, Bahrain, Bechuanaland and Bermuda, British Guiana, Brunei, British Virgin Islands, Maldive Islands and Morocco Agencies. This lot contained many of the high values and the condition is very good.
—Having beefed up my early range of Bermuda, I have also priced up a good lot of the QE2 period.
—Morocco Agencies. I bought another comprehensive collection of these stamps with most of the high values in excellent condition.
—Papua New Guinea. Although I had most items already in stock, I added another lot of stamps from the beginning to 1976.
—A friend has helped sort some more “difficult” sets and singles from Antigua, Bahamas and Bermuda. So I am even more confident with the chalky papers and perf varieties.
Finland. Two more sets of new issues: Defence Forces and culinary delights!
France. I received a small lot of gap-fillers from my contact in Paris. At the same time, there were some sets and mini sheets from the most recent years.
French Colonies. Finding fine used lots of French Colonies is not easy. Most collections or lots are principally mint. Finding stocks of post Independence French Colonies is even less frequent. So when I was presented with a lot of 50-60 stockbooks, I jumped at the chance. I can scarcely say the ranges are comprehensive but the condition is very good too. It will take some time to finish sorting this lot but this month I worked on Togo, Cameroun, Niger, Mali, Upper Volta and Chad.
Germany DDR. I have merged two lots into stock which gave me greater depth and filled most of the few gaps that had developed in my stock. That included all of the mini sheets.
Great Britain. I have bought two more lots of early GB. These are strong in QV-KG5 period with many high values. The coverage in QV is wide with some better copies than the usual. More customers are becoming aware that I now stock GB after saying for many years that I did not. Having made several different purchases my stock is quite comprehensive.
Isle of Man. I did not offer this stock before, although I had priced up material from four or more lots. Now I have created a price list which is quite comprehensive from the start to about 2013-4. That is stamps and mini sheets.
New Zealand. There were two new sets: Round Kiwi stamps and “Predator Free”, the second set is particularly attractive. Of course there was also a mini sheet for each issue.
Yugoslavia. I have made some good purchases of Yugoslavia this month and much of that remains to be sorted. However I did work on a previously purchased lot. I was pleasantly surprised at the coverage of this lot right up to 1991-2. Some of these sets and singles are hard to find so it is pleasing to have them in stock.
August was a noticeable step up from July, although still quietish. The weather was still hot and many people seem to think stamps were not the thing to do in the heat. Obviously I disagree! The number of orders was almost back to that of an average month.
The mix of countries was unusual this month. Commonwealth orders were almost up to previous levels but Australia and Canada were at record-breaking levels. Other strong countries were Austria, French Colonies, France and DDR. It is interesting to see from my figures how little some of my “main” countries contribute. This naturally makes a difference to how much effort I put in to these countries and how much new stock I buy.
I only attended two events in August as in years gone by. What a contrast. My Solo Fair in Oxford was the poorest ever with just one customer present. So inevitably, the next one in December will be my last Fair in Oxford. I do regret this but there comes a time…
On the other hand, just the following day I had the best Fair at Wokingham ever. This is after 33 years of trading there. The best sellers were “out of the way” German areas followed by recent USA, Greenland, Australia and Denmark. The Fair itself is not doing well but I have ben lucky to have a number of excellent loyal customers.
So a very mixed bag in August. Both postal and fairs sales have been up and down. Now the autumn is here (by the Meteorological Office definition) I expect sales to increase. My range on www.robstineextra.com continues to grow and the sales from that are taking off. I have lots more stock to add to my lists and this will create more interest as we progress.
Thank you for all your purchases (past and future)!