Latest user responses

  • 2014-09-01 Keijo wrote on Unsolicited stamp trader listings - beware of stamptraders.org
    @John... Talk about though luck . I've had some bad swap experiences over the years, but loosing all lots sent out... ouch :|

    My approach to 'fixing' the issue is/was starting stamp exchange of my own where I control things and am thus able to minimize the risks. It's not a perfect system, but a working one. And if something blows up, there's only one person to blame - me :lol:

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  • 2014-09-01 Keijo wrote on Q&A: Help I inherited a stamp collection. What do I do with it?
    @Jaery... Sorry for your loss.

    Re, the stamps... All I can give is the same advice as most. Put in on eBay with lots of good quality (clear) pictures + modest starting price / reserve (say $0.99). That way the markets will decide what is a fair price. If there's anything of interest, it will go up. And if not, well, then you know it wasn't worth much. Before you do that, surf around eBay stamps section for hour or two, and look around for stuff that's similar to yours. Take notes on what's selling and what's not; and at what price.

    All in all you might be looking for some hard time if trying to come up with the money you've once paid for them. The price levels of 1990s (and before) are thing of the past for many stamps (whereas some areas, such as PR China have gone up considerably)...

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  • 2014-09-01 John wrote on Unsolicited stamp trader listings - beware of stamptraders.org
    Hi,I tried different traders sites, amoung them, Stamptraderlist.org, years ago. What a rip-off. I sent 50 packets of 100 different each, to 50 different people and got nothing in return. No returns of my stamps. No traders sending their packets to me..........Nothing. I collect worldwide, and am looking for space fillers. I would have been happy with anything in return. Since then, I have never traded any more stamps. I buy lots on Ebay, sort through them, take out the ones I need. Toss the rest into a huge box. Would love to be able to trade some of these that I don't need for some that I do need. What to do? Huh?

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  • 2014-09-01 Jaery wrote on Q&A: Help I inherited a stamp collection. What do I do with it?
    Hi, Keijo, I started to collect stamps since I was very young (around 1990). I collected a lot of pretty looking stamps from worldwide, most of them are used...(Because new ones were too expensive to buy)....I was going to give the collection to my child, but he died years ago, and I lost the ability to get pregnant again....Now those stamps collection became meaningless to me, so I want to sell them...Because I never collected any stamps by their date or value, I assume 90% of my stamps worth little to nothing. But I do want to spend time to sell them for a good price, at least not lower than what I paid for them. Any suggestion How I can do that??

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  • 2014-08-31 Ralph Phillips wrote on A modern Soviet forgery
    Maybe one of the reasons for this forgery and also the other lower values of this and other series was the fact that they were "needed" for all the overprints of the various cities, republics, oblastsetc,upon the break up of the USSR in 1991.Millions of stamps were overprinted, and they had to come from somewhere.

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  • 2014-08-30 Noel Davenhill wrote on What do You do with stamps that have foxing / rust?
    I occasionally come across a mint stamp which is completely free from rust or foxing, except for one or two perforations where it has taken hold. My method is to very gently scrape the spot with a single edged razor blade that can still be readily purchased in packs of three for about $2.00. If this is undertaken with very light strokes the rust can be scraped, or virtually brushed off with absolutely nodamage to the stamp. This also works for the odd very pale foxing spot on the gum,with care it is impossible to detect even the slightest gum disturbance.

    Noel

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  • 2014-08-30 Keijo wrote on About difference between a stamp collector and philatelist
    @Ramon...

    Stamp collecting and philately are precisely as expensive as we make them to be. Money can make some things (such as access to catalogs / information) easier, but in the end it's not a necessity in order to collect stamps.

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  • 2014-08-30 Ramon Perez-Gatell wrote on About difference between a stamp collector and philatelist
    Seems I started as a philatelist, learning and enjoying the hobby in my teens. Then became a collector, but the magnitude of the fortune needed to keep up with filling the spaces has made me rethink the whole idea of it, which is what gives me the most pleasure. I may be unpacking my loupe, going back in time, and enjoying it all over again.

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  • 2014-08-30 Keijo wrote on A modern Soviet forgery
    @David... Thanks :)

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  • 2014-08-30 David Williams wrote on A modern Soviet forgery
    What a great way to look at stamps and your collection. I really like the variety of information and observations on stamps and the hobby. I have passed on details of the blog to other members of my stamp clubs who I am sure will enjoy them.

    thank you

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  • 2014-08-30 Keijo wrote on Spring at last - Finnish spring flowers on postage stamps
    @malcolm...

    sorry you have put me in gardening mode with this blog.


    No apologies needed. Gardening is lots of fun...

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  • 2014-08-30 Keijo wrote on Série vovó: Brazilian definitive stamps of 1920-1941
    @Ian... email on it's way.

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  • 2014-08-30 Philip Reynolds wrote on Is it OK to give negative feedback?
    Shipping costs should be shipping costs - ie, cost of postage & packing materials; possibly rounded up to the nearest dollar, euro or pound sterling. The price of dealing, ie, writing descriptions, etc, should be factored in to the starting price of the actual stamps/covers for sale. If I see what seems a reasonably priced cover or card (that requires no insurance) but with a postage cost equivalent to, eg, $15.00 from, eg, USA to UK - when I have received plenty of similar sized/weighted items at $1 or $2 postage - then I don't bother to bid for that item. Best wishes, Philip

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  • 2014-08-30 malcolm hirst wrote on Austrian emperor Franz Joseph stamps
    Brian

    I wish you luck in the search for postmarks. Note that these stamps were used throughout the Austro-Hungarian empire, which included the whole of or part of Poland,Hungary,Czech Republic,Italy,the countries formerly Yugoslavia,and Rumania among others.Many of these have now languages other than German, and most of the towns have changed their name -some of them more than once, as the political map of central Europe has changed over the last century.

    Malcolm

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  • 2014-08-29 malcolm hirst wrote on Spring at last - Finnish spring flowers on postage stamps
    Garden pansy is normally identified as Viola x Wittrockiana. Different cultivars offer all- year round flowering ( but probably not in Finland !!) and is easy to grow from seed, but as a hybrid does not breed true from home-collected seed. Second generation plants usually have smaller flowers,as successive home-collected seed sown generations tend to revert.Best to buy nursery reared and collected seed. Officially perennial but quite short-lived- deteriorates quite quickly - although taking cuttings can prolong good appearance, and cuttings strike easily - sorry you have put me in gardening mode with this blog.

    Malcolm

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  • 2014-08-29 malcolm hirst wrote on Stranger on a strange land
    To add to my previous post there were almost certainly other stamps on the original letter - 5 centimes seems far too cheap for international mail -even in 1961.

    Malcolm

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  • 2014-08-29 malcolm hirst wrote on Stranger on a strange land
    Interestingly the form of the Buxton postmark appears to be the date slug portion of a slogan/wavy line machine cancellation. I am not sure how common the practice of putting redirected mail through the mechanised mail stream was - I have not seen enough redirected mail to know - but I have not seen it personally before. As you say it is a pity it is not on cover or at least on piece. The stamp would normally be cancelled by the slogan or wavy line(although the cancels are sometimes reversed) so there could have been other stamps on the original envelope right of the one shown. One reason for not soaking everything, Keijo lol ( or at least until you have had a good look ).

    Malcolm

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  • 2014-08-29 malcolm hirst wrote on Bogus stamps: Isö, Sweden
    FRED MUGURUZA wrote :
    what about stamps from Nene railways, aaah?



    The Nene Valley Railway stamps purport to be local carriage labels and are the descendants of "genuine" railway stamps. Up to the 1920s, and in some cases later, most railway companies in Great Britain ( and some Bus companies) issued stamps, mainly for the carriage of parcels and newspapers( the post office only having a monopoly for letters),but also in conjunction with Post Office stamps in certain circumstances for letters. The laws governing the use of these stamps for letters still exist. The Nene Valley Railway is one of many railways operated ( to highly professional standards ) by enthusiasts in order to preserve the steam locomotive. In order to help raise funds they issue covers containing these railway stamps to sell in their shops at stations. To be clear they do not provide a commercial postal service, but within the terms of the laws governing the uses of such stamps they are genuine. They are not listed in catalogues, as they do not meet the criteria for such listing ( as in fact the original "genuine" stamps do not). Nevertheless they are widely collected by railway stamp collectors, and without doubt are issued in a good cause.To anyone coming to the UK a visit to one or more of these railways is highly recommended - and failing that visiting a selection of their websites is a good second choice. It is to be emphasized that these people are not just "playing trains" as the railways and their staff have to meet exacting safety standards in respect of signalling and the condition of the rolling stock etc, and run to proper published timetables. As well as the trains most of these railways have restored stations,signal boxes and associated furniture (signage, luggage trolleys etc), and have ancillary museums containg a large number of railway items.

    Malcolm

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  • 2014-08-29 Ian Smith wrote on Série vovó: Brazilian definitive stamps of 1920-1941
    A very helpful article I would very much like to have your spreadsheet and place holders also the watermark sheet. thanks Ian

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  • 2014-08-29 Keijo wrote on How to soak kiloware - kitchensink philately basics
    @malcolm...

    Cut the stamps and surrounding postcard in the same way as you would an envelope – then put your thumb between between the glossy surface and the paper base of the postcard. Peel off the glossy photo bit and you will be left with similar paper to an envelope. Then soak in the normal way. Works 99% of the time.


    I do this too...

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  • 2014-08-29 malcolm hirst wrote on How to soak kiloware - kitchensink philately basics
    Keijo

    One thing about peeling stamps from paper. It is much safer to peel the paper off the stamp.if you bend a wet stamp you are quite likely to tear it- whereas it doesn't matter if you tear the backing paper. In this case you need to return the remains to the water and try again. You must be even more careful the second time as the stamp is by then very fragile.Someone also asked about removing stamps from postcards.This is easy.Cut the stamps and surrounding postcard in the same way as you would an envelope - then put your thumb between between the glossy surface and the paper base of the postcard. Peel off the glossy photo bit and you will be left with similar paper to an envelope. Then soak in the normal way. Works 99% of the time.

    Malcolm

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  • 2014-08-29 Keijo wrote on Rural postmarks on Cyprus stamps
    @malcolm...

    Also some specialist dealers also host ( or sometimes write ) articles on the specialities they sell,or even write blogs ( norphil fo one).Now I am sure that they make sales therefrom, but I suspect the additional sales they make do not pay for the time spent.


    Never ever under estimate the of publicity / PR.... It's totally uncanny where small things such as blog entries lead to. I'm still banging my head on the table for missing an interview (only because I don't check my Facebook messages more than once or twice a week) with NY Times about year backwards.

    But true, making money from sharing one's philatelic knowledge is hard. Look no further than this blog. 120,000 unique visitors a year, 6,000+ subscribers for newsletter, but only a handful of people find the blog and it's content worth a voluntary supporters fee. Likely for the same reason there are so few philatelic authors and books published. There's no financial sense in it.

    On the other hand, what I've gained from doing these write-ups... It's priceless. And I'd think that most folks doing and sharing articles and research feel the same.

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  • 2014-08-29 Keijo wrote on About difference between a stamp collector and philatelist
    @malcolm...

    So don’t sell yourself short young man – you are a philatelist just not a super-specialist. Does that make you feel better?


    As uncanny as it may be, I still prefer to be considered as 'stamp collector'. Or maybe there's need for something new such as stamplover (this one is actually used quite a lot on social media such as Twitter) :lol:

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  • 2014-08-29 Keijo wrote on A story of a dinosaur stamp
    @Malcolm

    Note that the postmark is a Klussendorf ( is that spelt correctly ?)...

    Actually it should be with umlauts on top of u; meaning Klüssendorf. But that's pretty hard to type with non-German keyboard.

    Hence you don’t only have the Germanic name, but a Germanic postmark !

    Live & learn...

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  • 2014-08-29 malcolm hirst wrote on Damn unsoakable stamps (or if you can't soak them... )
    A GB stamp magazine article recently recommended "white spirit" on the latest "slit" Machins. White spirit is a proprietory paint thinners/brush restorer - but not turpentine or turps substitute. I am not aware of its chemical composition. The other one I have heard is diluted sugar soap( a wallpaper stripper/paint-degreaser). They both seem a bit harsh to me - but I might try them on a couple of "junk" stamps to see what happens.

    Malcolm

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  • 2014-08-29 malcolm hirst wrote on Rural postmarks on Cyprus stamps
    Ref. The above post

    We often underestimate the information available for free on dealers sites, even e-bay. Most of the specialised dealers are in fact enthusiasts about the subject they deal in, and hence source material helpful to other enthusiasts ( after all selling to those same enthusiasts is their bread and butter).We can all look at that information.Also some specialist dealers also host ( or sometimes write ) articles on the specialities they sell,or even write blogs ( norphil fo one).Now I am sure that they make sales therefrom, but I suspect the additional sales they make do not pay for the time spent.

    Malcolm

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  • 2014-08-29 malcolm hirst wrote on Giro Nacional cancels on Spanish stamps
    Quite often post office staff reach for the nearest handstamp when they come across an uncancelled stamp( especially if they can't find a ball pen!)

    Malcolm

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  • 2014-08-29 malcolm hirst wrote on How to get youth and young adults into stamp collecting
    I do not visit a stamp club at the moment I was once a regular visitor to a local club where I was then living. At the time I was in my early thirties and still dabbling ( 30+years ago ). Even then the club was full of "wrinklies" (like I am now).However I can say that without exception they were welcoming,helpful,supportive and unpatronizing - even the most super-specialist among them. None of them had forgotten what it was like to be a general collector -and was keen to encourage collecting at any level. I say to my generation to encourage the younger collector just be nice to them and show an interest in what THEY collect, and gently but not dogmatically steer them in the right direction re. condition etc.,protect them from being ripped off andf you are half way there.

    Malcolm

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  • 2014-08-28 malcolm hirst wrote on Besides stamps what other hobbies do you have?
    Gardening - and some basic botany and plant propagation. I have always had a garden,but my gardening was always hit and miss - and at the time I was a either a long distance coach driver or a transport manager both of which meant long unsocial hours. Eventually I went into boring warehouse work which meant much fewer and more regular hours. This allowed me the time to get more into gardening (and stamps) and now I am retired ( and don't know how I found time to go to work).

    Most of my stamp time is in winter or after dark. Spring(particularly) and summer are spent in the garden(weather permitting). I propagate from seed (most collected from my own plants), cuttings of several kinds, and by clump division. I have a small greenhouse, a garden frame and 2 heated propagators for indoors. During spring I have plants growing on almost every flat surface in the house! I should point out that I only grow ornamentals- my wife deals with the veg. Since I have got into propagating I am getting quite into Botany, and plant genetics - and more scientific methods of trying to raise plants succesfully, and also growing pants which help biodiversity -wildlife in the garden! I used to be scared stiff of all this - but I have found it quite easy - and I have discovered there is no such thing as green fingers - anyone can do it. The methodology is quite similar to stamp-collecting. You have to be organised, methodical and capable of having several different processes on the go at the same time - and many of processes have similar results for example,weeding and dead-heading ( which most gardeners hate) and soaking stamps off paper ( which I guess a lot of collectors hate) I find are similarly restful and de-stressing -most therapeutic).However the big difference is that in gardening there is always a deadline. Plants will insist on doing their thing when they want to not you, whereas with stamps you can always wait until next month!

    Malcolm

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  • 2014-08-28 malcolm hirst wrote on About difference between a stamp collector and philatelist
    I think that there are very few collectors and very few philatelists. Most people are a mixture of the two on a sliding scale with the people who classify themselves as collectors near one end and the people who call themselves philatelist near the other, but most people are somewhere between with a bias toward one end or the other.

    Keijo you cannot call yourself "only" a collector. Almost every entry you write about individual stamps or sets has a content which marks you out as a philatelist ( or at least an aspiring one).Every time you differentiate a shade or a perforation you are tending toward philately.

    So don't sell yourself short young man - you are a philatelist just not a super-specialist. Does that make you feel better?

    Malcolm

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  • 2014-08-28 malcolm hirst wrote on A story of a dinosaur stamp
    Note that the postmark is a Klussendorf ( is that spelt correctly ?) which is/was the standard German cancellation machine. Hence you don't only have the Germanic name, but a Germanic postmark ! AB -for Alberta is the clue. There is an article on Canadian Klussendorf cancellations on postalhistorycorner.blogspot.com

    Malcolm

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  • 2014-08-28 malcolm hirst wrote on eBay gets official patents approval for online auctions
    Fred

    If they get away with this there will be NO freedom to choose! Where will that put your not caring! Nothing personal Fred but you have to look beyond sweeping generalisations, and oversimplistic arguments - and the worst just might survive at the expense of the best - and that does no one any good - except the worst !

    Malcolm

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  • 2014-08-28 Keijo wrote on Unsolicited stamp trader listings - beware of stamptraders.org
    @Malcolm...

    I have so many unprocessed and unmounted stamps...

    Don't most stamp collectors? :lol:

    ... but I think at some stage it got taken over


    Isn't that the fate of just about everything? A collector wiser than me once said 'we're just guardians of earthly possessions'. Same truth applies to websites.



    PS. Thanks for enspiriting my lunch break ;)

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  • 2014-08-28 malcolm hirst wrote on Building Knowledge Through Experience
    Talking about covers -bog standard single rate domestic mail covers are not really worth saving unless for first day of a new rate. However an interesting postmark can be saved "on piece". Cut out a square or rectangle around the stamp and complete postmark. I do this all the time but I must stress that this is additional to the copy of the stamp in my collection.Any cover showing a number of different postal markings should be kept "as is".Even if like Keijo you don't collect postal history you should be able to exchange each one for a number of stamps. Most serious postal history collectors would be quite keen. If you think about the number of postmarks, covers containing any o0bne individual stamp is going to be considerably fewer than the same stamp off paper.

    An example. I have a common 1950s Canadian stamp on piece postmarked "Little Long Rapids Ontario". Internet research (looking for the modern postal code which is how I organise postmarks) elicited the information that the place was a construction camp for a fully-automated hydro-electric power station now called simply "Little Long". The town of course no longer exists and there is no postal code. Now I guess at the time, for a few years,there was a high volume of mail, but how many postmarks have survived? The postmark is without doubt much scarcer than the stamp, and is a little bit of interesting postal history,even if it has not a great monetary value. Should I ever aquire another one I will definitely circulate its details on the net and it is sure to find a good home - and it was an interesting geographically educational journey as well.If I had just soaked off the stamp all that would have been lost. I shudder to think what else I have destroyed ( before I knew better!)

    Malcolm

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  • 2014-08-28 malcolm hirst wrote on Unsolicited stamp trader listings - beware of stamptraders.org
    In the days of my early days of returning to collecting ( which coincided with the start of my interest in all-world collecting ) I used these lists extensively - and with a few spectacular exceptions I did very well indeed - overall it was a positive experience -but this is 8 or 9 years ago. I don't do it now for several reasons -

    1. I have so many unprocessed and unmounted stamps that I really cannot afford to get any more for the time being.

    2. Directly connected to the above I have too few exchange ready stamps available.



    3. I am not too happy (re. your post) at bandying details about on the internet. Call me paranoid if you like. I am quite happy with my details being passed on a one-to-one basis with a blog like you or a trustworthy forum like stampboards - but putting too much detail in the public domain is not my bag. It is bad enough having people physhing for details without making it easy.Many of the more trustworthy sites only allow correspondence via the site,and don't publish your e-mail address direct - so if you must exchange this way , those are the sites to use.

    I think it is fair to say that in the early days Stamp Trader List was very respectable as it was operated by one trader-collector, but I think at some stage it got taken over

    Malcolm

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  • 2014-08-28 Keijo wrote on Fairy tales for stamp collectors
    @Malcolm...

    I watch the excellent BBC TV programme “Antiques Roadshow”. The experts there are always banging on about buying what you like- not because you think you will make money at it.Unless you are a complete oddball what you like most other people will like too, so unless what you buy is an out -and-out fake you are likely to make a little bit of money when you sell. I think that the same applies to stamps too- if on a lower level.


    Haven't really thought of that in wider scale, but I think you might be on to something. After all, pricing is all about supply & demand. And demand comes from what people want/like... With stamps, the major question (at least from my view) is how much of that demand is 'catalog oriented' (because the catalog says the stamp is valuable), and how much is genuine collector interest (anyone fancy classic Mongolia regardless of their catalog values? I do...)

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  • 2014-08-28 Keijo wrote on eBooks are the future of stamp catalogs and other philatelic literature
    @Malcolm...

    For anyone who collects the Machin stamps of Great Britain there is a free on-line catalogue (minus the introductory notes which I think are only available by subscription)called the Connoisseur ( listing mint stamps only ).


    Thanks for the tip. I think I've seen the site before, but it seems they've added a whole lot of new downloads since my last visit :)


    The way the catalogue is laid out you need to be able to turn the pages back and forward to access the information in the way you want to use it for id purposes – and the on-line version is slow and clumsy.


    The original touch interface (printed book) is very hard to beat in usability.

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  • 2014-08-27 malcolm hirst wrote on Fairy tales for stamp collectors
    A bit off-topic but very relevant I think. I watch the excellent BBC TV programme "Antiques Roadshow". The experts there are always banging on about buying what you like- not because you think you will make money at it.Unless you are a complete oddball what you like most other people will like too, so unless what you buy is an out -and-out fake you are likely to make a little bit of money when you sell. I think that the same applies to stamps too- if on a lower level. Looking on e-bay too as a generalisation ( and don't we just love that ) If you were to buy a number of all-world lots and relocate the stamps into one country lots then resell them you would actually increase the overall per stamp price. I know that for internet exchanges you get better material in return if you limit the range of content of your advert.

    Malcolm

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  • 2014-08-27 malcolm hirst wrote on British Wilding stamps with Christmas Island BFPO postmark
    I think the item could be philatelic. 1s 9d was in the fact the airmail rate to Australia et al(civilian). However as has been stated serving forces personnel ( and I assume without evidence attached civilian workers) were entitled to mail at GB domestic rates. The clue might lay in the postmark.A normal postmark would be BFPO (British Forces Post Office) of FPO (Field Post Office) and a number - BFPO Christmas Island is a bit of an anachronism.If there was no civilian post office then BFPO would be the only postal service available. Also the placing of the stamps and the postmarking are a bit too neat to be spontaneous,but then I am known to cynical. A collectors stamped self- addressed envelope perhaps?

    Malcolm

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  • 2014-08-27 malcolm hirst wrote on Of common good and volunteer work
    It is the same with the pressure put on people to donate to charity. I have my own "pet" charities I support with cash regularly ( specifically the RNLI volunteer sea rescue service) and others which I support when an event or the mood takes me. However I do support charity shops and church tea rooms etc when I am out and about - my reasoning being that if I can enjoy a coffee and add to the coffers of a charity I'm getting twice the satisfaction.I'm also not against collecting tins at the checkout in shops to collect your small change.However I resent door to door collections,unsolicited items through my letter box for payment,and being approached in the street in an attempt to make me feel guilty. Worst of all are the TV adverts which not only ask for your money,but tell you how much is acceptable.

    Voluntary work and voluntary giving are exactly that- voluntary. Between the ages of 18 and 40 odd I donated countless hours as a voluntary leader in the scout movement. I say that not to gather praise but as a fact - and I must admit that the enjoyment I got far outweighed the time ( and not inconsiderable amounts of money) that it cost - but I reckon I've done my bit.

    Malcolm

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  • 2014-08-27 malcolm hirst wrote on eBooks are the future of stamp catalogs and other philatelic literature
    For anyone who collects the Machin stamps of Great Britain there is a free on-line catalogue (minus the introductory notes which I think are only available by subscription)called the Connoisseur ( listing mint stamps only ). I have previous catalogue (printed variety) with the notes, which are actually essential.

    However I only use the on-line version for newer issues than are in the printed. The way the catalogue is laid out you need to be able to turn the pages back and forward to access the information in the way you want to use it for id purposes - and the on-line version is slow and clumsy. Having said that for the semi-specialised collector of Machins it is a good deal.For the real Machin geeks there is a cd version of the legendary Deegam catalogue, which is an expensive item but it does include free e-mail updates (for ever ?)

    Which ever way the electronic catalogues go a sensible update package is essential to make it attractive.

    Malcolm

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  • 2014-08-27 Keijo wrote on Investing in stamps - further thoughts
    @Malcolm...

    ...being “on a fixed income” ( sorry Keijo that’s UK speak for being a pensioner).


    Thanks for explanation.


    ...so I splashed out on a new tower,new router and a new microsoft office suite – total cost about £700 – and being a Yorkshireman even that hurt(ask any of your other UK friends the significance!).


    No need to ask. I've read James Herriot books a good number of times to capture the essentials of being Yorkshireman, LOL.

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  • 2014-08-27 Keijo wrote on Revolution and evolution
    @Malcolm...

    At some time someone will come up with the idea of including the content of all the free stamp sites in the world in one place and charging a fee so that no-one has to surf the net to find the content.


    I can confess having build such a system (of limited nature) for my personal usage. In the end it's nothing more than a custom search engine, and anyone with 'modest' coding skills can whip up a skeleton app in few hours.

    I can now hear some of you thinking... "What. Why it's not public...?" It's all about money. Making something as such for my personal usage is somewhat cheap & easy. Providing it for, say 1 000 users per day (about the same number that is reading SCB every day) or more, would be the opposite. I simply can't see a situation where providing such an app/service could be self-sustainable not to mention profitable (mostly because we stamp collectors are first rate tightwads/scrooges). Just my 5 cents (and not a penny more) worth on topic.

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  • 2014-08-27 malcolm hirst wrote on Investing in stamps - further thoughts
    If I had £3000 worth of stamps I would get stressed about it. I mess with (cheap) stamps to forget the stress of owning a house,a car etc ( and inflation )being "on a fixed income" ( sorry Keijo that's UK speak for being a pensioner).

    My wife and I are fortunate -we are mortgage free,neither of us smoke at all( or ever have),and we don't drink a lot. We were careful, when younger,to make financial provision for retirement and while we are by no means wealthy we are not forced into the well- publicised choice of" heat or eat" in winter. This means that we have a certain amount of discretion with our disposable income. Our expensive luxury is holidays - a cruise every 2 or 3 years, a couple of foreign holidays a year and as many UK camping trips ( yes folks in a tent at 67 years young) as British weather will allow.Our cheap luxuries are gardening in Summer, and for me stamps (usually mostly in winter - or when I can't sleep),and for my wife being creative around the house ( painting and decorating).

    As I really only use the computer for surfing the net, writing the odd e-mail and the odd domestic printing and copying, I wouldn't dream of spending 3000 euros on technology. My second-hand home-built tower(courtesy of my son) and my 8 year old Sky broadband router recently packed up within a month of each other - so I splashed out on a new tower,new router and a new microsoft office suite - total cost about £700 - and being a Yorkshireman even that hurt(ask any of your other UK friends the significance!).

    Malcolm

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  • 2014-08-27 malcolm hirst wrote on What makes a happy stamp collector?
    William in post 29 has a point. I wish I could claim this as original but

    "The point of a Monarchy is not the power they have, but the power they deny to others".

    It is significant that the armed forces,judiciary,police and other state services which have the ability, if not necessarily the desire to abuse their power take their oath of allegiance to the Crown, as the embodiment of the state - and not to a political body in the case of a party or politician.

    It is not necessary to have a monarch as head of state - but it is most undesirable to have a politician there. The British monarchy has many faults but legal,financial and moral corruption on the scale that attaches itself to all political entities of all colours in most ( I am very careful not to say all, but I doubt there are more than about half a dozen in the world that can be excluded) countries is not one of them. 50 years ago when one could say that most politicians in the UK ( whether one agreed with their political beliefs or not ) were highminded public-serving men and women of integrity, there would possibly have been an argument for the abolition of the monarchy - but now when a good proportion of politicians are none of those things??????????

    Malcolm

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  • 2014-08-27 malcolm hirst wrote on Revolution and evolution
    I think stamp sites are going to take note of the retail sites. As you know the e-commerce sites took a hit after a boom time. The more reputable retailers, such as department stores have been able to trade on their previous precious reputations to crack the e-store barrier.They are able to back up their on line business with their existing reputation,and hence take away a lot of the uncertainty that traditional customers feel.They are also going in for "multi-channel". You go look at the item in the shop and either buy it there and then or if you prefer order it on-line later -and they are trying to make it a seamless operation. Before she retired my wife worked for the John Lewis Partnership ( an employee owned chain of high-quality department stores and supermarkets).The department store arm has large areas of the country uncovered,but is gaining coverage through its e-commerce arm, which is growing at a rate of 30% a year. Surprisingly its in-store sales are only dropping by about 1 or 2% a year. It helps of course that their customer service reputation is as close to impeccable as any large organisation is likely to get, but the point that I am making is that the marketing of e-sites is lagging behind the technological possibilities.At some time someone will come up with the idea of including the content of all the free stamp sites in the world in one place and charging a fee so that no-one has to surf the net to find the content.

    Malcolm

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  • 2014-08-27 malcolm hirst wrote on Australian Fine Art stamp series high values - color variation and specimen overprint
    The stock answer people make when shades are mentioned is "uv fading". This is patently untrue (some of the time).I have had shade differences where the "amount" of shading is exactly the same between copies, and others where the shading is graded between different copies. In the latter the uv argument is possible(even probable),in the former possible(but less probable).At least some copies derived from kiloware are unlikely to have had prolonged exposure to sunlight.I am not a scientist but the argument that all fading is caused by sunlight is at best unproven, at worst positively misleading - and unfortunately given the love value of most modern stamps, catalogue editors ( and I have to say many dealers and specialist collectors) seem unwilling to pursue the subject preferring instead to look at big ticket items such as plate number blocks. I am an all-world collector, but I do semi-specialise in used GB Machins- and I have handled thousands of these in my time- and I can categorically state that in respect of the commonly used values at least the shades are enormously varied.Some of the colour variations ( I hesitate to use the term varieties as most of them are not catalogued)are explained by changes in surfaces on the paper or the composition of phosphor and flourescent coating, but even where all the stamps are known to come from one variation there are differences.Some of these come from home and office mail direct and not via kiloware so I am 99% certain that uv fading is not the reason. There is the remote possibility that some uv fading has occurred prior to the use of the stamp or in transit,but on balance extremely unlikely that this refers to every example of fading.The very modern machins do not have many such shades, but particularly the early decimal values are most prone. In the early days dealers and catalogues studiously avoided talking about shades altogether unless it was used as an aide to identifying something else - and as you know once a catalogue has started out on a particular path it is difficult to shift it.

    Malcolm

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  • 2014-08-27 Keijo wrote on About pricing of online stamp catalogs
    @Malcolm...

    A good start is “Stampboards” which Keijo has mentioned a few times – and the information there reaches places that NO catalogue reaches ( A warning – this site is Australian based and discussions tend to be robust, and sometimes even agressive – as you would expect).


    :lol: :lol: :lol: Thanks for good laughs.... I didn't know Australians were expected to be 'such' people. :lol: :lol: :lol:

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  • 2014-08-27 Keijo wrote on A new, more detailed look into number of different worldwide stamps issued
    @Malcolm...

    Sorry I put 800,000 not 600,000 – talk about the worst case scenario.


    Actually it's a close figure these days. My 600+K was based on details up to 2010. A number of sources (Philea, Michel and few others) say/estimate that 800K major numbers will be likely reached before the winter falls (in month or two).

    I wonder if thewse figures include miniature sheets? – and GB Prestige booklet panes?

    No and no. Each stamp is there, but sheets, panes etc. are not counted separately; at least in my figures.
    That said, I'd very much like to do some worldwide statistics on minisheets. But more than anything it's a question of resources, or more specifically time.

    ...whether these are philatelic use or not


    Ask me, and I'll say whomever came up with the term 'philatelic use' should be given a quick tarring & feathering. If a stamp is used for mailing, then it's fulfilled it's postal duty, and as such is duly used. Anything else (such as in period usage, or whether or not the sender/recipient was a collector) is simply splitting hairs just because the fun of it.

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  • 2014-08-27 malcolm hirst wrote on About pricing of online stamp catalogs
    There is more information on the internet than is in ANY catalogue - and even the most specialised catalogue is to some extent simplified. There are numerous "simplified" catalogues available on the net, one of the best (though incomplete ) being colnect. Extract the published information from this and then google as many parts of this information as many times as you can - you will be surprised what crawls out from the woodwork. Also keep references from blogs like this and forums so you can refer to them when the appropriate stamps turn up. I have a 2-ring folder whis has references to everything I have ever read on the internet - and all I have to do is type in the website. A good start is "Stampboards" which Keijo has mentioned a few times - and the information there reaches places that NO catalogue reaches ( A warning - this site is Australian based and discussions tend to be robust, and sometimes even agressive - as you would expect). However they must be doing something right, because the usage is awesome. However you should note that no-one has all the information you want so you have to spend some time on research - to quote from the Stampboards website-knowledge is power. In fairness I do have a set of out of date catalogues which I use for the basic information,but thats all. Of course I do not consider value, other than as a guide to relative scarcity.

    The other thing you should always bear in mind is that "Philately starts where the calalogue ends". Sorry if this is a little off-topic,but I have never found any catalogue which meets all my needs, and I am not prepared to spend a lot of money on a compromise solution.

    Malcolm

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  • 2014-08-27 malcolm hirst wrote on What do You do with stamps that have foxing / rust?
    First of all you have to accept that the minute a stamp comes off the press an irreversible process of degredation commences and like King Canute you cannot turn back the tide. However with care you can slow down the process, and control of temperature, humidity and air-flow are the secrets.

    Secondly you cannot remove existing foxing ( although you can reduce its impact). However you can delay, for long periods its progression.

    I think that it is important not to get too hung up about it. If you think how many penny blacks from 1840 still exist the problem is relative.

    IMO reasonable care in temperate countries is all that is required.Moderately centrally heated,well ventilated homes should provide an adequate environment for your treasures. Unheated ( and potentially damp)cellars,lofts,sheds and garages, and of course excessive heat and humidity should be avoided. Of course in the Tropics different conditions apply.

    As far as MNH is concerned, you should note that some archives blast freeze stamps until the gum cracks and falls off! So much for MNH premiums !!

    Malcolm

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  • 2014-08-27 malcolm hirst wrote on Some interesting Soviet stamps
    From a small random selection from an ethnic Ukrainian ex workmate ( international mail to UK ) The majority of mail was postal stationery envelopes of the appropriate denomination. All stamps on the small sample of adhesives were definitives ( an presumably these contained either long letters or some sort of enclosure.I don't know the sample is actually statistically significant ( only about a dozen items) but it would appear to bear out your previous comment.

    Malcolm

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  • 2014-08-27 malcolm hirst wrote on A new, more detailed look into number of different worldwide stamps issued
    Sorry I put 800,000 not 600,000 - talk about the worst case scenario. I wonder if thewse figures include miniature sheets? - and GB Prestige booklet panes? Now the latter would be interesting found. I do possess a couple of GB miniature sheets postally used. Now they were used on parcels of album leaves from a dealer, but they have seen genuine postal use and are (more or less) in period ,given that the items are theoretically on sale for a year.

    The jury seems to be out on whether these are philatelic use or not, but as they have passed through the post I prefer to call them genuine.

    Malcolm

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  • 2014-08-27 Keijo wrote on Stamp Exchange 2014
    @Allan... Thanks for the note, and happy to hear you enjoyed the mix :)

    One question though. Why don’t you like mint stamps in the exchanges?

    It's a mixture of personal preference (I collect used only, though there are few exceptions) and practical one (most participants wish for used only, so I don't need any mint spares in addition of ones I already have).

    ps. Again, I hope your family member’s health problems turn out OK.

    Hoping so... That said, it's a slow process (as is the entire public healthcare). They take xrays on one day, the next day another specialty pops in, and...

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  • 2014-08-26 Allan Ward wrote on Stamp Exchange 2014
    Hi Keijo,

    a quick note to say your stamps arrived today. Many thanks, they are great as usual. I had another look through the returns and I see what you mean. I'll have this in mind for future exchanges - and thank you for pointing this out to me. One question though. Why don't you like mint stamps in the exchanges?

    Best wishes,

    Allan

    ps. Again, I hope your family member's health problems turn out OK.

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  • 2014-08-26 Keijo wrote on A new, more detailed look into number of different worldwide stamps issued
    @malcolm...

    It would be interesting to know ( and probably impossible to find out ) how many of those 800,000+ stamps do not even exist genuinely postally used.


    Your guess is as good as mine. Personally I try to remain optimistic, and hope the figure is way less than 50K.

    But for those you can't find... Well, there goes the neighborhood... All in all I'd say it's more a matter of good luck than anything else. If somebody would have said that some day I buy genuinely used Rwandan kiloware (from 1970s up to 2000s), I would have laughed myself to tears. Well, I did so last year and most of my Rwandan stamps are now genuinely used specimens... Likely the world of stamps has a great many surprises ahead for worldwide collectors like me and You. At least I hope so.

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  • 2014-08-26 Keijo wrote on Indian Capital of Asoka Pillar official stamps
    @Malcolm...

    First of all may I congratulate on your blog. I found it by linking from that of Ian Billings(norphil). I am currently wading through the previous posts, which is why you are getting additions from me on old entries.


    Thank You.

    Actually I'm very pleased that You are enjoying all what this blog provides; especially as I consider some of the earlier stuff as my most important philatelic output (ok, the first 10-15 posts are not that great, but one has to start somewhere). But worry not about the age / timestamp on the posts or comments. Everything you see on this blog is always open for discussion unless otherwise explicitly stated so. Topics may go out of fashion, but valid information/knowledge remains forever.

    Re, norphil / Ian... Based on those few times our paths have crossed, I can say he's a good chap :)


    Of all the blogs I have read I must say that yours shows the closest philosophy to mine.


    If I received a pound/dollar/euro every time I heard this phrase, I'd be a rich man. LOL.

    I am now retired, and for the last 10 years of my working life I had a relatively “brain-dead” job, so stamps was a necessary brainfood


    Lucky you.. Not all us have had the luxury of having a 'brain-dead' job. I guess the grass is always greener on the other side of fence, LOL.

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  • 2014-08-26 malcolm hirst wrote on A new, more detailed look into number of different worldwide stamps issued
    It would be interesting to know ( and probably impossible to find out ) how many of those 800,000+ stamps do not even exist genuinely postally used. If you only collect used stamps like me and thee, I reckon you can take at least a good 50,000( and probably even more) off,and if you take into account the ones that exist but are impossible to find at least another 50,000.

    Malcolm

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  • 2014-08-26 Keijo wrote on A sad day
    @malcolm...

    ...a too narrow interpretation of intellectual ownership, would forbid for instance me forwarding the contents of this blog to a stamp collector friend ( and I am sure that is not your intention).


    True. I've built this blog with 'from one collector to another collector" in mind. The more my message about pleasures of worldwide collecting gets read and spread among the collectors, the better.

    But heaven forbid that poor soul who 'misuses' my hard work... :evil:

    In fact if I view one of your family photographs on this blog, in the UK I could be considered ( in theory) a paedophile.


    Where on earth is the world going to. Cry and sigh...

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  • 2014-08-26 Keijo wrote on 1955 General Franco stamp series of Spain
    @Malcolm... We're definitely on the same page with topic of colors/shades. If you're interested (I know you are ;) ) there's another blog entry on topic of shades alone - http://www.stampcollectingblog.com/a-matter-of-color.php.

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  • 2014-08-26 malcolm hirst wrote on Indian Capital of Asoka Pillar official stamps
    First of all may I congratulate on your blog. I found it by linking from that of Ian Billings(norphil). I am currently wading through the previous posts, which is why you are getting additions from me on old entries.

    Of all the blogs I have read I must say that yours shows the closest philosophy to mine. I am relatively uninterested in the value ( although like everyone I like a bargain), but it is the intellectual content of the hobby which is the driving force. I am now retired, and for the last 10 years of my working life I had a relatively "brain-dead" job, so stamps was a necessary brainfood - and like you I only collect postally used ( CTO if really pushed -esp. Czechoslovakia 'cause I like the design),but I collect shades ( catalogued or not) and flaws.

    Just a tip which I use on complicated definitive series ( Machins being the Godfather ).I keep together one duplicate copy of each in a seperate stock book as a "control" copy and compare any new aquisitions to these before I wade through my albums. I actually do that with the issue being discussed here. It saves hours of time in the long term although it is quite time consuming initially.

    Malcolm

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  • 2014-08-26 malcolm hirst wrote on A sad day
    Copyright is a minefield,but in fairness many copyright owners have what I think is a healthy attitude. For private ( and by extension educational use) - as in the case of this blog they take,on the whole a fairly relaxed approach - however commercial exploitation is another kettle of fish altogether - and quite right too.

    What happens to your material is your business, but in my opinion putting material in this blog opens up the implication that the information( and images) is in the public domain ( subject to a ban on commercial use). Obviously you are entitled to accreditation - but a too narrow interpretation of intellectual ownership, would forbid for instance me forwarding the contents of this blog to a stamp collector friend ( and I am sure that is not your intention).

    Having said that I am entirely in agreement with your decision to deface the images, but for a completely different And IMO more potent reason, which you have in fact touched on. It is entirely probable that someone could use your image and imply that the stamp is available on their e-bay or other site in the furtherance of fraud - and I am sure that none of us would wish that we had enabled, however inadvertently,someone to perpetrate such an action.

    Someone mentioned family photographs and I entirely agree - however ( unless you are a professional photographer) this is a matter of privacy rather than copyright - and it is the person in the photograph not the photographer who is the aggrieved party.

    The fact is that as in many areas, the law has not kept up with the realities of the electronic age. In fact if I view one of your family photographs on this blog, in the UK I could be considered ( in theory) a paedophile. It is of course all a matter of context - and the law isn't good at context, which is why there are so many wealthy lawyers !

    Malcolm

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  • 2014-08-26 Keijo wrote on Q&A: stamps of Japan
    @Ray... Unfortunately my resources have got nothing about the designers of that series. But hopefully those deeper with topic will share their knowledge and assist.

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  • 2014-08-26 Keijo wrote on Glimpses of Africa
    @malcolm... Very nice link. Thanks for sharing :)

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  • 2014-08-26 malcolm hirst wrote on 1955 General Franco stamp series of Spain
    The number of colour variations described is a joke! The common values have a range of shades( as a result of matching the ink mixture to the previous ( rather than the original) printing - a common cause of shade variation as the ink difference is progressive, and in addition a range of colour intensity. Either the absorbtion rate of the paper varies enormously, -or the measurement of the ink quantity was done using a 5 litre bucket,with a plus or minus of a litre at a time ! My approach to this particular issue ( and the subsequent first King Juan Carlos issue is "if it looks different, it is different". Quality control on ink improved greatly after the two issues I mention.

    Malcolm

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  • 2014-08-26 Keijo wrote on Is it OK to give negative feedback?
    @John...

    The $4 was a good lesson for me. I have never forgot to check shipping costs before bidding.


    Been there, experienced that. And like with you, it's still very much a lesson learned and well remembered. LOL.

    But true, there's always another side of a story... A dealer would likely say that $4 shipping fee covers the time spent creating the lot + description, processing the order, taking care of customer relationship, packaging etc. But once again, it's the usual 'buyer beware'... If something sounds too cheap or wonderful, then it very likely is.

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  • 2014-08-26 John Fejszes wrote on Is it OK to give negative feedback?
    A Negative feedback on a auction site is an insight into the persons personality making the negative comments. No one I know is perfect in either a description or evaluation of any item put up for auction. Condition is a very subjective thing to each individual. Standard grading systems have been set up but even the systems have controversy between themselves. Any discrepancy that arises between buyer and seller should always be rectified between them before any comments are posted on the internet for all to see. Any negative comment is only one side of the story. Your dissatisfaction may not be justified for all buyers.

    The only time you are justified in making a negative comment is when a seller goes over the line to deliberately deceive or cheat you out of your item or money. Many times especially in stamp collecting you will see a single stamp cataloging at 20 cents selling for $1 or more with $1 shipping. Although the ethics of this seem to be wrong to sell a stamp for that price when a collector can buy the stamp from almost any dealer for 1 to 2 cents the post is straightforward and is not cheating anyone. This type of selling does nothing to promote the hobby. As much as I hate to see postings like this they are straightforward.

    Every person values their item on a different scale. I personally have been involved with a dealer who posted an item at a very low price and I bid on it only to realize that he had atrocious shipping costs. The item was 25 cents plus $4 shipping for 25 stamps. When I realized the shipping costs were so much I sent him 25 cents and told him to keep the stamps. This was not good enough for him. He wanted the $4 for shipping or he would slam me with a negative feedback. It was obvious what he was doing. I could have went two ways let him give me the negative feedback or send him the $4. I sent him the four dollars and told him to put his stamps where the sun don’t shine. I never got the stamps. I didn’t give him a negative feedback because it was my fault for not checking shipping costs before bidding. The $4 was a good lesson for me. I have never forgot to check shipping costs before bidding. This is about all I have to say about negative feedbacks.

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  • 2014-08-26 malcolm hirst wrote on The many faces of stamp collecting
    You don't need to buy "all-world"kiloware to build an "all-world" collection. Just buy several one-country all period collections. The disadvanjage of kiloware(unless you are a postmark collector like me) is that the majority of the stamps come from a very limited time frame so you are just exchanging one limitation for another. As I said in another post the best way to build up a truly representative collection is to vary your sources.



    Malcolm

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  • 2014-08-26 malcolm hirst wrote on Glimpses of Africa
    To identify GB QV post towns from partial names go to philately.ttrr.org and follow the menu.

    Malcolm

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  • 2014-08-26 malcolm hirst wrote on A primer on organizing US Washington-Franklin stamps of 1908/1922
    I think this item goes to prove that you have to approach every country/issue individually - identify "what makes it tick", and then refine your own approach to that issue,depending on your own m ind-set,how many items you can reallistically expect to aquire and perhaps more importantly how much space yhou are willing to allocate. It is a given that in philately, one size does not fit all - ever.

    Malcolm

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  • 2014-08-26 Ray Townsend wrote on Q&A: stamps of Japan
    I would be pleased if you can help.

    I need details on the designers of the 1970 EXPO japan stamps Issue 3.SG 1200-1202.

    These detais have been omitted from the SG Catalog Part 18page 56.

    With thanks, Ray.

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  • 2014-08-26 Keijo wrote on Annotation techniques for stamp stock books
    @malcolm...

    Experience will tell where to leave blank spaces to insert future additions – although I did make some expensive mistakes along the way.


    Don't we all, LOL.

    Heck it works for me.


    And that's the most important part. :)

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  • 2014-08-26 Keijo wrote on Difficulty of collecting Chinese stamps
    @malcolm...

    Those grotty used Chinese stamps remind me of my favourite comments about condition. “Good condition” should always have the addition “for the issue/country/period(choose which is applicable)”. Would you reject the British Guiana 1c Black on Magenta because it is badly damaged? Sometimes you have to be pragmatic and accept the less than acceptable until a better one comes along.


    Hear, hear... Maybe the biggest problem here is how does a (worldwide) collector identify the problematic areas where the general quality might be lower than anticipated. Personally I would expect stamp catalogs to provide footnotes and information, but such mentions are very far and few.

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  • 2014-08-26 Keijo wrote on Some unissued Russian Civil war era stamps from Armenia
    @Malcolm... Actually I've been an avid reader of Trevor's blog for few years by now. If I ever manage to adapt even one percentage of what he knows on the topic of Russian stamps and postal history, I'll be a happy camper. LOL.

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  • 2014-08-26 Keijo wrote on Guatemala Primavera 1960 color changeling
    @malcolm...

    It is interesting that the red handstamp still exists at the left. However I think that in the raw it should be more red than it is.


    Agree. And maybe it was not red in the first place, but bright blue/violet like most Guatemalan handstamps.

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  • 2014-08-25 malcolm hirst wrote on Annotation techniques for stamp stock books
    I have to confess that I am a traditionalist and use blank album pages( best quality paper affordable) and hinges ( sacrilege!!). As a worldwide collector collecting only used stamps, but collecting shades,varieties and postmarks too ( seperately ) I find stockbooks both overly restrictive when expanding the collection, and in most cases overkill pricewise - and cheap stockbooks are not an option - I speak from bitter experience. My Great Britain collection is mostly mounted in the old-style springback albums. Although the albums are not all the same the leaves are the same size. I have only mounted so far Queen Elizabeth and it runs to 8 volumes - and I have mounted up about 40%. The rest of the world is in 4-ring albums divided as convenient at the time into country groups based on political,geographical (or a combination). Individual countries are set out either chronologically or in a definitive/commemorative/airmail or other split- each country being treated on its merits.Postmarks mostly on piece are on blank paper in multi ring plastic slieve in box files.Experience will tell where to leave blank spaces to insert future additions - although I did make some expensive mistakes along the way. Heck it works for me.

    Malcolm

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  • 2014-08-25 malcolm hirst wrote on Japan - Animal, plant and national treasure definitive series
    There is some sense in the SG approach to splitting these long-running multi-value sets.It divides them up into "bite-sized" chunks which makes it simpler to lay them out if you use hand written-up blank album pages like me. However some sets defy any attempt to sensibly divide them in a way which makes them easy to identify let alone write-up ( GB Machins springs to mind LOL).

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  • 2014-08-25 malcolm hirst wrote on Difficulty of collecting Chinese stamps
    Those grotty used Chinese stamps remind me of my favourite comments about condition. "Good condition" should always have the addition "for the issue/country/period(choose which is applicable)". Would you reject the British Guiana 1c Black on Magenta because it is badly damaged? Sometimes you have to be pragmatic and accept the less than acceptable until a better one comes along.

    Malcolm

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  • 2014-08-25 malcolm hirst wrote on Good buy vs. bad buy
    I would say vary your source-especially with kiloware. Buy too much from one source and all you get is more of the same. The dealer is buying from a limited number of sources himself,whereas another dealers sources are likely to be different. Also dealers buy in wholesale quantities - so that particular batch of kiloware can last for weeks or longer. So if you want to buy more go back a year later!

    I would say that the most succesful general collectors obtain their material in a variety of ways - bulk auction lots, e-bay lots, dealer buys and exchange. There are millions of stamps out there plus shades varieties and postmarks - as the man said variety is the spice of life!

    Malcolm

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  • 2014-08-25 malcolm hirst wrote on Some unissued Russian Civil war era stamps from Armenia
    You should look at the "armeniazemstvo.com" and stamps of armenia websites.



    Malcolm

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  • 2014-08-25 malcolm hirst wrote on Is it OK to give negative feedback?
    I have never used e-bay but I have exchanged on the internet ( I am a world wide collector).I do not expect or send damaged stamps, and when some of the stamps have heavy or unsightly postmarks ( common in many countries on modern stamps ) I say so.

    Also I dislike general or 100/100 offers. I normally do trades on this basis (random example): "Offer 100 postally used Irish stamps 1948 -1970 mainly definitives or Christmas.(usual slogan or other mechanical postmark).Want Equal number/ quality of stamps from one Scandinavian country - or make a counter offer."

    When someone contacts me in return I usually exchange at least 2 more e-mails before exchange.

    It does not protect you from crooks, but it does eliminate misunderstandings. I have had a very small number of disappointments through taking this rather more painstaking approach.

    Malcolm

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  • 2014-08-25 malcolm hirst wrote on Guatemala Primavera 1960 color changeling
    It is interesting that the red handstamp still exists at the left. However I think that in the raw it should be more red than it is.



    Being charitable it is a u.v. colour fade. Being less charitable it could be an effort to create a unknown rarity !! However as almost no-one collects Guatemala why would you bother?

    Malcolm

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  • 2014-08-25 Keijo wrote on Misc updates, notices etc.
    @Everyone... I've done a few minor tweaks with inner works of the blog.

    First, visible dates on all comments/discussions has been requested a good number of times over the years. This feature is now introduced to Premium members only.

    Another related new feature is notification box on top of page if there are any new comments since last visit. This feature is available to all readers.

    I'll be giving both of these features a try till end of September 2014. Whether or not they remain or exit depends on how they perform (and of course any feedback I'll get). As usual, my apologies if I've managed to break any existing functionality.

    -k-

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  • 2014-08-24 Keijo wrote on SCB Summer Camp: Filling spaces project
    Bump.... Added Soviet and Russian definitive stamps to the list.

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  • 2014-08-24 Keijo wrote on Guatemala Primavera 1960 color changeling
    @Cătălin...

    Is interesting that the background is still blue in both pieces.


    Yep... But on the other hand, cyan /blue is on the very opposite side of light spectrum. So it's one of the slowest ones to fade away.

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  • 2014-08-24 Keijo wrote on Is it OK to give negative feedback?
    @Robert... You bring up an interesting point about expectations. It's very easy to make false assumptions - especially if skipping the facts either by accident or knowingly (or by simply being lazy). It's definitely one of those areas where things can go easily seriously wrong if one or the both parties involved are hot-heated.

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  • 2014-08-24 Keijo wrote on Feedback for the blog
    @Robert...
    See response #51 above / on this page for my view on this question.

    OK. After some further thought over the weekend, I've decided to give this a try with Premium members. After all, it's been requested so many times... So when you are signed in, you should see the dates with all the comments (i.e. Keijo wrote on August 24, 2014...).

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  • 2014-08-24 Cătălin Cofaru wrote on Guatemala Primavera 1960 color changeling
    It looks like another stamp! Is interesting that the background is still blue in both pieces. Have a nice day!

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  • 2014-08-23 Robert Coulsey wrote on Is it OK to give negative feedback?
    Keijo,I understand your comments about leaving negative feedback even if it was deserved. I recently answered an ad to exchange stamps with a fellow in Canada. Many of the ads on the site indicated "used large stamps or commems" so I sent my name and address to him. He sent me his name and address along with 100+ used stamps. All the stamps were small, common and were considerably less than the lowest Scott catalog value of 25c. Many were damaged (cuts, tears, creased, etc.). Needless to say I was extremely disappointed in what he had sent and I let him know it. I also requested that I return all the stamps. He agreed.

    I re-read his ad and it said "Worldwide lots 100+ per send - no numbered wantlists, simply exchange". It did not say large or commems. Since I had misunderstood his ad, I did not give him negative feedback but I was fooled into thinking I would receive large stamps similar to other listings. I did not thoroughly read his ad. So I guess....buyer beware.

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  • 2014-08-23 Robert Coulsey wrote on Feedback for the blog
    Keijo,Many times I have clicked on a topic (e.g. How to Soak Kiloware....) and scrolled down to see what the last entry was. There is no date on each entry so I have to guess where I left off. Is it possible for you to add a date (posted or received) to each blog? I think it would help tremendously in scanning new blogs. Keep up the good work!!

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  • 2014-08-23 Keijo wrote on Q&A: stamps of Germany and German areas
    @Rick... Lucky you. All my specimens are of type II.

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  • 2014-08-23 Theo wrote on Is it OK to give negative feedback?
    .. . . .. .. .. and has anyone actually dared give a negative response on ebay? The email reaction from seller and from ebay is ferocious, all trying to get one to change ones honestly arrived at opinion. It seems damage to a badly packed stamp booklet or an undeclared savage thin is, in ebays opinion, deserving of nothing but high praise. Having said that, most sellers take care in their packing and protection, as well as in their descriptions.

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  • 2014-08-23 Rick Young wrote on Q&A: stamps of Germany and German areas
    Rick Young wrote:



    Thanks. I guess I have all Type II then (I have four of them)!

    Let me correct myself: I have both types! It looks like besides Type II having seven lines, the stairs are narrower at the top than the Type I (which I find easier to notice). Again, thanks!

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  • 2014-08-23 Keijo wrote on Premium membership information
    @Philip... Thanks for the praise and support :)

    Re, reminder of expiration... The system doesn't send out reminders, but instead relies that good folks take care of renewals by themselves if they find the service worth it. That said, once you're logged in, you should see (on the main page) how many days are remaining.

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  • 2014-08-23 Philip Reynolds wrote on Premium membership information
    Your blog is excellent, and I always open it and read various items - including some about issues not of direct 'use' to me. I intend to renew my subscription, due on about 17th September 2014 I think - not sure if you send a reminder? Thank you, best wishes, Philip

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  • 2014-08-23 Keijo wrote on Stamp Exchange 2014
    @John... That's good news :) Too bad with the long delivery time though - that is about 4x what it should have been.

    Re, future exchanges. Sure once the current situation (see top of page for information) clears up.

    Re, US stamps / want list... The holes I've got are mostly for the pre-1930s stamps, as well as 1990s era and onwards. For the years in between, I'm mostly looking for possible 'upgrade specimens', and stamps from the various mini/souvenerir sheets.

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  • 2014-08-23 John Terwilliger wrote on Stamp Exchange 2014
    Keijo,Your response to exchange #34 arrived today, August 22. It took 7 days to arrive in Finland and 42 days to return to the USA. I was so glad to receive the envelope as I was beginning to think it was lost. This is my first stamp exchange via the mail and so glad I did it. Expect more exchanges from me.

    I could probably fill any holes you have in your USA stamps. If you have a list or some specific ones you would like please let me know.

    Regards,

    John

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  • 2014-08-22 Rick Young wrote on Q&A: stamps of Germany and German areas
    Thanks. I guess I have all Type II then (I have four of them)!

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  • 2014-08-22 Keijo wrote on Q&A: stamps of Germany and German areas
    @Rick... Here's what you should be looking at (this is from type II stamp):

    Germany 1948 Holsten gate stamp stair types


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  • 2014-08-22 Rick Young wrote on Q&A: stamps of Germany and German areas
    I am trying to distinguish the two types of Holsten Gate 1M, 2M, 3M and 5M from 1948-51. Scott says to count the number of horizontal lines in the stairs: Type I has 4 lines, Type II has 7 lines. I cannot be sure what they are referring to by "stairs". Would you please straighten me out? Thanks!

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