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Stamp Smarter: Buying stamps online internationally

Stamp Smarter: Buying stamps online internationally

I still remember how nervous I was when I signed up with eBay in the early 2000s. Despite I had been buying (and selling) actively at domestic stamp auctions for about a decade, doing things globally was like any first time. I was largely going with the flow and following my instincts. Needless to say a lot of trial and error has occurred in these 15 years, but I could not imagine a world otherwise , and these days about 75% of my stamp budget goes to various online dealers and auction houses around the globe. I think many worldwide stamp collectors have experienced a somewhat similar globalization of sources in recent decades, but I also know that some are still ‘stuck’ with the old way of buying locally only. Hopefully this post will provide some food for the thought as well as encouragement to step outside the local pool of suppliers. And if nothing more, this will hopefully provide non-European collectors a different kind of perspective what the life of collector is alike inside EU.

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Beautiful Stamps of the World – July 2017 edition

Beautiful Stamps of the World – July 2017 edition

Howdy ho all ye stamp lovers. It is time for another month of beautiful stamps around the world. With great interest I am looking forward whether or not my collection reaches the landmark of 110,000 stamps this month. Though I am only 136 stamps away from reaching this milestone, July has been traditionally a somewhat slow stamping month for me. It is summer and holidays, and life has got plenty of other stuff besides stamps (oh the blasphemy of it).

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Crash Boom Bang! (Or how stamp collecting has moved to 21st century digital world)

Crash Boom Bang! (Or how stamp collecting has moved to 21st century digital world)

As I was about to start typing this week’s blog post, I heard Crash Boom Bang (or more precisely it was a series of sounds that reminded of R2-D2 bleeping in distress) from my computer. My trusted workhorse of 7 years, a custom built Dell Latitude E6510 laptop, had just experienced a heat stroke due to which all the eight cores of it were forced to emergency shutdown. As I counted the minutes for the machine to cool down a bit before an attempt to reboot, a cold sweat poured all over my front head. Replacing the main system is every geeks worst nightmare. Though I do have multiple backups of my precious data and a number of systems that I can use for random online access and light work, there is only one system that has got ALL the pieces in place. It could take several weeks for a proper replacement machine to arrive, and even more time tinkering and tweaking the system to my liking. So I felt very worried.

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What keeps you motivated with stamps and collecting?

What keeps you motivated with stamps and collecting?

Hot showers are legendary for producing some of the best thinking in the world, and few times I have found myself pondering what keeps me motivated with stamps and collecting. In the end spending a lion’s share of ones life in collecting bits of paper that somebody used to lick does not sound as the smartest thing to do. Henry David Thoreau once wrote ‘Many men go fishing all of their lives without knowing it is not the fish they are after’. This holds true for stamps as well.

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Sincerely yours

Sincerely yours

Few nights back my missus and I went to nearest big city for some shopping. It was about one hour drive and while at it we listened to some talk radio. At first I didn’t put much weight to contents of the radio show, but when I found out it was all about letter writing in the early 19th century I started listening more carefully to story being told.

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Type Duval postage due stamps of France

Type Duval postage due stamps of France

For the past week I’ve been trying to make heads and tales out of French postage due stamps of 1881/1892 (aka. ‘type Duval noir’) and their colored successors of 1884/1941 (just ‘type Duval’). The main problem lies with the unfortunate fact that though many of the issues are somewhat common and low value,  about 25% of the issues catalog more than 100€. Needless to say this has attracted stamp forgers such Fournier to try their luck with these.

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Hamburg 1864 2½ schilling in brownish khaki – genuine or not

Hamburg 1864 2½ schilling in brownish khaki – genuine or not

I’m usually not attracted by uncancelled items, but the below Hamburg 1864 2½ schilling stamp caught my interest since stamps of Hamburg are somewhat rarely seen. From first looks it appears as Michel #14  (Scott 23) with one clear exception: the color of the stamp is brownish khaki instead of the standard green-ish color. The starting situation in itself poses two mind-intriguing questions.  First, is the stamp genuine or not?  And second, if it is genuine, then what could have caused the color change?

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Beautiful Stamps of the World – June 2017 edition

Beautiful Stamps of the World – June 2017 edition

As the summer season is once again upon and I’ve got a bit more time for the stamps in months ahead, I’m trying out some new things for the SCB.  In addition of the weekly blog entry,  for the next two to three months I will be sharing some ‘beautiful’ stamp from my collection.  These items will come through as I add new items or otherwise work with my collection, so any updates to this topic will appear irregularly. There will be no ‘deep’ philatelic knowledge on this page, just scans of stamps I fancy and maybe a random commentary about them. Whether or not this becomes a regular feature depends entirely on your feedback.  As always, hope you enjoy the stamp extravaganza ahead.

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Review of Lape Finland Concise stamp catalogue 2015

Review of Lape Finland Concise stamp catalogue 2015

Recently I ordered a box of new stock books from a clearance sale, and as a freebie I received two copies of LAPE Finland Concice Stamp Catalogue 2015. For a dealer out-of-date copies such as these they may be dead inventory, but as a collector I definitely love a cheap (or as in this case free) upgrade. Retail price of LAPE Concice has been about 20€ several years, but as the catalog comes out annually, older copies are somewhat easily available and sell for pittance locally. Usually the highest cost of obtaining Finnish catalogs is not the price of book itself, but postage and delivery costs.

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German ATM stamps (aka. Klüssendorf) – rethinking how to organize

German ATM stamps (aka. Klüssendorf) – rethinking how to organize

Though many might not agree with me, I consider ATM-stamps (which the Americans call Variable Rate Stamps or Variable Value stamps) as one of the best innovations in modern postage stamp production. Although stamp catalogs have got varying policies with inclusion of ATM-stamps (with Michel giving them full recognition, Scott listing only the US based stamps), they are real postage stamps. Whereas meters and labels are valid only by the licensed user from the specified location and on the date imprinted, the ATM-stamps behave just like postage stamps – buy once from any vending machine, use whenever and where-ever. With this entry I’ll be providing a simplified overview with one of the most common and popular area of them all – the German ATM-stamps.

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All original content and images of this blog is under copyright protection; any kind of reproduction of full contents without permission of the owner is hereby denied. All Rights Reserved © Keijo Kortelainen, 2009-2017. All photos of stamps in this blog are enlargements or reductions of original stamps from private collection of author of the blog (unless otherwise stated). The designs of stamps and postmarks are copyright of issuing postal authorities and their designers. The comments / discussion on this blog are copyright of their retrospective authors, and represent the opinion of their authors. When submitting content of any type to this Website, you agree that you assign to this Website and its successors perpetual and unlimited license free of charge to host, store, publish, reproduce, publicly display or otherwise use any content and materials of any type provided or contributed by You. Catalog numbers (Scott, Michel, SG etc) are the copyrighted property of their publishers. | See our privacy policy