Collector Cartels

Collector Cartels

Post by Jay T Carrig » Thu, 04 Jan 1996 04:00:00



There has been some discussion recently of dealer cartels controlling
the market in certain stamps (e.g. US Zepps).  Collectors are also not
above trying the same thing.  I have been told that Mr. H, a famous
midwestern collector of D-----, regularly submits auction bids on rare
items he already has in order to keep the price up.


 
 
 

Collector Cartels

Post by terr » Fri, 05 Jan 1996 04:00:00



: There has been some discussion recently of dealer cartels controlling
: the market in certain stamps (e.g. US Zepps).  Collectors are also not
: above trying the same thing.  I have been told that Mr. H, a famous
: midwestern collector of D-----, regularly submits auction bids on rare
: items he already has in order to keep the price up.

Makes me want to vomit. Puke.
I wish there were 2 stamp collecting groups. One for people who *INVEST*
their money in rare preeeeeeeeetty valuable stamps and one for people who
just love the stamps and the history behind them. It just seems rather
I dont know what to absolutely strive for and be willing to pay hundreds
of percent more for a stamp because "It has such oh so nice margins"

Anyways, suckheads bidding on stamps just to keep the prices up is no
different than insurance fraud. If the shoe fits..... then you are
detestable! Yes, hated and despised. MONEY MONEY MONEY!!! OOH OOH OOH!!!
Make money with stamps! OH OH OH!!! YESSSS!!! Get rich. Die.

-terry

 
 
 

Collector Cartels

Post by Dale R. Egge » Fri, 05 Jan 1996 04:00:00


Quote:
> There has been some discussion recently of dealer cartels controlling
> the market in certain stamps (e.g. US Zepps).  Collectors are also not
> above trying the same thing.  I have been told that Mr. H, a famous
> midwestern collector of D-----, regularly submits auction bids on rare
> items he already has in order to keep the price up.



   ANOTHER REASON TO BECOME A SPECIALIST

        This is one of the major reasons I moved in the
direction of becoming more focused in my collecting.  You
could tell this was taking place and I wanted to avoid
collecting an area where I would be "sucked in" (in the
language of a by gone era) to having to buy such material
to complete a collecting area.  I wanted to have fun
without having to worry about the "investment" issue.

        I think a problem is that a lot of people confuse
specialized with being an expert.  I cetainly don't think
that has to be the case at all.  Certainly if one limited
himself to a particular issue, for instance, this might
be considered equivalent.  But certainly thematics, topicals,
etc, etc. are things people can do in the specialized
arena with out having to take on becoming an expert.

        Personally, I think that the area of specialized
interests is going to grow by leaps and bounds by those
who want to concentrate on the fun aspects of the hobby
and at the same time don't want to worry too much about
the "investment" aspects of the hobby.

        And there will be "media pressure" from those with
the investment interests who will try and foster a collecting
definition among collectors that meet their special interests
in holding and growing prices.

                 My Personal Opinion Only,
                        Dale Eggen

 
 
 

Collector Cartels

Post by Dale R. Egge » Fri, 05 Jan 1996 04:00:00


Quote:
> There has been some discussion recently of dealer cartels controlling
> the market in certain stamps (e.g. US Zepps).  Collectors are also not
> above trying the same thing.  I have been told that Mr. H, a famous
> midwestern collector of D-----, regularly submits auction bids on rare
> items he already has in order to keep the price up.



   ANOTHER REASON TO BECOME A SPECIALIST

        This is one of the major reasons I moved in the
direction of becoming more focused in my collecting.  You
could tell this was taking place and I wanted to avoid
collecting an area where I would be "sucked in" (in the
language of a by gone era) to having to buy such material
to complete a collecting area.  I wanted to have fun
without having to worry about the "investment" issue.

        I think a problem is that a lot of people confuse
specialized with being an expert.  I cetainly don't think
that has to be the case at all.  Certainly if one limited
himself to a particular issue, for instance, this might
be considered equivalent.  But certainly thematics, topicals,
etc, etc. are things people can do in the specialized
arena with out having to take on becoming an expert.

        Personally, I think that the area of specialized
interests is going to grow by leaps and bounds by those
who want to concentrate on the fun aspects of the hobby
and at the same time don't want to worry too much about
the "investment" aspects of the hobby.

        And there will be "media pressure" from those with
the investment interests who will try and foster a collecting
definition among collectors that meet their special interests
in holding and growing prices.

                 My Personal Opinion Only,
                        Dale Eggen

 
 
 

Collector Cartels

Post by Ken Coh » Sat, 06 Jan 1996 04:00:00



Quote:

> There has been some discussion recently of dealer cartels controlling
> the market in certain stamps (e.g. US Zepps).  Collectors are also not
> above trying the same thing.  I have been told that Mr. H, a famous
> midwestern collector of D-----, regularly submits auction bids on rare
> items he already has in order to keep the price up.

Whether this kind of ***sucking succeeds depends largely on the
available supply of the items they're hoarding.  Unfortunately, with the
Zepps, they may be able to accomplish their aims.  But don't forget the
Hunt brothers who, around 1979-81 tried to "corner" the silver market, in
the process bidding the price up from around $2/ounce to $50/ounce.  They
ended up bankrupt, however, because when they tried to sell their $50
silver they couldn't find any buyers. They finally flooded the market with
silver, the price plummetted (today it's around $5), and they went under.
I wish the same end on the Zeppelin cartel.
 
 
 

Collector Cartels

Post by Carl F. Cer » Sat, 06 Jan 1996 04:00:00


I've got to follow up on this (If my news reader lets me.  It's been finicky
lately)

First, has anybody any solid evidence that a cartel exists that controls prices
in zeppelins?  I've heard the rumor for years.  Who can show any evidence at
all?  I am very dubious a cartel could operate in all the world's disparate
stamp markets or that they would be willing to tie up their capital in
multiple zeppelin sets at $1,000 or so apiece.

Second, is such a cartel necessarily evil?  Assume for a minute the "cartel"
exists.  How many people who paid $1,000 or so for a set of zeppelins would like
to see the the cartel disappear?

If a cartel does exist, we could describe them as "market makers".
Market makers are necessary to ensure an orderly market.  They buy when the
price drops below a certain level and sell when it goes above.  Much better
than crazy fluctuations.  Sellers always have someone to sell to and buyers
always have a source.

CFC

 
 
 

Collector Cartels

Post by Aps k » Sat, 06 Jan 1996 04:00:00


Yes, some collectors engage in cartel activity also. My original
discussion concerned primarily common material, such as Zeps, for which
more exist than the market can bear at the current price level if freely
traded.
Jay's example concerns rarities, I think. Most intelligent observers
presume that situation exists, even when it doesn't. Recall the open
speculation in the philatelic press more than a decade ago the Weill
brothers would "have to" bid up the Princeton block of Jenny inverts to
support the value of their stock. (They didn't.)

Ken Lawrence

 
 
 

Collector Cartels

Post by AJJens » Sun, 07 Jan 1996 04:00:00


The ones that get me are the collectors that make a major discovery on a
plate flaw or something and then keep it quiet until they have checked all
the stock that they can get their hands on.. Then they get it listed in a
catalog or philatelic press and make a few $$.
 
 
 

Collector Cartels

Post by Jerry De » Sun, 07 Jan 1996 04:00:00


Quote:

>I wish there were 2 stamp collecting groups. One for people who *INVEST*
>their money in rare preeeeeeeeetty valuable stamps and one for people who
>just love the stamps and the history behind them. It just seems rather
>I dont know what to absolutely strive for and be willing to pay hundreds
>of percent more for a stamp because "It has such oh so nice margins"


Terry, I disagree with you to a point.

I personally believe one should find the nicest possible copy of any
stamp - if one collects mint, it should be never hinged if a modern
stamp, the centering should be at least VF (I think anything beyond
that is nonsense to drive up the stamp's price, I do agree with you
that paying for XF/Superb versus VF is ridiculous), should be free of
visible fingerprints.  If used the stamp should also be well centered,
defect free with clean crisp cancels.

What if we all rebelled against the marketplace and refused to pay
premium prices for NH and VF centered stamps?  If it worked, great.
But if it didn't, we'd be stuck with tons of stamps and at some time
someone's going to sell them and they will be sneered at by the
dealers, such nice stamps, but you hinged them all, and get an insult
of an offer.

I don't collect to make money but I DO collect to maximize whatever
resale vaule my stamps will get - wether I choose to sell at some time
or my heirs - and I personally believe the best way to do this is to
get the nicest material you can afford.  

-- Jerry Derr

Quote:
>-terry

 
 
 

Collector Cartels

Post by Dale R. Egge » Sun, 07 Jan 1996 04:00:00


Quote:
> I've got to follow up on this (If my news reader lets me.  It's been finicky
> lately)

> First, has anybody any solid evidence that a cartel exists that controls prices
> in zeppelins?  I've heard the rumor for years.  Who can show any evidence at
> all?  I am very dubious a cartel could operate in all the world's disparate
> stamp markets or that they would be willing to tie up their capital in
> multiple zeppelin sets at $1,000 or so apiece.

> Second, is such a cartel necessarily evil?  Assume for a minute the "cartel"
> exists.  How many people who paid $1,000 or so for a set of zeppelins would like
> to see the the cartel disappear?

> If a cartel does exist, we could describe them as "market makers".
> Market makers are necessary to ensure an orderly market.  They buy when the
> price drops below a certain level and sell when it goes above.  Much better
> than crazy fluctuations.  Sellers always have someone to sell to and buyers
> always have a source.

> CFC

        Assuming there is a market place in stamps as is suggested,
this has the appearance of commondity trading, is this what is
meant?  The above seems to be addressing stamps from more
of an investiment, money makeing point of view than as a hobby,
again is this what is meant?

        I know as a collector who is in the hobby for fun,
knowledge, and understanding, I very much want to avoid
material in my collection that has to be looked at from the
investment and commodity trading point of view.  Those who
are into stamps primarily for this reason sure have the
right to do so, but likewise, I sure want to be in a different
area of stamps then they are.

        Myself, I do believe that there are many stamps which
can be considered to be no more than consummer items, yes the
price for these are also subject to supply and demand once
no longer available from the issuing concerns and there will
be fluctuations of prices for a number of reasons.  Certainly
individual sets here are much less subject to being cornered
than higher price items.  And yes indeed we know that people
specualte on such items for investment purposes but rarely
do such activities have significant financial impact on the
collector (yes there is a relative issue here I feel, my buying
a set for  US$1.00 vs. US1.50 is of no real impact and is
certainly is not done on my part with investment considerations,
maybe more like a ride on an amu***t ride.  But if I am
going to get into buying stamps at US$1000.00 vs. US$1000.00,
you better believe I am not going to look at this as an expenditure
for my hobby as the primary consideration.  In contrast,
millionairs might consider it no more than like my US$1.00 set.)

        As jsut a collector, I don't have time to keep up
with all the factors that have impact on price, so I very
much out of neccesity need to stay away from investment
asspects of stamps as any major thrust of my hobby endevors.
I sure have no intent what-so-ever of trying a stunt like
the Hunt brothers.  I know people win big at this sort of
thing also, sometimes.  As far as stamps go, I just want
to stay out of the way of such people and stay in the fun/
amu***t/learning portion of the stamp arena

                A personal point of view only,
                                        Dale Eggen

 
 
 

Collector Cartels

Post by SteveS » Tue, 09 Jan 1996 04:00:00



writes:

Quote:
>The ones that get me are the collectors that make a major discovery on a
>plate flaw or something and then keep it quiet until they have checked
all
>the stock that they can get their hands on.. Then they get it listed in a
>catalog or philatelic press and make a few $$.

Can there be a cartel of one?  I think not!  And if you make a discovery,
why shouldn't you keep it to yourself until you've acquired all that you
want before the price shoots up.  Think of how much more the discoverers
of the Civil War sheet errors would have made if they could have kept
quiet until the issue was revised and all incorrect stock returned to be
destroyed??

Steve Washburne

 
 
 

Collector Cartels

Post by Bill Mart » Thu, 11 Jan 1996 04:00:00



Quote:

>There has been some discussion recently of dealer cartels controlling
>the market in certain stamps (e.g. US Zepps).  Collectors are also not
>above trying the same thing.  I have been told that Mr. H, a famous
>midwestern collector of D-----, regularly submits auction bids on rare
>items he already has in order to keep the price up.



If there truly is a cartel at work maintaining Zepp prices, it seems to
me that "their" success has been questionable.  It doesn't seem all that
long ago that really nice sets of Zepps were selling for $4000.00 to
$5000.00 and more.  I'm old, maybe my remembery isn't as good as it used
to be.


 
 
 

Collector Cartels

Post by stev.. » Thu, 11 Jan 1996 04:00:00




Quote:
> The ones that get me are the collectors that make a major discovery on a
> plate flaw or something and then keep it quiet until they have checked all
> the stock that they can get their hands on.. Then they get it listed in a
> catalog or philatelic press and make a few $$.

I'm 100% with Jerry Jensen's thought, but as I pointed out in the last
issue of The Plate Number and Great Americans Review before I folded it so
I could finally retire, the biggest thieves are dealers who do what Jerry
describes, not collectors.
The case at hand was the finding of a pane of U.S. self-adhesive stamps
with  a new combination of plate numbers. These were bought from the post
office at about $5 and kept secret by a handful of dealers until the 29c
postal rate was history. Then they hit the market at $450.
Why take it out on collectors, Jerry?

--
Stephen G. Esrati

 
 
 

Collector Cartels

Post by AJJens » Fri, 12 Jan 1996 04:00:00


It isn't just dealers, collectors do it too (cracked plate on the 1 Mark
Reichspost is what I had in mind), Steve.  I got a bunch of private E-mail
on this one, all basically saying "that's my reward for the research
work".  One way to look at it, I guess.

How many hours have you spent trying to provide information to other
collectors for THEIR benefit?  I guess I should through my writings and
books into that too!
Some are greedy, some share.

 
 
 

Collector Cartels

Post by Jay T Carrig » Sat, 13 Jan 1996 04:00:00


Jerry,

If I found a supposed variety, I think I would want to look around
a bit and see if I can first prove whether or not it is constant, and
even determine its position if I could.  In fact, I do have a stamp
in exactly that situation so I'll use this forum to announce it.

The stamp in question is Germany's 1941 Mozart commemorative - Scott
B200, Michel 810.  Michel lists two rather pricey flyspeck varieties,
but mine is not one of them.  What I have is an easily noticed spot in
the right margin just below center.  If I could find another one, it
would prove that it is a constant variety and would enhance the value
of my stamp.  If I could find it in a sheet or positional block, then
I could probably convince the editors of Michel to list it and put a
high price on it.  (BTW, I haven't yet been able to check a copy of
Schantl's catalog to see if it's listed there.)

And, since I started this thread, I'll take this opportunity to say
that I was indeed talking about rarities in the 4 and 5 figure range,
the story was told to me by the collector himself, and he could well
afford to acquire a duplicate if he miscalculated his bid.  Also, I
guess I misnamed this thread since this really was a cartel of one.



Quote:

>It isn't just dealers, collectors do it too (cracked plate on the 1 Mark
>Reichspost is what I had in mind), Steve.  I got a bunch of private
E-mail
>on this one, all basically saying "that's my reward for the research
>work".  One way to look at it, I guess.

>How many hours have you spent trying to provide information to other
>collectors for THEIR benefit?  I guess I should through my writings and
>books into that too!
>Some are greedy, some share.