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  1. #1
    John Bear is offline Senior Member
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    Is there a philatelist in the house? I've got a question/problem.

    So here's the situation. In the 1970s and 80's, when I was selling Bears Guide by mail, I was buying several thousand dollars worth of postage each month. Every time I bought 10 full sheets of stamps, I'd buy one more and store it away, thinking it might be worth more some day, and could never be worth less. I also saved all corner blocks. And I'd buy $100 a month worth of older (1900s-1920s) corner blocks.

    Now it is 25 years later, and I have thousands of dollars worth of stamps.

    The first problem is that they were not stored well, and some sheets (maybe 1/4 of them)are stuck to their albums or to each other. Living 2 years in Hawaii didn't help.

    Problem one is identifying them. Yes I know I can page through Scott's -- but surely there must be software or a way of using Google Images or TinEye to scan and identify them, and even get a notion of value.

    Problem two is separating the stuck ones. Of course I don't expect a profit, but there are people who advertise such stamps at a small discount in Linn's. What technology might I use?

    Problem 3 is how to sell them. I would prefer a single bulk sale, either "as is" or after separating. But I'd need an inventory. (Who knows, some of those old corner blocks might have value.) An ad in Linn's? A dealer? Online? I am not a stamp collector; never done this kind of thing.

    Problem 4 is who does the work. Not me, please. I could hire a student, I suppose. And I also wonder if anyone here might want to take it on in exchange for a nice percentage of the profits, when they are sold.

    Thanks for possible interest.

    John Bear

  2. #2
    Kizmet is offline Moderator
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    Sorry, I've limited my collection nerdiness to numismatics.
    American College of Sports Medicine

  3. #3
    John Bear is offline Senior Member
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    Kizmet: "Sorry, I've limited my collection nerdiness to numismatics."

    So I guess you don't want to trade 10,000 philats for 10,000 numis

  4. #4
    Kizmet is offline Moderator
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    LOL. I don't have that many numis. I collect silver dollars. Typically I will collect a number of relatively low value coins and once I've reached a certain critical value point I will approach another collector or a coin shop with a trade offer - my 10 lower value coins for their higher value single coin. Sometimes a bit of haggling ensues but not too often because they've all learned that me and my 10 coins will walk out the door if I don't get the deal that I want. Using this style of collecting my collection continues to grow in value but never exceeds a certain size. Right now my collection is more valuable than ever but consists of less than a dozen coins.
    American College of Sports Medicine

  5. #5
    Johann is offline Registered User
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    Dr. Bear: Problem two is separating the stuck ones. Of course I don't expect a profit, but there are people who advertise such stamps at a small discount in Linn's. What technology might I use?

    Johann: There is, unfortunately, no way to do this without partially decreasing the value of the stamps. Stamps successfully "unstuck" are properly referred to / sold as "disturbed gum" and yes - that drops the price accordingly. Most prevalent device is a "Sweatbox" containing dampened sponges that humidify the stamps enough that they can be separated with minimal (but always some) gum disturbance.

    If you search on "separating stuck stamps" you will find articles on how to build/use a "sweatbox." You will also read accounts of other methods, generally involving freezing or a hot iron, that work for some (and not others) but not without risk, and certainly none that work with no damage at all.

    Good luck. As a boy, I learned the Russian and Greek alphabets --and maybe a couple of others - through collecting stamps, but I didn't keep it up as an adult. I'm also more the "noomizmayer" type - as Det. Stavros on the old Kojak show once described himself, referring to his silver dollar collection.

    Johann
    Last edited by Johann; 01-10-2013 at 02:16 PM.

  6. #6
    Kizmet is offline Moderator
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    Quote Originally Posted by Johann View Post
    I'm also more the "noomizmayer" type - as Det. Stavros on the old Kojak show once described himself, referring to his silver dollar collection.
    Who luvs ya baby?
    American College of Sports Medicine

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