Are postmarks/cancellations in itself worth anything?

edited October 2019 in Questions 0 LikesVote Down
I do understand that people collect anything and everything for more reasons than we can imagine.

So I am sure someone might collect anything from a certain city (I love my home village stuff, hardly anything ever comes up)......

But is there a real value?
As I posted on hippostcard the other day, value is relative. I am not generally getting paid for the value of my items but the time i spent to make them readily available to my buyers. I sell 'worthless' paper ephemera every day for $10 plus shipping.

Anyway.... I have some neat used stamps some on paper with clear cancellations.
E.g. a pre printed postcard corner cut off with a nice Pearl City HI cancellation from 1941 few months before Pearl Harbor...
Would it be worth starting to offer those?
And before someone tells me I should list them for 25 cents my minimum from now on out especially on OOAK items will be $4.99.
Any thoughts on that or would I waste my time?


  • 3 Comments sorted by Votes Date Added
  • Hello Martin,
    I live in Germany and I don't know US-cancels. But here in Europe a lot of old cancels have a value of 500, 1000 or more US-$ in addition to the stamp.
    So you have to check if this cancel of Pearl City is a scarce one. But I don't think so. Pearl Harbour was an enormous big marine base.
    best regards
  • If it was the day of invasion it will worth more. A few days prob not.
    There was a rural 1 clerk PO named Coyote, CA. It was closed down so I made a last day of cover with wolves etc... Guess what that 120 year old PO is opened again. Is it worth anything. No, only to me.
  • Personally I think it would be a waste of time if it is a cut corner or cut to shape.The only exception would be very scarce towns, say Helbock RF 6 or higher or $100 and up in ASCC. To give you an idea I purchased (from another dealer) a stockbook full of old stampless cut to shape dials from short lived towns including some early western territorials - probably a couple of hundred in all which if complete wraps or letters would be easily worth $20,000 or more sell price for the whopping total of $75. That was from a knowledgeable dealer who knew the worth of the covers if complete.

    There are very few one of a kind items -

    Ebay destroyed values in many fields. I remember purchasing a #10 cover from the Byrd Expedition off a stack of at least 50 identical covers from another dealer for $1.00. They were rubber banded together and all had a large tear on the bottom edge. I put it on Ebay and it sold for just shy of $200. I sent out a congratulatory email and the reply was "Congratulations my a.. - that was a stop on the southbound run that no cover has ever surfaced from. There are only two people in the whole world who know or care ...."

    The dealer I purchased it from put another one on Ebay a few months later - it sold for $10. What do you do with the other 48 covers ???

    Best to try to find similar items ... it never hurts to spend a few minutes to list 5 or 6 of a questionable type of item and see what happens.
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