With inflation now an economic reality, how do you think stamp values will fare?

It's pretty obvious to everyone now that the potential for runaway inflation is upon us. Retrospectively, stamps and collectibles can be volatile. With money becoming tighter , (meaning less discretionary income), will the market start to do interesting things again? images-1


  • 20 Comments sorted by Votes Date Added
  • There is no more chance of "runaway inflation" right now than there was in 2019. Don't make this forum Fox News, ok?
  • Troy, sorry you felt triggered by the topic , BUT we are experiencing price increases in all sectors, and it’s going to be interesting to see how the market responds for philatelic material . Don’t know how you pulled Fox News out of this , but nonetheless, agree that it’s not a political but question of economics .
  • edited July 6 4 LikesVote Down
    Troy: I suspect there will be a time in the not too distant future when you will look back and regret making that statement.

    Rene: I greatly enjoy stamp collecting as a hobby but have never considered it a hedge against inflation because my pockets are not deep enough to allow me to purchase investment quality stamps. The decision to spend several hundred dollars on a single stamp versus purchasing a large collection I can break down to build my person collection and increase my inventory here on HipStamp is an easy one for me to make. I favor the low value stamps even though I recognize that these are not going to keep pace with inflation... Any stamp you buy for less than a dime today will probably still be worth less than a dime 20 years from now, but your dime will be worth much, much less.

    I believe the market for stamps will take a minor hit if money becomes tighter, but I don't expect a major dip unless we go into a deep recession. Stamp collecting can be a relatively inexpensive activity and I believe collectors will continue to purchase stamps. They may reduce their spending or adjust their collecting preferences from blocks to singles, from mint to used, etc. but I doubt we will see a huge departure from the hobby.

    I recommend "The Buyers Guide" by Stephen R. Datz to those of you who are interested in purchasing United States stamps that have the possibility of keeping pace with inflation. All of his books are a joy to read, but this book is especially informative.


  • Keep in mind in the past 50 years a set of US Zepps has gone on a roller coaster ride up, down and sideways. From Linn's -

    "The United States issued these three Graf Zeppelin airmail stamps (Scott C13-15) on April 19, 1930. In the late 1970s, a mint never-hinged set in the grade of very fine could sell for as much as $10,000. Today they have a Scott Standard Postage Stamp Catalogue value of $2,125."

    A study of the history of those wild swings is revealing. Somewhere on amongst thousands of clipped articles in three bankers boxes is an article that explained how a good stamp dealer could make money on both the upswings and the downswings.

    Just like the age old advice on speculative stocks - never invest a cent that you can't afford to lose....

  • I agree with you completely in that Troy will regret making that statement and inexpensive stamps will always be inexpensive. Inflation is here to stay for a while and the government wants that because then the money they have to pay back on a fixed rate bond or bill will be a lot cheaper to pay. I just keep on buying gold and silver.
  • Troy, perhaps it would have been better had you omitted cnn talking points from the conversation. Are you one of their last nine viewers?

    "The U.S. inflation rate as of May 2021 was 5.0% compared to a year earlier. That means consumer prices increased by more than 5% over the course of a year—the sharpest such increase since August 2008. The inflation rate is an important economic indicator, because it tells you how quickly prices are changing. It's measured by the Consumer Price Index (CPI), which is reported by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) each month."


  • Of course prices are rising over a year ago, because of where we were a year ago: suffering a failed pandemic response which crashed the economy. But the potential for "runaway inflation" is not there. Anyone telling you that probably doesn't have your best interests in mind.

    Prices were down in 2020. They're bouncing back in 2021. That's how it works.
  • edited July 7 2 LikesVote Down
    I think we would see more impact on the supplies we use, on the cost of credit and money transfer, and on carrier or postal rates than on the actual value of stamps. Money is still very loose, there's an awful lot in circulation, and it's probably past time for prices to catch up.
  • Let's not fight over whether rising prices will lead to runaway inflation, no one knows. But rising prices plus rising wages is, by definition, inflation.
    The thing with stamps is that they already exist, so no increased production costs to make up. At the low end, prices are arbitrary, at the high end they're speculative. Normal market pressures don't really apply.
    But inflation becomes a psychological problem. It makes you worry about money. When you are worried about being able to afford necessities, you don't spend it on frivolous things.
    So rather than philatelic prices going up with inflation, they could go down due to lack of demand.
  • What part of "the sharpest such increase since August 2008" perplexes you?
    Bouncing back? I had to cancel a construction project at my house because the original estimate, made just prior to the nonsensical lockdown in NYS, at a little over $3K, bumped to just shy of $12K recently due to the price of lumber. If that's not runaway inflation, what is?
  • Tell me about lumber. I cancelled putting up a cedar fence and got vinyl instead, due to the price. But the price of vinyl remains steady. That's the difference between inflation and runaway inflation. If it were runaway, all prices go up. Back in the early '80s I had a mortgage at 14% interest, I recently refinanced my current mortgage at 3.125%. That's not runaway yet.
  • Well the price of lumber more than tripled after a few months. It came down at least, likely just price gauging like natural gas in Texas during the snowstorm. However, you should be accustomed to higher prices for goods and services anyway.

  • edited July 7 8 LikesVote Down
    One thing I know for sure is, while other prices may be rising, paper and envelopes remain stationery.
  • Oh man Ted, thats just perfect!
  • Solid!
  • edited July 8 3 LikesVote Down
    Ted thanks Costco for his cheap stationary supplies but he refuses to order them from JET because he prefers to get them delivered by truck.
  • If you want reality on how fast this figure head president is destroying every aspect of this country, you need to quit watching cnn and msnbc. Sorry for the reality check !
  • Ok, enough of this crap. I'll go some place where people talk about stamps. I can get dreck like this on TV.
  • And this is why politics and stamps will never mix.

  • Well, water and stamp collecting are a far worse mixture . As far as politics, well no matter what, there will always be William Howard Taft ...who Teddy Roosevelt called “PUZZLEWIT,” “FATHEAD,” “ WITH BRAINS LESS THAN A GUINEA PIG.”.... and really only history lovers ( aka stamp collectors) can still find amusement in. And even these less than optimal leaders had stamps issued after them. Appreciating all sides, Andale' amigos!images-1
Sign In or Register to comment.