Buying stamp bundles

I see on Ebay several listings of early Australia stamps offered with many multiples, even bundled hundreds, of the same stamp. Coming from an Australian dealer. Am I correct in assuming most stamps coming from dealers have likely been searched for flaws and there rarities?


  • 9 Comments sorted by Votes Date Added
  • Yup.
    Even if they say "not checked" or the like.
    BUT, if you're studying the particular example, it may be fine to buy a bulk of them.
    Just don't expect to find rarities.
  • amI supposed to get rich?

    Thanks Scott
  • In all honesty, not that way.
    Buy collections. I find the most "mis-IDd" stuff there (though in fairness, usually to the detriment, not to the advantage). So you have to be careful how you price collection acquisition.

    And seriously, watch sites like this. Material often goes undervalued, especially in the weekly no-reserve auctions. Get deals there, sit on them a few weeks to a couple of years, re-sell at market instead of someone just dumping inventory.

    But the real "Money" and advantage is in collections. You buy bulk, break it up, and the individuals always make more money, but it takes time. Expect 6 to 12 months to fully recover the cost, and then everything after that is pure profit.
  • Even if previously checked, bundles are OK if looking for cancels for particular towns or specific dates.
  • Don't see many collections on Ebay or Etsy, and often those you see you can tell they've been picked through. Need to find a source...any anyone can think of for primarily British Commonwealth?
  • edited June 2022 0 LikesVote Down
    "Find a source." No magic there - when I had an antique shop pickers found I would buy old postcards, letters and stamps from them. I never argued price and the few times I overpaid on purpose were almost always rewarded on subsequent purchases.

    No shop? Do shows - lots of bargains from dealers at the end of a bad show - even an entire dealers stock at some... and be nice to the older folk who come in with their shoeboxes of stuff. Some of those old approvals from the 50's and 60's have improved very significantly over the years.

    Go to a few garage sales and local auctions that mention anything paper, talk to the seller to see what else they may have. One seller told me "I have a whole bunch of old brown postcards - don't think anyone would want them." Local real photo postcards are good. Stop at every little bookstore and antique shop and ask if they have any "old letters". If your interests extend to content or ephemera they can be a gold mine. I once picked up a manuscript cancel from our county that our local dealer/collector had never seen a copy of and he had 234 of the 236 towns that ever had a post office in the county,

    Sitting and trolling ebay has become pretty futile - back in the late 90's and early 2000's there was a lot of material. I remember one Scott US 286 advertised as "old cover" that was a FDC....... the sniping at the end was a sight to behold.

    it's called WORK. The more pairs of shoes you wear out the more you will find. When you look for a job you "network". Do the same thing in your search for stamps. The more time you spend actually out there searching in person, the more things you will find.
  • To be honest, I find the best value in collections to be those where I'm paying $10k or more. My target collection is usually around $25k. Not everyone is in that position, but if you really want to make it at the stamp game, build up to it. You have to keep turning your result back into buy the next collection, the next collection, the next collection, and THEN you reach that critical mass, and you can start to make it off your stamp dealing. And it's that DEALING, not SELLING. The difference? KNOW YOUR SH--.

    I literally started by buying a $1,000 collection (specifically to resell, I had been a collector for years), and I sold that. Made $4k in about 5 months. Took all that, bought another collection for $4k. Rinse repeat, keep building. It will take you a year or two, and then you make it up to the big leagues. Another couple of years, and your in the majors IF you do the hard yards, and really understand your material, and it's condition. This is the key to being a quality dealer, and making a living at it.

    I do this "part time" (I have an admin that manages the day-to-day and shipping). I do buying, IDing and admin does most (but not all) listing and shipping. I'm literally building a house off the result.
    Eventually, this will become my retirement gig. It's not for everyone, but there's still plenty of room in the market for dealers with integrity and ethics.
  • John O'Neil
    Are you familiar with Stamp Auction Network?.. Do you have or need to develope a successful 'Bidding Strategy? Are you on any e-Mail lists of major Commonwealth Auctions?
    Sandafayre.. Cavendish.. Warwick..Grosvenor?? That will help you to see current market conditions.
    U.S. based auctions also have many Commonwealth lots. Expand your horizon John.. You will learn a lot.
  • edited June 2022 0 LikesVote Down
    Great advice all.

    Henry...I picked up a dad's "collection" via ETSY. It was only about 50 miles so I drove there. The seller (deceased dad's son) was asking $20, so it was an easy decision. The seller basically handed me a big paper bag through the door. Upon going through the contents at home I found an old, and pretty basic album, a Whitman's chocolate box full of paper and stamps, and a few brown manilla envelopes. Literally nothing in the album was worth selling. The Whitman box had literally thousands of stamps....I spent several hours trying to see if anything was worth selling. There were none I could see and a ton of stamps were stuck together. However....the box and manilla envelopes also had dozens of first day covers, and a few dozen postcards from Michigan (all unused), and a dozen or so used from around the world. Having no idea if FDC were any good, and not knowing much about postcards, I set them aside. Now, I'll look at them a bit more closely.

    Scott....I follow you completely, and have been exploring auctions (Catawiki). I'd like to start in that $1000 range, but hard to find. I'll just keep looking

    Dan...I will look into all those.

    Thanks again folks!
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