The last stamp needed

My effort to collect every stamp from 1970 got a boost today.  The last stamp I needed to finish my collection of Egyptian stamps for that year finally arrived….and what a strange trip it has been.

I bought what was advertised as the complete year on Ebay.  Sadly, it was missing two stamps, one of which was quite expensive and one of which was moderately priced.  I should have returned the whole set and written a bad review of the seller.  Instead, I took a substantial discount and bided my time.

I managed to collect the more expensive one a few months later.  The less expensive one proved to be a bit more elusive.  There were lots of sellers, but it was hard to justify paying as much for shipping as it was for the stamp.  I had to wait until I found a seller who also had some other things that I wanted.

Come to think of it, maybe that is the ploy.  They have a substantial shipping cost, which forces me to buy more to “make it worth my while”.  I should probably feel a bit duped, but instead, I am so happy to tick off that country in my collection.

I found a seller that was having a sale and bought a bunch of Canadian stamps to fill in some holes in my collection.  This seller also had the elusive Egyptian stamp.  I probably spent more than I wanted to–but that happens all the time.  It happens on the computer and it happens at shows.

The stamp itself is quite interesting and surprisingly large.  It might very well be the largest single stamp I have in my collection.

Stamp Mystery Bag

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The envelope the stamps came in.

I have been reading that Covid 19 and the lockdown has been a boon to stamp collecting.  I am not sure whether that is true or not, but I do know that I have ordered more stamps than usual, and that I am spending more time with my collection.  However,  maybe cabin fever has gotten to me.  I am not really sure.  I did something I had not planned to do.  I bought a stamp mystery collection from Ebay.  I don’t know whether it is because of Covid 19 or because the stamps that I ordered for my collection were taking a long time to arrive.  I have been working from home and needed something to do.  So I took a chance because I saw the advertisement while I was playing one of those flash games.

I have seen these advertisements in stamp magazines for the years that I have been interested in this hobby.  I would love a huge box of 20 thousand stamps to explore, but I don’t know what I would do with them afterwards.  That being said, I decided to make this blog (though I considered making a YouTube video first) to show you what I got and maybe you can make your own decision about this.

So, I chose the least expensive lot.  It was listed for 11.99 Canadian and shipping within Canada was included.  I put it in my watch list and was going to come back to it later.  I recieved an email the next day offering me a ten percent discount.  So, now the price was listed at 10.79. (7.73 US today)   I decided to take the gamble.

So this is what I got, and the prices people are trying to get on Hipstamp.  Of course, you can find better deals, but we need some baseline.  The prices I am  listing are sometimes approximations and are in US dollars and do not include a shipping fee.

All stamps were MNH except one of the Canadian stamps and the package was secure.

  • Norway 318 -320 (4 to 5 dollars)
  • Norway 363  ($0.25)
  • Armenia 452-456 ($1.32)
  • Armenia 464-471 ($0.90)
  • Tanzania 816-822 ($7.00)
  • Canada 191 ($0.75)
  • Canada 215 (heavily used)  ($1.50)
  • San Marino 39  I could only find a used version, perhaps a little more than a dollar
  • Iran 1967 (0.75)
  • India C7 ($2.00)
  • Mexico 392-392  I couldn’t find an example of this one, but I consider this a decent find.

So, how did I do?  I think I came out ahead.  At the very least, I don’t feel like I was ripped off.  I have watched a few videos on YouTube which seem to suggest that is a likely scenario.  More importantly,  I enjoyed the thrill of opening the package and discovering what was included.  I appreciate that these stamps came as if I were at a show and going through the index boxes rather than a pile of stamps on paper in a box.

Would I do it again?  I think I would.  I might even go for the bigger batch next time.  If you are interested the headline was “Huge Dealer Liquidation.” and the seller was dr.note. I paid for these stamps myself and I am in no way affiliated with the seller.  I just appreciate not being taken and I enjoyed the experience.

I would love to hear your comments on the stamps and how you think I did.  I would also love to read about your experiences buying mystery bags.

Covers

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In completing the 1970’s stamp project, I know that there are a few ways to tackle the collection aspect of it.

I can go to shows and depending on my preparation, I can score a number of stamps this way.  I can also be blindsided by shiny accessories and completely skew my budget.

I can go to shops and do pretty much the same thing I can do at shows, but with fewer people around.  I don’t know if this will mean better or worse deals, but it wouldn’t be a bad way to spend an afternoon…or a whole day.

I am on the Staporama forum/website.  They have auctions and approvals which sometimes yield some decent bargains (I missed getting the Tokelau stamps I wanted in a recent approval offering–but maybe someday they will appear again.

I can search eBay.  There are lots of people selling complete collections of 1970 stamps that look so inviting.  Other people have broken them down into smaller sets, but with persistence, tenacity, patience, and lots of checking, I can usually slap together the whole year.

The interesting thing about the last two ideas is that the stamps get sent to me in the mail.  This is pretty awesome because some of the dealers send the stamps in nice form and the covers are amazing.  I just wanted to share a few with you.

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My First ebay Experience

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As I was contemplating my Year of Stamps project, I discovered that Ebay has lots stamps for sale. So, I went and bought some.  This was my first purchase, but I doubt it will be my last.

The thing is, after I made the purchase, I was told that the package would arrive by June 6th. Unfortunately, it did not arrive until June 21st.  Having dealt mostly with Amazon, I expected it before the date, not two weeks after.  I got nervous after the first week and emailed the seller.  I even reached out to the stamp forum that I am on seeking their advice.  Virtually everyone said to wait as Canada customs seemed to like holding these things up a little.  The stamps were coming from Belgium, I should explain.

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My purchases have arrived and I am very happy. I bought a bunch of Canadian Olympic stamps and crossed six countries (Lichtenstein, West Germany, Austria, Iceland, Spain, and Israel) off my list.