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Cancel to order - why are they worth so little  
 

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Posted 02/23/2017   5:39 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this topic Add wheelman to your friends list  Get a Link to this Message
Still relatively newly returned to the hobby. Just curious why CTOs are so looked down on from a collectability stand point. My collection is predominantly pre 1975 but I do run into a fair amount of CTOs even trying to complete some of those years. Not that I really mind the low prices as it is a convenient low cost way to keep my granddaughter in really good looking stamps.
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Posted 02/23/2017   5:42 pm  Show Profile Check 51studebaker's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add 51studebaker to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
CTO stamps can be printed and cancelled without ever even being in the country that issued them. This feels more like someone is printing money and not a 'real' stamp to many collectors. A postally used stamp feels more legitimate to many folks.
Don
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Posted 02/23/2017   5:51 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add alub to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
With many of these issues it is exceedingly rare to find a copy that was actually used on a letter.
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Posted 02/23/2017   6:53 pm  Show Profile Check TheArtfulHinger's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add TheArtfulHinger to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
CTO's are seen by some collectors as not truly valid issues, more or less. Mint and postally used issues had to be purchased at face value from the post office and thus they have or had an inherent value (i.e. they were a form of money, so to speak). CTO issues never had that inherent value and were created directly for sale to collectors; they were never a form of money. If there's one thing that many collectors despise, it's something that was actually created for collectors. That being said, if you don't mind CTO's, there's no reason not to collect them. They can certainly be an easy and inexpensive way to build a collection.
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Edited by TheArtfulHinger - 02/23/2017 8:59 pm
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Posted 02/24/2017   10:24 am  Show Profile Check Stamps1962's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add Stamps1962 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
I have a large Russia collection. I cannot imagine trying to collect those stamps in mint NH condition and then cutting out thousands of mounts for them. So I buy CTO material for most of the modern era. No I am not building an investment, who cares? I'm having fun.
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Posted 02/24/2017   10:28 am  Show Profile Check smauggie's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add smauggie to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
I collect Panama since I grew up there and lived there for 28 years. Many of their 1960's stamps were issued precancelled. I collect them mint, used, on cover and precancelled to get the full range of usage. For Panama, for every stamp that was precancelled they were also offered in post offices as well, but often small amounts and for a limited period of time. Finding them in mint or postally used or used on cover is a fun challenge when the precancels are more predominantly found.
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APS Member #: 222539 AAPE, Maplewood Stamp Club (MN), Northern Philatelic Society, US Philatelic Classics Society, Auxiliary Markings Club, Canal Zone Study Group, Minnesota Postal History Society
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Posted 02/24/2017   3:16 pm  Show Profile Check TheArtfulHinger's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add TheArtfulHinger to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply

Quote:
No I am not building an investment, who cares? I'm having fun.

Exactly. I don't seek out CTO's, but I will save them if they turn up in some lot I purchase and if I need them for my collection. I will replace them with a mint copy or a neatly cancelled postally used copy if one comes along, but I've probably got a couple thousand or so CTO issues scattered amongst my collections.
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Posted 02/24/2017   3:37 pm  Show Profile Check Petert4522's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add Petert4522 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Well, I believe there is a difference between precanceled stamps and CTO's. I have no trouble whatsoever with precanceled stamps - they are meant to be used on the mails. CTO's may be used on the mail; the ones that are not meant to be used is what I refer to as wallpaper.

Peter
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Posted 02/25/2017   3:42 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add ikeyPikey to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
I believe that smauggie used 'precancelled' in the literal-functional sense, and not the philatelic sense.

Inartfully stepping on a term of art, so to speak.

Cheers,

/s/ ikeyPikey
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Posted 02/25/2017   10:41 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add YeaPolska to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
To answer the original question as to why they are worth so little - it's because there are millions & millions of them. Oversupply - under-demand = worthless.
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Posted 02/26/2017   07:52 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add wheelman to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Thanks all for the replies. Guess as the majority of my collection is esthetic I will just let them look nice filling pages in the albums and being a good grampa keeping a couple of grandchildren interested in the hobby.
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Posted 02/26/2017   07:57 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add wheelman to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Just a follow up curiosity question. When entering inventory in EZ Stamp, how should they be categorized? Mint hinged, used or?
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Posted 03/03/2017   4:56 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Rob Roy to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
I wonder if CTO's cost less to produce than regular mint stamps. Otherwise, they would have sold them as mint.

For me, mint is somewhere between CTO's and cancelled, because only cancelled stamps were actually a postage item, while mint and FDC never served their purpose, to transfer a letter from A to B.

Speaking of CTO's, if they worth less then cancelled, how can I know that a cancelled stamp that I trade isn't a soaked CTO?
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Posted 03/03/2017   8:58 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add YeaPolska to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply

Quote:
I wonder if CTO's cost less to produce than regular mint stamps.


CTO's would cost more - you take the mint stamps & then apply a cancellation, it's an extra step in the production line.


Quote:
how can I know that a cancelled stamp that I trade isn't a soaked CTO?


In some cases you can't. If you look at the average genuinely used stamp the cancellation will be a bit grungy, heavy, smeared, maybe not quite legible, whereas CTO's tend to be nice & crisp. For communist countries most used are in fact CTO.
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Posted 03/03/2017   9:58 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add ikeyPikey to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
.
... and the CTOs tend to have one perfect circular city-date-stamp shared by four adjacent stamps ...

... the perfect quarter-circle cancel in just one corner, with no 'killer' lines, is a dead CTO giveaway.


Quote:
... I wonder if CTO's cost less to produce than regular mint stamps. Otherwise, they would have sold them as mint ...


To whom? They almost always produced more than enough mint & CTO to drown any market.

Cheers,

/s/ ikeyPikey
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Edited by ikeyPikey - 03/03/2017 9:59 pm
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Posted 03/03/2017   10:41 pm  Show Profile Check TheArtfulHinger's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add TheArtfulHinger to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply

Quote:
When entering inventory in EZ Stamp, how should they be categorized? Mint hinged, used or?

Used. Most stamps that were issued CTO are found predominantly in that state, usually far outnumbering actual postal use. Catalogs account for this and those issues are usually valued as CTO from the start. In many cases, catalogs will include a note that postally used issues are worth more than the stated CV because of this. There are exceptions - CTO's are not always more common than postally used, but they are in most cases. Even in situations where there are fewer CTO's, they are still considered less desirable by most collectors.


Quote:
I wonder if CTO's cost less to produce than regular mint stamps. Otherwise, they would have sold them as mint.

Believe me, the profit margin on CTO's would still be astronomical vs. simple production costs. Postal agencies figure there's a limited market for their mint stamps at full face value. They don't get as much per stamp as they would for mint stamps, to be sure, but they can sell more of them. Most of them will gladly sell 1 inch square pieces of paper at 5 or 10 cents each all day long, even if there are others they can sell for 5 or 10 times as much. And post offices get nothing at all when someone soaks a used stamp off an envelope, so if they get anything at all, they're still coming out ahead.
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Edited by TheArtfulHinger - 03/03/2017 10:53 pm
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