Having just finished sorting half a pound of 40-year-old Machin kiloware on paper tonight, I'm musing about my project.
I collect Machins socked on the nose with circular date stamps. I've talked on several fora about the problems of collecting them. I've been trying to figure out how to display them. I think I've finally settled on a method: I'm using the AlbumEasy software package to lay out pages for my Machins with spaces for every possible town postmark, alphabetically sorted by postmark. I can do this in roughly 50 pages. I'm in the process of making the spreadsheet of ... um ... every possible town postmark
. And, man, that's a lot of work.
There are pros and there are cons, but I've spent way too many hours thinking about this, and I think it's what I'm sticking with. I'm going to be printing the pages on probably 70# paper, and will make the album hingeless, but only adding the mounts to the spaces as I go (to save on money, mostly.) The album will be a bit sparse at first, but I can deal with that: it will give good incentive for me to work at it.
The problem at this point is that, depending on the kiloware, my yield of items fit for my collection is usually one or two per pound
. I go through a lot
of kiloware, and I have to find ways of disposing of it all. I have a number of ideas.
1. I only collect by town, but some people collect by calendar. Well-centered date stamps I'm setting aside, even if they're not the best town example I have.
2. I always set aside interesting pictorial or slogan cancels on the stamps (see, for instance, my avatar picture). Some I retain, but some I'm not interested in.
3. A friend told me that complete "Basic"-level pages of Machins, nicely hinged, sell very well: anywhere between $25 and $50 on eBay
. I'm sorting my duplicates by denomination now to try to do this, and maybe it can subsidize or pay for my kiloware purchases.
4. I set aside full booklet panes used for mailing, nice coil pairs, clippings containing both decimal and pre-decimal stamps tied with a cancel, and so on. There's surely interest there.
5. Even with all of this, some denominations are vastly over-represented: namely, any stamp for basic letter rate that was in force for a long time. I wonder if there's any market for packets of, say, 100 5d blue Machins?
But none of that is quite satisfactory. I think I'm going to bite the bullet and just start putting together a specialist-level collection of Machins from kiloware. The problem, up to this point, has been that almost all Machin resources are distinctly geared towards the collector of mint issues. How the heck am I supposed to know, say, the gum type of a used stamp, or if anything was printed on the gum?! But that problem looks like it will be solved in the next couple of weeks: I just corresponded with Robin ("The Machin Nut" at the adminware.ca site) who offers PDFs of various levels of Machin albums, and he is finishing putting together a variant of the specialist pages comprising only
the varieties detectable in used stamps! Hooray! The PDFs are far from free -- I'd be paying $60 Canadian for them -- but I think it's totally worth it, when I can scrape together the funds.
But as for the overflow of other stamps, and my ideas for selling them? They're too cheap to put on eBay
(or probably even Delcampe), and putting them on my own site might not generate the traffic I want. Perhaps I could use a stamp board with a sales forum and have a standing page of all my interesting stamp examples and my packets of 100 and keep editing it?
Anyway, those are a bunch of things I've been thinking about. I would be most
interested in your thoughts on the matter.
(I moved this over from the "Modern Worldwide" section.)