I went to the Second Sunday Stamp Show yesterday. There were 4 dealers there. Just my luck. Luckily the new guy had little I might have wanted. I had gotten a postcard from this other dealer, Dan Lemke, informing me he had gotten together some runs of current Japan. Unfortunately, that stuff I got. I was really interested in going through his singles and sets. That's how you buy stamps. Single and sets or in big lots. The singles and sets have been identified by the stamp dealer and put into some sort of holder.
The stamps on that white card are some sort of official stamps from Peru. I didn't look them up. It's hard to see but the front of that white paper card is three quarters covered with clear plastic. The plastic stops just below where it says Cat. Val. 55 cents. I don't know where the cents sign is. I'll have to look for that some day. This plastic is sealed on three sides, which forms an open top pocket, which holds the stamps. This is how most singles and sets are sold. You see these long red boxes at stamp shows. Larger things are sold in larger versions of the same concept.
There a large sheet that is punched for a 6 by 9 inch binder. These are good for larger size stamps or souvenir sheets. That's a whole 'nother problem with stamp collecting, too many god damn souvenir sheets. Some are cheap and others dear. You can usually find big lumps of them for sale at a low price but that's because no one is looking very hard to buy those sheets. Larger souvenir sheets can be stuck in 8 1/2 by 11 inch size display sheets which are punched for a regular size three ring binder. Stamp dealers and collectors are heavy binder users. Sheet protectors too. I have more than a dozen 3-ring binders filled with stuff that's partially sorted or mounted for display of some sort.
I had a lot of manilla stock sheets that were in binders but that was bulky and I recently emptied and tossed all those binders. Manilla stock sheets are another way you see stamps for sale. Collections and lots are the cheapest way to buy stamps. These are stamps in a lump that could be arranged in just about any imaginable format you can think of. People store stamps in many things as well as all those binders. I was looking at the eBay collections listing and there were some amazing piles of stuff to buy. Buying a massive collection is a good way to start a collection as the cost per stamp is lower than buying them by singles and sets.
There's one on there today that has a Minkus World Wide Album in 10 volumes. The seller says that the replacement cost of the album and binders is $2000. The bid is $480 with 13 bids and three days to go. I might remember to keep an eye on it, I did mark it at My eBay but that's no guarantee I'll put it down here. The seller doesn't tell you how many stamps there are, but they do show you 200 pictures of what's in the album. It seems to work, and I can't get over the number of pictures. If you need to show a lot of pictures there are ways to do bulk display. Sun Philatelic seems to have a lot of collections for sale all the time. Makes sense, dead stamp collectors all over New York, lots of bulk to move.
There was another collection that looked interesting. It had 285 pictures. All the binders fill 5 large boxes. It's just over 200 bucks right now and days to go. Those two low things to the right of the front row of binders are cigar boxes. That's another thing you see stamps in. Loose or in glassine envelopes, a box lot for sale. If you are lucky there might be some better things in them, junk if you're not, you have to look carefully before you buy. I didn't buy any boxes, just some nice stamps for my Japan album.
I did get one of the sets that I like for some reason. The stamps are to commemorate the 75th Anniversary of the Japanese Red Cross. They were issued May 1, 1952. I like them quite a bit. I like the smiling nurse, that's what you want to see when you're in a hospital. Not so much the lily's. I also have a fondness for Red Cross stamps. It's was a fairly often commemorated subject, back in the day. Back then most of the stamps were monochromatic and that burst of red really stood out.
Update. The 10 volume set went for $1725 and the 5 boxes went for $811.50.