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General Philatelic/Newcomer Cnr : How to determine the value of a stamp if only the value for the whole set is given in the catalog

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michael78651
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18 Apr 2012
10:28:15pm
The Gibbons Stamps of the World Catalog Set does have its limitations on earlier stamps where perfs and watermarks were varied on the same stamp (design and color). However, where the catalog set pays off is on the modern issues. Scott has gotten lazy and lumps new stamps from many countries into just a single listing, "2352-2356 complete set of 5 $25.00"). Gibbons still lists the stamp individually and with a value, so it will be possible to know what stamps are in each set, and you can determine a Scott value based on using a proportion of the Gibbons set value for the stamp in question from the set.
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daveanddeb
http://www.americancollectiblesmuseum.org
19 Apr 2012
07:34:10am
re: How to determine the value of a stamp if only the value for the whole set is given in the catalog

Hi Michael,

I know what you mean about Scott getting lazy with the modern issues. One place where I have really noticed it is in cataloging Vietnam. With just one price for the set...it's impossible for me, using Scott, to know whether any single issue in the set is any more or less valuable than any other stamp in the set.

Thanks for the info!

Dave

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alyn
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webmaster for the ISWSC http://iswsc.org and ATA http://www.americantopicalassn.org
19 Apr 2012
08:28:40am
re: How to determine the value of a stamp if only the value for the whole set is given in the catalog

For catalogue entries that don't have individual values assigned to them you I pro-rate the values.

I have a spreadsheet that I enter the data into and get approximate values. Basically the theory is you divide the set value by the sum of the face values of all the stamps then multiply that by the face value of the stamp.

Here is an example (My math teachers must be laughing now)

Set Value / Sum of Face Values of Set x Face Value of Stamp

So if we have a set of 7 stamps valued at $4.25 with face values of $0.20, $0.50, $0.80, $1.00, $1.50, $2.00 and $3.00 the individual values are:

4.25/9.00 x 0.20 = $0.09 for the .20 value
4.25/9.00 x 0.50 = $0.24 for the .50 value
4.25/9.00 x 0.80 = $0.38 for the .80 value
4.25/9.00 x 1.00 = $0.47 for the 1.00 value
4.25/9.00 x 1.50 = $0.71 for the 1.50 value
4.25/9.00 x 2.00 = $0.94 for the 2.00 value
4.25/9.00 x 3.00 = $1.42 for the 3.00 value

I first learned of this in a thread somewhere in our message board for trading based on catalogue values where no individual value exists.

Alyn

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michael78651
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19 Apr 2012
08:54:55am
re: How to determine the value of a stamp if only the value for the whole set is given in the catalog

Alyn, that formula gets rough when dealing with combined sets from many different countries that all use different currency with different conversion rates. But, it is good to know never-the-less.

Dave, there are many, many more countries than just Viet Nam where this applies with Scott. Some of these set values go back to the 1980s for some countries. For me, if Scott is going to charge $100 per catalog volume, they can split out the sets into the conventional listings. Yeah, a little more work and a few more pages to the catalogs.... but isn't that what a catalog is all about? Stamp listings or set listings?

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alyn
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webmaster for the ISWSC http://iswsc.org and ATA http://www.americantopicalassn.org
19 Apr 2012
09:07:44am
re: How to determine the value of a stamp if only the value for the whole set is given in the catalog

Michael,

The formula works what ever the currency is. Just substitute the values, I have been using it for years and find it works all the time.

You are right that catalogue editors should be providing individual values.

Alyn

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roy
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19 Apr 2012
09:28:16am
re: How to determine the value of a stamp if only the value for the whole set is given in the catalog

If Scott were here to defend themselves, they might say that they are a "market reporting" publication, not a "market making" publication. That their prices are compiled from dealer price lists, trade offers and auction realizations. And they might say that if a set of stamps is only ever offered as a complete set, and never appears in a dealer's list as individual listings, they (nor anybody else) have any market information to apply individual listings.

For modern commemorative listings -- stamps that were almost always provided as a complete set, in equal quantities, the "weighted average by face value" approach is probably appropriate (and no, it's not necessary to convert all the face values to US$ before adding them up in the formula).

I don't do much with modern stuff, so I don't know if the following situation even arises in the catalog, but where the approach would break down is if the complete set listing was applied to a series of stamps that were not all issued together, such as a definitive set, where some values could be significantly scarcer than others, regardless of their face value. The other scenario where it would break down is one that can be seen in 1950s and 1960s East Germany (DDR), where the philatelic agency deliberately held back certain values in their mint and CTO sales (see the listings between Scott #255 and #283 as examples).

Roy

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michael78651
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19 Apr 2012
12:42:53pm
re: How to determine the value of a stamp if only the value for the whole set is given in the catalog

Alyn - Thanks. I will fiddle with that formula.

Roy - Czechoslovakia did the same. One stamp from the set either held back, or printed in limited quantities.

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amsd
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19 Apr 2012
02:42:17pm

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re: How to determine the value of a stamp if only the value for the whole set is given in the catalog

Czech sets are notorious for this, with one value, not necessarily the high value, held to much more limited quantities.

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daveanddeb
http://www.americancollectiblesmuseum.org
19 Apr 2012
06:20:34pm
re: How to determine the value of a stamp if only the value for the whole set is given in the catalog

Michael,

I'm with you on Scott's....if they're going to charge as much as they do..then the least they can do is NOT assume that the reader only collects complete sets and price the stamps iundividually...cause..as has been pointed out....often one value of the set is short printed while the others are plentiful...I used Vietnam as an example..but German DDR comes to mind too..and I'm sure there are plenty of others that a standard formula just really wouldn't work for. It seems to me that if Scott is going to charge that much then maybe it is time to put it all online and charge a monthly subscription fee for it's use much like Beckett did for sports cards. Anyway, it's a thought!

Dave

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alyn
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webmaster for the ISWSC http://iswsc.org and ATA http://www.americantopicalassn.org
20 Apr 2012
11:03:56am
re: How to determine the value of a stamp if only the value for the whole set is given in the catalog

If any one else would like a copy of my spreadsheet just pop me a message through the stamporama messaging system.

Alyn

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parkinlot
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President - West Essex Philatelic Society www.wepsonline.org
22 Apr 2012
08:16:21am
re: How to determine the value of a stamp if only the value for the whole set is given in the catalog

What I do is try to find a stamp with the same denomination that is priced and use that as a best guestimate.

Bob

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