How do I price cancels, is there a book or rule of thumb?

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jose78
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How do I price cancels, is there a book or rule of thumb?

Post by jose78 »

Does anyone know of a good book or any rule of thumb for pricing CDS cancels or fancy cancels.

Thanks

joe

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Re: price of cancels

Post by DJM »

Hi,

If you want to price cancels then you have a lot of homework in front of you - some are worth a fortune, most are worth nothing. Most of the major auction houses now have items listed purely because of the CDS, so you could grab some of their Auction catalogs and check in there, check Dream-Bay listings & buy all of the Colonies cancel catalogs (Manning etc) and form a general idea from there.

I see a lot on Fee-bay starting at $2 - $5.

Darrin.

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Re: How do I price cancels, is there a book or rule of thumb

Post by Allanswood »

That's going to depend on which country and the history of cancels in that country and the historical rarity of the ones used.

Otherwise the "book" will be bigger than the Encyclopedia Britannica!
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Re: How do I price cancels, is there a book or rule of thumb

Post by Tassie_Stamps »

There is no specific rule of thumb, you just need to do research... If you can be more specific about what country you are talking about, then members can offer more specific advice. :D

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Re: How do I price cancels, is there a book or rule of thumb

Post by Global Administrator »

jose78 wrote:Does anyone know of a good book or any rule of thumb for pricing CDS cancels or fancy cancels.

Thanks

joe
Yes, post images the ones you are interested in learning value if, and you'll get FREE value advice from members here.

Can't get a much cheaper price than that!

Otherwise your question is so totally vague it is basically asking -
Image

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Re: How do I price cancels, is there a book or rule of thumb

Post by jose78 »

Topic: Canadian Small Queens. I have seen auction prices as high as 10x book. Also pricing according to RF?
But my issue is what price should I be offering my modern post 1950's Canadian stamps with CDS cancels for?
I have priced CDS at same as mint when stamp is under $5. But PB are priced up to 100% of used stamp. Basically mint price.

Joe

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Re: How do I price cancels, is there a book or rule of thumb

Post by Global Administrator »

Joe, abbreviations are great for text messages.

But this is a permanent bulletin board, and we do not charge you by the letter here.

The above post is still meaningless to many I suspect .. me included. I have no idea what 'RF' means. And still have no real idea what you are actually asking us. Or Why.

Unless YOU take the trouble to add some photos, absolutely no-one can (or will bother) to assist is my best guess.

Just some advice. :idea:

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Re: How do I price cancels, is there a book or rule of thumb

Post by dukeprince »

Postmark collectors are usually seeking not the readily available big cities or towns .

They seek the mining town or outpost that was only alive for 2 years, or low population areas etc.

In a nutshell scarcity equals price , maybe that helps you , its like all stamp collecting, not many out there , then they will all bid as they dont have it .

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Re: How do I price cancels, is there a book or rule of thumb

Post by Starlight »

I don't know what you mean by RF or PB either, but I am interested in your topic.
Do you mean how centred and readable the cancel is? Or possibly the actual name and year of the cancel.

I think there are some that are quite rare. I think you are correct to price the "sock on the nose" higher, especially if it is contemporary to the time of the stamp. I think those type of postal used cancels are becoming quite rare, and many collectors have become quite innovative in obtaining current examples.

They seemed quite common in the 70s through the 90s, but much harder to find now, much of my mail has no cancels at all.Personally a cool cancel adds a lot of value to me, even if I already have another example, without getting into the catalogue values. (Catalogues are really a guide in price anyway if it is something you are really interested in)

Good topic, would love to learn more about how the experts do it, maybe I am sitting on thousands in cool cancels and I don't even know it.

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Re: How do I price cancels, is there a book or rule of thumb

Post by fromdownunder »

Well, it really is pretty much supply and demand. If the demand is zero, or close to that, there will be no sales.

For modern material (i.e. anything post WWII), I don't really know if anybody has written the definitive catalogue for any area in the world, even based on the rarity system, which is how postmarks are generally catalogued - not by price.

Here is a fairly standard "catalogue" rating system for cancellations of the stamps for the state of Victoria (Australia), which is followed by a listing or 1,000's of strikes:

NNR =......Number Not Recorded
RRRRR =..1 to 3 copies recorded
RRRR =....4 to 12 copies recorded
RRR =......13 to 24 copies recorded
RR =........25 to 50 copies recorded
R =..........51 to 100 copies recorded
SS =........101 to 200 copies recorded
S =..........201 to 300 copies recorded
R = Rare, S = Scarce, anything over 300 is considered common. An indication of how "rare" or "scarce" the demand for this material is (was?)

So until somebody does (a dedicated philatelist, and a personal self published monograph will be the only thing ever published) it is all up to the individual. If you start selling certain modern CDS postmarks, you will know that at least one person is interested and if you get interest, maybe two. Otherwise your guess is as good as that of everybody else.

For classic material, the range of literature is huge, and could fill an average sized library. But again, this was all written by dedicated philatelists, and not by publishers selling books or stamps to the general public.

One other thing - even for classic SOTN material, if only two people are after a specific strike, and both find a really good one, then the third one to come on to the market may not even sell at any price. The market really is that small, at the moment. What happens in the future...???

In many areas of philately it is the individual such as you who becomes the expert, and writes the literature that others may come to live by, and refer to. There is no "they" out there who does any of this, it is all "us". Even general Catalogues such as Gibbons do not exist in a vacuum. They depend on the contributions of dealers and collectors around the world to donate time to get their Catalogues to even be close to accurate. Same with postmarks, except that the big publishers never publish anything like "The Postmarks of Tasmania" or "The Modern CDS Postmarks of Canada". There is no money in it. Only collectors and dedication can publish these sorts of things.

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Re: How do I price cancels, is there a book or rule of thumb

Post by philcovex2 »

jose78

Is this the sort of items you want to sell?

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Re: How do I price cancels, is there a book or rule of thumb

Post by aethelwulf »

I'd say 'modern' (people's definition of what constitutes modern can vary--some will say its the past 30 years, others will say its anything post-WWII, others could say its anything not 19th century) material like this won't be too valuable, collectors who want a country collection filled with nice CDS strikes would buy them but without concern for town name, overall I'd probably offer them at $0.50-$2 (depending on the base stamp and town itself) each if putting them in a circuit book etc.

I think the first step to getting a sense of value would be to google each town name one by one to find out the population. For instance if you have a 1950s CDS of Don Mills, you might think its a Northern Ontario logging town and therefore could be scarcer, if you don't know Toronto geography.

I now and then come across stamps with cancels from towns in Ontario I haven't heard of, even though I was born and lived there 30 years. A quick search online will find details about the town, ie. that it has 5,000 population and is in the 1,000 Islands area, or that its some boondocks place at a dead-end road 200km from Timmins.

There must be far too many towns spread across Canada for anybody to have compiled a list of every cancel. There is literature out there province-by-province, but most philatelists focus on earlier periods. Since you said you're dealing with Canadian Small Queens, I'd say you could get books on squared circle cancels, other books on CDS cancels...there should be some literature out there. Jim Hennok was a noted cancel collector, and his material was sold off a few years ago.

Personally, I collect cancels from my hometown and the small towns in its environs, on the few times I even can come across them. In which case, I'll bid 'high' on eBay for things; an otherwise ho-hum postcard that would go in a $.50 box I would go $3-4 for. So its supply-and-demand...if someone sees an item that for them is a 'must-have', then they'll be willing to pay more...but in an auction scenario, if they're the only bidder, you won't get much from them, because it takes at least 2 people to get things rolling.
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Re: How do I price cancels, is there a book or rule of thumb

Post by aethelwulf »

NNR =......Number Not Recorded
RRRRR =..1 to 3 copies recorded
RRRR =....4 to 12 copies recorded
RRR =......13 to 24 copies recorded
RR =........25 to 50 copies recorded
R =..........51 to 100 copies recorded
SS =........101 to 200 copies recorded
S =..........201 to 300 copies recorded
It would take so many years of assembling material before it would be worthwhile publishing in book form this sort of ranking. Imagine you accumulate cancels for 5 years, and publish. You base your ratings on that material you have on hand at that time.

After another 5 years, you've accumulated a lot more, and going back to your ratings, you would see a lot of ratings move down.

So what do you do, spend 40 years accumulating and assessing before publishing? What if you have a heart attack and pass away before you get your research published? If nobody knew the project you were working on, it could all be for nought.

An online database of course would work better, it could be updated at any time.
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Re: How do I price cancels, is there a book or rule of thumb

Post by mcgooley »

jose78 wrote:Does anyone know of a good book or any rule of thumb for pricing CDS cancels or fancy cancels.

Thanks

joe
Rule of thumb - in an extremely general way - for any cancellation depends on a number of factors.

1. How long was the issuing Post/Receiving Office open for?

2. How many different cancellers were issued to that Office?

3. For what period of time were those cancellers in operation?

4. What was the average number of inhabitants living in the immediate region during the life of the Office?

Scenario A: Military Camp.
The postal facilities are opened when the camp opens, and closes when the camp closes - say, 8 months. During those 8 months, 4,500 people pass through the camp. On average, every one of those personnel write 7 letters - add to that, the official correspondence which passes through the Post Office.
Let's be conservative, and say that 35,000 articles passed through that office during the 8 months.

Scenario B: Logging Camp.
The logging camp is operational for 8 years. During that time, the same 45 people are employed at the camp. Each of them write a letter once a week, and there is the occasional business letter....let's say 4,500 articles over the 8-year period.

Scenario C: Small township.
Smallsville, Anywhere. Population, 350. Post Office has been open for 120 years. Over that time, Smallsville P.O. has had 5 different cancellers. The first canceller lasted for 30 years: the second only lasted for 3 months - the General Store in which the Post Office was housed, burned down. After that, due to an official stuff-up, Smallsville was issued with two different cancellers, which the office used willy-nilly. The last canceller was issued 40 years later, and all four existing cancellers have been used to the present day.

Scenario D: Small gold-mining camp.
A gold-rush occurs in Uppercambuckta North. 17,000 men rush to the site and another 2,000 businesses rush in to relieve the diggers of their hard-won efforts. The Postal Authorities hear about it 6 weeks after the fun begins, and the machinery grinds into action. By the time the Post Office opens, there are 4 men left on the ground - everyone else has rushed off to the newest field....and the Post Office is open for 18 months. The office closes when the last person (the Postmaster) leaves.

The examples above, which are only a small representation of the possibilities, show the complexity involved in rating (and pricing) cancellations. Much has to do with social demography - even with NNR it is possible to ascribe the whys and wherefores of future discoveries.

Postal cancellations offer a snap-shot of a particular area, often over an extended period of time.

You want to price them? There are two possibilities.
1. Stick'em up on ebay at 99c each, and be grateful if they sell.
2. Do some homework, and maybe learn something.
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Re: How do I price cancels, is there a book or rule of thumb

Post by jose78 »

Thank you for the great reply. I do need to learn more about Prison letters. So many topics and areas to learn about with stamps. Its a history lesson everyday.

Joe

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Re: How do I price cancels, is there a book or rule of thumb

Post by jose78 »

RF -Rarity factor. The simple list is in Unitrade. For example I have a bunch of Small Queen Reg 2c from Halifax. Its a 9 I believe.. You won't think that. But its interesting. This is why i am moving away from mint into used. But I will still collect VF/XF pre-1937 for investment.

Joe

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Re: How do I price cancels, is there a book or rule of thumb

Post by malcolm197 »

First of all "sock-on-the-nose" appears to be a purely U.S. interest. Most of the rest of us are happy with a stamp and complete cancel on piece.

It is a fact that scarce cancellations are worth less than scarce stamps,unless it is a scarce cancellation ON a scarce stamp.

Example ( talking about Canada ). I have a cancellation on a common stamp from Little Long Rapids,Ontario. Google search indicates that this was a temporary town extant while a hydro-electric power facility( now known purely as Little Long, without the Rapids )was being constructed. This has no postcode as it is a fully automated plant with no population ( or at least no mail delivery ). The town was in use for several years, and no doubt the mail was quite heavy during this period. However given the wastage of stamps ( particularly with recognisable postmarks) - how many complete strikes survive? Considerably less ( by several thousand ?) than the number of penny blacks! Yet only an idiot would suggest that this postmark is worth the same as a penny black.

It is my opinion that we all have a duty to ensure that such items survive and are passed on to someone who will continue their preservation, regardless of their monetary value.

Malcolm

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Re: How do I price cancels, is there a book or rule of thumb

Post by mcgooley »

malcolm197 wrote:First of all "sock-on-the-nose" appears to be a purely U.S. interest. Most of the rest of us are happy with a stamp and complete cancel on piece.
I, for one, would disagree with SOTN cancellations being "a purely U.S. interest." I suggest there are collectors from many countries who prefer them.
It is a fact that scarce cancellations are worth less than scarce stamps,unless it is a scarce cancellation ON a scarce stamp.
I disagree with this, based on the statement's generalization.
The stamp below is a Victorian penny pink. I don't have the production numbers, but I would suggest it was printed in the 100s of millions (it certainly seems like it sometimes :? ) Value, mint unhinged? Maybe, on a good day, with the wind in the right quarter, and all the planets aligned; .05 cents.
Image
With that clear, unambiguous, SOTN cancellation; $100+. There are considered to be probably about 20-30 examples known to exist; many copies are not as good as this one - which makes it more desirable than a partial strike. Some Victorian barred numerals, on bog-common stamps, have been known to reach 4 figures - well within the price-range of some of the "scarce stamps".

SCARCITY, alone, is not necessarily the only driving factor for value. Desirability, more than anything else, drives price. Why are penny blacks so valuable? They were printed in their 10s of millions! But they are universally recognised as the first adhesive letter-rate stamp - ergo; desirable. Not necessarily scarce, but more people want them.
malcolm197 wrote:It is my opinion that we all have a duty to ensure that such items survive and are passed on to someone who will continue their preservation, regardless of their monetary value.
Now, this statement I totally agree with 8) As a history buff, I view postmarks as a window on times past. They are historically, geographically, and demographically, important; read correctly, they can teach us a lot about the population served by the Post Office which used them.

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Re: How do I price cancels, is there a book or rule of thumb

Post by Lakatoi 4 »

jose78,

You need to have a reference book that lists the rarity of PO cancels for the country and era you are after.

If there isn't one (which is normally the case), then you can only look through auction listings to compare your cancels with those being sold to get an idea of their rarity. That will take a great deal of time and may not be worth it in the end as 99.9% of cancels are worthless.

We are fortunate in Australia for having a number of cancellation reference books. These don't provide catalogue values as they are intended to be a long lasting reference guide only.

The best guide to pricing is to see the going rate for the cancels you have researched on auction websites.

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Re: How do I price cancels, is there a book or rule of thumb

Post by patg »


"First of all "sock-on-the-nose" appears to be a purely U.S. interest. Most of the rest of us are happy with a stamp and complete cancel on piece."


So, you want a "complete cancel"; just not all on the stamp? :shock:
I know of one guy who collects "complete cancel's on piece", 'cept he calls them letters. :D :D


malcolm197: Just kidding; lucky for all of us "Stamps" is a big tent hobby, with room for all.
To be honest, I set aside any readable (town / date) that comes my way, be it stamp, piece or letter.

To the OP (jose78): As was said, you have a bit of research to do before you can value what you have correctly. But, to be sure, no one will give you ½¢ more than what it is worth to them.

Best to all,
patg
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Re: How do I price cancels, is there a book or rule of thumb

Post by malcolm197 »

OK so I exaggerated ( I have told myself a million times not to do that !) - sotn is not purely a US phenomenon - although I still say US collectors are more interested ( or possibly more vociferous about it! ).

And as for rarity of stamps against cancels - probably extremely rare cancels say less than 100 known there is some parity - however when you get into the lower reaches of rarity things are different.The ratio of postmark collectors to stamp collectors means that inevitably the supply of stamps will always be less than the equivalent supply of the same number of postmarks ( due directly to the higher demand for the stamp).

I take the trouble to read all the threads on this board, and have a couple of observations( feel free to shoot me down- everyone does !!)

1. Postmark demand on Australian States, Kangaroos and sidefaces ( particularly in Australia ) seem to be much more seriously contested than most issues/countries.

2. Other than the hardy annuals of maritime,military, air ( and possibly railway) mail -very few people seem to be interested in "bog-standard" post cancellations after WW1, or at least the territorial adjustments immediately thereafter. There are of course some countries that have individual specialities such as France with flammes etc.

As usual I seem to have made observations somewhat less specific than I have intended. I am out of practice with this forum business!

Malcolm

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Re: How do I price cancels, is there a book or rule of thumb

Post by Britcollector »

There is a fair amount of good information here, but it is organized by state/country and that is how I see cancels being collected. Said another way, collectors tend to home in on a city or state or country rather than a broad brush approach.

If you can tell us, or better, show us, what you have, you'll get help.

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