Is collecting Australian perfin stamps worth the investment?

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Elthamboy
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Is collecting Australian perfin stamps worth the investment?

Post by Elthamboy »

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5sh Coat of Arms Rear.jpg
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5sh Coat of Arms Front.jpg



I have been reading with interest some of the past posts on Australian stamps with private perfins.

This 5/- 1948 Coat of Arms has been cancelled David Jones Ltd, which from previous posts is one of the most common cancels in Australia.

It has also been cancelled upside down, and again from previous posts, the perfin can be any of about eight directions, due to folding the sheet of stamps.

Stamp collecting is becoming more and more popular as folk are investing in collections rather than have money sitting in the bank earning virtually nothing or investing in shares that are difficult to make a profit from.

I would like to find out if collecting perfin stamps is worth the investment or just spend the money on beer and have a happy life

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Re: Australian perfin stamps

Post by The Pom »

You might collect Aussie private perfins as a bit of a low-cost sideline/amusement collection, but they're never going to be worth much.
Stamp collecting is becoming more and more popular as folk are investing in collections
I'd like to see some data to back that up. While it might be on the rise in places like China & India, the general consensus is that it's on the wane in the areas of the world more traditionally associated with collecting - Europe, North America, Australasia etc.

Also, I think it unlikely that investors are buying collections. They're buying higher-value individual items.
Always on the lookout for Australian pre decimal First Day Covers.

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Re: Is collecting Australian perfin stamps worth the investment?

Post by Elthamboy »

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Thank you for your advice on collecting Aussie private perfins. I only collect Australia and New Zealand stamps so thought perfins might be another interest.

My comments on stamp collecting becoming very popular again come from several reports and are backed up by personal experience.

On 12th September 2020 Mowbrays stamp auction house in New Zealand realised record sales (from a NZ newspaper report) and the statement "Stamp collecting is becoming more and more popular as folk are investing in collections" was made by the auctioneer.

Also I have been purchasing Australia and New Zealand stamps and covers for a couple of years now, two years ago I could go on to most internet sites selling stamps and purchase virtually whatever I wanted without too much competition and at realistic prices.

Nowadays I can't win any bids as the prices being paid for individual stamps and collections are well over what would have been paid two years ago and at what I think is a realistic price.

There have been several reports on the increase in stamp collecting in local newspapers saying the same thing, quote 'stamps are a work of art and should be collected' alas, very difficult to get a stamp 'bargain' these days.

Hope you are well in these troubling times 'The Pom'

Elthamboy
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Re: Is collecting Australian perfin stamps worth the investment?

Post by ViccyVFU »

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Is collecting Australian perfin stamps worth the investment?

Simple answer, no.
You are going to waste an inordinate amount of money, and time.

You might get back 25% of your money invested ("if lucky"),
...... but all your time "will be lost, forever".


We are currently in a "micro bubble of popularity" for stamps, where increasing technology (online auctions), time availability (covid-19), and silly returns on money elsewhere (0.1% p.a. - whats all that about?) has lead us to this place, where auctions appear to be running "at about twice the hammer price of pre-covid".

Whilst some individual items, some covers and some "exquisite collections" may see a return, I would say the vast majority will not "purely in financial terms".

If you can "afford the very best, and don't mind paying top dollar, then buy", but perfins have always been second class cousins ("defective") except for a very small number, which could be forged in an afternoon (with some 57ga wire and a drill stand).

"Buy low, sell high" is an investment maxim.
You'd be doing the exact opposite.

"Don't buy them, unless you love them, in this market".
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Re: Is collecting Australian perfin stamps worth the investment?

Post by Waffle »

Ethamboy, unless you have bottomless pockets, collecting most stamps will provide a minimal return unless they are RARE! Rather than beer, may I suggest reasonably priced bottles of wine. At least you can pair it with good food and a nice companion and it helps the conversation flow.
I prefer to collect UK, British Commonwealth esp Pacific area ( not excluding West Indies/Canada ) and Western Europe. At the bottom of my zone of interest is Eastern Europe and communist countries.

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Re: Is collecting Australian perfin stamps worth the investment?

Post by Global Administrator »

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I have been around selling stamps for MANY decades and have seen many new areas of demand emerge as popular, that were once neglected.

Early stamp booklets and postage dues were once near friendless. Printer Monograms on Australia stamps no-one was interested in, during the 1980s. Today they can get 100 times the 1980s prices.

CTO examples of most better Australian stamps get dozens of times the level of 20 years back.

Arthur Gray's ''Kangaroos'' sold for $7.25 million, and he paid 10% of that only 20 years before. All totally tax-free of course. Why? - as Arthur would buy Monogram and CTOs and Specimens that no-one liked at that time etc. And won International Gold Medals along the way. The ultimate WIN-WIN for a man with great vision always. :!:

Stamps on cover and piece have skyrocketed in value over the same 2 decades. This piece below sold for $35,000 at public auction - estimate $1500 - and 20 years back would have got around 1% of that -


Image

https://www.stampboards.com/viewtopic.php?f=13&t=83371


"Is collecting Australian perfin stamps worth the investment?"

As in all fields of life, those with vision often prevail.

SCARCE and genuine Australia perfins have always sold well, and that will continue. Often for many dozens of times what was paid. Australia's leading perfin expert is an active new member of this board. Like with anything in stamps ''Knowledge Is Power''. Learn your field first. Buy from reputable sources. Steer totally clear of eBay.

Be a clueless Bunny With Munny in ANY field, and you WILL be ripped off.

Anyone who bought an Australia 1932 5/- Bridge or USA Zeppelin sets, or GB £1 PUC etc 20 years back have lost money. The collectors with vision have seen their purchases rise 10 to 50 fold.

Glen
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Click HERE to see superb, RARE and unusual stamps, at FIXED low nett prices, high rez photos, and NO buyer fees etc!

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Re: Is collecting Australian perfin stamps worth the investment?

Post by towradji »

The thread of consistency, you advise here "to stay totally clear of ebay" but on the Stanley Gibbons thread you advise SG to list on ebay with their ears pinned back!

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Re: Is collecting Australian perfin stamps worth the investment?

Post by Global Administrator »

towradji wrote:
18 Sep 2020 10:51

The thread of consistency, you advise here "to stay totally clear of ebay" but on the Stanley Gibbons thread you advise SG to list on ebay with their ears pinned back!

For anyone paying attention (clearly you were not as usual) it was advising SG to list their current 12 million quid in stock of rare proofs, essays, watermark varieties and plate varieties on bay as BIN as they will sell quite well. And may just save them going broke.

For anyone with a grain on common sense, Gibbons selling something rare and genuine on eBay is world's different to the endless fake perfins offered on eBay by the spiv forgers.

Instead of your trademarks small-minded negatively on all posts - do you have some actual advice to add to this thread which is headed, to remind you - -

Is collecting Australian perfin stamps worth the investment?
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Click HERE to see superb, RARE and unusual stamps, at FIXED low nett prices, high rez photos, and NO buyer fees etc!

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Re: Is collecting Australian perfin stamps worth the investment?

Post by towradji »

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Philately is a great hobby. If you wish to treat it as an investment, you need to have sophisticated knowledge of the specific area you are collecting.

My view is that philately is declining in terms of general popularity and is primarily made up of seniors who have plenty of time and spare cash to indulge their hobby. Post baby boomers may not have similar interests. If you are investing, you need to form your own view on this.

However, unless you are in the trade, the biggest issue is the cost of selling your collection. Assume you are "savvy' and always buy well, you still have to allow 15 to 30% for selling costs. So you need an increase of this level before you make a profit. Of course if you overpay the bar is higher. If it is a general collection the dealer / auction discount is greater.

My philatelic investments are short term, buy a collection and then have it all sold in 6 months. I dont want stock so sacrifice margin for cash. Works for me, but I am not a big wheel.
.

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Re: Is collecting Australian perfin stamps worth the investment?

Post by Elthamboy »

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Thank you all for your comments/assistance.

It is quite clear that collecting stamps should be treated as simply a hobby and not an investment.

I have a friend who spends more each year playing golf than I do on stamps. He will probably live longer because of the exercise he is getting, but I am a bit uncertain as to whether he gets as much enjoyment playing golf than I do collecting stamps.

Elthamboy

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Re: Is collecting Australian perfin stamps worth the investment?

Post by Global Administrator »

Elthamboy wrote:
18 Sep 2020 13:59

It is quite clear that collecting stamps should be treated as simply a hobby and not an investment.

Elthamboy

Quite clear ??

Well those above like Arthur Gray who got 6 million more than he paid for just one collection, might not agree with you. When it is tax-free, even better. :mrgreen:

Or Bill Gross - who managed 100s of $US Billions of Bond funds, but noted he made a far better return on the $ millions of stamps he bought, than most of his bonds.

Savvy brains, who collected what they enjoyed, first and foremost, have a good eye, buy wisely, get large Gold Medals AND make mega killing at the end - these folks are certainly about.

Many folks spent time and money on areas they do not come out in front on, and are still satisfied - it is their hobby. But some with good instincts do BOTH. :)

Glen
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Re: Is collecting Australian perfin stamps worth the investment?

Post by Waffle »

Elthamboy, is that not what stamp collecting is all about, for the vast majority of us collectors? The sheer enjoyment of it all. Few of us have the where withall to splurge on a major purchase that may return big bucks, but all of us, can have simple pleasures in looking over and adding to our collections with relatively minimal outlay, well within our means.
I prefer to collect UK, British Commonwealth esp Pacific area ( not excluding West Indies/Canada ) and Western Europe. At the bottom of my zone of interest is Eastern Europe and communist countries.

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Re: Is collecting Australian perfin stamps worth the investment?

Post by Rigs »

Global Administrator wrote:
18 Sep 2020 10:27
Anyone who bought an Australia 1932 5/- Bridge or USA Zeppelin sets, or GB £1 PUC etc 20 years back have lost money. The collectors with vision have seen their purchases rise 10 to 50 fold.
Glen

Investment thought bubble: So, if bridges have lost money are they now at a low?

Is now a good time to buy them and resell in 2032 when they, presumably, enjoy a bump from its 100 year opening anniversary?

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Re: Is collecting Australian perfin stamps worth the investment?

Post by Elthamboy »

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I agree fully Waffle, there are a lot of us who get immense pleasure out of filling albums with used postage stamps, not worth very much at all.

Looking forward to lockdown freedom in Victoria at last!

Elthamboy

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Re: Is collecting Australian perfin stamps worth the investment?

Post by mobbor »

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I'm the person who basically started the thread on private perfins. I have a great many of them and thought I'd check them out. Thanks to the expert, I have learned a lot.

They are far more complicated than I realised and I hope to make a reasonable collection.

BUT, not as an investment, just because they are interesting.
mobbor

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Re: Is collecting Australian perfin stamps worth the investment?

Post by ViccyVFU »

Elthamboy wrote:
18 Sep 2020 13:59
It is quite clear that collecting stamps should be treated as simply a hobby and not an investment.
I think that's a good mindset to approach collecting stamps, perfins... whatever.

Arthur Gray had passion for his topic, and was foremost a collector, not an investor. As the specialisation grew, his knowledge and ability to spot mispricing would also have been honed, and he may well have swept up bargains others had not seen "on the day".

But Arthur Gray is an exception, effectively "a lottery ticket winner, where thousands of others have lost money (cash to cash)".

I would imagine (and I never met the guy, but the Sheriff did), that "even if" his collection only realised a million dollars, he would still have maintained every bit of pride in his joy of ownership / custodianship of (some of) "the rarest pieces of Australian Philatelic History".

To a collector, "Joy of ownership" is the driver.
To an investor "Hope of returns" is the driver (and over 20 years that can be a very miserable journey, as all these items have huge peaks and troughs).

To be an investor, you need to be ruthless, and follow a handful of rules, to stand any chance of making cash to cash returns.
Global Administrator wrote:
18 Sep 2020 10:27
Learn your field first. Buy from reputable sources. Steer totally clear of eBay.
Two of those bits of advice would be "a bit different" from me.


Learn your field first
That's uncontested.
There are few shortcuts to experience, and you will pay for your mistakes along the way, so don't make the same mistake twice.


Buy from reputable sources
This is a great way to start out, but as your knowledge of your specialist area increases, you will end up knowing more than many of the reputable dealers "about your specialism".

In my world, this one would morph to "Authenticate", and its an important step in your development "when you trust your own resources, to have an opinion on that".

(Famously, a lot of "investors" bought from SG, "A most trusted reputable source", only to find their investments decimated to around 10% over a 20 year period).


Steer totally clear of eBay
Initially, maybe, but we see the eBay excesses "at both ends of the spectrum" (here on SB).

Just as there are clueless buyers, there are also clueless sellers, and many people (I would say at least 100:1, with no tangible backup whatsoever) end up "slightly ahead" when they buy on eBay.

If you are greedy and impetuous, you will lose your shirt, but if you are knowledgeable and patient, there are great items, sold by the clueless, that you can use your knowledge to "pick up, for a song".

My advice on eBay would be "don't seriously dabble, until you have mastered the topic" (unless its for very trivial amounts - a tenner lost, but a lesson learned, is "cheap education" in the scheme of things).

"Be the knowledgeable buyer" (and don't be frightened to get your money back, when required).


Most of all - Try to have fun - Its actually quite hard to do that when "money doubts" and "fear of loss" eat into your enjoyment of the hobby.

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Re: Is collecting Australian perfin stamps worth the investment?

Post by GB 789 »

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Some very interesting comments on this thread. First off, to prevent getting sidelined from the original topic I’d say go for it in terms of collecting the ozzie perfins. I have a sideline collection of GB perfins and it has proved a very enjoyable pursuit of different items, particularly when used on cover with the companies name on the envelope too. Some lovely printed advertisement designs on earlier covers too so plenty to look out more, and most is very cheap. So I say go for it and enjoy the chase!

In regards to stamps as investments I’m in two minds. I think my collections will certainly be worth more than I paid for them but it is the enjoyment of this hobby that keeps me going with it, not thinking I’ll make 20% or whatever on any item I buy, just that I want it in my collection.

However, those famous names mentioned, such as Arthur Gray, were clearly in the right place at the right time to make that sort of return. As has been seen over recent years with the huge increases in auction results of ‘popular areas’, if you bought well in the last 20 or 30 years then you would likely be able to sell at a profit now, maybe not at the Gray level but certainly still at a profit.

I cannot see how those buying now these Beverly high priced items will have any chance of making such % returns though as how can these items possibly continue rising on such a gradient?

Take the ozzie £2 kangaroos that are often mentioned on here and the huge catalogue/ auction realisations they get now. Maybe they are 3/4/5 times the price of 20 years ago but in twenty years time they clearly aren’t going to have risen again by 3/4/5 times again from current prices.

I think a lot of ‘investors’ will get their fingers burnt at current prices. Equally, there are less ‘new’ areas for price rises like the monograms were. Maybe revenues perhaps but not a huge range.
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Re: Is collecting Australian perfin stamps worth the investment?

Post by steevh »

Perfins used to be very much frowned upon by collectors, with prices for classic perfin high values not far off those for damaged stamps.

However, there has been a big increase in interest in perfins in recent years, with more resources available for those seeking to identify them. The Internet has been a great help in this regard, as a quick Google based on the initials and country can often turn up a result.

I think that, as with all collecting areas, interest really takes off when someone puts together a catalogue and people have some catalogue values to look at.

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