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Author: Subject: Michel vs. Scott catalog
SSSR
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[*] posted on 4/13/2007 at 12:40
Michel vs. Scott catalog


Can someone please explain why there are so huge diffrences of the prices of the stamps in this two catalogs.
Thanl you
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ameis33
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[*] posted on 4/13/2007 at 15:11


The question is much more general than just Michel vs. Scott...
I think you should ask: why are some (all?) catalogs so far from the market prices...
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[*] posted on 4/13/2007 at 19:54


Ok and why are some (all) catalogs so far from the market prices, and wich is the closest?
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GregMirsky
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[*] posted on 4/14/2007 at 00:51


Actually, all catalogs you mentioned above reflect prices for specific market. Scott reflects what is going on US market (more or less) , Michael - in Europe. All of them are reference points and nothing more, since NONE OF THESE COMPANIES SELL STAMPS AT THE PRICES THEY PUBLISH!!! It is "just statistics" based on dealers's and auction's information. The only exception is Stanley Gibbons. If you walk into thier store in London at Strand Street they guarantee that if they have this specific stamp in stock - they will sell it to you at the price they publish in the catalog.
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ameis33
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[*] posted on 4/14/2007 at 05:15


As you said, the catalog prices are just a reference point. The highest the catalog price, the rarest the stamp, something like. But not just any company which publish catalogs sell stamps at that prices, any stamp seller does...
For "normal" stamps, market prices are usualy a fraction of the catalog price. This is not true for the most rare stamps, where just few pieces are available and the price could also go over the catalog.
I don't know the russian area, for the polish area, i usually consider reasonable a price around 33% of the Michel. In another topic, someone said for the russian area an average price around the 50% of the Scott. This are of course not constant rates, but once you learned, they bring catalogs down to earth...
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Gary
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[*] posted on 4/14/2007 at 05:35


True! The caveat may also be "when in Rome, do as the Romans do." When dealing with dealers in the USA, use Scott; in Germany, Michel; in Russia, a Russian catalog; etc. I have always been a bit wary of sellers who seek out the catalog with the highest value and attempt to force the buyer to follow them. Yet when it comes to buying, the same people seek out the catalog with the lowest value. Buy low, sell high makes sense if you are investing in stamps. Sadly, there is not a single catalog in which all the known "common" and "not-so-common" varieties are listed. For now the stamp collector needs a lot of shelf space to handle the ever-increasing number of catalogs.:)
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IvoSteijn
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[*] posted on 4/14/2007 at 17:42


Unfortunately, while that argument might have been true once, by now it's not. For better or worse we are now dealing with a pretty well-integrated international market, and regional price differences are rapidly being ironed out through arbitrage (what's expensive in Michel and cheap in Scott will get bought up in the USA and sold in Germany/Europe). And neither catalog is dealing well with the rapid rise in prices resulting from Russian activity on the international market.

I don't find Scott very useful in general, except that you can find bargains if an American dealer is unwise enough to price his stock by Scott.
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achlenov
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[*] posted on 4/14/2007 at 20:45


As far as I know, Russians use Zagorsky's "Standard-Collection" more and more. His prices are the closest to the real "market" prices.

I agree with Ivo, the market for Russian material is well adjusted across the boarders.
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red1999
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[*] posted on 4/16/2007 at 05:01


someone once sad to me, michel has gross (brutto) prices and scott has net (netto) prices

that means, scott prices is what you can expect to get from a buyer, while michel is just a reference price, you have to know what percentage you get for a given region

example: net prices for russian stamps 1923-44 ist about 33% of michel

german stamps 1920-45 is perhaps 15-20%

french till 1933 perhaps 10 to 15%, uk 10% etc.


of course those percentages vary extremely when rare or very good quality, special certificates etc. are offered

hth
stefan
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achlenov
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[*] posted on 4/16/2007 at 19:38


Where can I buy the 30-s for 33% of Michel? I have some sets in mind ;)
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red1999
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[*] posted on 4/17/2007 at 01:17


i bought stamps from this time on ebay, got most at 33% some for less, very vew for more, 1 to 1,5 years ago,
well that was all used - i prefer stamps with cancel, i evade the problems with the gum and i get an additional interesting thing for my money (the cancel)

i watched several sellers setting start prices at 33% from michel, i sent the better ones to hovest, all were genuine

;)
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achlenov
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[*] posted on 4/17/2007 at 02:06


Well, used is a whole different ball game :) I was thinking MNH...
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RSFSR
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[*] posted on 4/18/2007 at 06:56


The way that I use the different catalogs is more of a 'relative' pricing perspective (not always accurate but better than nothing).

So for example if Scott lists a particular stamp at $5 and Michel has the stamp for 15 Euro, Michel may have a variety of perforation which Scott won't have priced at 90 Euro. I would make an assumption that it is worth approximately 6 times the price of the normal stamp - this would imply that if the normal stamp is priced reasonably at $5, then the variety is in the $30 ballpark.

This becomes most helpful when the variety is priced the same as the 'normal' stamp ...

When the market is as volatile as it is now for early issues (pre 1950s), the only catalog that would be truly useful would be an online catalog that can be kept current.
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msmike
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[*] posted on 6/10/2007 at 13:22


I know many of you will not like what I have to say but please bear with me. Scott is not a guide for buying or selling. Their pricing is so out of date that it has little reality to the real market especially for never hinged stamps. Now, of course, some of the prices will be what you want them to be but that is because of little demand and a big supply and most of that will be in the 1960s thru the 1980s. And for the most part, they believe that new issue prices should be what you would pay at the post office plus handling charges. Get real! How many people buy dirrectly from the Russian Post Office. But don't forget about the shipping charge and money conversion rate. And the value increases based on the mintage. Therefore face value is not the only thing to consider when determining the collectable value of a stamp. Scott does well with this on US stamps but is very slow in doing this with Russian stamps.

Michel is better but who is going to pay over $100 each year or every other year for their catalogues. The only solution I can offer is to pay attention to the auctions, watch eBay and other websites, talk to your dealers (you don't have to buy), talk among yourselves and pay attention to the increasing price changes. If you see something that you want and it is increasing in price rapidly, get it now. In all likelyhood the US maketplace will be stripped of that stamp(s) soon and it will be gone.

I don't mean to lecture but the stamps are already going back to Russian and this process has started. This why Scott and Michel pricing no longer is used except as a relative guide. The stamps from the 1930s-1940s are already affected. The 1950s will be next in coming years with selected sets.
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