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Author: Subject: APS Sales Books for Russia
Cmarsha
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cool.gif posted on 1/10/2009 at 14:31
APS Sales Books for Russia


Has anyone on this board ever utilized these?? What was your experience, were you able to find much of use? I should add that I have a lot of gaps to fill in from 1940 to early 70's so thought this may be a good venue for that. Comments welcome, thanks.
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[*] posted on 1/10/2009 at 17:16


You can also put a "Wanted Ad" in this forum: http://www.rossica.org/Samovar/forumdisplay.php?fid=77




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[*] posted on 1/10/2009 at 19:04


I used to subscribe to the APS Russia Sales books and did find it quite good for filling in some of the gaps. The major advantage is that you can examine the actual stamps.

I found that the contents of the books varied considerably. A large percentage (sometimes over 50%) were late (1970 +) CTO's which were of no interest to me. The good news was that I was able to find the occasional bargain (Scott 405, postally used, with CECP vs CCCP for $0.50, for example).

Definitely worth trying.
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[*] posted on 1/10/2009 at 20:11


I have just retired and thought I may be able to have some fun with these, after I get through the 25 years of shoeboxes of material I always meant to go over someday.
The CTO s are not an issue, I collect mint where possible but almost all my stamps after the 1960's are CTO, it's not worth the premium and then there is the issue of mounts for a few thousand stamps! So, I may give these a shot.
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[*] posted on 1/11/2009 at 02:50


I am currently subscribed to APS Circuits Russia Sales books and agree that content varies a lot. It really depends who submitted the book and how many hands it went through before reaching me.
I am able to find there some interesting things there from time to time. Books come I think 4 times a year (approx.) and from my experience it worth $5-6 postage for several evenings of fun. If you set your expectations to very low level - you can be happy even with 2-3 stamps if they fill in the gap.
Actually I am also receiving Finland and Baltic States, since some Imperial Russian material sometimes end up there too.

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[*] posted on 1/11/2009 at 03:30


Can anyone explain to an absolute beginner like me what the "APS russia sales books" are?
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[*] posted on 1/11/2009 at 09:09


If you are member of the American Philatelic Society (APS) you can subcribe to various 'circuits' - these can be selected by country/area/condition/age and etc.

Four times a year (approximately), you will receive a box of about 12 circuit books. These comprise selections that members of the APS are trying to sell. Each page of each book (and there are about 20 pages per book) have spaces that the seller can position the stamps (either single stamps or a set). Each selection will have a Scott number and the price that the seller wants. If you want to purchase the stamp(s), you remove them and stamp your APS number in the position originally housing the stamps. Obviously, when you review the books, you will find many gaps where previous recipients of the books have already purchased selections.

You will then forward the package on to the the next person in the list (postage is about $10) and send the total purchase price to the APS. They will at some point in time forward this to the seller.

Generally each box will have three types of books, those that have been in two previous circuits, those that have been in one, and those that are new. It is more difficult to find useful items in the older books, but one can still find some good items if you are lucky.

Just a brief summary of the process.
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[*] posted on 1/11/2009 at 16:04
Sales book


I have subscribed to APS sales books on and off for 30 years. As noted by others they are an interesting exercise in searching for varieties. Most of the time the postage exceeds the purchases. Beware: many early stamps are mislabled. Sellers cannot distinguish vertically laid from horizontally laid to non laid paper. Invariably the stamp is always sold as the most expensive stamp. Another APS service is the Stamp Store. Overall this is a big disappointment as I have returned probably 50% of my purchases as mislabled. Again the problem is with watermarks and overprints with the stamps always sold as the higher value. Expertization is offered but for less expensive stamps it is not worth the cost. Plus I have no idea who is doing the expertising!
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[*] posted on 1/11/2009 at 18:21


What has always put me off on these is that you only get a week to go through them. I don't know about anyone else- going through 12 circuit books to check for gaps in my collection would take more time than that- even in my current state of retirement!
Years ago I noted a common thread running through the expulsions notices of APS members is that most seem to involve infractions re the sales division. Maybe another reason for second thoughts!
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[*] posted on 1/11/2009 at 18:34


I would recommend trying it a couple of times ... I stopped getting the circuits (I dropped out of the APS) but still had fun going through the books. I found a few interesting items that were not in my normal collecting area too.

I still work full time but found that I could go through the books in a couple of hours.
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[*] posted on 2/3/2009 at 12:02


Well I decided to live dangerously and have enrolled for the Russia circuit, was told to expect my first sending soon. Will post my review here.
I have put remounting my Russia material at the top of my to do list so I can better see what gaps exist when the books arrive.
Am anticipating most of it will be cto material from the last 20 years but you never know, we'll see.
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[*] posted on 2/4/2009 at 05:26


Cmarsha,
I think you might be pleasantly surprised in the long run, judging from my experience years ago when I was a member of the APS.

First of all, there is always the thrill of looking through stamps in your collecting area and trying to find flyspeck varieties, etc- in fact up to 1995 or so there was a significant number of stamps in the sales books that were older, non-CTO.

Secondly, you will in all probability find (in the long-run) misidentified stamps at ridiculous prices. One example from my days of exploration: a fantail copy of Scott 1610, purchased for 0.15$ and re-sold 2 years ago on Ebay for several hundred $$.
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[*] posted on 9/8/2009 at 20:50


I am resurrecting this thread to share my experiences after two circuits.
I am afraid as of now this is not a way to go, at least for me. Most of my needs are in the 1930-1953 area also some BOB. There is very little of this stuff. I was able to buy about $7 from my first circuit, the one I got this week is to be forwarded with no purchases. Lots of part sets, cto common sets, mixed lots of broken sets, and so on.
Probably Russian material is so hot now that the good and semi-good stuff is trading on Ebay or going direct to dealers. I may give it one more whirl and see.
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