Trends in Stamp Values

Looking at auction prices from May 2000 through July 2001


Are stamp prices going up or down?  The period May 2000 - July 2001 has been a traumatic one for the stock market, which high-tech stocks spectacularly crashing.  This might mean that people are looking for other forms of investment, or it might mean that people have less wealth and less interest in such secondary investment vehicles as stamps.

During the same time inflation has been low (2.5% or thereabouts) and interest rates went up for a while and then from January 2001 have been rapidly dropping.

Employment figures have softened a little bit in the US, and the US dollar has continued to strengthen against the Euro (by about 5%-10%) and most other major currencies (which of course increases the value of stamps in non-US countries.

Oil prices have risen by about 250% during this same time period.  Gold has risen a small amount.

Quick Answer

If you don't want to read any further, the trend over the last year can be described in one word - flat.  There has been no significant increase (or decrease) in the value of Russian stamps over this time period.

Russian Stamps on eBay in General

This analysis is based solely on observed activity on eBay.  Other means of buying and selling stamps may record other trends.

eBay has continued to grow in size, and internet usage as a whole also continues to expand, everywhere in the world.  eBay's continued growth in size presumably acts to make it increasingly 'efficient' and closer to a 'perfect market' (to use some economic terms.

In other words, as the number of buyers and sellers increase on eBay, selling prices tend to get closer and closer to an accurate reflection of what the underlying market price actually may be.

Sub-groups of Russian stamps

For the purpose of this discussion, we have categorized Russian stamps into four categories :

  • High value (ie $10+ a stamp)
  • Moderate value (ie $1-10 a stamp)
  • Low value (ie under $1 a stamp)
  • Negligible value (ie under 5c a stamp)

Speaking qualitatively rather than quantitatively, our perception of pricing trends over this time period and as per these four categories is as follows :

High value :  Flat to maybe some lessening in value.  This might be explained by the fact that higher and rarer value stamps are appearing on eBay in abundant quantities as more and more people try and sell material on eBay.  This is shifting the market dynamic from a seller's market to more of a buyer's market.

Moderate value :  No apparent pricing trend at all.

Low value :  Flat to maybe a very slight increase at the lower part of this group.  As more and more buyers come to eBay, they are tending to rush to the good value and lower priced items and buy those first, keeping some pricing pressure on the lower end.

Negligible value :  A slight increase here.  I used to be able to buy some incredible bulk bargains on eBay, but these are increasingly getting multiple bids (typically from less experienced eBay members) and selling at prices that no longer present as the amazing bargains of a year and more ago.


This page last modified on May 15, 2010