I was kept busy during October. Four Fairs were excellent and postal sales made a strong recovery. Lots of stock to arrange and price up and items to add to the selection on www.robstineextra.com 
I went on a trip to Amsterdam in mid-month in order to take in two Fairs in the eastern town of Apeldoorn. One Fair is annual and the other is a more homely monthly event which I have visited twice before. I now have a few good contacts at these events and they did not let me down with the stocks I wanted. This year there were one or two adventures on the trains from Apeldoorn and back to the airport but all went surprisingly smoothly in the end.
With Charlotte’s help, I am adding new features to www.robstineextra.com including gift vouchers for Christmas (or any other time). We now have nearly 3300 items visible on this site and we are adding material almost daily, just as I am adding stock to www.robstine-stamps.com almost daily too. I have noticed there is a problem with the Germany 1872-1945 (Reich) list and we are working to solve it. It currently shows the February 2015 list and has not permitted updates in all the time since. Bear with us on this and please remember to press the F5 refresh button regularly to see the up to date listings.

UPDATES ON STOCK

Albania. Another great lot which has strengthened my range of this neglected country. I have had meaningful demand for these stamps lately and this new selection added a number of items to stock, in particular in the 1920s-1940s, carrying on to the 1960s.

Australia. My Australian supplier has sent me loads of material after receiving my latest wants list. He has filled 95% of what I requested, mainly items from the 2000s which is where the demand is. I have not yet priced up the most recent stamps as that invoice has not yet arrived and so I do not know what he has charged for each item. As usual, I have very few gaps in my Aussie stock.
As for new issues, this month’s lot includes more Fair Dinkum Alphabet, Beautiful Cities, the Royal Wedding and the end of World War 1, with mini sheets in some cases.

Austria. Just a few recent singles and mini sheets came my way. Soon I will ask my German supplier to find me lots more recent stamps as I have neglected these for too long.

Baltic States. I found some recent items from all three countries in Apeldoorn, although the biggest range was from Lithuania.  

Belgium. During my trip to Apeldoorn, I found a big range of mini sheets for Belgium. I just had to have them. They have been going in for big sheetlets lately which will take up a lot of room in my books. The majority can be found on www.robstineextra.com and listed on the main site.

Commonwealth. With two lovely collections of QV-KG5 issues and various other bits and pieces on the shelves, you would have expected me to have made more progress here than I have. Well, the Indian States took up a lot of time but I did manage to work on Barbados and British East Africa/KUT this month. There were lots of new stamps for my KUT range with many “better”.

Croatia. I have not had wartime Croatia in stock for 15-20 years. This month I found not one but two lots covering this period (what’s that about London buses coming along!) These stamps are well sought after, despite some having one of the world’s meanest looking rulers!

Faroes. New issues including costumes and Christmas.

French Colonies. I only managed to work on one area this month: French Guinea.

Indian States. This month I put a lot of effort into these stamps, having put it off for a while! I had three lots to work on. I sorted and priced up the Convention States, but a friend sorted the Feudal States for me, before I price them and arranged them. He has more knowledge on these stamps than I do so I was grateful for his help. I can definitely say my selection of these issues is the best I have had.

Ireland. New issues including a lovely set of Bees and Scientific Discoveries.

Italy. This is the first time I have received stamps from my Italian supplier for nearly two years (because I have been slow at writing to him!) Various gaps were filled from 1929 into the 2000s although the very recent stamps will be ordered next time.

Netherlands. It would have been rude to go to Apeldoorn and not buy Dutch stamps. At the big Fair, I obtained a large number of sheetlets and mini sheets covering the period of 2006-16. Many will be visible on www.robstineextra.com and are listed on my main site. Additionally I bought a number of singles and sets, principally from the 2000s but a few tricky earlier items were also found.

New Zealand. Another friend has sorted the NZ Chalons for me. I had large numbers of these stamps but little time to do them justice, so his help was gratefully received.
New issues this month consisted of Thinking outside the square(!), Suffragettes and the Armistice. Mini sheets too of course. The Armistice issue has been printed in such a way that you cannot soak them off paper if you want to retain the designs. Not good. I do not like the designs either, so am I overselling them!?!

Norway. I found a small number of items from the 2000s during my visit to Apeldoorn and there were two new issues including a mini sheet for the Norwegian King.

Russia. One of my forgotten countries. I have lots of material waiting to be sorted but Russia has not been selling well for ages. All the same I added a number of singles and sets to my stock of the 1930s and 1940s. There is plenty more to come when I can find the time!

San Marino. This is the best lot of earlier San Marino I have seen for a very long time. My range has greatly expanded as a result with several key values. There are still lots of items to be found but this helps. This lot started from the first issues and went through to the 1960s.

POSTAL SALES

As soon as October came around, I felt that things had taken a turn for the better after a prolonged quiet spell in the summer. The number of sales was one of the best for 2018 so far with some sizeable sales too.

Recently the pattern has been that four areas have dominated the sales: Commonwealth Australia, Canada and France. This was even more evident in October. So I have made efforts to bolster my stocks in those areas. Other good selling countries in October have been German States, Spain and Thailand.

STAMP FAIRS

Early October was a busy time for me with fairs. I attended four: Chichester, Bromsgrove (Solo), Amersham (Solo) and Wokingham. The last three were over budget and Chichester was productive too. It is noticeable in the bigger Fairs that there are fewer customers but the average spend is much higher than in previous years. When I say bigger Fairs, there were three dealers at Chichester and ten at Wokingham, scarcely big Fairs! The number of customers is well down but so is the number of dealers.

A wide range of material was sold during these four Fairs: much wider than through the post. Australia and the Commonwealth were good sellers but so were Yugoslavia and Albania, Ethiopia and West Germany, DDR and Greenland. It is hard deciding what to bring to some Fairs!

Just five more Fairs to go in 2018! I hope to see you at one of them.

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