Just flew back from Indianapolis, and boy are my arms tired!

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April 11, 2015

(well, drove actually...)

Just walked through the door after a fun-filled philatelic day. Normally I do COMPEX as a Spring show, but I decided to change things up this year a bit and do the Indiana Stamp Club spring show instead. Last year COMPEX was kinda "meh" for me and almost all the dealers there are dealers I see at CHICAGOPEX anyway... with a few minor exceptions: stale inventory.

On the other hand, even though the show today was tiny in comparison (15 dealers, less than 1/3 the number of dealers as COMPEX), since I stopped doing INYPEX about 4 years ago there were a fairly large number of dealers today that I had not seen in years. Some opportunities for fresh material and fresh cherrypicking. :)

The 2-hour drive was mostly uneventful, although for some reason my GPS decided to take me through Indianapolis suburbs rather than I-74 to I-465, which I would have thought would have been a faster more straight forward route. I was a little concerned, but made it there 5 minutes before the show opened. Perfect timing!

Denny Peoples was the first dealer I saw, and he was surprised to see me as I'd never done this show before. His stock is wonderfully esoteric and he always has something new for me to look at. No front of book, with the exception of a few covers. He mostly deals in back-of-book, ephemera, non-Scott listed material, documents, cinderellas, labels, etc. He comes across some obscure and off-the-wall material. I put together a stack for him to hold for me until I did the rest of the room.

I then stopped at Dave Allego, who I had not seen in several years. He had a document that I had looked at several times over the course of 4 years, that I lusted over, but never could quite pull the trigger on pricewise. I didn't want to let it get away this time, so I buckled my breastplate and set about "gittin' her done".

I then met up with Eric Scott (The Stamp Shop), a truly nice guy. I hadn't seen him since the last time I did INDYPEX years ago. He didn't have a whole lot of material for me as he has long divested himself of better revenue material, but it was good to see him.

I hit all of the other dealers and then circled back around to Denny and added a few more items to my stack (more than half of my show's expenditure was at his booth) and then I headed for home. I only actually spent 4 hours in the show itself, but there's only so many laps you can make around a relatively small room.

A few random and sundry observations on the day, in no particular order:

  • The venue smelled of mold/mildew. It was bizarre.
  • If you have a 1st issue revenue stamp that has a partial strike of a blurry unreadable handstamp cancel and is faulty, it is NOT worth multiples of Scott, I don't care what planet you are on.
  • If you are a dealer, price your wares. Not marking prices on anything and saying "make me an offer" to everyone is just plain annoying. Not only that, but it can backfire on you. If you go that route and you're not a recognized and accepted expert/specialist in the field, what a policy like that is going to get from me is lowball offers. And so I did... and ended up paying considerably less for several documents than I would have had they simply been priced. Oh well, sucks to be him. ;)
  • I realize that stamp collectors (and especially dealers) tend to be cranky, crotchety, old curmudgeons, but when every 4th word out of your mouth is a profanity, that is REALLY unprofessional, and in all liklihood costs your booth business. Don't do that.
  • Old people like to sit and chat and reminisce. It goes with the territory. That's fine and spiffy... but when you and your cro-magnon bretheren are spending time regaling one another with epic tales of the time before fire was invented, do NOT occupy multiple seats at a dealer's booth when doing so, especially when there are paying customers standing and waiting for a spot to actually do some business. It's not fair to either the other collectors or the dealer who has paid a table fee to be there. Have some awareness... there's a time and a place.
  • Missing the forest for the trees: If you want to put together stock pages selling cancels at flat rates ("This page $1.00 each", $2.00, $3.00, etc.), you might want to actually check the value of the underlying stamps rather than just seeing the cancel. Of course I'm perfectly happy to buy sound $30-50 catalog value stamps for $2-3 each...

Anyway, enough soap-boxing on my part. As far as acquisitions are concerned, not much in the way of stamps actually, other than a few double transfers, nothing major. Most of my money was spent on documents this time around, and not so much for the philatelic aspects but rather the aesthetics of the documents or the companies involved.

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