Spring Stampex 2019

Stampex really worried me this time. The show is now only four days long and by the time I got home I could have slept for a week. The International next May is eight days long (Sat 2nd May – Sat 9th May 2020), so we need to launch a special stamp dealers training program, so we are all match fit to do our best for British stamps.

So what did we learn from our time in ‘the smoke’, well on the first day we heard the queue went right down onto upper street and around the corner, so the pull of the De Vinci new issue and the overprinted sheet was still strong. In fact we heard the overprinted sheet was a sell out (don’t worry we had ours on order), I don’t think there were 6,000 people in the queue, so can only assume there were some big trade orders. Now I am looking forward to hearing what the stamp plan is for the 2020 Show.

The first day is always non stop, both before and during the show. There is still a mind-set that you have to visit on the first day as you may miss something. I am not sure this is right, last September I visited on both the Wednesday and Thursday, and I must say that the second day was much calmer and you could look at things and get to boxes. Yes you might miss the odd cover here and there, but my recommendation is to visit Thursday or Friday. As a dealer on the first day you are never sure what you will sell, over the years we have had it where we have taken from very little to more than the rest of the show put together.

So back to this show, over the last couple of months I have been adding lots of FDC’s to our rare books and these were all ready to see at Stampex giving us one of our best stocks for a very long time which many of you had the chance to see. Also Dawn had been all the way through our VC signatures giving us one of the best selections we have ever been able to offer. Sarah has been updating the signed folders and I have been working on the RAF covers, so if you are visiting one of our other shows during this year, give us a call and we will bring them along.

We have also now built up a following for our £1 cover trays and had customers waiting for trays to make sure they had been through them all. When we arrived they were so full you could not move the stock and at the start of Friday we actually had an empty tray!

During the show we had a visit from Suzanne Rae the new Chairman of the PTS  (who run the show).  Firstly it was nice to see her going round the show and talking to all the dealers and also asking them what they think and their opinions. She also  came ‘armed’ with lots of questions, which was good and I hope this will help build a good picture of how we all push the hobby forward over the next five years. She also insisted we finish our chat with a ‘high five’, not sure I was ready for that, have always thought myself more of a fist bump kind of guy.

And so to Saturday, I started the day by leaving Craig (again) to set up, while I added the Mile End Parkrun to my list. The show had a feeling of an old Saturday, being busy for most of the day and lots of customers to talk to. Everyone seemed to disappear just before 4pm which gave us an hour to try and get our posters down without damaging the backing boards, we are always very worried about this as we get charged for each damaged panel.

So overall we were pleased how the show went, yes we always want more customers, to give out more magazines and take more money, but it was good to meet you all. As usual we won’t be at Stampex in September and no Spring one next year as we will all be getting ready for the big International in May.

All the best

Brian

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