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An offer you can't refuse ... perhaps (page 5)

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Joined: 26 March 2010
Location: Wrexham
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    Posted: 30 March 2010 at 01:38
#101 2010-01-15 19:51:04

Steve
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    Registered: 2009-08-27
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Re: An offer you can't refuse perhaps?

Its that time again, or nearly so. I should be posting the next in the series, #7, by Monday latest.
And I may pop in the next Diabolo. This one is more difficult, but you didn't spot all the others on the first two. So I'll tell you now there is only 2 on the Dee Ferry diabolo.
It's not food if it has the same name in all languages.


#102 2010-01-20 17:30:55

Peter Chapman
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    Registered: 2009-06-16
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Re: An offer you can't refuse perhaps?

Just got mine. *groan*

Excellent work.


#103 2010-01-21 13:49:32

Keith
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Re: An offer you can't refuse perhaps?

Steve.  These truly are getting better and better with each issue. The covers which are now addressed to your specific customer rather than a made-up recipient are an exceptionally nice touch making each one unique of course.  But it's the accompanying fact sheets which make them stand out for me.

I look forward to the commemoratives and, even more, to the issues of Welsh South American Colonies

I'm saving the diabolo hunt for when I'm feeling stronger.

For members who don't subscribe to Steve's Welsh Postal Oddities issues I can highly recommend them.  Pictures can be found here on askmeaboutstamps.com but the picture and the text there tells only half the story as each issue is accompanied by postally used examples on cover and a story sheet giving the amazing background story to each issue.  He only charges beans for them.  You should contact him and subscribe.

Keith


To see images and more information about stamps discussed here you should visit http://www.askmeaboutstamps.com/


#104 2010-01-21 14:03:29

Colin
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    Registered: 2009-07-21
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Re: An offer you can't refuse perhaps?

Hi Steve

I just found mine in the big box of unanswered post and it has cheered me up no end.

Excellent stuff again!  I am still looking for the diablo on the last issue but will try to find this one this evening.

You should send samples of these to the LPCS and show them how it is done. Fantastic work - make sure you keep some copies of everything for yourself and put them in a FIREPROOF box :-)

I thoroughly and heartily recommend anyone who has not yet subscribed to do so immediately, warm up your winter mornings with some tales from the philatelic valleys...
Er, my Edwards has just fallen off...


#105 2010-01-21 14:33:40

Steve
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Re: An offer you can't refuse perhaps?

Thanks for the comments guys, but could I cope with anymore? I'd probably have to go for a second print run and new tube of glue

    Keith wrote:

    The covers which are now addressed to your specific customer rather than a made-up recipient are an exceptionally nice touch making each one unique of course.


Did you notice they were autographed too? He owed me a favour.

    Colin Edwards wrote:

    make sure you keep some copies of everything for yourself and put them in a FIREPROOF box :-)

Copies yes, but fireproof no. I do have my main working directory and a backup on a separate hard drive. Plus all my design folders curently fit onto a USB stick thoughI may have to visit another convention soon for a bigger one from a trade stall as a freebie.
The problem of this is keeping all three copies in synch. If I do a bit at work (over lunch of course) on the USB stick I have to remember to copy it over. But this is better than that 'Briefcase' that MS had on 98 (I think). So many times the updating went the wrong way!!

It's not food if it has the same name in all languages.


#106 2010-01-22 16:21:07

Colin
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Re: An offer you can't refuse perhaps?

This is how it starts Steve.

Its just a USB stick at first then a box of Cds, then before you know it you have bigger boxes of all the stuff, all the leftover envelopes, the rubber franking stamps, the spare special paper you bought just in case someone wants another one in a couple of years time...

And then your boiler catches fire and you have to start all over again  :-)

FIREPROOF box sir. Now!
Er, my Edwards has just fallen off...


#107 2010-01-23 03:02:40

simon evans
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Re: An offer you can't refuse perhaps?



    FIREPROOF box sir. Now!

And don't forget to keep it in a warm, dry place (just not on top of the boiler)


#108 2010-01-23 03:39:59

Daniel
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    Registered: 2009-07-04
    Posts: 61
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Re: An offer you can't refuse perhaps?

Yet another great lot from Steve, probably his most professional looking stamps to date. These Welsh Antarctic Daipendency stamps look very authentic. Plus they are well centred and well perforated. The personally addressed envelope had great attention to detail including authentic looking 60s type for the address plus nice cachets. Plus a map and another great history.

Brilliant! (again!)

PS Also got a 55p River Dee Ferry Post local which I'm guessing must be a Diablo but I couldn't spot the difference!

Must send him some more money.

Last edited by Daniel (2010-01-23 03:43:55)


#109 2010-01-23 16:14:08

Keith
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Re: An offer you can't refuse perhaps?

    I couldn't spot the difference!

Steve has posted that there are two differences.  I've only been able to find one despite closing one eye and screwing up the other in a way that should have been guaranteed to find  it.

Look away now if you don't want to know the difference I found.

******* SPOILER ALERT *********









The frame size is smaller both vertically and horizontally

Keith
To see images and more information about stamps discussed here you should visit http://www.askmeaboutstamps.com/



#110 2010-01-23 17:24:55

Keith
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Re: An offer you can't refuse perhaps?

By the way.  You can find images of the latest stamps here.

Keith
To see images and more information about stamps discussed here you should visit http://www.askmeaboutstamps.com/


#111 2010-01-23 18:52:17

Steve
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Re: An offer you can't refuse perhaps?


Hmmm
If that is so it is accidental, and probably an artifact of a reprint and using a different printer. Still that means there a 3 differences on the Dee Ferry diabolo.

If you want to know the differences for the the first two diabolos (Oernant Tramway and Cante'r Gwaelod) let me know.
No easy answers for this one yet; you must sweat a bit first.

Last edited by Steve (2010-01-23 19:29:11)
It's not food if it has the same name in all languages.


#112 2010-01-24 19:02:40

Keith
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Re: An offer you can't refuse perhaps?

Bu**er.  It was obvious as well!

Oh well, just 2 to find.

Keith
To see images and more information about stamps discussed here you should visit http://www.askmeaboutstamps.com/


#113 2010-01-24 22:42:56

Daniel
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Re: An offer you can't refuse perhaps?

Okay, having had a second look, I've found one. The location of the village located just above the 55p value (Eccleston, if I'm reading the map correctly) has moved slightly north!

Daniel

Last edited by Daniel (2010-01-24 22:46:59)


#114 2010-02-13 16:59:45

Keith
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Re: An offer you can't refuse perhaps?

I never did find any.

But that's not the reason for this post.  I've been thinking about what Steve's producing and how each issue is a step forward in confidence and quality.

And it strikes me that we are not paying him enough.  Nowhere near enough.

I'm the last person to deliberately give away money (I'm from Yorkshire you know!) but I'd hate Steve to have to stop 'cos he couldn't afford to keep going.

For instance his last issue included a set of 5 stamps; the same set overprinted for decimalisation; a cover addressed to us as individuals and signed by Tom Jones;  a cover to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the Apollo 11; three A4 sheets of descriptions/maps and an illustrated brown envelope to keep the loose stamps in.  All enclosed in an envelope with a printed illustration on the front relevant to the issue.

I realise that Steve can send us as much or as little as he wants at intervals of his own choosing.  But I think we should give him the funds to let him take more quality steps.

I don't know who else subscribes to his issues. There might be only me of course.  But what do you reckon?  A fiver an issue would still seem very competitive to me.

Keith
To see images and more information about stamps discussed here you should visit http://www.askmeaboutstamps.com/


#115 2010-02-13 23:44:20

Susanne
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    Registered: 2009-06-21
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Re: An offer you can't refuse perhaps?

I subscribe, and I agree Keith.  We've been getting an unbelievable bargain!  I've enjoyed all of the issues so much and I'm really floored by how little Steve has asked in return.


#116 2010-02-14 08:07:28

simon evans
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Re: An offer you can't refuse perhaps?


i totally agree that Steve is undercharging- postage to Australia is not cheap! When i first subscribed, i offered him more to cover costs plus postage, but he assured me that he was happy with the status quo. Maybe if we threatened to not buy any more until he puts his prices up? (Devilish smilie, as per Forum- these smilies don't convey the right idea)

Cheers to All


#117 2010-02-14 11:58:51

Colin
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Re: An offer you can't refuse perhaps?

Yes - it can take longer to prepare, print, make up and package all of the elements than it does to conceive and design the stamp elements.

Its a real slog when you have other work to do too, and Steve being an already busy man deserves some sort of return for his investment of knowledge, time and effort.

Making stamps for free is fine if you are only doing one in a blue moon, however with Steve's prolific output - and for the quality of result he has achieved - some sort of payment should be made or we will all start to feel we are taking advantage of his very generous nature.

Keep it up Steve


#118 2010-02-14 15:20:01

Daniel
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Re: An offer you can't refuse perhaps?

I agree that £2 is clearly too cheap and we should pay more. However, I would make the point that at £2 buying his stamps is a no-brainer, hiking the price to £5 might put some subscribers off especially given the frequency of his issues. This latter point is not a complaint, I love receiving them, indeed, there don't appear to be that many cinderella stamps available 'out there' especially new material, hence I look forward to Hilary (or anyone else) producing new stamps.

Colin obviously charges more for his stamps but they only seem to come out every blue moon and he has significant outside resourcing costs.

I would suggest somewhere between £2 and £5, say £3.50 per issue and maybe charging for postage. Of course, there is nothing to stop anyone paying more should they so choose.

Daniel


#119 2010-02-14 15:38:24

Keith
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Re: An offer you can't refuse perhaps?

I see your point Daniel.  My original thoughts were prompted by Colin's latest issue which led to me thinking "I'd like Steve to be able to do issues of this quality = fewer = higher cost".  That thought process isn't anywhere in my original post - apologies for that.   Steve may have his own views about his issue and pricing policy of course and certainly gets the deciding vote!

I also agree about the apparent dearth of new cinderellas in the UK and I welcome Hilary's new issue for the same reasons you do.

I was hoping designers from forn' parts would join the Forum and tell us about their new issues and I hope that will start eventually.  Certainly it seems that engaging here with potential customers is likely to lead to business.

Keith
To see images and more information about stamps discussed here you should visit http://www.askmeaboutstamps.com/


#120 2010-02-14 15:43:42

Colin
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Re: An offer you can't refuse perhaps?

Coming up with a cost to cover overheads is a huge headache - particularly when you do not know how many you are going to sell. There are upfront costs of rubber franking stamps, printing trial copies first, paper costs, printing costs, perforation costs, envelopes, packaging boxes, card fillers - and then the costs associated to selling them such as ebay charges, paypal costs, and then the cut for the taxman too.

It becomes a labour of love and one that can occasionally catch you out and leave a big hole in your resources.

There will always be more economical ways of producing stamps - you can inkjet print them, overprint the franking, perf with a pin or sewing machine or print in pre-perfed paper (OlathePoste.com) all of which provide a very adequate result without huge expense. This makes it easy to test the market without huge outlay and allows you to build up a following that can then be built on if you decide to go the professional printing route.

I would like to think that most people can tell the difference between the different levels of quality that can be achieved and would be prepared to reward the maker accordingly.

I don't think anyone sets out to design their own stamps as a means of financially supporting themselves, I think the most any of us can hope for is that our costs for each issue are covered, and on the occasions when the calculations go wrong, that the loss can be recovered quite quickly over subsequent issues.

For most of us it is just a bit of fun we would like to share with our friends.


#121 2010-02-17 11:21:51

Steve
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Re: An offer you can't refuse perhaps?

Issue 8 has just gone into the post.

And thanks for the replies to Keith's post. I have taken note and agree that with a bit more in the funds I could improve. But first I would like to hear a couple more opinions at least, especially if anyone disagrees.

Colin's comments were very pertinent. I would love to provide a better product with a professional finish. But can this be achieved with a modest increase in subscriptions? Thats for me to work out. Colin lists a number of considerations. Would adopting some but not all be a good move? Can the improvement be incremental?
I do have other plans, whether these will come to fruition is uncertain, but there are still other possibilities for future stamps. So I could take the Oddities as step one on the learning ladder and then move upwards on future ideas.

If anyone has any opinions please post here or email me. Or if you all agree there should be an increase, is there anything specific you'd like improving?

I do these for my own 'entertainment', but would not have bothered if there wasn't a small group to distribute to. Sharing these is the motivation to get down and do it. As the group is small and print runs are small if I am out of pocket (and I probably am)then its not by a large amount.

Steve
It's not food if it has the same name in all languages.


#122 2010-02-17 13:09:39

Colin
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Re: An offer you can't refuse perhaps?

Can't wait!!!

Steve - you say in your posting that extra funds would allow you to improve and ask what specifically we might want to improve - but I disagree.

Extra funds would only allow you to improve the quality of finish of what you produce.

What you overlook is the inherent value of what you have produced - the precisely judged humour, the skill in combining your ideas with your knowledge of conventional stamp imagery and the strength of the ideas behind the overall concept of what you stick on an envelope. No amount of money would improve that - you either have it or you don't - and you have it in abundance.

Anyone can do a drawing and centre it within a stamp-ish frame - but your stamps go much, much further than that.  They are unique idiosyncratic little works of art, researched, written, drawn and applied with skill and judgement.

If paying extra for them results in a more professional finish then my hope is they will reach a wider audience and you will get the recognition you deserve. I for one would be very happy to pay extra for your stamps in order for you to achieve that recognition.

But if you are happy to continue producing them for your own entertainment (and ours!) that is fine too - just let us pay you more for them anyway, I am sure none of us here want to see you out of pocket.
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