Matchcover Collecting

"Inside Secrets" for Getting Covers

Marc Murphy, CAN:

My main source is, of course, mail trading with my approximately 50 traders. But how do I get covers in the first place?... Generally, from flea markets, garage sales, bazaars, auction sales, conventions, friends, and I have purchased 3 collections in the last 6 years, one of which had 10,750 covers, all new, matches intact, dating from the late 1940s to the late 1970s. 1 paid $300. Am I crazy? For the guy next door, yes, but not for you and me! I now have some 73,000 covers.

John Behr, CT:

I've amassed about 55,000 covers, most during the past 5 years. I ran ads in local give-away weekly newspapers for four weeks. That, plus my first visit to an RMS convention (1991), gave my modest collection of approximately 4,000 covers a huge boost and enabled me to start trading. Now, trading, swapfests, and regular meetings of CMC and NEMCC keep me busy and broaden my collection. Of course, a prime 'supply' of covers is also from friends and relatives.

Walt Wecker, AZ:

I recently stopped at a garage sale and gave my pitch on being a match collector looking for covers. The lady I was talking to said she was just helping out a relative, but she did have a can of covers at home, and if I came back the next day I could have them. Well, the first thing that popped into my mind when she said "can" was some sort of coffee can. Since I'm always looking for trading stock, I felt it might be worthwhile to return to buy it. To my utter amazement, the "can" turned out to enormous. It was 12" in diameter by 16" deep and chucked full of mint condition matchcovers and boxes from all over the country, and some international ones, too. I'm still going through the can and am finding few duplicates. A real find. When I stop at a garage sale, I always have a small album of covers with me to show people that I'm a serious collector, and that often tends to open doors for leads to other accumulations of covers. It can backfire at times because when people find out you are a collector, they tend to kite up the asking price, and you have to bargain the price down to a reasonable level.

Mark Keays, FL:

I like to get out and collect covers at various restaurants and hotels/motels. It does get very discouraging at times, though. I realize that many are not able to get out to collect or travel, so I guess the next best way would be to purchase covers. My collection has grown by several thousand covers since June and now numbers over 105,000.

Bob Bowman, OH:

I have no favorite means of getting covers. I obtain them through trades, flea markets, garage sales, area matchcover club meetings (freebie tables), friends who scrounge for me around here and on trips, auctions, and advertising in area marketing newspapers. This summer was the first time I got lucky at a couple of auctions without putting down much cash. In the past, auction prices were outrageous. Club auctions have helped a little... invariably, my bids are too low when I send them in.

This article was originally published in the RMS Bulletin, March/April 1997, issue #465, and is reprinted with permission.


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