Description: Okeechobee Jaycees 1996 (Bud Adams Advertisment) Strategic Telecom Systems STS Phone Card Collection 5 UNUSED.
Collecting phone cards, calling cards or, as they are often called, telecards is America's fastest growing hobby after collecting Pokemon cards.
Although phonecards as a consumer commodity are only about 25 years old they come in a multiplicity of forms and like stamp collecting they are printable. The very fact that a phone card can have anything printed on it makes it collectable. Add to this the fact that cards are mostly printed in limited runs. This results in scarcities of each card as there are a finite number of that particular run.
What Determines The Value of Phone Cards?
1) AGE: Many older cards have disappeared, have been lost, or have not been collected. Even the early AT&T cards (that have only been produced since 1992) have been difficult to locate in any quantity to satisfy early collector's demands. The first U.S. card (IntelExpo) was used from an Exposition phone booth in Washington, DC in 1985 and is listed for about $1000. under the heading of Landis & Gyr.
2) MINTAGE: The quantity produced is a major factor. First-rate telecommunications companies will sometimes print very limited runs of a card for a variety of legitimate reasons. Many of these cards were unknown until the promotion was over and they are simply not available. It can be expensive to track these down.
3) AVAILABILITY: Some phone companies have cards left over from promotions, and the prudent thing to do would be to destroy the remaining cards. However, some companies who had little concern for the collector, were greedy and sold their leftovers at very cheap prices to under-capitalized dealers with business ethics that allowed them to resell these cards well below the established market value. Some dealers sold them by weight even the very same cards where they had been the original distributor. This practice made the cards very available, and consequently their values dropped substantially. Such was the case with Omnitel, NAT (North American Telecom), STS (Strategic Telecom Systems), HT Technologies, many issues produced by The Score Board, some ACMI and Sprint issues, and some others. Most of these phone companies have gone out-of-business, but the damage to collectors was already firmly in place. It will take considerable time for the market to absorb the extra cards, and for collectors to regain their confidence in collecting.
4) ATTRACTIVENESS & TOPIC: Collector demand is increased by the design on a card. Collectors generally prefer to collect by theme or topic, but their second choice is by phone company. The most internationally collected themes are Disney (#1 by far), Coca-Cola (#2) and McDonalds (#3). Other popular themes include: Space, corporate logos, or really any other subject that strikes your fancy such as Art, Animals, Birds, Cats & Dogs, Santa, Garfield, Presidents, Sea Life, Snoopy, Transportation, Marilyn Monroe, James Dean, or Elvis. People collect AT&T or the Regional Bell Operating Companies (RBOC's), or IBM, etc. Sports-related telecards are a strong market segment. Price increases (and drops) are related to demand and availability.
- Condition: Great condition and Unused