I am interested in the Allied Occupation locals. I see many different ones on eBay. Usually,
they are mint Hitler heads with some sort of overprint.
You have picked a very interesting, expensive, and possibly dangerous (forgeries) specialty.
As far as your questions .....
Yes, there were many types, not dissimilar to our “postmaster’s provisionals” ... After May 1945, there was no government, other than the administration of the Allied Occupation powers, and they had other major priorities, besides state postal service. Most of the Occupation postal issues didn’t appear until 1946. In just leafing through my Michel, there were envelopes with special markings and many stamps made out of plain adhesive paper, that were used provisionally, with the approval of the local postal services and that were carried by the Allied Occupation governments. The most prolific were the FM provisionals ( Friedersdorf / Berlin ) and many of them are very reasonably priced in commercially used condition, providing they’re authentic. There are many other types with postal clerk signatures and rate notations, as well.
Yes, these stamps were extensively used for both commercial and personal mail. Some of the issues, particularly those of some of the larger Saxony towns, are quite reasonably priced either used or on piece, there again, providing that they are authentic. Michel is very strict on these .... everything in this area that has a catalog price of over 3.00 Euros, must have some kind of certification, in order to qualify for the used price amount. Michel lists these in two separate section. The first section, Deutsche Lokalausgaben ab Mai 1945, includes the local issues that were actually carried on commercial mail. The second section, Nichtamtliche Ausgaben / Privaterzeugnisse (unofficial or private issues), were not approved for postal service. Most of these, issued by local city governments or charities, were souvenir philatelic items, designed to raise money for reconstruction or other purposes. Covers with these stamps, are classified as philatelic creations, and not commercially used.
Unfortunately, the only specialized catalog that lists all of
these is the “Michel Deutschland-Spezial-Katalog, Band 2: Ab Mai 1945 (Alliierte
Besetzung bis Bundesrepublik Deutschland). Namely, the locals, occupation
government issues, DDR, Saar, and BRD. A current edition is about $170 for the
Volume 2, however, if current prices are not important to you, you can probably
pick up an older edition off eBay for a fraction of that amount.