Postage Stamps Collecting
by Tony Robinson
STEP 1: Before you start your new collection, decide on a theme that you are interested in and want to collect. Themes can vary from such topics as Sports, Countries, Flora and Fauna through to topics such as flags, pop idols and royalty. Now you can start by going to your local post office and purchase new stamps.
STEP 2: Take used stamps off your old mail. Note that it's sometimes more valuable to collect the entire envelope rather than stripping off the stamp because of a unique postmark date. There are a lot of people who collect "First Day of Issue" stamps and envelopes. You may also be interested in these types of collections.
STEP 3: You should also ask friends and family for their old stamps. Consider asking businesses to keep their envelopes and stamps for you also. Their saved envelopes also can be valuable.
STEP 4: Widen your postage stamps collecting areas to purchase stamps from dealers, who are often listed in newspaper classifieds and offer stacks of assorted stamps.
STEP 5: Order stamps through the mail or via Web sites, either by approval or by want list. "Approval" is when a dealer sends you assorted stamps and you choose which ones to keep. A "want list" is when a dealer checks his or her stock and quotes prices for specific stamps you want to collect. Ebay is a great resource to continually buy and sell stamps. I also suggest surfing the internet to find good stamp sites that even offer a collector forum where you can chat with other collectors with similar interests to yours.
STEP 6: Once you are more experienced and know what you are looking for and the associated prices you can bid at stamp auctions or philatelic exhibitions. Take the time to look through the merchandise and make educated deals.
STEP 7: Trade with other fellow stamp collectors. Do this by meeting other stamp traders at shows, auctions and stamp clubs.
STEP 8: Once you have a postage stamps collection you need to arrange them in some sort of logical order. You may arrange them in your stamp album in date order, price order or whatever system you decide to follow.
STEP 9: Display and continue to build up your Postage Stamps Collection.
Helpful tips and techniques. Store your stamps where they will be safe and not damaged. A cardboard box or simple shoebox will do starters.To assist your postage stamps collecting, check the prices of stamps in the most current price guides, such as the Scott Catalogue or the Blackbook Price Guide. Follow the instructions printed at the beginning of the guide for more information on examining and handling a stamp.