How to Collect: My Journey with Stamp Collecting
How I Started Collecting
I have been an adamant collector of stamps for over ten years. My parents got me my first collection when I was 10 years old, and ever since then I've been hooked. Whether its buying and selling on eBay, talking to my siblings and friends, or going to stamp expo's, I have enjoyed sharing this wonderful hobby with others for years. The fantastic side effects are boundless. With stamp collecting you accrue a financial asset instead of actually losing money in a hobby, you enjoy it, learn about other nations, history, and many other life building tidbits from people you meet.
What Makes Stamps Collectible?
Stamps are tangible pieces of history, bearer's of a foreign country's mark. They are universal, loved by those around the world, and cover such wide genre's that nearly everyone will find something appealing, whether its topicals, (dogs, birds, trains), or narrowing a collection to a single country, year, or post mark.
Still Think Stamps are for Nerds?
Stamp Collecting on Amazon
My Dream, The Jackson Black Jack of 63'
My favorite stamp is the Andrew Jackson stamp from the early 1860's printed during the end of the civil war. While definitely not too expensive for people to purchase, it is not its price value which attracts me, but the stamp itself, which strikes something deep within me. Maybe its bold clarity, the face striking boldly from the center of the stamp. Or the fact that it was created around 150 years ago, during the middle of one of the most pivital moments in our nation's history. Nevertheless, it is and has been for years my favorite stamp, I always look forward to adding them to my collection.
Combating Price Inflation
The best way to combat price gouging by dealers and online stamp sellers is the Scott Stamp Catolog, which gives you a set value for all stamps. These prices are however much higher than the actual selling price of most stamps, which sell for between 20% to 50% of what the catalog usually states.
Scott Catologs on Amazon
How to Start Collecting
Tips and Tricks from Years of Experience
The first thing you should do is visit a beginner's website, or find a stamp club in your area, there are thousands in the U.S in nearly every city. They will be happy to get you started. There are also inexpensive starter kits online which can get you started with helpful booklets, an album, loose stamps and other helpful items for the stamp enthusiast.
Making Money with Your Hobby
As soon as I started collecting I had to find a way to make money in order to buy more stamps. One of the easiest and convenient ways was to simply buy collections online from eBay, and then resell them in smaller offerings. I did so for years, keeping either some of the stamps or extra money for myself, until I had a collection worth $1,000's of dollars.