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How to Collect: My Journey with Stamp Collecting

Updated on January 25, 2014

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.

Stamp Album
Stamp Album

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?

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Andrew Jackson Stamp
Andrew Jackson Stamp

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.

Scott Catolog
Scott Catolog

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.

How to Start
How to Start

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.

Cat's & Dogs
Cat's & Dogs
Stamp Dealer
Stamp Dealer

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.

Guestbook - Let me know your thoughts and suggestions. Please. :)

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    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      Stamps.net is a great source, I also use Scott album almost everyday. Recently found fauna-stamps.com and price was okay.

    • ElizabethSheppard profile image

      Elizabeth Sheppard 5 years ago from Bowling Green, Kentucky

      It was fun reading this lens. I agree, stamp collecting is such a fun hobby, and you can learn so much about other countries with it.

    • GenWatcher LM profile image

      GenWatcher LM 5 years ago

      Gotta love seeing that British Penny Black even though I don't have one yet.

    • xenoc profile image

      xenoc 6 years ago

      love your collection! thanks for sharing

    • FanfrelucheHubs profile image

      Nathalie Roy 6 years ago from France (Canadian expat)

      I do collect stamps, as well as plenty of other things. I also buy and resell on ebay and a couple of other websites. I love kiloware!

    • catbehaviors profile image

      catbehaviors 6 years ago

      I collect stamps, and love it! I hardly ever buy stamps, usually I take mine off of letters that people send to me. Once I went to a stamp collector's function, I'm not exactly sure what it was, but I got a lot of old stamps from other countries for free there. It was really fun! I enjoyed your lens. Thanks for sharing your tips and tricks. :)

    • retro-gamer profile image

      Howard 6 years ago from Michigan

      I used to love stamp collecting and still have my stamp collection and every once and a while I will break them out and look at them again or purchase a lot of them on ebay or at a garage sale. I used to buy the price guides annually but stopped collecting when they went to the peel and stick format. Love the lens.

    • Jhangora LM profile image

      Jhangora LM 6 years ago

      I did try collecting stamps as a child but gave up. Don't remember where the collection is now. A cool hobby since I am interested in knowing about different parts of the world. I'd give it a go again, sometime soon.

    • indigoj profile image

      Indigo Janson 6 years ago from UK

      Your enthusiasm for stamp collecting is infectious. Thanks for sharing your tips, it's inspiring to hear of someone not only putting together an impressive collection but also making some money out of selling stamps on.

    • puzzlerpaige profile image

      puzzlerpaige 6 years ago

      I've never collected stamps, but am always amazed at how beautiful they are and how much detail is printed in such a small area! I worked in the printing industry for many years and I'm always impressed.

    • ajgodinho profile image

      Anthony Godinho 6 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      I used to collect stamps when I was a little boy ~ I gave my entire collection to one of my cousins when I left Goa, India and headed to Dubai. I still have my coin collection though. Great job on this lens!

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      I have always been interested in collecting stamps. I save all letters.