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Buying Stamps kiloware

Updated on November 28, 2015

Buying stamps kiloware

Kiloware is a fun and cheap way to build your stamp collection. Kiloware usually refers to stamps on paper being sold by weight. It involves a bit of work since you have to do the soaking and sorting. It also refers to used stamps off paper, once again being sold by weight. But most of the time, we are talking about on paper used stamps. These lots can be from a single country, continent or worldwide. Each lot is different, and quality can vary greatly. Many stamps collectors have started their collection by soaking their mail!

My kiloware blog

Pick of the day and philately news

Buying stamps kiloware can become an addiction. It is as fun as treasure hunting and most stamps collector started their passion by soaking cuttings they'd find on their mail. I love kiloware so much that I have decided to make a whole website just for it:

Kiloware Blog

Things to look for before buying stamp kilowares

Kilowares are treasure chests: you never know what you'll find and that is why stamp collectors love kilowares. The thrill of the hunt; the fun of sorting hundreds of stamps from around the world; or, if you are not the only philatelist in your family, the fun of having a 'soaking' afternoon. Here's a few things you should always consider when buying kiloware:

  1. They are sold by weight, so it is important to know if the stamps are on single or double will of course get much more stamps if the lot is on single, close-cut pieces of paper.
  2. Do not believe everything you see. Seller can use stock photos for their lots, so the stamps you see may not be the one you will get.
  3. Do not take into consideration the estimated catalogue value. To many variable to consider putting a cat. value on a kiloware.
  4. Take into consideration the shipping price of your lot. A deal can turn no-deal du to the weight and postal cost.
  5. 'Unchecked' 'Unpicked'..... be wary of the use of this word. You have no proof that the kiloware has not been pick trough for the best stuff. There are honest sellers around with real unpicked lots, but be careful before spending big money.
  6. 'Handpicked': some seller offer higher quality lot.... handmade/handpicked. Usually they have low duplication, good value stamps. Damaged stamps have been removed. Still sold by weight, but usually in smaller lots (1 or 2 ounces). Much higher price. No surprise there since you pretty much what you will get. If you are into the hunting and surprise side of the kiloware, these are not for you.
  7. Mission mixture: usually loaded with small definitive stamps. Low quality. Real mission mixture can have a surprise or two, IF they were not picked before. Do not pay too much for these.

A Good Buy If You Soak Stamps - Escpecially for your most expensive postage stamps

You can do without one, but I strongly recommend having one around when you soak more expensive material.

Canada kiloware
Canada kiloware

Soaking your stamps

First, remove most of the excess paper. Put aside stamps on colored papers (red, blue and yellow enveloppe are the worst). These stamps should not be soak with the ones on white enveloppes because they do bleed will stain your stamps. Same is true with pen ink, hence the importance of trimming excess paper. You can also remove damaged stamps, no need to waste your time soaking them. Set aside those self-adhesive stamps as well, you should soak them apart because they take much longer to lift off the paper and in some case they are impossible to remove.

Soak a small amout of stamps in lukewarm water. Let them sit there a few minutes. You can move your hand gently in the water from time to time. The stamps should start peeling off their support and float. Move these into another bowl off lukewarm water to rinse them. That should cleanse them from the glue accumulated in the soaking bowl.

Put you stamps face down on either a drying book or newspaper. When dry, move them to a stockbook so they flatten out.

There is no point in filling your sink with water and putting all your stamps in there. The only thing you'll accomplish in doing that is damaging your stamps. Plus you may get bored before finishing that huge batch of stamps. Do smaller batches, in your sink or a big bowl.

Don't "force" a stamp off its support, you will damage it. Leave it longer in the water. Some self-adhesive stamps cannot be remove from their support by soaking. You should just keep them like that in your collection. Trim the paper as close as you can and put them in your album.

For colored paper, used cold water, this will slow down the dye from dissolving and staining the stamp. It is not foolproof of course. You should do very small quantities of stamps at a time

Do you buy stamps kiloware?

See results

Buying stamps kiloware online

Please note that I haven't bought from all of them, so please do your homework before buying: check if they sell on EBAY and Delcampe , if they do, look at the feedback. Do a google check for message boards and see if people had bad past experience. You can also post a message on various boards to get feedback from other users. ALSO very important: EMAIL THEM before buying, see if they respond first.

Buying stamps kiloware on Ebay

If you are searching on ebay, you can use this search strand, including the brackets. Just copy and paste in the ebay search box, use the "stamps" category:

(kilo, kilos, kiloware,,oz,ounce, ounces, gram,grams,on paper,pound, pounds,LB)

This search should pick up almost everything that could fit the kiloware description. You will also have some unrelated results as well (mostly due to the "pound" keyword). You can also use the "mixture" keyword, but that will brings a lot of unrelated results. People use "mixture" on almost anything. If you are not familiar with the metric system, know that 1 pound = 454 grams. It is important to search with both weight measures (pounds and kilograms). US sellers use the old system, and other sellers around will use the metric system. Some will use both. And if you want the maximum results don't forget to tick the "worldwide" box, under the location field. that way you will pickup all kilowares sellers, no matter where they are (unless they don't ship to your country).

I soak stamps, how about you?

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    • FanfrelucheHubs profile imageAUTHOR

      Nathalie Roy 

      3 years ago from France (Canadian expat)

      Yukon stamper: most likely the glue. There are a few sets of French stamps that does the same (some other countries have this problem too). Best way to add these to your collection is to cut neatly around them and leave them on paper. Some people suggest wd40 oil, orange oil etc... BUT these are acid and it long term it will damage the stamps..

    • profile image

      Yukon Stamper 

      4 years ago

      interesting read. I buy eBay kiloware often. There are some GB stamps I can't get off the paper. Anyone had this problem? Don't know if it is the paper or the glue.

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      this was a lot of help thank you!

    • ePrintPostage profile image


      6 years ago

      A wonderful lens, thanks for sharing. It's brought back so many memories for me, when I was younger I belonged to a membership club whereby every month they would send me a package through the mail stuffed with these, was so exciting to see what would turn up.

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      As a kid I bought a few packs of stamps and had fun soaking them. Developed quite an interest in collecting, but lost it when I hit my teens, maybe it's time to rekindle. Nice lens, thanks very much.

    • Deborah Swain profile image

      Deborah Swain 

      7 years ago from Rome, Italy

      This is a great idea! The thrill of the chase...sometimes these bags turn up some real treasures!

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      @katiecolette: I don't think Kiloware was sold those days.. any idea what your uncle wants to do with his collection? I used to be a collector too.. now trying to sort them as I am getting old..

    • Brandi Bush profile image


      7 years ago from Maryland

      I know nothing about stamp collecting...I didn't even realize that you are supposed to soak stamps. But now you have me intrigued! I think this would be a really fun thing to start doing with the kids. We could start a scrapbook. Thanks for introducing me to kiloware! :)

    • ElizabethSheppard profile image

      Elizabeth Sheppard 

      8 years ago from Bowling Green, Kentucky

      It has been awhile, but I find soaking stamps a lot of fun. You can find some treasures in among the stamps when you sort them out. Plus, you can save the extras for trading!

    • charles frazer profile image

      charles frazer 

      8 years ago

      I have family who collect major lots of stamps and is a big Ebay seller you might have come across his name there stampnut0417 has been selling stamps for over 10 years he's a pro seller there.

    • liz-molnar profile image


      8 years ago

      I'm an enthusiastic stamp collector and of course love to soak kiloware. :) I just finished a huge pack of Japan commemoratives (it took about 6 months, I don't have too much spare time...) An advice, I think I didn't read this in your lens: put salt into the water, it helps a lot to loose the glue. The Australian (and the old Hungarian) stamps are extremely firm, I'd hardly got on them without salty water.

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      Love the lens. I try to buy off paper mixes but am starting to get interested in kiloware. Keep blogging! :)

    • John Dyhouse profile image

      John Dyhouse 

      8 years ago from UK

      I remember buying stamps liike this when at school, however I no longer collect. An interesting and informative lens however

    • katiecolette profile image


      8 years ago

      I used to collect stamps, but not any more. My uncle has a huge stamp collection of stamps from all over the world - I think his collection dates back to when he was a kid. Not sure if he buys kiloware...

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      I have bought kiloware before but tend to just buy the stamps I need now.

      Excellent lens. Angel blessed.

    • Franksterk profile image

      Frankie Kangas 

      8 years ago from California

      I collected stamps as a kid. I still have my collection but haven't done anything with them in ages. I never bought kiloware but it sounds like a great idea. Thanks for sharing. Blessed. Bear hugs, Frankster

    • LeopoldBlatt profile image


      8 years ago

      I love buying in Kiloware. Its the excitement of not knowing what to expect in a mixed bundle. I love sorting them too. I got a great oval shaped stamp from France recently. Quite unique and shaped like a rugby ball.

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      Interesting. I never knew they did this but it is a good idea.

    • Ben Reed profile image

      Ben Reed 

      9 years ago from Redcar

      Many years ago I collected stamps and bought kiloware on a few occasions. I made a few reasonable finds through this route.

    • thesuccess2 profile image


      9 years ago

      Hi had you thought of giving examples of your successful finds?

    • alesxandrea profile image


      9 years ago

      I used to collect stamps and postcards! However, I lost most of my collection when I moved to another city. But I still have some of them at home. :) Great lens!

    • ajgodinho profile image

      Anthony Godinho 

      9 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      This lens took me down memory lane at a time when I used to have a stamp collection. When i left for Dubai over a decade ago, I passed on my collection to one of my cousins who was a stamp collector as well. He was so happy to get my whole collection. I still do have my coin collection though. Kiloware looks like a great place to look for stamps for one's collection and you've done a great job of giving valuable tips on how to go about it!

    • profile image


      10 years ago

      I know several people who collect stamps. They love the hobby.


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