reward as well, as collections experience a steady increase over
It is possible to start your own business if you are experienced,
and already have a good size collection. For information about
becoming a dealer, write to the
American Stamp Dealer's Association
147 W 42nd Street, New York, NY 10036.
HOW TO START:
Some people very early in life collect stamps, it often begins as
a gift of a small package of stamps given to a child, and the
child becomes a collector for life. As the collection grows, some
tools become essential:
* Stamp album
* Magnifying glass and tongs
They can be obtained from a stationary store or your local stamp
You can find albums at any price, starting from about $5.00 to
the most expensive one at about $200.00.
Stamps Should always be handled carefully, because the condition
is a very important factor to determine the price of resale
The various grades of stamps are: mint, very fine, fine, good and
Specimen in outstanding condition often sell at many times their
catalog value, which is the reason not to mishandle any stamp,
which could drastically reduce their value.
If you want to know if you have valuable stamps in your
collection and are really serious about persuing this hobby, you
can buy the Scot's Standard Postage Stamp catalog which lists
every stamp in the world. This is a three volume encyclopedia and
is the complete reference. You can also consult it at your local
library if you don't want to go into the expense for the time
To start your collection, ask everybody you know to save you
stamps they get from different countries, also go through old
letters and small boxes hidden in your attic, chances are that
you will be surprised to see how much you can find. Other cheap
sources of supply are flea markets and garage sales. Start
swapping when you have doubles. There are many philatelic clubs
all over the country and it would be very advisable for a serious
collector to belong to one. This way you will become educated in
this field and learn everything you can before you spend money on
your collection. Stamp clubs also provide their members with
possibilities to exchange and sell your stamps.
You should also read as much as you can about stamps by
subscribing to a philatelic magazine.
WHERE TO SELL YOUR STAMPS:
Stamps are like any other commodity, you can always go to a
dealer who will offer you the current wholesale value of your
stamps, but you can do much better by selling to other stamp
collectors by advertising in magazines and newspapers specialized
in stamp collecting.
Check several current issues of those magazines, it will enable
you to compare the ads with what you have to offer.
If you want to buy stamps as an investment, try to buy few
moderately expensive stamps a year. Always buy quality instead of
quantity, and diversify, do not invest heavily in a single area.
It is our opinion that stamp collecting is one of the best
ways--and safest--to keep up with inflation.