May 18th, 2014
Nothing drives me quite so crazy as the never-ending flood of people showing up in stamp collecting forums thinking that this cache of stamps their father or grandfather left them is going to be worth a mint. It drives me crazy for two reasons, first that these people expect that they can show up in a forum, having never participated or shown an interest in the subject matter before and expect that the forum participants will drop everything they’re doing and research values for them and secondly, that these people expect that just because something is old (and maybe not even that), it’s got to be worth a lot of money and a windfall for their wallet.
Both of these are wrong.
March 9th, 2014
Like in my last post about Australian stamps, I wanted to present a few stamps from my growing collection from China.
As I said, I’d been a collector of the United States for many years before I realized that I had so few reasonable holes to fill and was very unhappy with the offerings of the USPS that I really wanted to find a country whose stamps I could fall in love with. Unlike Australia, I actually planned on collecting China. Click to see why I made that decision.
March 3rd, 2014
I’ve long recognized that I really don’t “fit in” to just about any hobbyist community out there and I guess I’m fine with it. I am not a fanatic in any way, shape or form and I have neither love nor respect for fanatics in any field under the sun. I have hobbies for fun, not to compete, not to show off, not to “win”, but to have a good time in the company of people I like, engaging in a casual activity where we can enjoy our experience together.
March 2nd, 2014
I’ve had people ask me why I decided to collect stamps from Australia and China. After all, aren’t American stamps the best in the world? Once, I might have agreed, at least to some degree, but today American stamps are pointless, ugly, Photoshopped disasters, done on the cheap and made to appeal to special interest groups and, worst of all, to rip off collectors. There are reasons the USPS is in trouble, they have a bad service and sell a bad product to pay for it.
January 25th, 2014
I talked in the past about how to get into stamp collecting and what equipment you’re going to need, but once you do all of that, once you’ve defined your collecting interests and started to collect, what then? Where do you go to look for stamps?
Well, there is no right answer, a lot of it depends on what you collect, but I’ll give you some input from my end as a seasoned collector, as well as what I’ve done in the past.
September 23rd, 2013
One thing I hear from people, either those who are interested in collecting stamps or those who have been doing it for a while and looking for new challenges, is “what should I collect?” I found myself in that situation a year or two ago, after I decided that I’d filled in most of the easily fillable holes in my United States collection and I wanted something that I could collect more actively. But what to do, what to do?
September 17th, 2013
One thing I’ve noticed in a lot of hobbyist forums is that they hardly ever talk about what’s wrong with the hobby, they only talk about what’s right. Nobody talks about what should be improved and if you bring anything up, you either get a lukewarm response that fades quickly, or you get angry people telling you to shut up and accentuate the positive. This is certainly not universal, but it seems like there are quite a few places where people act like if they don’t talk about the negative, it’ll just disappear. Unfortunately, that rarely ever happens.
September 16th, 2013
While the popularity of stamp collecting has diminished dramatically over the years, especially among younger collectors, I think it’s still a fun, valuable and interesting hobby that I would encourage people to look into. It might not be as exciting as video games or make the blood pump as fast as extreme sports, but not everyone is an adrenaline junkie, some people like quiet hobbies that make them think.
Philately is one of those things and I thought I’d take a few minutes to talk about the tools of the trade for those getting into the hobby.
July 3rd, 2013
Unneeded stamps go in the trash.
Someone asked on a stamp forum what people do with stamps they get in the mail. Specifically, they’re asking about the older commemorative stamps from the 50s and 60s that a lot of dealers will put on envelopes when shipping out orders or eBay sales, mostly because U.S. stamps produced since the 1950s or so are worth no more than face value, they were produced in such high quantities that you can lick them and stick them all day long and never worry about running out.