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Will Stamp Collecting Survive?

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Posted 02/25/2020   6:06 pm  Show Profile Check 51studebaker's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add 51studebaker to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Also note that gold can become radioactive in a nuclear fallout area (although I think its half life is relatively short so you may be able to just stay away from your gold stash for a few months before you can handle it). But you definitively would not want to be wearing or handling gold if you are down wind after a nuke.
Don
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Posted 02/25/2020   6:13 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add James Drummond to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
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Posted 02/25/2020   7:04 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add rogdcam to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Stamp collecting will survive albeit on a different scale perhaps. After all it takes but one person to collect and more than one to trade. Based upon SAN sales data, auction house revenue from players like Siegel, the continued success of Hipstamp and eBay I do not think that we need worry soon.

I personally think that one of the top enemies of philately is the dishonest broker. Unscrupulous dealers, auction houses and online venues that either knowingly sell with the intent to deceive or turn a blind eye to such activity have done irreparable harm to philately. It would be interesting to quantify how many collectors at every level turned away from the hobby because they were burned. It needs to be addressed but never really is. Don frequently points out that the major publications are squeamish about talking about it.
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Posted 03/07/2020   9:13 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add dgwhite87 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
As a 32yr old new to the hobby, this question I keep seeing always baffles me. To me, your hobby seems vibrant and thriving.

My generation is looking at Stamp collecting as a thriving community to jump into because:

Hundreds of thousands of lots on eBay.
Multiple website dedicated to selling stamps: Delcampe, HipStamp, Stampstore.org, etc., etc.,
Dozens of FB groups, including a general Stamp Collecting group with over 19,000 members
YouTube channel "Exploring Stamps" with over 10,000 subscribers and each video is getting over 100,000 views
Podcast, Stamp Show Here Today getting tens of thousands of downloads.

Whereas, I think the older generation is looking at Stamp collecting as a dwindling community because:

Decline in APS membership
Decline in club attendance
Decline in attendance at stamp shows, or even stamp shows closing down.

We're both looking at the hobby from completely different angles. It's not that the hobby is dying, it's that its changing. My generation isn't super interested in joining clubs. But we are very interested in stamp collecting and consuming any and all digital content about the hobby that we can find.
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Posted 03/07/2020   11:20 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add redwoodrandy to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
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Posted 03/08/2020   1:03 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add txstamp to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
dgwhite - good post.

I hope that you enjoy the hobby as much as many of us have.
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Posted 03/08/2020   1:29 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add shermae to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
dhwhite's argument is very similar to one that has been made by studebaker Don. I would add that there are several vibrant stamp collecting groups on Facebook.

dgwhite- how did you come across stamp collecting as a hobby and what made you decide to jump in?
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Edited by shermae - 03/08/2020 1:30 pm
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Posted 03/08/2020   11:53 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add dgwhite87 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Shermae,

I inherited a couple of collections. I had no interest in selling the collection, I like collecting. A lot of people my age grew up collecting sports cards, pogs, magic the gathering cards, pokemon cards, etc, etc, so the idea of collecting stamps as a hobby is not a crazy concept at all.

The biggest barrier to stamp collecting for me so far has been:

1.) What to collect?

People keep telling me "collect what you like", and I know that is meant to be helpful but it's actually been a hurdle because there are countless options to collect (perfins, countries, pre-cancels, topicals, year, value, printing style, etc, etc,) and I still don't know what option to pick.

All the other things I've collected have had clearly defined starting points and well treaded paths to follow while I got my feet wet.
Collectible card game collecting is like a swimming pooll. Everyone starts in the shallow end and then works their way to the deep end when they feel confident. The path is straight and it's not that far to get to.

Stamp collecting is like an ocean. I'm not sure which island I should swim to, everyone is going to different places. And the islands are all far away and requires a lot of effort(research) to get to.

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Posted 03/09/2020   12:29 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Mrita75 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
dgwhite, thank you for your posts, both of them resonated with me.
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Posted 03/09/2020   02:25 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Dry Tech to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Hi djwhite

Don't know if this helps since no one can tell you what to collect, but have you considered:

Do you have a favorite country? How about favorite animal or other thing or a time in history?

When I put away my U.S. after decades, I started looking around for something else to collect. I started with birds, then ships which are both colorful, attractive, easy to find and inexpensive. Next the Seychelles Islands just because it was an out of the way place, also easy to collect.

Good luck finding what you like!
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Posted 03/09/2020   05:56 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add dgwhite87 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Dry Tech,

I think I've finally figured out a collecting interest :D

Trial one: (collect the world)
I own those giant blue Scott's International Albums A-Z, so unfortunately, I started with trying to collect the world and just space filling those albums. Stampworld.com helped me identify a lot of foreign stamps, but without catalogues it was a slow process and I lost interest. I lost interest because I never felt like I was learning anything and I wasn't always confident in my ability to identify foreign stamps when they had varieties with the same image.

Trial two: (collect early US)
So then I switched to US, mostly hunting through Washing/Franklins because that was a treasure hunt and it was exciting. You older generations have put out SO MUCH HELPFUL ONLINE CONTENT about the differences between all the varieties that with some time and effort, even a beginner like me was able to figure out the difference between flat plate and rotary printing. Identifying varieties is very fun, I never got to bust out perforation gauges and magnifying glasses when I collected cards. However, as a millennial with limited income, I had to accept that some of these stamps were just out of my price range, and constantly staring at empty spots in my albums was disheartening.

Trial three: (collect early Japan)
Very similar to trial #2, but in general it was less expensive. Lots and lots of forgeries in early Japan so it was fun to research those varieties and identify real vs fake. However, I hit a wall again and realized this was too expensive.

Trial four: (collect topicals)
Having been priced out twice, I thought I'd give topical collecting a try, it seemed cheaper. I joined the American Topical Association, requested info on all stamps with cows and beef and began collecting. It was fun for a bit, and way cheaper, but eventually I lost interest because there wasn't an experience involved. With US and Japan, the fun for me was spending time and energy researching and identifying. With this topical collection, the only experience was "buying stamps".

Where I'm at now: (modern priority mail postal history covers)
I stumbled on a couple Linn's articles about Priority Mail covers. Aesthetically, I think covers with lots of stamps are gorgeous and because priority mail rates are currently $7.75, I can fit A LOT of stamps on a cover to reach the proper postage rate. If I slapped a bunch of stamps on a regularly envelope, it would look cool, but it would be entirely a philatelic cover because I'd be overpaying--or just filling it with discount postage which isn't as exciting.

With priority mail covers, I can use lots of modern postage to make interesting covers and then drive around to different post offices and mail them to myself. Spending $7.75 on a collectible cover, or even the occasional $26 for a priority mail express cover is more in line with my budget than trying to collect early Japan or US. Also, it's fun to build by collection slowly by traveling to different post offices and collecting different post marks. And, if I don't want to travel I can still sit in my house and do some research on postal history rates and hunt for older stuff that used the correct rate.

So far I'm enjoying this a lot :D
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Edited by dgwhite87 - 03/09/2020 06:03 am
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Posted 03/09/2020   07:12 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add rogdcam to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
DG - If you want to have to research the living heck out of something you might consider Indian States or WW revenues. A plus is for the revenues is that many of them are quite beautiful and the backstory can be fascinating. Sounds as if you may have settled on a solid plan already though and that is pretty cool. Best of luck.
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Posted 03/09/2020   09:05 am  Show Profile Check sinclair2010's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add sinclair2010 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
DG, You may find your passion when you aren't even looking for it. That's the way it happened with me. You may also find that even that passion will evolve over time. My only advice is to collect independently and by your own rules.
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Posted 03/09/2020   5:12 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add ikeyPikey to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
'
It seems to me, dgwhite87, that you've gone thru four iterations of straight stamp collecting to find that, when you take a look at what you've got, you are looking at page after page of, well, stamps.

OTOH, Every Cover Tells a Story, and every GPU (Genuinely Postally Used) stamp on cover actually did something.

https://stamporama.com/discboard/di...=20&id=19486 ... Who says modern covers can't be interesting?

Cheers,

/s/ ikeyPikey
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Posted 03/09/2020   6:06 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add rismoney to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
US Modern errors for me was where I landed. For minor errors like perf shifts and misregistrations stamps are nearly all $1-$100. You can research the errors, join clubs, and study more about stamp making, process and technology versus the stamps content directly.

As you get more income, you can ramp into major catalog errors and there are prices from $20-1.5M, enough variety for anyone.

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