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Collecting US Stamps Outside The US

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Valued Member

Spain
30 Posts
Posted 10/02/2017   3:17 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this topic Add Poleas to your friends list Get a Link to this Message
Hello all.

I've been collecting US stamps regularly for more than two years here in Spain. So far the stamps I buy are mostly from eBay and sometimes from local dealers.

I have a regular suscription to Spanish stamps via the Spanish Postal Service. Every 3 months I receive at home every issue from that period of time.

I've been thinking on doing the same with US Stamps. The thing is that in the USPS store, I think you have to buy stamps one by one. I don't see a way to make a suscription.

Do you know if it's even posible.

Any info will be very much apreciated.

Regards from Spain

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Pillar Of The Community
United States
7594 Posts
Posted 10/02/2017   4:45 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Petert4522 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
You can always go to Mystic or Kenmore, two firms that deal in stamps here in the States. Yoe can find then on the internet, they both have web pages.

Peter
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9621 Posts
Posted 10/02/2017   4:55 pm  Show Profile Check 51studebaker's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add 51studebaker to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
You can also purchase 'year sets' from the USPS which contain all the stamps issues for the previous year. (They even include mounts for the stamps.)
http://www.ebay.com/itm/USPS-New-20...em361aecabf9
Don
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Valued Member
United States
56 Posts
Posted 10/02/2017   7:50 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Filechaser to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
The USPS Stamp Fulfillment Center no longer accepts foreign credit cards. Maybe a workaround would be to purchase from the USPS store on eBay.
http://www.linns.com/news/postal-up...yments.html#
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Valued Member
United States
295 Posts
Posted 10/03/2017   4:07 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add ananthveerappan to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
International Credit cards are issued for a certain reason !... If they are so concerned about the "ENHANCED SECURITY", they should put a limit rather than blocking it right away?

Bought something last evening for $800 from US at a retailer in Hong Kong and had it shipped to Singapore. Was reached out by Credit card department asking to login to my account and confirm. Upon confirming, it was a approved instantly.

No wonder USPS are nearing bankruptcy...

http://www.investors.com/politics/c...-bankruptcy/
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Edited by ananthveerappan - 10/03/2017 4:07 pm
Pillar Of The Community
1151 Posts
Posted 10/03/2017   4:27 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add stampmaster to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Hi Poleas, just off the wall suggestion, buy surplus U.S. postage stamps, you can purchase for below face value, of course you will have to pay the postage, may make my suggestion not so good, just a thought.

Stampmaster
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Valued Member
Spain
30 Posts
Posted 10/04/2017   1:17 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Poleas to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Hello all

Thanks for your answers. It seems strange that there is no posibility to have a suscription. Having to order the stamps every time they are issued seems to me a bit tiresome. Anyway in neither Mystic or Kenmore I see any way to buy a suscription. Too bad.

Stampmaster, could you explain more what do you mean with surplus? Where can I buy them?

Thanks to all!
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Pillar Of The Community
United States
2751 Posts
Posted 10/04/2017   1:33 pm  Show Profile Check Battlestamps's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add Battlestamps to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Poleas: You can buy recent year sets from the USPS on eBay - http://www.ebay.com/itm/USPS-New-20...AOSwqWNZAIKL I don't know if they will ship to Spain and how much shipping would be. There also dealers that sell the older year sets.

Mystic and Kenmore are overpriced if you do find the stamps.

Stampmaster is talking about "discount postage" which is bulk lots of mint U.S. postage sold at less than face value, but I doubt you'll find the most recent issues. Most of the lots I've seen of that type of material dates from the late 1940's through 1980's/90's. You would also get a lot of duplicates too.

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Pillar Of The Community
1009 Posts
Posted 10/06/2017   11:07 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add DrewM to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Poleas, Yes it is "strange" that the U.S. Postal Service does not offer subscriptions to its stamps. I have no idea why. I've often thought I'd like to subscribe, myself, so I don't miss anything. And, after all, as an American I can always use the stamps I don't want as actual postage. But, unlike most other modern countries (and some that are not so modern), the USPS does not offer subscriptions. They sell through their website or their paper catalog. You can send for the catalogue which is free. This kind of system does seem pretty ridiculous in 2017, but for some reason the USPS finds it better. Again, I have no idea why.

If you can't buy using a foreign credit card (and that's another seemingly ridiculous rule we have that I do not understand), you don't have a lot of choices other than using eBay to buy annual sets or individual stamps. I'd avoid companies like Mystic and Kenmore for all but hard-to-find stamps. They raise prices by a very large amount, so it's not really economical to purchase from them regularly -- or at least that's what I've found.

Another option would be to find a "new issue dealer". I used Herrick Stamp Company for many years to keep up with foreign stamps from many countries, and I was very pleased with them. No problems at all. Prices were a little high, but not terrible. I recommend them.
http://herrickstamp.com/new_issues.php

I have not used another new issue dealer but this company, Davidson's Stamp Service, advertises that it can provide new issues at even lower prices. You might look into them as they look just as appealing as Herrick.
https://www.newstampissues.com/about.html
Click on "subscribe".

Subscribing to a new issue service either in the U.S. like these two companies or in your own country may be your best option. You might buy from the USPS website or paper catalog any additional stamps you want. That way most of the stamps are provided to you easily and you buy the extra stamps you want whenever you feel like it.

Good luck with your collection. It's nice to see someone outside the U.S. subscribing to U.S. stamps especially since a lot of U.S. collectors today feel as if the USPS issues far too many stamps, too many stamps in high denominations, and too many stamps on silly subjects. I, myself, don't buy all the new U.S. issues -- just the ones that appeal to me.
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Edited by DrewM - 10/06/2017 11:12 pm
Valued Member
Spain
30 Posts
Posted 06/17/2018   03:59 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Poleas to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Hi!

Thanks for your latest replies. I haven't been around for a while. I will take a look to the links.

I agree with you on the too many issues comments. Sometimes it feels overwelming

About collecting I had to stop buying for a while. I had hundreds of stamps to be classifed and also decided to transfer everything to new albums. I had them previously in Leuchttrum albums. Which is fancy but not practical. I had several times to move hundreds of stamps to just place one or two. The new ones have separated pages to place wherever you want. Easier.

Best Regards
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Valued Member
Spain
30 Posts
Posted 12/15/2019   04:23 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Poleas to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Hi all again.

I'm still trying to figure out this subscription issue that I have :)

I saw in USPS.com and in their eBay store "mail use stamp packets" and "high value stamp packets". If I understand it correctly if I buy these products, I would get all stamps for a certain year. Am I right?

Also, do you know what is the format? Is it only single stamps? Are there any kind of sheets in these packets?

Thanks for your help in advance

Sergio
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Pillar Of The Community
United States
1189 Posts
Posted 12/17/2019   3:51 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Stampman2002 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
I noted that one recommendation was to purchase the annual sets of stamps from the USPS.

A strong word of caution doing so.

I tried that route two years in a row and in both instances around half the stamps were only good for postage because the stamps had been cut apart with scissors, removing some of the perforation/die cutting from the stamps. I ended up still needing the damaged stamps.

I haven't tried again, so perhaps the USPS has realized the clerks should never be allowed around scissors or other sharp object....
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Valued Member
Spain
30 Posts
Posted 12/18/2019   6:37 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Poleas to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Thanks. The people at usps store in eBay recommended to buy yearbooks. But I only want the stamps not the books. Very frustrating.

Does anyone know a good way to keep track of every new issue? Please remember that I'm writing from Spain and I have no access to the physical stamps in advance.

Thanks for the feedback !
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Valued Member
United States
10 Posts
Posted 01/01/2020   9:56 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add pogopossum to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Poleas,

Have you looked at Nordfrim in Denmark? www.nordfrim.com It looks like they have a subscription service for USA. I have purchased from them several times (not a subscription, though) and I am pleased with their service.

Pogopossum
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Pillar Of The Community
1009 Posts
Posted 01/02/2020   12:26 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add DrewM to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
"Linn's Stamp News" in the U.S. publishes a weekly newspaper, but each month they send a magazine that illustrates all new issues around the world in t he last few months or so, including stamps from the U.S. It might be a bit expensive to have it mailed to Spain, but it would solve your problem about knowing which stamps have recently been issued.

A new issue dealer, as I suggested in an earlier thread, would be able to send you all U.S. stamps or all stamps you wanted. They'll send as often as you want, once a year, 4x a year, or whatever works best for you. You could also ask them to send only commemoratives, only stamps below a certain price, or all stamps. If they send them quarterly (every three months or so), the price will not be too bad. With new issue dealers, there is of course a mark-up from the prices of the stamps, so this costs more than buying new stamps at the post office. But even U.S. post offices don't get all stamps issued. And buying by mail or online from the U.S. Postal Service is somewhat difficult (no easy-to-use website, for one thing, and no "year packs" that I'm aware of). And many stamps must be purchased in quantities of at least four stamps (a block). So this increases your cost greatly. So, even with a markup, a new issue dealer might be less expensive, and you would get all stamps issued.

Or it's relatively easy to buy "year sets" of almost any country's stamps on eBay. You can pay with PayPal if you find using your local credit card doesn't work. Just set up a PayPal account. Then go to eBay and search under U.S. Stamps and type "Year Set" plus the year you want. Easy to do. I do that all the time for countries I'm collecting. Prices can be very reasonable.

Good luck.
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Edited by DrewM - 01/02/2020 12:31 am
Pillar Of The Community
Canada
1324 Posts
Posted 01/02/2020   09:03 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add CanadaStamp to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Poleas - my suggestion is to visit the auction sites and buy bulk "postage" lots. If you are buying issue by issue you are paying face plus shipping whicvh internationally would be - I think - horrendous. Buy auction lots of mint you shouod get much of what you want for 40% face.
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