Philosateleia
Kevin Blackston
PO Box 17544
San Antonio TX 78217-0544
United States of America

Strength in numbers

A “problem” that stamp collectors have been bemoaning for years—if not decades—is the increasing numbers of stamps issued each year by various countries including, I’m sorry to say, the United States. With some individual issues including 10, 20, or even more stamps, and with mail clerks being reluctant to part with anything less than a full sheet or booklet, some collectors have given up on trying to acquire mint copies of all new material.

Not everyone is throwing in the towel, however. Philosateleian Post Horn reader Danny J. recently shared how he and some friends are continuing to add to their collections:

“As you know, sometimes buying stamps can get quite expensive with all the imperforate issues and bulk buying requirements that hurt small collectors. An Internet friend from Kansas has formed a small group to help a few of us continue to add to our collections. Now, thanks to the strength of group buying, we can afford to get every new stamp issue that in the past might have been too expensive to buy as individuals.”

While this may not be a unique idea, it’s certainly a very sensible one: dividing the expense of acquiring sheets of new stamps by the number of people interested in taking part.

I personally buy very little new material unless it fits into my landscapes collection or otherwise particularly appeals to me, but how about you? Have you banded together with other collectors to help lessen the expense of acquiring mint copies of all of your favorite country’s stamps?

Published 2014-01-19

Comments

Fabio G. (2014-01-20 10:02):

Luckily enough, here in Italy we can buy every mint stamp produced directly from the philatelic section of the "Poste Italiane" website... This way we can buy single mint stamps, without having to buy whole sheets. In 2013 we had a total of 59 different stamp design, without variations (all of them are autoad. with normal perf.).

Kevin Blackston (2014-01-24 13:32):

That must be nice! Only stamps with face values of $1 or more are available as singles from the USPS. Some other stamps are available in blocks of four, but booklets and many non-standard sized panes can only be broken up after you’ve purchased the entire thing.

Fabio G. (2014-01-27 04:47):

Well, yeah our system is better for that, but at least recent US stamps have good design, whereas our designs are kinda poor in many cases. The Italian Kingdom period has a lot of nice stamps (I'm actually collecting colonies), but then when the Republic period started, stamps just became more and more dull

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