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This page is for philatelogists: those who love stamps.

Stamp Collecting

By Cathy Richey, the Cathy Factor

Stamp collecting is a hobby that has been enjoyed by many generations of people. The most important component of developing a successful stamp collection is that of actually collecting the stamps. To get started, you may want to start collecting any stamps that you can find, even the stamps that come with your mail. What is nice about this approach is that you never know what you may receive. After all, a piece of mail may have a limited edition stamp that may be profitable in the future.

A good step in starting a stamp collection is developing a plan. Although having a set plan in place is not required, it can assist you as a stamp collector. One of the first points that you will want to examine is if you want to collect stamps for profit or for the sole purpose of enjoying it as a hobby. This question is one that can enable you to determine which type of stamps you should acquire for your collection.
If you are interested in collecting stamps as a hobby, you may be interested in focusing on a particular theme.

For example, you may want your collection to include limited edition stamps, stamps with flower themes, and so on. There are many different themes in stamps. You can start by collecting a theme of your choice, then, later on, add more to your collection. You may find that most of the fun is hunting for the type of stamps that you seek.

In addition to collecting stamps from your mailings, you will also want to examine expanding your collection through purchases. Stamps and older stamp collection sets are easy to come across, especially when using the internet. For starters, you may want to examine the online websites of stamp collecting dealers. Online auction websites may also be a great source of affordable stamps for your collection.

In addition to building your stamp collection, the next most important component of stamp collecting is research. In fact, research cannot be emphasized enough. Research is particularly important if you are looking to build a profitable stamp collection, such as one that can be sold at a later date. With research, you can know which type of stamps have the best values, conditions you should look for when making stamp purchases, and so on.

After doing research, it is important to use the knowledge that you have to the best of your ability. This involves inspecting all stamps before you buy them. Never, for your own safety, take the word of someone else. When buying stamps for your collection, especially those of great value, be sure to examine the stamp collection in person. Do you notice any damage or irregularities? A damaged stamp should decrease in value; therefore, you should never pay the full value.

Whether you are interested in stamp collecting simply as a hobby or for profits, it is important to take proper care of your stamp collection. You should start with storage. All stamps, especially those that are valuable or have the potential to become valuable, should be kept in a clean and dry environment. Stamps should always be heat and humidity free.

It's also important that you invest in stamp collecting tools and supplies. Although these are not required, any series stamp collector makes the investment. For an affordable price, you can purchase stamp tongs, magnifying glasses, and stamp storage books. The books are also commonly referred to as stamp stock books. These tools, if used properly, should help you increase the value of your stamp collection.

It's important that you be on the lookout for ways to expand your stamp collection. This is the best way to see success as a stamp collector. Of course, you will want to visit stamp collecting dealers, but you may also want to look for full stamp collection sets for sale. This is best done online. Check out the auction Websites. This approach is nice as many are hobbyists who may no longer be interested in stamp collecting or those who are too old to continue on with their hobby.

Some other reasons that stamp collections go up for sale include:

  • The collector has IRS problems and needs cash to buy food, so is selling possessions not already taken by the IRS.
  • The collector has died, so his/her children have a stamp collection to sell.
  • The Unaffordable Care Act has caused the collector to lose his/her full-time job and work one or two part-time jobs; money is tight.
  • A juvenile collector has moved on in life; that aquarium, model airplane collection, and coin collection are also up for sale. Going way to college, joining the military, moving away for job prospects, and getting married are all life events that precipitate a selling off of childhood collections.
  • As interests sometimes do, this one simply faded. That stamp collection sits tucked away, with nobody to enjoy it and the owner wants someone else to have it to enjoy.


About Cathy: She and her Doberman Trooper conduct research into all kinds of topics and produce articles like the one you see here. To contact Cathy, write to thecathyfactor@yahoo.com. Get the facts from Cathy, and let the Cathy Factor give you an edge.

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