Lick, stick & collect

Old school but still very cool 

In these days of full inboxes, stamp collecting might seem to be a bit of a throwback – but that’s part of its charm. Remember the thrill you used to get when instead of an electronic ping, you received a letter from overseas or from someone close to you, but far away? Stamp collecting is a way to enjoy that feeling again! 

Stamps are a window into the world – into the lives and loves of people from different cultures and countries. There’s an infinite variety of designs, which is not surprising given that pretty much every country in the world issues several new sets per year. 

Image courtesy of Pixabay. Published on 16 August 2017. Source: Pexels.com

Why collect stamps? 

Many stamps are beautiful objects in their own right, and each one tells a story. The oldest ones go back well over a century, and they often reflect important themes from history – as well as the things that matter to people today. 

Whatever you’re into, you’re bound to find stamps that reflect your interests. While the very rarest stamps can change hands for vast amounts of money, you can still collect fascinating and unusual stamps on a budget. After all, millions are printed every year, so they’re not hard to find. 

As a new stamp collector, you’ll be joining a wonderful worldwide community filled with people who are passionate about stamps, and always happy to share their enthusiasm. In the same way that stamps on letters have always connected people, the hobby of stamp collecting is a great way to meet people, both in person and online. 

With some stamps being very valuable, a collection can be an investment – but for most people it’s just something that they enjoy for the pleasure of growing their collection and tracking down stamps that fit perfectly with their chosen theme. 

Image courtesy of Gustavo Boaron. Published on 7 October 2019. Source: Unsplash.com

How to get started 

You probably already have stamps in your home – either new, or stuck to envelopes. So does almost everyone else, so ask around. The collectables category on bidorbuy is a great place to start – you can often pick up great deals on large batches of stamps. Every time you buy in bulk, there’s always the possibility that a rare or special stamp is lurking amongst them – finding these can be quite a thrill. 

As you get more into the hobby, you can also contact specialist stamp dealers for particular stamps. 

Image courtesy of eze cmf. Published on 8 February 2021. Source: Unsplash.com

Pick a theme 

With such an amazing array of stamps available, you’ll probably find it helps to select a particular topic to focus on. You could trace the history of South Africa through stamps, or express your interest in food, space travel or wildlife. Perhaps you want to collect stamps from countries that have changed their names, or focus on stamps from a particular decade? 

Unlike with many other collectables, imperfections are actively sought out by collectors. Misprinted stamps or those which feature typos are often more valuable than the regular, correct versions. 

Image courtesy of Maria Varshavskaya. Published on 2 October 2020. Source: Pexels.com

The only tools you’ll need 

There’s more good news about stamp collecting – you don’t need a lot of fancy equipment to get started. A pair of tweezers is a good idea, to avoid handling your stamps, and of course an album to display and protect them. That’s it, you’ve got stamp collecting licked! To shop stamps and other collectables on bidorbuy, click here.

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