To develop your collection, you will need to be able to buy and sell material. There are
plenty of ways of doing this including
- Local Stamp Shops
- Stamp Fairs
- Shows and Exhibitions
- Direct Mail or Approvals
- New Issue services
- Club Packets
- On the Internet
These are described below but firstly a few
general coments. You will find that the advertisements and listings in Stamp Magazines. are a
good help in following many of the ways of buying and selling outlined on this
page, as of course is the internet and membership of a society that runs
auctions and/or "Circulating Packets" . Many dealers' advertisements
include the badges of the Dealers' Organisations
of which they are members. Click here
for the listing of Stamp Dealers, Auctioneers etc who are member
s of the Philatelic Traders' Society and details of their types of business/specialisation.
Local Stamp Shops
Local Stamp Shops do exist, but regrettably not in very large numbers. A look through a local 'yellow pages' telephone directory will point you in the direction of any stamp shops in your area.
Stamp Fairs, now very popular, bring together a number of stamp dealers under one roof, some on weekdays, but mostly on a Saturday or Sunday. Every day, and certainly every weekend, there are many such fairs throughout the country, and there is certain to be one near you on a fairly regular basis. Listings of fairs and their organisers appear in the main monthly
Stamp Magazines and are also often advertised in local newspapers. The
What's On page in this web site is also being developed to provide you with this information on the Net.
Some stamp fairs are organised by local Philatelic Societies, and include not only dealers, but displays and competitions as well.
Shows and Exhibitions detailed in What's On such as Stampex and Philatex (both every Spring and Autumn in London). These both from the UK and abroad, giving plenty of scope to look for those elusive items.
Mail or Approach
The magazines are full of advertisements from dealers who are pleased to serve customers by direct mail by responding to "want lists", supplying regular price lists from which to order, or sending out material on Approval enabling customers to select their purchases at home.
Likewise many dealers post priced listings of stamps and postal history the
internet (as distinct from auction catalogues or sales via E-bay) from which
collectors may purchase direct. A number of dealers operate New Issue Services
that allow purchasers to specify their requirements and then have all such new
material sent to them automatically. Collectors of new issues often prefer to buy direct from the issuing post office. Many of the Post Offices prepared to deal directly with collectors through their Philatelic Bureaux advertise in the magazines or have stands at the major
Philatelic Bureaux run by Postal Administrations and a number of Dealers operate New Issue Services that allow purchasers to specify their requirements and then have all such new material sent to them automatically.
In the case of many countries, the use of New Issue services has declined
where Postal Administrations have produced an excess of new issues and
Auctions are held most weeks throughout the country and abroad. See Philatelic Auctions for the buying and selling of material. Most auction houses have a sale each month except in the main holiday periods.
Postal, room or, increasingly, Internet bidding is available. Individual sales may be general or focused on a particular country or major collection. Certain auction houses may themselves specialise in a particular area or field, such as philatelic literature. Catalogues in advance of the sale are usually available on a one off or regular subscription basis. Details of forthcoming auctions appear in the major
Stamp Magazines, together with post-Auction reports of the more interesting
realisations. Philatelic Societies frequently hold their own auctions enabling their members to buy and sell material. Some may be held on an annual basis whilst others such as the National Philatelic Society hold monthly
auctions throughout most of the year, with postal and room bidding.
explained in "Joining a Club" many Philatelic Societies circulate, packets, - books of stamps provided by vendors that pass between members on the circuit who can select and purchase material in the front of their own homes. The
National Philatelic Society Circulating Packet pages give a good idea as to how this method of dealing works.
It almost goes without saying that increasingly the Internet provides a
vehicle for buying material, literally opening up the world to prospective
purchasers, although of course the usual guidelines for purchasing on the Net
should always be borne in mind.