Are stamps now being printed purely to be collected?

Discussion in 'Stamp Chat' started by Lostvalleyguy, Mar 8, 2014.

  1. Lostvalleyguy

    Lostvalleyguy Member

    When I pick up stamps to send something in the mail, they are often rather dull. Yet another Canadian flag motif or something akin to it. When I look to see what the post office has printed in a given year, there are a large number of interesting stamps that I am sure never get used.

    I get the feeling that our post office is printing them for collectors in the hopes that they will never get used. Is it just me or do others see the same thing?
  2. palaniappan

    palaniappan Member

    yes my friend, the commemorative stamps printed in India are also only for collectors collection. They are never being used as postage. Only definitive stamps are being used for postage.

    A postage stamp should always be used for its purpose, after it has been cancelled, the true philatelic potential of the stamp is unleashed. I only collect used stamps.

    warm wishes.
  3. Philactica

    Philactica Active Member

    Sadly as the stamp franked mail traffic gets less and less the 'unnecessary' printed postage is seen more like a money making racket to boost revenue.

    The collectors have been milked for years by the introduction of alternative mail or same stamps differently presented.
    At some point when stamps (production thereof) become unprofitable they will revolutionise mail as we yet still see a little of it today already - just stickers.
    The collecting of stamps will probably get a new impetus.

    The basic rule of thumb for the production of stamps is carefully budgeted by most Countries yet some see the lure of 'Eldorado profit'. Those are the Countries that will keep on producing stamps for revenue, sucking the collectors pocket but they will fade aswell.
    James-2489 likes this.
  4. zararina

    zararina Simply Me! :D

    Here printed commemorative stamps can still be used for mails as far as I know.
    But because these stamps are very limited and quite pricey, those who will purchase most probably will just keep the stamps for their collection. :p
  5. Steve Robinson

    Steve Robinson Well-Known Member Supporter

    Commems are still used here in the UK but I have to agree it has become a money making venture now for the Royal mail, you get special 1st class booklets, Prestiege booklets, mini sheets, presentation packs, 1st day covers with more than 1 collectable franking available, Maxi cards, different stamp sheets and the list goes on and on LOL
  6. Hochstrasse

    Hochstrasse Moderator Moderator

    Most of the mail here in the States is dominated by flag stamps, precancels and meters. I do get some business mail that has commemoratives on them from time to time, but I fear it is only a matter of time before that comes to an end. Like the Royal Mail, the USPS prints a lot of stuff for the collector that never seems to find it's way on mail. I try to find used examples on cover for those, but it's extremely difficult.
  7. Larry L. Taylor

    Larry L. Taylor Active Member

    It should be more than a feeling. As more people use e-mail, post office revenues drop off. As the post offices around the world become more 'abusive' with their stamp issuance policies trying to generate revenues without having to provide 'services' implied with the new stamps, fewer collectors are willing to shell out the money to buy those mint stamps. It's a vicious circle for the post office.

    I take particular joy in using older, excess postage I've acquired over the years (often at a discount at stamp shows). But those uses nowhere offset what I spend to collect current mint issues in the US. So, it's a vicious circle for me too; 'the hurrier I go, the behinder I get'!

    I can't remember the last time I received a letter that used any relatively new commemorative except: (1) stamped envelopes received from other collectors from which I have purchased or exchanged stamps, and (2) those that I pre-stamp and send to my grown children just so I can get used copies of commemoratives with the oh so few letters they bother to send me.
  8. Philactica

    Philactica Active Member

    I get commems from via my stamp club newsletter, though only the curren nominal value.
    At least they are nicely cancelled.
    Should be worth a small fortune in 20 Years time.
    zararina likes this.
  9. visitor

    visitor Active Member

    Yep, they got me on the Merchant Navy issues, so far I have the pres. pack and the prestige stamp book. Maybe I should buy all the sheets, the retail book, FDCs, framed art, cards, etc. , just to say I have them all! And be flat broke!;)
  10. Manny

    Manny New Member

    I get that impression, yes. Nobody really uses traditional mail anymore, and if you are sending a letter/package, chances are you'll do fine without a quality stamp. I'm not complaining, though. It'll be a sad day when they stop making stamps altogether.
  11. Philactica

    Philactica Active Member

    I welcome the day stamps do become obsolete and only whatever sticker is used.

    Stamps are rarely used commercially and when they are they are demolished in the post, badly cancelled or not cancelled at all.

    The excisting stamps issued to omega day would get to be looked at differently.

    Something that once was and is no more, is then more a higher rung of a collectible item.

    The catalogue editors may then bring in more listed flaws and errors to sell their catalogues and the hunt for these will keep the philatelic heart throbbing.
    Last edited: Mar 12, 2014
  12. Steve Robinson

    Steve Robinson Well-Known Member Supporter

    Or they put bloody great big barcode stickers over the stamps (My pet peeve with the post office) :mad:
    Hochstrasse likes this.
  13. Hochstrasse

    Hochstrasse Moderator Moderator

    Yes Steve that and the big ugly marking pen obliteration that carriers often tag stamps with. :kiss:
    Steve Robinson likes this.
  14. zararina

    zararina Simply Me! :D

    Yes right! :p
  15. derailed

    derailed Active Member

    Most of the time, yes. In my opinion, almost no one uses postage for sending mails anymore. So, I guess they only produce beautiful stamps in hope that collectors will aim for them. And I'm one of those collectors.
  16. Philactica

    Philactica Active Member

    Well it was a revenue for many decades to some Countries churning out stamps that would never see postal usage.
    It would be interesting which Country will be first to introduce only labels.

    To print stamps just for collectors is ridiculous at best.
  17. CrystalMarie

    CrystalMarie Member

    I do not know how true that is. I know that the post office has some stamps that can be used as collectibles. Most of the ones in my area are not. I have to order mines online to get anything good. There was a time where I could walk into a post office an find something good. Not anymore... :arghh:
  18. zararina

    zararina Simply Me! :D

    All stamps here can be used for mails. Beautiful stamps here usually are commemorative stamps,other stamps are just plain or not artistic anymore.
  19. wneva 2

    wneva 2 Member

    A few months ago I began a collection of Laos stamps (of the Kingdom period 1951-75) and to help me understand a bit more about the country, I’m reading Dervla Murphy's book about Laos and pretty sobering it is. The country was very heavily bombed, as a sideshow of the Vietnam war, between 1964 and 1973, and now there's a very great quantity of unexploded bombs everywhere. Wikipedia says two million tons of ordnance, mostly cluster bombs, were dropped on the country during this period. Hundreds of Lao people have been killed or maimed as a result.

    I guess this explains why it's so difficult to find postally used stamps – I’ve preferred collecting used stamps for many years, but reluctantly I’ve had to accept that for Laos it's far easier to collect mint or at best CTO.

    Do you think this makes the stamps a bit questionable? - they're certainly collectible, showing us pictures of daily life in rural society - harvesting, sports, ceremonies, flora and fauna etc. But are these just publicity labels or even propaganda, presenting an idyll remote from the realities of the life of a people being carpet bombed for nine years. In 1975, the last year of the kingdom, there were two issues celebrating the peace agreements between the King and the new regime. But all was not sweetness and light - very soon after the King left the throne and gifted his lands to the new government, he and his family were hurried away to a “re-education camp” in the north, from which they never emerged.

    But perhaps I’m being too squeamish – perhaps I should shut up and get on with collecting the stamps I like. Even if they are mint!
    James-2489 likes this.
  20. DonSellos

    DonSellos Moderator Moderator

    In my opinion, the availability of postally used stamps depends a lot upon a country's level of commerce. the literacy levels of its population (do they, or did they write letters and send parcels, etc to others), a reliable, national transportation system to move and deliver mail, and the stamp distribution practices of the nation's postal authority. War did not stop those in England, Germany, and other European nations from using the posts or issuing stamps during WW II. In a country like Laos, the post is/was just not as important or as widely used as in Western countries. The result is fewer examples of postally used stamps.

    If mint or CTO stamps won't do and postally used stamps are preferred for a collection, the search becomes more extended for collecting countries like Laos. The upside is that the satisfaction of finding genuinely postally used stamps is increased. Like most things in life, it's at times a compromise.

    Last edited: Oct 31, 2014
    James-2489 likes this.
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