Has Stamp Collecting "gone cold"

Discussion in 'Stamp Chat' started by Sarahrtw, Mar 11, 2013.

  1. Sarahrtw

    Sarahrtw Active Member

    I recieved an article from Google Alerts that opens:




    I thought this would make for an interesting discussion So, what do you think? Has our hobby gone from cool to cold, or has the writer got it wrong?
     
  2. Hochstrasse

    Hochstrasse Moderator Moderator

    No I don't think it has gone cold judging from the activity on Ebay, but it does not enjoy the same widespread popularity it did 50 years ago. Stamp collecting requires time, discretionary income and patience. These are all things lacking in most people's daily hectic lives. Lots of the instant gratification impulses many people have run counter to the planning, seeking, saving and and aquisition process that stamp collecting involves. Most people are fascinated by stamps and collecting but somehow don't see themselves in that role. What I am gratified to see is that more femles are becoming interested in collecting. Used to be that stamp shows were almost totally a "stag" event.
     
    Biged239 likes this.
  3. zararina

    zararina Simply Me! :D

    I agree that tit might not be that popular anymore but still it is alive. :D
    There are still collectors all over the world.
     
  4. Sarahrtw

    Sarahrtw Active Member

    Thanks for your posts, Zararina and Hochstrasse.

    Interesting that men used to be the dominant demographic for stamp collecting. Could that be because they were the breadwinners (and thus had the discretionary income) for this kind of hobby? Great that us women are getting in on the action now :)

    I agree it hasn't died completely, but certain factors have perhaps diminished it - the time and lack of immediate gratification being a major one. My main issue would be income, right now. I'm stubborn and all about the pursuit of a desire item. Actually getting it is just a nice bonus ;)
     
  5. Steve Robinson

    Steve Robinson Well-Known Member Supporter

    Been to a few large stamp shows here in London and all I can say is if this is cold thank god it is not hot LOL at the last one (last year) I had trouble moving from stall to stall
     
  6. Sarahrtw

    Sarahrtw Active Member

    That is great to hear, Steve! I agree its not cold. I posted another article that disproved this claim a few days ago.

    What demographic(s) do you think makes up the largest number of collectors?
     
  7. Hochstrasse

    Hochstrasse Moderator Moderator

    Judging from the rise in the price of stamps from China I would say that the largest demographic would have to be the Chinese..
     
  8. Steve Robinson

    Steve Robinson Well-Known Member Supporter

    Just going by what I seen at the show's here in London then I would have to say Middle Age white guy's (Myself included in that) I did see a few Ladies buying and a few younger people, what I have noticed though is younger ladies buying postcards. One young lady I spoke to at a local stamp fair (Charing Cross London) was at design school and started to buy the postcards for insperation on clothing design but got hooked LOL
     
  9. Sarahrtw

    Sarahrtw Active Member

    That's the demographic I'd except "older white guys". I hope us women can start picking it up too, but based on the users of this site, it certainly seems to be a male dominant persuit
     
  10. Steve Robinson

    Steve Robinson Well-Known Member Supporter

    I dont know why though, when I was a member of a Nottingham stamp club we had a number of ladies who were members and they had very good collections :)
     
  11. Larry L. Taylor

    Larry L. Taylor Active Member

    Sad to say, it must be an age thing involved. I was one of three members of a local stamp club when we 'shuttered' our club; we were all retired anyway.

    Stamps supplies aren't anywhere near as available; they're not front and center at the old Newberry's five & dime stores, etc.. Post offices have gone bonkers in their issuance of varieties of stamps, but nobody's using them for postage. Local post office won't always stock new issues or very limited and they sell out early. Too much metered mail. Electronic bill paying. Too many diversion for the younger kids these days. Self-adhesive stamps are a real downer, 'cause soaking them isn't a fun option anymore. Finances play a big role; I finally have the wherewithal to purchase some of the more expensive stamps to fill spaces that have been starring at me for 30+ years. Album supplements cost me more on a yearly basis than what I paid for my initial 2 volume Minkus albums back in the mid-60's.

    Internet has helped with making a few more people aware of the hobby and making stamps/supplies more accessible. To spur interest, I buy older mint (lower denominations) @ discount for use on the mailings I do make. Interesting combinations to come up with 46 cents nowadays (20 + 2*13) or (32 + 6+ 8) or (2*18 + 10) or (42 + 4) or (3*15 + 1) or (39 + 3 + 4) or (5*8 + 5). I have beucoup of all of them and my kids will inherit a whole lot of them when I'm dead and gone.
     
  12. Sarahrtw

    Sarahrtw Active Member

    You raise some valid points, Larry. There are so many other things to collect, and people don't value histoy as much as they used do (Excpet for my ilk, who stubbornly work in museums and archives). Plus, as someone else suggested, there's not the instant gratification that people want these days. I think it can change, but it would take a serious 're-branding' to make people think of collecting stamps as 'cool' again.

    But, as another article and some members have commented, Its not dead and there are signs of it becoming popular again. So while it may not be 'cool' it may be interesting and perhaps popular at some level.
     
  13. Steve Robinson

    Steve Robinson Well-Known Member Supporter

    Sarahrtw likes this.
  14. Sarahrtw

    Sarahrtw Active Member

    Great that France is trying to interest youth/ I hope other countries do the same...and more parents. There is a lot of value in stamp collecting. Naturally, all of us here know that :)
     
  15. Brandon Sheley

    Brandon Sheley New Member

    It has for me but it's just because I don't have the time I did when I was younger, I'm hoping to change that though and start picking up stamps again.
    One of my friends is opening up a collectibles shop here in town and has asked for advice on the stamp side of things, hopefully this will help spark my interest again.
     
    Steve Robinson and Sarahrtw like this.
  16. Sarahrtw

    Sarahrtw Active Member

    HI Brandon. I understand that feeling. I did it as a kid too, but the parent pressure to always work on it eventually took away the fun. Now I'm looking at starting again...or restarting, since I still have my old albums and a box of unfiled stamps.
     
    Brandon Sheley likes this.
  17. Steve Robinson

    Steve Robinson Well-Known Member Supporter

    Hope it does Brandon and that you find yourself enjoying doing it :D
     
  18. Brandon Sheley

    Brandon Sheley New Member

    I always enjoyed it but it seemed (the last time I checked) that the values had gone down. It was a bit discouraging to see I spent xxx on a stamp or a set and then to see they have dropped in value by 20% :(
     
  19. Sarahrtw

    Sarahrtw Active Member

    I never cared about values, that didn't have much meaning to me. As an adult, I can appreciate that much more - and your frustration at decreasing values
     
  20. Brandon Sheley

    Brandon Sheley New Member

    I always tried to pay attention to it even when I was younger, we didn't have a lot of money to spend on them since it was purely a hobby.
    I've never purchased stamps thinking about what I could sell them for, but I remember one in particular that I paid about $110 for at a stamp show, I looked it up a couple years ago and saw it was worth about $90 :(
    Not a big difference but it was noticeable.
     
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