How do you see the future of philately ?

Discussion in 'Stamp Chat' started by Philactica, Feb 23, 2012.

  1. Sarahrtw

    Sarahrtw Active Member

    I posted some articles on this very subject when I first signed on, as discussion starters. Interestingly, two of them present contrasting views:eek:ne that the hobby is loosing interest and dying out, the other that its coming full circle and (though, as we said, not an actual "Investment") the value of collections are improving, and long with them interest is increasing.

    As Hochstrasse says, thinks come around...people lose interest, then regain interest. Right now, it may look bleak..that's just "now". One day our modern stamps will be the antiques, and who knows what the pursuit of philately will be like then?
  2. tu7

    tu7 Well-Known Member

    .....if people are still around?
  3. Circus

    Circus Active Member

    I can say that collecting and collections of all kinds currently are in a low spot both in prices recieved when trying to sell a collection. and bringing new people into the hobby.

    As you know I'm a lasped stamp collector, haven't actively collected since the mid 60's. I have recently become custodian of mine and my childrens future inheritence, From my parents house since my father died, and mother had to move into an assited living atp.

    There is no point in trying to explain to my mother 85yrs. That his stamp collection plate block, sheet, and some of the collectors topical issues from The USPS stamp botique store. Are worth only postage in use, and are being sold for sometimes less than "BOOK VALUE" on the internet, or from dealers.

    Neither is his Duck stamp albums worth what she thinks they are worth, from the hype when bought. He did enjoy them so that all that counts. he wwas a decoy carver.

    Their collections of coins is the same line of value. Spendable at face value for 90%. She insits that the statehood quarters and the presidental dollars in the rolls will be worth a lot someday! Of course with millons of people hoarding them since they came out. they are like the millons of sheets of stamps that have been bought for years and years by people, dealers large and small. Plenty to feed the needs of collectors for the next 200 years!

    I was at a flea market a while ago, and the dealer was trying hard to sell me something that I have a passing interest in. Problem was I know what they are selling for retail, in the collectors areana under $20.00 they wanted $120.00 and was going to drop it down to $80.00. A 20 something was standing there watching and listening, He was getting a laugh, He pretty much summed up the attitude about collecting, collections and aquiring stuff. He said that why waste the money on it, as he can download all the photo's he wants on any subject matter for free form the internet and book mark or build an album of the things he likes. And still use his money for the important stuff better phones, higher data plans, cloud space, and of course Bying e books, I tunes and I movies.

    We have to remember, with the shift to single parent families, state supported life long families, instead of when in need. Increase in drug and alcohol abuse, along with the consideration and belief of some that being a criminal is a job description/trade.

    The same values and attidudes that most on this forum grew up with. Drive different interests and what is important to people. Just watch the nightly news or the cable news feed, the entertainment sector is more important than any hard news. Unless it is a story that fits the old school news axiom of "IF IT BLEEDS IT LEADS"

    There is the same type thread on a couple of coin/token forums, I have seen this same one on an antique tractor/engine/tools forum. People are disapointed, in what their relatives collections are bringing no matter what subject they are.

    Part of the problem is the shift in the attitudes, and directions the major and small time museums have taken. The Henry Ford Museum Greenfield village , changed its name to "The HENRY FORD" With an Imax theater showing Star Trek, they have had the thomas the tank engine, legos, The history of Chocolate.

    They had a large sale of items, a number of years ago mostly of things that one of the spokes people said were no longer culturally realavant to the ubran child experience. They gutted the pride of Henry Ford the man's, collection of steam farm tracors and other steam engines. selling some for just above scrap value. The statement was people "DON"T NEED TO SEE EVERY SINGLE EXAMPLE" of an item. they needed thr floor spacve for electronic stuff and interactive videotype displays.

    So you can see were this could lead, to have a stamp collecton, coin, dice, gaming tokens, tokens, miniature vises, mini anvils or what ever it is. They will be collectors, the tablets and phones will change the look and face of collecting in more ways then they have.

    I think that some collectors, will develop a group project album page app that can be down loaded and customed printed for the collectors taste. There will be fewer large companies that cater to the needsfor the accesories of collectors. Of course the ones that have stock piles of stamps in their vaults will continue to sell them.

    The biggest hinderence in selling to a dealer is, they know how long it will take to sell them. I was a member of a local gem and mineral club. A member had according to wonderful stamp collecton, he willed it to the group. His kids tried to sell it before giving it to the group since he always made it sound like it was worth a fortune. What they found out was they burned more gas money finding out that it was only worth 30-40% less than stamp value. They finially turned it over to the group. The group used it to post the newsletters each month till the paper costas and printer ink got to much and then they switched over to an email one.

    The hobby will go on, just in a modified form as it has changed in the last fifty.
  4. Hochstrasse

    Hochstrasse Moderator Moderator

    Circus, a lot of what you say is true, but fortunately all the "20 somethings" are going to be older one day. I remember when I was "20 something" I wasn't collecting either and had some of the same attitudes. Having watched a lifetime of financial goings on I can say that when following a bandwagon "hold on to your pocketbook". If everyone is collecting state quarters they will never be worth the Elvis stamp. LOL! If a person collects for the passion of the hobby the rewards are not always measured in monetary value, but in personal satisfaction. I would never coax anyone to collect for "investment" reasons, that isn't why I collect. I have watched real estate, stocks, bonds, art, coins, stamps and other collectibles take a dive over the years and then come back. The real conclusion for me is that old adage "don't put all your eggs in one basket" and of course diversify.

    Ebay is of course a prime example of how technology has changed the stamps business.
    Circus likes this.
  5. ScandinavianStamps

    ScandinavianStamps New Member

    From where I am sitting, it seems that stamp collecting is changing, not going away. The biggest "issue" faced by those who keep saying "OMG! Philately is dying!" is that they tend to be stuck in doing things the same way they were done in 1950. Maybe there will always be people who get a kick out of "flyspecking" some classic issue... but that's not the way you're going to draw a NEW collector in... you'd better be out there talking about 3D holographic stamps and Swiss scratch-and-sniff stamps that smell like chocolate. Yeah, back in "our day" we called that "wallpaper," but we are no longer BACK in 'our day!"

    If we want new collectors, we have to meet them on THEIR playing field, not on OURS. And that means-- gasp-- that we have to step outside our comfort zones.

    But as Hochstrasse pointed out, those teens and 20-somethings WILL row older and perhaps get to some point where the "history of stamps" sounds more interesting than 3D imaging.

    Hochstrasse likes this.
  6. Hochstrasse

    Hochstrasse Moderator Moderator

    Topical collecting would have been unheard of "back in the day", but that is actually what lots of new collectors engage in. They are finding aspects of collecting that interests "them" and of course that is what collecting is all about. Peters point about encouragement versus flyspecking is so spot on. I find much of the new technology with respect to philately very interesting and highly collectible.
  7. tu7

    tu7 Well-Known Member

    As a twenty something I would like to say most of my contemporaries are quite dumb.
    They are the frst generation of offspring less intelligent than their parents.
    They will never collect, what to them is; other peoples junk.!
  8. Darkoath

    Darkoath New Member

    I agree that stamp collecting will evolve along with new technology. When I started reading this thread I was alsothinking about 3D holographic stamps like the post above. Also what about stamps that contain a microchip for tracking or that could play music or sound bytes? Imagine a stamp that could have a recorded history of all the stops from its point of origin to its destination. Or a stamp that had recorded sound bytes of history or information much like what is printed on a souvenir sheet or on a FDC today. I think as long as there are collectors who adapt to the ever changing world there will be stamp collectors.
    Sarahrtw likes this.
  9. tu7

    tu7 Well-Known Member

    But with gum, not glue, D
  10. ursell

    ursell Member

    I just got started with stamp collecting I hope it will be around
    for many years to come. I like to collect the old stamps too.
    Stamps of the past to learn more about history.
  11. Hochstrasse

    Hochstrasse Moderator Moderator

    Stamp collecting has been around for quite sometime and will likely be with us for quite a spell longer. Like yourself the history that stamps/covers represent is fascinating.
    Steve Robinson likes this.
  12. wander_n_wonder

    wander_n_wonder New Member

    I think it may still exist for a long time, however, stamps will not anymore be used for letters and mail. With the advent of technology, I think 10-20 years from now, nobody will ever send anything by post anymore or they will use other labels instead of stamps.

    Stamps will remain, but it will just be for art's purpose.
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