New to Stamp Collecting

Discussion in 'Introductions' started by MikeTheTech, Aug 30, 2011.

  1. MikeTheTech

    MikeTheTech Member

    Hey guys, my names Mike(theTech). I currently run a business doing computer repair and IT services, but am looking for a hobby on the site that I can do to take my mind off things. Stamp Collecting seems like it could be a fun and interesting hobby, and definitely a conversation starter. However, when I say I'm new to stamp collecting, I can't emphasize "new" enough. I have no idea where or how to start, what materials I need, how to store them, or what stamps to try and start off with. If anyone has any ideas or recommendations for me, I'd love to hear them!
     
  2. Steve Robinson

    Steve Robinson Well-Known Member Supporter

    Welcome to the forum Mike, send me your details via the conversations feature and I will send you a few of my spares :)
     
    zararina likes this.
  3. Alvin

    Alvin Member

    Mike, sounds like you'll be getting some stamps to work with, but no one has yet mentioned an album or any of the "peripherals" yet, so...

    You'll want a pretty good album, a binder-style as opposed to a paperback beginners album, which you'll rapidly outgrow if you hang around here long. The beginners albums, even the binder-style ones, just don't offer much room for some of the variations out there. A lot of hobby stores sell the essentials; even the HobbyLobby in Cookeville TN has reasonable albums and a variety of mounts and accessories. Treat your mint and higher value stamps to protective mounts, instead of hinges. They're a little expensive to use for every stamp, but hinges can damage a stamp, so use them sparingly if possible. If you only glue half of the mount down, you can open it without removing it from the album or damaging the stamp, and if you glue (lick--they're preglued) it in minimally, you can even remove it from the album if and/or when you upgrade (perhaps a good argument for starting with a good album). Soon you'll probably want a perforation gauge, but they're inexpensive, and I don't know of any collector who has been able to resist the allure of the watermark for long. It also won't be long before you'll want/need a stock book for your extras. That should keep you busy until about Easter...Enjoy!
     
    Peter T Davis and kacyds like this.
  4. ratio411

    ratio411 Active Member

    Welcome!
    This hobby is addictive, and is currently in a 'buyer's market', so it's not too expensive.
    The most expensive thing you'll need is an album, assuming you buy new.
    If you are anywhere near Pensacola, I have a spare album.
     
  5. MikeTheTech

    MikeTheTech Member

    Steve: Thanks! Alvin is getting me started with some stamps already, so you don't need to send them if you'd rather not. I won't turn them down, because, I mean, the more the merrier, I just don't want to come off as greedy since I'm so new. lol. So I'll leave it up to you if you'd like to send any. Thank you very much either way.

    Alvin:Thanks! I'll drop by Michael's or Beverly's sometime maybe this weekend and see what I can find in terms of binders and such. Those are the closest thing to a hobby store we have here. Hopefully they'll have a nice stock so I can see some of the more advanced holders you mentioned. Even if I can't buy them right away, I can at least get a starter binder for now and upgrade once I'm able to sort out the stamps I get started with, add the more valuable ones into better holders.

    Ratio411: I'm actually on the other side of the U.S. haha. I live in a city in Monterey County, CA. Thanks for the offer though! Very nice of you. Everyone here seems to be extremely helpful and generous.
     
  6. ratio411

    ratio411 Active Member

    Send me a PM with your mailing address and I will send you a group.
    I have a hoard I am going through, and have more duplicates than I will ever use in a lifetime.

    PMs on this board are called "conversations".
    Click on 'ratio411' and choose 'start a conversation' to send a PM.
     
  7. MikeTheTech

    MikeTheTech Member

    Sent! Thanks in advance.

    It's been a pleasure hanging out here so far, and you're all definitely generous. I can see myself chatting with you guys and hanging around here for trades and purchases for a long while. :)
     
    POLICEDIVER likes this.
  8. ratio411

    ratio411 Active Member

    I am getting it together now.
    It will be in transit tomorrow.
    You're welcome. Like I said, I have more than I need at the moment.
    It will take you a while to sort them out and ID them.
    Something to keep you busy.
     
  9. ratio411

    ratio411 Active Member

    Oh, and I want to point out that if you find stamps still on the envelopes that they franked,
    that envelope is called "cover", and generally speaking, used stamps are worth more left on cover than removed,
    unless the cover is badly damaged. Just a heads up. The order of value goes: Unused, on cover, then used off cover.
    There are a very few exceptions, they are noted in the catalogs.

    I just wanted you to know right away. I would hate to see you run across a yard sale this weekend,
    find a stack of Civil War cover, take them home and proceed to dismantle them to get the stamps off!
    That would be a huge loss.
    Dave
     
    Peter T Davis, POLICEDIVER and kacyds like this.
  10. kacyds

    kacyds New Member

    Very good points. :D
     
  11. MikeTheTech

    MikeTheTech Member

    Great points. I think that's why I want to get an open binder for my collections, just because I know if I found some really cool covers, I wouldn't want to take them apart for anything and would probably put them into my collection as-is. Another reason is I want to collect items from my home-town like old postcards and such, so they would be even easier to fit in. I love how much character used items have, especially covers and stamps, like, "Man, this went half way around the world!" lol
     
  12. ratio411

    ratio411 Active Member

    There are several sites that have 'you-print' album pages.
    There is also software you can buy to design your own.

    All you need is good quality paper and a 3 hole punch to make your own really attractive album.

    One beef I have with this hobby is the over-kill on stamps in the albums.
    I have trouble with filling 20 holes with stamps that all look identical unless you break out a loupe.
    There is a you-print album online that doesn't have spots for every single little color shade and perf.
    It only has a spot for each major design. It's what coin collectors call a "type-set".
    One would have to live long and be wealthy to fill a regular stamp album.
    With a type set, at least you have a fighting chance at filling the album.
    It would still be expensive to complete, but only the fraction of the cost to fill a complete US set.

    I need to see if I can find the link to the printable pages on that one.

    The only reason I don't go that way is because I inheirited my collection from my father, and he already had all the albums set up the traditional way.
     
  13. MikeTheTech

    MikeTheTech Member

    Someone should make a site that lets you choose what stamps show up on the page, so you can tailor it to your collection. Like, choose how many stamps per page, then choose by catalog number, then print. Maybe it's time I develop something like that. :p
     
    ratio411 likes this.
  14. ratio411

    ratio411 Active Member

    There are no sites I know of like that, but you can buy software that does exactly what you say.
     
  15. MikeTheTech

    MikeTheTech Member

    Interesting... I'll keep that in mind when I start running out of projects. :D
     
  16. Steve Robinson

    Steve Robinson Well-Known Member Supporter

    Hi Mike sorry about the delay in getting back to you on this but things have been rather hectic at home at the moment, quite happy to send you some stuff, it will be world and British for the most part so again send me your details via the conversation thingy LOL
     
  17. MikeTheTech

    MikeTheTech Member

    No worries at all! I'm in no rush at all, especially at the low price of free. :p

    Thanks for helping out with starting my collection. Looking forward to identifying them. I hope I don't come off as a moocher, lol. Once I've identified them and found any possible duplicates and such, maybe I'll b able to contribute back to the community in the trades forum.
     
  18. Steve Robinson

    Steve Robinson Well-Known Member Supporter

    Still need your addy LOL
     
  19. MikeTheTech

    MikeTheTech Member

    Oh yeah, that would help a bit. :p

    I'll send it now. :)
     
  20. Peter T Davis

    Peter T Davis Administrator Moderator

    I'm late (was on vacation when you joined) but wanted to extend you a welcome anyway! :)
     
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