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Friday, August 12, 2016

New Directions

It is summertime, here in the US Pacific Northwest. Historically, I never did much with my stamp collections during the summertime-- I expect this holds true of many collectors. That said, during my childhood years in Denmark, rainy days at the summerhouse usually meant bringing out the stamp collection to entertain myself.

Earlier this year, I wrote about having to sell my Denmark stamp collection out of necessity... a rather long process that is nearing the end. As fall and shorter days close in, I have had time to consider the question I have been asked a number of times: "Are you giving up stamp collecting?"

Not necessarily.

But I will be going in new directions.

For one, I just won't be spending much money on "serious" stamps, anymore, and the future of my stamp collecting endeavors will probably be limited to specializations of inexpensive stamps and collecting town cancels and postmarks on fairly low price stamps. What's more, any new acquisitions have to be funded completely by the sale of stamps I already have.

For seconds, life is now such that I work seven days; about 70-80 hours a week merely to keep our lights turned on. So I won't really have much time for stamp collecting, for the foreseeable future.

"Will you still be writing about stamps and collecting?"

I plan to, in a somewhat limited way. Recently, I had to let go of two of my stamp web sites-- the cost of hosting and domain services for something that couldn't pay for itself was no longer feasible. In a sense, it was a bit sad... one of the web sites had been "up" since 2001-- which could be considered "ancient" in terms of the age of the Internet. But if it doesn't help us live, we really don't have space for it.

"Are you still going to sell stamps online?"

Well, as long as I have anything worthwhile to offer, yes. Still selling off from my Denmark collection, and now I am going to move on the my collection of town cancels on classic Swedish issues. In general, if you'd like to see what I have available, look at the "Places Where I Sell Stamps!" box in the right hand column.

Otherwise, I will generally be moving more towards "nice stamps" in a lower price range. I still have thousands of duplicates from almost 50 years of collecting, and I will trade them online... perhaps moreso than before, as I simply can't afford to have "unneeded material" sitting in my closets.

"Are you sad/angry/disappointed about having to sell your collections?"

I have gotten a lot of enjoyment from assembling my collections. I am grateful that I followed my father's advice to "only buy the best quality stamps you can find" because he was right: top quality stamps offer a "store of value" you just don't get from "spacefillers" or low quality stamps. So whereas I am a little sad that I don't get to continue my collections into retirement, I am also grateful that my efforts now help us survive during difficult economic times. On top of which, there's also the opportunity offered in terms of starting new collections.

Even if I don't really have any time on my hands for it.

Till the next time-- thanks for reading!

2 comments:

Jim Beranis said...

I've never been really able to afford collecting quality "investment" stamps, though I've got folders with a few more expensive, by my financial means, stamps. I've still managed to acquire a huge collection of worldwide stamps. Enough to spend the rest of my life actually sifting through. I still order mixtures however and never seem to be able to go through and arrange them in other than stuffed cigar boxes with glassines, approval type cards and loose stamps. They are a joy to research online and discover who, what or where is depicted on them and the history of each stamp. Stamp collecting can be actually funner on a shoestring budget with troves of valueless stamps I think than simply buying the occasional single stamp which is expensive. I'm certainly in it for the fun, I'll never be wealthy anyways and I'll be working my fingers to the bone till I'm to feeble to do anything.

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