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CostHelper > Recreation & Activities  > Stamp Collecting

Stamp Collecting Cost


How Much Does Stamp Collecting Cost?

 
low costStarter Set: $3-$10average costBasic Tools and Supplies: $70-$150
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Each stamp has its own story -- that's part of the allure of stamp collecting. Stamps reflect the issuing country's history, culture, heroes, artists and more. A stamp can grab your attention because of its subject matter, its artistic design or because it commemorates a significant person or event. People have been collecting stamps for more about 140 years; the Association of Austrian Philatelist Societies provides a brief history of stamp collecting and ideas about what to collect[1] .

Typical costs:

  • Start collecting stamps without spending any money by saving interesting stamps from your incoming mail and asking family or friends to do the same. The American Philatelic Society presents 10 low-cost ways to start collecting stamps.
  • You can get a beginner's set of 500-1,000 assorted worldwide stamps for $3-$10 from a hobby shop, stamp dealer or on eBay.com[2] .
  • Vintage Barbie dolls can be worth $100-$800 or more if they're in pristine condition with their original outfits and accessories, but a missing necklace, shoe or other item can drop the price $100-$200 or more. "Played with" dolls are worth considerably less than those in "mint" condition, and (like many collectibles) some models are more valuable than others.
  • Your stamp collection can be as simple and inexpensive or expensive and elaborate as you choose. While a beginner's stamp album runs $5-$20, a complete, multi-volume world stamp album can cost $5,000 (that's just the album, without the stamps). It's estimated that 5.7 million people collect stamps, spending $1.18 billion each year. Research shows that a casual collector spends an average of $50-$150 a year on this hobby, while a dedicated collector might spend $2,000-$4,000 or more annually.
Related articles: Coin Collecting, Doll Collecting, Woodworking

What should be included:
  • A stamp is "fresh" if it comes directly from the post office and hasn't been used. You can collect fresh and/or used stamps, and your collection can focus on a particular country or region, or specific images such as flowers, dogs or Elvis. Most experts recommend starting with what interests you, then narrowing your focus as you learn more. Stamps.net provides a basic guide to stamp collecting. GlassineSurfer.com provides links to stamp collecting sites worldwide, and the Stamp Collecting Round-Up posts stamp-related news stories from everywhere[3] .
Shopping for stamp collecting:
  • Stamps.net lists sources for buying stamps plus stamp collecting clubs and societies and a calendar of stamp shows.
  • The American Philatelic Society (APS) lets you search for local stamp clubs; it also posts a nationwide calendar of stamp shows and a list of its dealer members as well as an online "stamp mall" with links to dealers' websites.
  • The US Postal Service provides links to stamp collecting organizations, museums, magazines, books and more[4] , including more than 300 USPS philatelic centers selling current collectible US stamps[5] as well as foreign postal offices[6] .
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External Resources:
  1.  www.aeiou.at/aeiou.stamp.hobby;internal&action=_setlanguage.action?LANGUAGE=en
  2.  www.ebay.com/sch/i.html?_nkw=worldwide+stamps&_armrs=1&_from=R40&_ipg=&_trksid=m37
  3.  www.stampcollectingroundup.blogspot.com/
  4.  /store.usps.com/store/
  5.  /store.usps.com/store/#centers
  6.  /store.usps.com/store/#foreigncenters
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