Many people have collected stamps at some time. They often began as a child and lost interest as they grew older and as work, study and family limited spare time and money. Later they find their old collection and wonder what to do with it.
Stamp collecting is one of the world's most popular hobbies, satisfying our collecting instincts and providing an insight into the history, geography and culture of the countries whose stamps are collected. Many people find it therapeutic and relief for stress. If you decide to start collecting again you will want to improve your collection by obtaining more stamps and more information about the hobby.
Collectors obtain stamps by:
- purchasing new issues from New Zealand Post or other postal agencies;
- buying from dealers or bidding at auctions;
- obtaining stamps from the mail; and
- exchanging stamps with other collectors.
If you are interested in modern issues of New Zealand you can purchase stamps, first day covers and other products directly from New Zealand Post. Most Post Shops carry a range of new issues or you can order directly from:
New Zealand Post Collectables and Solutions Centre
Private Bag 3001
Other countries have similar mail facilities or you might prefer to purchase through a local dealer.
Dealers and auctions are important sources of stamps. Developing a good relationship with a dealer is one of the best ways of obtaining material. Most dealers see a wide range of material and will assist you in obtaining the stamps you need for your collection. For details of dealers near you contact:
NZ Stamp Dealers Association
P O Box 33 250, Takapuna
Phone/Fax 09 489 6645
Many Stamp Auctions are held throughout the year most of which provide for postal bids. These are run by larger stamp clubs and by dealers. They provide you with the chance of buying material at a price you wish to pay and postal bidding gives you access to material from your own home.
An inexpensive source of stamps for your collection is the mail arriving at your house, your work or from your friends or family. While much of the business mail today uses meters or postage paid imprints there are still many opportunities for obtaining stamps this way. Actually there are many people who collect the meters and imprints as well. Sometimes the stamps may be more valuable if left on the envelope. If you do take the stamps off there are techniques for doing this without damaging the stamps. Other collectors would be able to advise you on this.
You may already know other collectors. You may also be surprised to discover just which of the people you know also collect.
Often the easiest way to find other collectors is to visit your local stamp club. They exist in most areas and welcome visitors. Their membership includes people from a wide range of backgrounds who are interested in stamp collecting. They provide their members with the opportunity to meet like-minded people and to share information about the hobby. Above all they offer the friendship, knowledge and experience of their members who can advise on all aspects of collecting. Most offer displays and visiting speakers, newsletters or magazines, access to catalogues and books on stamps and opportunities to purchase stamps at reasonable prices through exchange books or sales.
Many stamp magazines have advertisements from individuals seeking pen pals or exchange opportunities with other collectors.These often prove very successful, leading to long-standing and fruitful exchanges of correspondence and material. Exercise care and build up the exchange slowly to ensure you do not lose valuable material.