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General Philatelic/Newcomer Cnr : How Should I prepare for a stamp show and finding particular stamps

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MustangA
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04 Jul 2018
07:09:55pm
background 1: I have been to two stamp and coin shows. The first one was as a looker and the other was as an unprepared buyer. Both experiences were good, but I need more advice to make the next show a success.

background 2: I have decided to collect every stamp from 1970. I have been using Colnect to see which stamps were issued in the year. This has been a great reference for me as I do not have a collection of catalogues to draw from.

I am planning on attending the National Postage Stamp and Coin show in Mississauga in September. I would like to add to my collection for the year 1970.

While Ebay seems to have many "complete" countries listed, they do not have them all. Also, I would really like to support local dealers and clubs. I don't know if there is a great price difference here, but I do want to support people and also foster relationships within the community.

Questions
1) Since I can't print out full colour copies of every stamp I want and don't know what stamps dealers will bring with them (though they seem to have quite a bit of stock on hand) Can I just make a list of numbers that I want?
2) What numbers should I use? Colnect lists severa--people in Ontario who are more familiar with the show and the dealers who usually attend could best hep me with that, I suppose.
3) Are there countries (from 1970) that are harder to find? Should I prepare myself for sticker shock?
4) what is the best way to carry my newly acquired stamps around a show? I saw a "travel" stockbook, but that didn't seem that secure or that useful.
5) Any other suggestions for next show experience?
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smauggie
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04 Jul 2018
09:55:54pm
re: How Should I prepare for a stamp show and finding particular stamps

1 - A simple want list by catalog number should suffice.
2 - Stamps offered for sale will be described by their Scott catalog number.
3 - You will have to discover this for yourself.
4 - Stamp dealers usually offer stamps for sale in stock cards and will place them in an envelope for you to put in your pack/briefcase

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MustangA
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04 Jul 2018
11:31:54pm
re: How Should I prepare for a stamp show and finding particular stamps

Are Scott numbers and Stanley Gibbons numbers the same? The internet list I am using does not have Scott numbers.

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Bobstamp
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04 Jul 2018
11:42:44pm
re: How Should I prepare for a stamp show and finding particular stamps

Nope, Scott and Stanley Gibbons numbers are different. For the most part, North American dealers use Scott, and dealers elsewhere use Stanley Gibbons. I would suggest buying older used sets of both catalogues.

Bob

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05 Jul 2018
12:09:25am
re: How Should I prepare for a stamp show and finding particular stamps

Dealer stock is (almost) always sorted by country and Scott number, It is doubtful that the dealer will know which stamps were issued in 1970 without looking in the catalog.

If you do not have Scott numbers for the stamps you want in hand at the show it will create a very difficult situation for both you and the dealers.

Are there any dealers or clubs in your are that you could visit - it is a lot easier to deal with questions on a face to face basis than on the internet.

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sheepshanks
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05 Jul 2018
03:45:28am
re: How Should I prepare for a stamp show and finding particular stamps

I would suggest going to your nearest main library and looking at the Scott catalogue for the country/countries in which you are most interested.
Note the Scott numbers of the stamps you want, together with the cat. value either mint or used. Expect to pay a third to half of this figure for stamps from the sellers, if they are less in price all to the good.
You could of course post your want list here and look at the approvals and auctions for stamps, they will certainly be cheaper than from the show sellers.

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angore
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Collector, Moderator
05 Jul 2018
05:56:05am
re: How Should I prepare for a stamp show and finding particular stamps

Colnect often has both Stanley Gibbons and Scott numbers for issues. The Scott Numbers are Sn.

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rvangorder
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APS life member of 25+ years
05 Jul 2018
05:16:13pm
re: How Should I prepare for a stamp show and finding particular stamps

Go to Stampworld.com and register as a user (no cost to you). They list stamps by years for each country and include Scott numbers and sometimes other catalog numbers.

For Canada Unitrade is the company that issues the annual catalog for Canadian stamps, it uses Scott numbers. You can search for it under The Unitrade Press, Toronto.

For the stamp show, take a briefcase or some other sturdy carrying case. Take your tongs and a plastic envelop to put your purchases into. They will be safe while you shop and travel. Keep your want lists in a binder unless you have them on a Tablet or Smart Phone.

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MustangA
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05 Jul 2018
11:25:47pm
re: How Should I prepare for a stamp show and finding particular stamps

Thank you everyone for your useful advice.
Fortunately I already have Unitrade's catalogue for Canadian stamps. And my library has a new reference copy of Scott and an older version which I can take out.
I will recheck Colnect--I might have misread it.
I have dipped my toes in some referrals and am very pleased with my purchases so far.

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smaier
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Sally
10 Jul 2018
10:04:49am
re: How Should I prepare for a stamp show and finding particular stamps

While you are at the show, keep your eyes open for an older set of catalogs. Sometimes it is possible to pick up a complete set of scott catalogs for a reasonable price - if you are only collecting 1970 you don't need a recent set.

If you are a member of a local stamp club, sometimes fellow club members have old catalogs they want to get rid of. If you are sure you will only ever collect 1970, you could easily remove the year 1970 pages and put them all in a binder or folder and use it as your want list/inventory list.

A couple complete catalog sets were offered at our club meeting last year for next to nothing just to keep them from being recycled.

You are smart to ask questions to be better prepared. The advice offered on this site is excellent.

Other thoughts:

1. Stamp tongs - the kind with the long handles work very well at stamp shows. Some of the dealers use stock cards with deep pockets and it can be hard to extract the stamp you want with the shorter tongs.

2. I always make a want list prior to attending a show - I use a small paper notebook (2 inches by 3 inches). Some dealer tables are very crowded and there just isn't room to spread out your want list, the dealer's inventory, and still leave room for other shoppers.

3. A briefcase or carrying case is a good idea. I have been using a tote bag with a zipper. It has two separate sections and a couple of individual zippered pouches inside. It holds my want list, ID, phone, pens, tongs, lunch, cash, and checkbook. I like the idea of a plastic envelope or folder. Usually the purchases are placed in an envelope or glassine by the dealer, but it would be nice to have something to keep all the little envelopes together and protected from bending.

4. When we go to a big stamp show, there usually isn't any food close and we plan to stay all day. We don't want to waste time going out to a restaurant, so we pack a light lunch. When we get tired, we find chairs outside the show venue and rest and eat. It is just nice to take a short break.

This is just what works for me. You will undoubtedly work out your own system. Whatever you do, don't forget your want list......

Have fun and talk with the dealers. Sometimes they have time to chat and you can learn things you don't expect.

I looked up the Missisauga show - looks like a good one!

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angore
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Collector, Moderator
10 Jul 2018
10:09:22am
re: How Should I prepare for a stamp show and finding particular stamps

The last time I went to a show I had my list on my phone.

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larsdog
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APS #220693 ATA#57179
11 Jul 2018
11:43:04pm
re: How Should I prepare for a stamp show and finding particular stamps

My advice is to apply the Pareto Principle (the 80/20 rule). That is, you will spend about 80% of your time and money chasing about 20% of the stamps you need to complete your collection. Focus on the 20%. Research to find what is a fair price and inform yourself about forgeries. (All that info is in the catalogs). Do NOT trust the dealers! You need to educate yourself first. If you don't mind having a fake in your collection, you can often make your own for a lot cheaper. Be honest with yourself about what you want. If you want legit stamps, you may have to do some digging. If you don't mind fakes, learn how to fake them yourself and save some cash. The marketplace is FULL of fakes and forgeries of the more expensive items, but luckily most of them are not that hard to detect with some research.

Dealers are more likely to bring more expensive stamps to a show anyway, so use the show as an audition to maybe find a dealer than can offer larger lots of less expensive stamps that meet your criteria.

Lars

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