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Club Business & Announcements/Member Intro : Lisa Marcello, New to Collecting

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lisagrant87
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It is during our darkest moments that we must focus to see the light. - Aristotle Onassis
08 Mar 2012
07:59:56pm
Hi all!!
I am a new member and thrilled to be here! I am a novice collector who needs all the advice and help you have to offer. I started collecting because I found my sister's old stamp collection and since she is now gone, I want to take up where she left off. As of right now I have mostly common stamps and no specific interests other than EVERYTHING!! I look forward to getting to know you all!
Lisa
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"I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel. - Maya Angelou"

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Andrejs
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08 Mar 2012
08:34:24pm
re: Lisa Marcello, New to Collecting

Welcome, Lisa!

You've found a great website to catch the bug and get tons of free advice and opinions on everything philatelic. No question is too basic - just remember that and you will be well on your way!

Andrew

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""If you choose not to decide, you still have made a choice." Rush"
rgnpcs
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08 Mar 2012
09:00:20pm
re: Lisa Marcello, New to Collecting

Lisa,
Welcome.
You cannot collect everything, you have to zero in. say, collect US mint & used single stamps, or foreign stamps of European countries, or just one country. Perhaps you may like topical stamps, say elephants, or ships. Try to limit the area, so you do not become over burdened with stamps that you may not want later. Use your money wisely.
Richaard

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lisagrant87
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It is during our darkest moments that we must focus to see the light. - Aristotle Onassis
08 Mar 2012
09:04:54pm
re: Lisa Marcello, New to Collecting

Thank you both for welcoming me.
Richard,
I am more interested in history and therefore US and other countries, than topical stamps. Do you have a suggestion as to what is most interesting and/or lucrative to collect? US or foreign? Right now I have used US and foreign stamps but the foreign ones are just a few here and there from different countries.
Thank you,
Lisa

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"I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel. - Maya Angelou"

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lisagrant87
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It is during our darkest moments that we must focus to see the light. - Aristotle Onassis
08 Mar 2012
09:49:44pm
re: Lisa Marcello, New to Collecting

After reading the thread about stamp dealers I have now realized this is not meant to be lucrative, it's meant to be fun! I learned a valuable lesson.

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"I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel. - Maya Angelou"

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Bobstamp
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08 Mar 2012
10:04:38pm
re: Lisa Marcello, New to Collecting

I have to disagree with Richaard's advice to "zero in" on a collecting area. Novice collectors need more than anything to collect and study and learn from as many different stamps as they can. Focussing on one country or collecting area can lead to stagnation. I know a collector who refuses to look at any stamp that isn't a mint, classic Canadian stamp. The last time I saw him he was leaving an auction because "there was nothing to buy," and for him, there wasn't because he already had most of the stamps he wanted, couldn't afford those he didn't have, and wouldn't consider anything else. You couldn't even talk to him about your own collection unless it included classic Canadian stamps: he just wasn't interested.

Just as one has to crawl before they can walk (or climb, as my son did), the novice collector needs to be exposed, however briefly and casually, to worldwide stamps (and stamp-like labels, and cinderellas, and fakes, and covers) of all periods.

• They need to know the difference between U.S. Prexies and G.B. Machins and China Junks and Dunes.

• They need to understand what comb perforation is, how watermarks can determine the difference between a stamp worth 5 cents and one worth $5,000, and why mint stamps with holes punched through them may have been stolen at some point.

• They need to know why imperforate stamps often should be collected in pairs, why you should never soak some stamps, and why soldiers sometimes don't have to buy stamps or why other people bought stamps for soldiers.

• They'll learn why many stamps that apparently have never been used were cancelled, why some stamps without gum are considered to be damaged, while others may be priceless even if they are badly damaged.

• Along the way they'll probably learn some interesting stories, how cancelling some stamps could literally send you to the hospital, why Nazis removed stamps from envelopes, and how the date of mailing a letter could add hundreds of dollars to its value years down the road.

Eventually the collector, no longer a novice, will find that some stamps are more interesting and more attractive than others. That growing interest may well change into a specialization fortified by a wealth of knowledge about philately in general.

Bob

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dani20
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08 Mar 2012
10:43:13pm
re: Lisa Marcello, New to Collecting

Dear Lisa,
Welcome home! Here you will find many opinions as to what to do or not do. Read it all, then make your own decision. Bob & Richaard have strong opinions on many things, but they can agree that the hobby is a blast!

General note to all-Lisa can use all sorts of things, from books to albums to stamps, so feel free to contact her about it should you have stuff a new collector ought to know about. (I take the liberty of speaking this way since we (Lisa & I) have been in touch for a little while.

Good for you Lisa-this is the hang-out place you'll find a lot of help and interest just for you. Ask away, and enjoy.
All the best,
Dan C.

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michael78651
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SOR Auctioneer
08 Mar 2012
10:57:14pm
re: Lisa Marcello, New to Collecting

Hi Lisa! Wlecome to this site, and welcome to the hobby!

I too must take exception to what Richard said. It's a hobby and collect what you want. If you find out later that your interests have changed, the good thing about this hobby is that you can find buyers for what you no longer want so you can raise a little bit to go after what you do want. I agree with Bob 100% with what he told you.

Here is a link to the American Philatelic Society Web Site:

http://stamps.org/A-Hobby-for-Everyone

It is an introduction to stamp collecting. You do not need to be a member in order to view these pages, and many other pages there.

As far as collecting habits, I am a world-wide collector. I collect it all, but I am realistic in knowing that I won't ever have everything. But, I know that I will always find something that I need to add to my collection!

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musicman
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APS #213005
08 Mar 2012
11:53:50pm
re: Lisa Marcello, New to Collecting

Hi Lisa,

My condolences regarding your sister.....but I also welcome the birth of a new stamp collector!

Of all the online 'stamp clubs', I dare say you would be hard-pressed to find a more helpful bunch than right here!

If you have any questions/requests at all, you have found the place to ask them!


Ask away!



Randy

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butterflystamp
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Stamps show the culture and history of the world
09 Mar 2012
01:18:52am
re: Lisa Marcello, New to Collecting

Hi Lisa, Everyone is right in their own of collecting except when there is some very different person who has very different way of getting stamps and storing them.
I know one person who will only collect by watermarks....
Just losing the joy of collecting.
Stamps and stamp collecting are everything. the height of education , geography, science, nature love, fund raising, travel, you name it.
No other hobby is as great as Philately.
The Hobby of Kings and the King of Hobbies.

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amsd
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Editor, Seal News; contributor, JuicyHeads
09 Mar 2012
06:09:33am
re: Lisa Marcello, New to Collecting

Lisa, welcome

I echo Randy, sorry about your sister but glad YOU are here. And I, too, disagree. WithRichard. Some of us do specialize; others don't. And my interest have changed over the years. I've jettisoned many specialties, sometimes turning a profit and other times just making physical or psychic room. But all my specialties happened organically. I like something and that collection until it didnt while others continue to blossom. You'll probably see that many of us have multiple areas of interest, sometimes intersecting, sometimes not. But find your way and enjoy the trip. As Randy said, we're happy to help.

David

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lisagrant87
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It is during our darkest moments that we must focus to see the light. - Aristotle Onassis
09 Mar 2012
06:49:24am
re: Lisa Marcello, New to Collecting

Thank you all so much! I feel very welcomed and I appreciate the condolences regarding my sister. I think I have found a group of wonderful people with fascinating stories and big hearts. I'm so very glad to be here!

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"I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel. - Maya Angelou"

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Bobstamp
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09 Mar 2012
09:56:08am
re: Lisa Marcello, New to Collecting

I should add another thought for novice collectors: Collect only what you want to collect.

When I returned tocollecting as an adult I boght a Canada stamp album with the plan of filling every space, but soon realized that some of those stamsp were beyond the means of middle-class me. I plunged ahead, hoping to complete pages with stamps I could afford. Many of those stamp were downright boring to me, but I bought 'em anyway and stuck 'em in. And then one day I began to mount some of the bright red postage-due stamps. In my opinion they are among the most boring ever issued, at least by Canada. "Why," I asked myself, "am I wastimg money on these ugly stamps?"

It took me a few more years before the alternative struck me: Collecting happiness would result if I started buying only those stamps which I liked, and to heck with what other people decided I should collect. Now in my collection I have:

-- multiple copies of some stamps because I like the various types of cancel on them.

-- badly mutilated stamps because of their striking cancels

-- a very few modern stamps which I like, but more importantly they are collateral to other, older items in my collections.

Foor me it's a great pleasure to peruse my albums and stock books and see mostly items that came to my home because I wanted to be with them. Their boring and often ugly relatives can stay anywhere else they like, as long as they don't choose my collections.

Bob

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DRYER
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The past is a foreign country, they do things different there.
09 Mar 2012
02:19:24pm
re: Lisa Marcello, New to Collecting

Welcome, Lisa, welcome.

Already you are loved and haven't yet taken your coat off.

WARNING: there is one downside to Stamporama, too much advice.

Warmest regards from a fellow member,

John Derry

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lisagrant87
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It is during our darkest moments that we must focus to see the light. - Aristotle Onassis
10 Mar 2012
10:37:52am
re: Lisa Marcello, New to Collecting

I do feel loved and welcomed and it's a fantastic feeling!

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"I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel. - Maya Angelou"

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musicman
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APS #213005
10 Mar 2012
11:07:45am
re: Lisa Marcello, New to Collecting

...in Richaard's defense, I think what he was saying is -

you CAN collect everything, but you better have a REALLY, REALLY BIG house!!

...so - maybe later on you will find an area of interest that you can handle a bit more easily.

(I must admit - I started out collecting the entire world, too!LOL)




Randy

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Madame
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10 Mar 2012
04:24:05pm
re: Lisa Marcello, New to Collecting

Hi Lisa,

I have to agree with Bob and Randy on this one. Many years ago I started out collecting the world. Was it interesting? Yes. Did I learn a lot as I went? Yes. Do I regret it? No. I do, however, wish that I had had a Stamporama back then to help guide my way, as I, more than likely, would have concentrated on a smaller universe.

Perhaps the best advice I can give is "follow your joy." Hinged or Mounted, Mint or Used, Old or New, single countries or world, topical or period...the choices are endless. In this hobby there are more types of collections and collectors than even the mind can imagine. The bottom line is that we all share a love for the hobby.

Sorry about being late on this, but I didn't want to miss the chance to add my welcome.

All the best,

Judy

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Patches
Liz
10 Mar 2012
05:16:16pm

Auctions
re: Lisa Marcello, New to Collecting

Welcome to the Stamporama family Lisa. We all hope you enjoy our club.

There's a wealth of information among our members and many useful articles and discussions on this website.

If you need information or help with navigating the website or with your hobby, just ask. We're here to help.

Liz



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rgnpcs
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10 Mar 2012
06:51:07pm
re: Lisa Marcello, New to Collecting

Thanks Randy, your answer was 100% correct. there is one other thing one would need, and that is a lot of money
Most new collectors start off by collecting everything, and eventually settle into a specialty area, so my suggestion is to start off with a specialty. You can always add topics as you go along.
How many people in this group collect everything?????
Richaard



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Bobstamp
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10 Mar 2012
07:10:28pm
re: Lisa Marcello, New to Collecting

(Please note: The following comments are not intended for anyone in particular, except perhaps Richaard. Lisa seems to have determined her course through the beginning of her philatelic journey, and doesn't seem to need any more advice. )

1. I don't think it's possible to specialize in philately without several years' experience. A speciality, in any field, requires accumulated knowledge. If I am so unfortunate, for example, to require brain surgery, I certainly hope that my surgeon is not a resident neurosurgeon facing his first brain surgery. Stamp collecting is not brain surgery, nor is it rocket science. It is, for a collector with a few years' experience, a broad and liberal education. Just as any person with a broad and liberal education, the experienced collector is ready to zero in on collecting areas that have piqued her interest. She will have been exposed to stamps that she is unlikely to have come across except as the result of years of investigation, sorting, browsing, talking, asking question, reading, and dare I say, even mounting a one-frame exhibit of favourite stuff.

2. Collecting, even worldwide collecting, doesn't have to be expensive. You buy what you can afford, unless you have a problem controlling your spending.

Bob


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dani20
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10 Mar 2012
09:24:02pm
re: Lisa Marcello, New to Collecting

Dear Lisa,
All of the advice given so far seems to have left out a major area for you to consider-trading with others to get what you want. Actually, trading is the single greatest area for you to consider at this time-not buying.

First determine what you have, what you have available for swapping, and what you think you might need in any given country of your choice. Then tap into the folks who are interested in swapping and you will have many stamppals and increase your own holdings without a large money expenditure.

You ought to keep an eye out in our auction as well- there are many values to be gotten here as against purchases from dealers. The headache that you may be getting about all the ways to go and how to go about it is a good headache-you're entering into a hobby to last a lifetime, and one that honors the giver-your sister.

We are all here for you.

All the best,
Dan C.

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pre1940classics
10 Mar 2012
09:42:15pm
re: Lisa Marcello, New to Collecting

Hi Lisa, welcome to SOR and the world of collecting. I am sorry to hear of the loss of your sister.

I started collecting as a kid over 40 years ago. There are a few things I learned that I would do differently. Since you are new, take advantage of large lots (1000+) stamps. It's a great way to be exposed to all different countries and learn that an "O'Sterrich" is from Austria, a "Magyar Posta" is from Hungary, etc. Retail stores were fun to shop at, but most do not stock stamps anymore. When they did most recently, you might get 30 different topical stamps for $2. The stamps are fun but you can buy bulk lots at a penny per stamp (or less)!

If you don't get the Linns Stamp Weekly, it does have great ads for lots of material.
Ebay is another major sources for me. The SOR auctions are very good and have something for everyone. I also belong to a local club, and get great lots of stamps cheaper than ebay, and get to make friends with local collectors.

The biggest mistake I made was in being too economical with choice of album. I have upgraded alot, starting in a bound paperback that held 4000 stamps when I started which I outgrew before I finished high school. If you have an album already, that is great. If you plan to upgrade, spending the extra money for a nicer album is good if you plan to stay with the hobby. I have noticed also that if/when you want to sell, stamp collections in better albums command much higher prices, since people expect to find better material in a nicer album.

Another regret was feeling the need to mount every single mint stamp in a mount. Honestly, if the stamps are of the minimum value, it makes little sense to use a mount since the mount could actually cost more than the stamp! But do keep your better mint stamps from being hinges, esp older well centered stamps!

I've said a lot. Enjoy yourself! THOM

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michael78651
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SOR Auctioneer
10 Mar 2012
09:50:12pm
re: Lisa Marcello, New to Collecting

Well said, Bob.

Sometimes the specialists forget that they were beginners once too. This is an issue in all hobbies. In model railroading, they are called "rivet counters".

It is not difficult or expensive to build a sizable world-wide collection. Best way to get started is to buy large lots. They come in country lots, topical lots, mixed world, and more. The stamps in those lots sell for mere pennies each. Take out what is needed and, as Dan said, you'll start building up trading material for the stamps that are not.

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George
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10 Mar 2012
11:11:40pm
re: Lisa Marcello, New to Collecting

People have given their opinions, but I'd like to put a similar sentiment in a different way:

Collect whatever takes your fancy.

If you see something you like, then hang on to it! At first, there's no reason not to collect widely. If, over time, you find your interests narrowing to something more specific, then go for it. The point is that you do what makes it a hobby, not a chore.

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