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General Philatelic/Newcomer Cnr : Are there places that still sell stamps on Approval?

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rniekamp
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28 Mar 2013
12:35:12am
Way back when when I first began stamp collecting, I learned all about approvals. Now that I've returned to the hobby after a loong hiatus, I find online auctions the best way for me to acquire stamps. Does anyone here still acquire stamps on approval? Or is that something that's falling out of favor?
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michael78651
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28 Mar 2013
03:38:39am
re: Are there places that still sell stamps on Approval?

There are still plenty of dealers who sell stamps on approval, although not as many as there used to be. The internet has definitely made buying and selling stamps much easier.

When I sold stamps on approval back in the 1990s, it was a nightmare. When someone new requested approvals, you didn't know if that person would return the stamps or not. Then there were those who would make small purchases over a month or two. As they did, you'd slowly increase the value of the approvals sent. Then wham! They'd keep the selection. I lost a few sent selections that way. Then I found a company that acted like a credit agency for stamp dealers. If someone didn't return or pay for approvals, you could report them, and on the list they would go. The guy running this got divorced, and had to shut down the business. It was quite a good system. When it went out of business, I stopped sending approvals to unknown people.

Sending approvals to most collectors is an enjoyable experience, and I made friends with several.

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Poodle_Mum
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28 Mar 2013
01:44:25pm
re: Are there places that still sell stamps on Approval?

https://www.vistastamps.com/ is a good reputable approval company. They also sell packets, supplies, etc. I've used Vista long ago and then again a few years ago when I was looking for some issues. They have a variety of approval options plus incentives if you buy the entire approval lot. They do the cheap cvs right up to $100 area approvals. I find the prices are relative to most dealers around and with the incentives (free stamps) if you buy the approval lot, the incentives are in the same price range as your approval selections so you're not spending $50 on higher end stamps and then getting cheap ones in your free lot (I think the free lots are about 50% of the amount you spent on the full approval lot - which is pretty fair, I think).

Kelly

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rniekamp
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29 Mar 2013
11:28:06am
re: Are there places that still sell stamps on Approval?

Thanks for the link to Vista Stamps. Good looking site--I'll have to give them a try.

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lisagrant87
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29 Mar 2013
09:06:50pm
re: Are there places that still sell stamps on Approval?

Kenmore Stamps in NH also does stamps on approval but it's more of a sales pitch. You give them an idea of what you collect and they'll send you about 15 stamps every 1,3,6 or 12 months to check out and buy on approval. I've bought quite a few stamps from them this way which does make them send me all of their mail offers but it's worth it!

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michael78651
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29 Mar 2013
10:41:29pm
re: Are there places that still sell stamps on Approval?

If you belong to the American Philatelic Society, you can request stamps on approval through the Sales Division. If you belong to a local club, chances are it is a member of a philatelic organization. See if they obtains sales circuits from the APS or another philatelic organization and when. Go to those meetings, and you can buy right there at the meeting. Some state philatelic associations have sales circuits that you can request as well.

One approval company I do not recommend is Continental Philatelics. They ask you to send them a list of your collecting wants, including condition. Give it to them, and they consistently send you something else. Also, alot of damaged material. They do not have a very good quality control process.

Approvals from Kenmore do seem to go like Lisa said (small selections), but they do try to send you what you want, and I have had very little complaints about them in the 50 years that I have been buying from them.

Mystic sends approvals, but they tend to send you material you don't want, and sometimes continue to do so after you tell them not to send any more.

Both Kenmore and Mystic sell collections that are reasonably priced, and often include album pages. Right now I am getting Gibraltar year sets from Mystic at 50% off Scott. Yes, I said Mystic and 50% off Scott! Kenmore year sets are priced much higher than that, and they tend to use European pricing, but it's nice to get year sets to quickly fill a country.

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lpayette
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30 Mar 2013
12:27:27pm
re: Are there places that still sell stamps on Approval?

Hi

Another one is http://www.arpinphilately.com

I used them back in the 1970,s for approvals

Lee

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cdj1122
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30 Mar 2013
08:22:45pm
re: Are there places that still sell stamps on Approval?

Over the last twenty years I have seen one after another approval dealer drop out, either with a parting note or silence.
Most recently one very decent dealer, with whom I began buying stamps in the early 1970s while my wife and I still lived in New York, House of Stamps of Cincinnati, Ohio has stopped sending selections to choose from. I know that Dana had medical issues and hope he and his wife are okay, as I sure miss the anticipation of opening the envelopes that arrived in the regular mail with his logo on the frontispiece.
Personally, I have become partial to the SoR auction since seeing the stamps illustratedon line when ever I have the time to peruse the listings is quite like selecting stamps from a gigantic on line approval book.

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michael78651
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30 Mar 2013
08:51:49pm
re: Are there places that still sell stamps on Approval?

Charlie, thanks for posting about House of Stamps. I bought many stamps from him in the early 70s before I went off to college. Sorry to hear that he is not well. He was a very good dealer and is a nice guy.

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Greek
25 Jan 2014
08:49:53pm
re: Are there places that still sell stamps on Approval?

I remember Garcelon? Stamp Company when I was a kid...

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michael78651
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25 Jan 2014
09:26:04pm
re: Are there places that still sell stamps on Approval?

Garcelon Stamp Company

Yep, me too. They were in Calais, Maine.

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Poodle_Mum
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25 Jan 2014
09:41:25pm
re: Are there places that still sell stamps on Approval?

SOR Big Grin

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