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maintained by . Last update December 17, 2016, 2:02 pm EST
Return to Index to FAQ's

For a first time trade who is expected to mail the stamps first?
The person who makes first contact to trade should send stamps first but only once the offer is accepted and the terms have been mutally agreed upon by both parties.
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Should you wait until the stamps arrive or mail them at the same time?
It is also acceptable to mail stamps at the same time if it has been agreed to by both parties.
Traders should confirm via email when the stamps are mailed and when they are received.
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Is it advisable to keep track of trades in some manner?
Yes, especially if you have a lot of different trading partners. One method is to keep a binder or notebook with a page for each trading partner.
Log in the dates of each trade and the type of stamps sent and received. This avoids any confusion especially if you have a lot of trading partners.
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How should I mail packets of stamps?
Glassine envelopes are recommended as a minimum. Mint stamps should be enclosed in something like ziploc baggies (thanks for the tip Roy). Also it is wise to use a cardboard stiffener in the envelope.
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Is it safe to send stamps through the mail?
It depends on the destination; however, in over 40 years of trading to many different countries I have never experienced a delivery problem.
Ask the person you are planning to trade with if he has concerns. If so it might be advisable to agree to use registered mail.
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Should I use commemorative stamps?
Always unless the trading partner specifies otherwise. Apparently sending commemoratives on mail to some third world countries results in mail theft. I believe all collectors should always use commemoratives on mail, but again check with your trading partner first before sending and if he wants regular issue for that reason then you should oblige. If collectors don't use commemoratives, who will?
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Do I need to use registered mail?
Only if it is agreed on by the trading partners. Again some countries may have mail theft problems.
I personally have never used registered mail in over 40 years and have never had a problem. Again ask the person before mailing the stamps to avoid potential problems.
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What is the most common exchange basis?
This varies greatly but trades by catalogue value, a 1:1 basis, and by want list are probably the most common.
Always confirm the basis of the exchange with your potential trading partners.
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What are some sources on the internet for finding trading partners?
Stamporama is an excellent one. Post a note in the "Lets Trade" section of the Discussion section or join the Round Robin. Also if you are a member download the List of members and look for someone with the same interests.
Stamp2 (www.stamp2.com) has an Exchange community where requests for trades are posted.
The Stamp Trader List (www.stamptraderlist.dk) is the ultimate list of traders from around the world.
These are just some of the better ones, there are many more.
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Tips for thwarting the rip-off artists?
- demand that the person requesting or initiating the trade send stamps first
- email several times to confirm and to get a feeling for the trader
- send small quantities the first couple of trades 30 - 50
- always advise when stamps are sent and received and have trading partner do the same
- keep a log book of all trading partners: address, email, how contacted.
- flag all bad traders and always check new traders against your list for similarities (some of these low lifes make up new names all the time, but are generally from the same area)
- ask for references if in doubt. Philatelic associations, etc.
- if you get a bad feeling, go with your gut and don't trade.
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