Monday, May 23, 2011

Youthful Stamp Collections - A Tough Sell

Danielle Arnet of Tribune Media Services responds to some common questions about the hobby.

A reader writes, "I want to find a good home for the stamp collection I started as a kid. I took it to a stamp show, but serious collectors didn't find it sophisticated enough for them. The guy at a local stamp retail shop suggested I use the stamps to mail bills. Is stamp collecting no longer a popular hobby? Wouldn't a kid out there appreciate a boost to his collection?"

Danielle's response, in part....

"With stamps - as with coins, porcelains, dolls, watches and you name it - advanced collectors all chase after the same top, rare merchandise. That's why our reader can't get anywhere with his collection.I do think the appeal of stamp collecting has faded for young collectors, for several reasons. For generations, the basic appeal was the romance of discovering faraway places through those little pieces of decorative paper. Each stamp told a story. But today's kids have the world available to them in so many electronic ways. Stamps seem fussy and abstract."

She comments, "Adult stamp collectors have done a poor job of introducing the hobby to future collectors. Holding a show where established collectors all chase after high-level merchandise does not help the hobby."

To read her entire response, including an unscientific poll among young people about stamp collecting, click here.
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posted by Don Schilling at 12:01 AM