I've been wondering for a long time if stamp collecting would ever come back as a hobby.But I'm thinking it probably won't. And the reason is two fold. 1. The USPS is on the ropes and is shrinking. It won't go away, but it will be smaller than it is today. And less and less traffic will be running through it.2. Kids has access to much better toys. A video game console or iPad beats stamp collecting for most kids. So there won't be familiarity with the hobby to serve as a seedbed for new collectors.The upside of this is that getting a set of the Zeps might actually be possible at some point.
I think you're probably right as pertains to the US, but the people I deal with that sell a lot of stamps on ebay indicate that the hobby is very popular and getting more popular in China and eastern Europe, so maybe there is hope.One of the problems that I've always felt is a hinderance to the hobby here (USA) is the USPS itself. They issue way too many stamps every year with way too many varieties. It's impossible for most adults with paying jobs (myself included) to keep up, much less a kid with a minimum wage job or just an allowance.
I heard that stamp collecting is very popular in China. A deceased friends China collection was sent to Hong Kong for auction, as that would get the best return. It netted his grand-daughter just under a million. And yeah, I think the USPS is part of the problem. I haven't been able to keep up with all the new issues, and most of them are stuff that is never actually used for postage. Plus with the self-adhesive stamps, trying to soak them off is a study in frustration.
I went to a local stamp show over the weekend. In my late 50's, I was one of the youngest people in the room. The dealers reported that not much was happening. This was a larger local show, but it has shrunk over the last decade. Saw one kid, who was avidly going through the stamps as the free table that the club runs. I've started disposing of my dups to a charity. I was holding them for sales into strength if a revival happened, but I think we've passed some critical point and that revival won't happen. (Which probably means that the revival starts just as soon as I've gotten rid of the dups...)
I'm 52 and am usually the youngest person at shows, too!There are quite a few shows in the Detroit area and Canada that I used to go to, not so much any more. There are still one or two really good shows around here that I will make it a point to go to, but the others..........every time that I went, it was always the same old dealers with the same old stuff. I once drove 70 miles to get to a show that I thought might have new or different stuff. Nope. When I walked in the room....same dealers, same stuff. It gets discouraging after awhile.
Was traveling thru Europe last month and there are large storefronts for stamp shops. Big difference compared to the US.
I noticed that the last time I was there, too. The stamp store where I usually go has a large online store on ebay and almost 90% of their stuff gets shipped to European countries. I wonder if they know something we don't?It still seems like it's a fairly popular hobby in Canada, too.
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