Skip to main content
No. of Recommendations: 3
Off-topic stamp collection story:

I knew a middle-aged gentleman (back when I was just approaching that age bracket) whop had become very wealthy because of stamp collections.

His primary business was as a commercial printer specializing in mail order "junk mail" pieces.

He found that when a stamp dealer bought a collection, most of the value was (as Alphawolf pointed out) in a small number of items and the rest of the collection came across for the ride.

The US post office will not purchase back unused postage which frequently left them with piles of unused sheets, plate blocks and stamps which, while having catalogue value, had little requirement in market demand.

He would offer this professional dealers to buy all commemorative stamps at $.85 on the dollar and ended up with large quantities of postage, which he used anyway, at a discount.

His master stroke was to sort the stamps and then solicit customers by promising to use vintage stamps that had to do with their product so that the recipient would hold onto the piece. Say the 1929 Thomas Edison commemorative for an electrical distribute, the Samuel Gompers stamp for a union or the Mercury capsule stamp for an aeronautical company.

He didn't charge a premium for the printing, charged full postage for the stamps (plus a fee to affix them - which was expected in the trade) and had customers lined up to use his printing business.

So stamp collections really do have a function after all :-)

Print the post  


This is a Politics Free Board
Politically charged posts are not permitted on the Metar Board. If you make a political post, and it is alerted, the post will be removed. Thanks!
What was Your Dumbest Investment?
Share it with us -- and learn from others' stories of flubs.
When Life Gives You Lemons
We all have had hardships and made poor decisions. The important thing is how we respond and grow. Read the story of a Fool who started from nothing, and looks to gain everything.
Contact Us
Contact Customer Service and other Fool departments here.
Work for Fools?
Winner of the Washingtonian great places to work, and Glassdoor #1 Company to Work For 2015! Have access to all of TMF's online and email products for FREE, and be paid for your contributions to TMF! Click the link and start your Fool career.