Wednesday, September 19, 2007

No, I didn't die...

I know it's been nine months since my last post. Things have just been far too hectic for me to get this account straightened out with Blogger. It's done now, and I hope to post more often in the future. However, since my wife and I have become "foster grandparents" to a two-year-old, with full physical custody, that may not be as often as some people might wish.

Top of the list for this post is the creation of a Yahoo Group for worldwide collectors, called World Chasers. This is a restricted group, which means that each person must be accepted. To gain access to the group, please email me (the group moderator) with enough information that I can either approve or disapprove membership. The description of the group is:

A place for collectors of multiple countries to get together, pass information, arrange trades, and talk about collecting stamps from a large portion of the world. Members must collect at least 40 different countries to qualify.

This is a closed group. One must request membership, which will be approved on a case-by-case basis. A few dealers MAY be allowed to join, based upon how much they contribute to the overall group's mission. Using this group only to attempt to sell stamps will be frowned upon.

I haven't been able to update my Citystar account since late January, which means that everything online is extremely out of date. In fact, I make changes to my want/have lists, inventories, and other files on almost a daily basis.

I've been trying to build a spreadsheet listing the Common Design types, so I could concentrate in getting those particular stamps. I'm about 60% complete with the British Commonwealth, which means I still have a long way to go. There seem to be quite a few more of those issues than I first thought. Some of them intrigue me more than others. One group that I've found extremely difficult to get are the French Common Design CD99, the 1949 issue commemorating the 75th Anniversary of the UPU. I frequently see the British UPU issues, but very seldom the French issues.

One thing I'd like to do with this blog is to plug some of the better online dealers, and highlight what they offer. One of the major stumbling blocks to collecting today is the demise of the stamp storefront. Fewer and fewer dealers are maintaining a physical presence. Part of the reason is increased costs, but the main reason is that online sales through a virtual storefront or through one of the auction groups such as eBay reach more customers and make more money, with far lower expenses, than a storefront. That's going to make it difficult for young people just entering the hobby, and will also put more emphasis on stamp shows. Buying at stamp shows or ordering online may be the only way for many collectors to get new material, buy albums, and maintain collecting supplies.

A great dealer that ONLY sells postage stamps via eBay is Jeff Goulette, at I buy most of my stamps through Jeff. One major reason is that I don't have to pay postage, which can save a person quite a bit of money, especially on bulk items!

I'd like to hear about other online sources used by other collectors. Please email me at with your recommendations.