Obtaining stamps for your collection
Where you obtain material for your collection will depend somewhat on what you collect. If you collect new issues, then you can obtain material directly from the post office, or from a service company that will send you (for a fee) new issues directly to your house.
Older stamps can be obtained from a dealer that handles such material. Many dealers specialize in certain kinds of material, undoubtedly there is one for your area. A list of dealers can be found here on Joe Luft’s excellent web site.
Auctions are also a good source of material. Online auctions such as eBay have become one of the most popular avenues for obtaining philatelic material. Other types of auctions include traditional auctions where people go in person to bid on lots offered for sale, and book or mail auctions, where bidders mail in their bid to the auction company and there is no “live” bidding.
Another way to buy material is at a stamp show. Stamp shows are nice because you can visit several dealers in one location at one time. Many stamp shows also have philatelic exhibits, so you can see what other people collect. Stamp shows will sometimes have meetings and seminars put on by the sponsoring club or visiting societies. Most stamp shows have free admission, so it doesn’t cost anything to walk around and see the happenings. Perhaps the best thing about shows is the fellowship; they give the collector an opportunity to meet other collectors and share their collecting interests. Garfield-Perry hosts the annual March Party, Ohio’s largest annual stamp show.
Lastly, becoming active in a stamp club like Garfield-Perry can provide stamp buying opportunities. Club members sometimes bring items to auction, and occasionally clubs will have events like a “members bourse” or trade night.