Lesson 11: Stamps and the Internet
The internet contains a wealth of resources for all aspects of stamp collecting. The best thing to do is simply to go explore! The Garfield-Perry website contains a “Helpful Links” tab that lists a few major websites, but there are many resources available. Here are a few ways you can use the internet to enhance your hobby.
Reference and Research: Many stamp societies publish online newsletters or make information available on their websites, and there are many websites devoted to various aspects of stamp collecting. You can also use the internet to research stamp designs, the history of countries that you collect, printing methods, the sender or receiver of mail items, original postal records, and much more. Garfield-Perry’s links page includes many examples, but a couple of great resources are the American Philatelic Society and the United States Philatelic Classics Society, which has free access to back issues of its journal and a library of digitized reference books.
Buying and Selling: Many dealers have websites, plus of course there is eBay, hipstamp, listings from public auctions, and other resources. eBay allows even a new collector to also be a dealer. Of course, when buying online you don’t always know who you are dealing with, and online images are not always a substitute for direct examination. eBay in particular provides abundant protection against loss, fraud, or nondelivery, but there is no substitute for dealing with someone you know and trust.
ebay – likely the largest single marketplace for stamps anywhere.
Hipstamp – a specialty online auction and sale site devoted to stamps.
Stamp Auction Network – links to upcoming public stamp auctions.
Interact with Other Collectors:
There are several online forums and chatboards where collectors can interact, share material, and ask questions. For example:
Delphi Stamp Forum: Long-lived forum with a focus on first day covers but many other topics.
Stamp Community Family: Large, vibrant forum with US and worldwide topics.
Philamercury: Advanced chat board focused on US postal history
Particularly now in this pandemic era, many organizations and clubs have also started meeting online, using Zoom, gotomeeting, or other tools. For example:
APS Stamp Chat upcoming live presentations. There is also an archive of previously recorded sessions.
Online Club Meetings – APS listing of stamp clubs with online meetings.