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Sources of Stamps for Your Collection

Perhaps the first stamps you receive will be a packet of stamps given to you by a friend or relative. Or you may have some envelopes with attractive stamps sent from a foreign country. You will want to add to them, fill missing gaps in their series, or start collecting a new country's stamps.

Packets of stamps are available from dealers on an approval basis. You select those you wish to buy and return the rest, along with money for those you select. Some countries prepare packages of stamps called kiloware. These stamps are cut from mail sent into those countries. Although these are unsorted, some scarce stamps can be found; but there is a greater chance you will find more common stamps. They may also carry heavy cancels and have some damage.

If you live near a dealer, you can visit his store and examine his stock of stamps. Many dealers will also have auctions and auction catalogues showing items for bid. Dealers will also have news of stamp shows you can visit to purchase stamps. Many times the dealer will rent a booth at a show. Some dealers also sell by mail order and will fill your needs by using a "want list" you send to them.

Many post offices have philatelic sections in them. Here you will see many of the stamps and other philatelic items displayed for sale. The Postal Service also prepares a catalog every three months, which you can receive through the mail. The catalog contains an order form for your convenience. To receive this catalog phone toll-free 1-800-STAMPS to be included in the mailing list.

Ask your parents and others to save stamps for you. If you have friends in business, perhaps they will save their mail for you. Tell your neighbors of your hobby; they may be willing to help. Seek out friends at school who may collect stamps, and offer to trade with them.

Finally, if possible join a stamp club. Many adult clubs will accept junior members. Here you will find experienced collectors who will help you. They may have stamps to trade or sell. If the club is a member of a stamp circuit, you will be able to select stamps from the circuit books they receive. Stamp clubs also hold frequent auctions

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