This week, I have received two emails, asking if I would be willing to swap or exhange duplicate stamps. The answer is Yes, No and Maybe.
As might be expected, the people sending me emails want Irish stamps and are offering primarily stamps of their own country. As I collect Irish stamps, the only kind of stamps that I really want are Irish stamps from the years 2001-2005.
Of course, it is inevitable that I come across duplicate stamps so I always have some. To exchange them for stamps that I dont really want is pointless. So unless a trader has something that I actually want, I am not interested.
Collecting world-wide stamps is potentially a very “social” thing to do. But while I am normally a very social person, I tend to avoid contact with fellow stamp collectors, especially thru mail. Too many seem overly demanding. At its best, there is a lot of fun to be had in sending off fifty Irish or one hundred used British stamps to a collector on another continent. Nice to receive some in retirn and nicer when the recipient is actually grateful and its all in the spirit of friendliness. But some requests are simply too demanding…a committment to catalogue value. How can that ever be practical?
Exchange of Stamps on the basis of mutual help…or friendliness…or common courtesy is a good thing. Exchange of Stamps as a quasi-business arrangement holds no attraction.
I have never really accepted the genteel…faux genteel …stereotype of stamp collecting. But I am, by nature a polite person and have noticed a creeping rudeness in Stamp Collecting. It is probably a consequence of the Internet…and so-called “social” media. I just dont like it.