I should preface this post by saying that two months ago, I sent off 25 stamps to eleven different people and specifically asked for nothing in return. The stamps I sent were duplicates and of no real value. No big deal. The fact is that one guy in particular sent me stamps to encourage me when I was making the difficult transition from “novice” to “serious” collector. I owe it to that man (now deceased) to do something similar to other collectors….WHEN I have duplicates available.
I should also say that two weeks ago, I had a very good experience with a collector in France. We have exchanged stamps before and I am sure we will do so again.
As I have said before, I do not like how some people make trading stamps more complicated than it should be. Sending off 25 unwanted stamps to Australia or Switzerland should be simple. All I want is 25 unwanted stamps in return. As to value…generally speaking there is no value at all…obviously I dont send mint stamps or rare used stamps as they have a premium. On trades…”you win some, you lose some” and it all balances out in the end.
So I expect other traders to exchange within the same general framework. Thus traders who emphasise that exchanges are conducted in line with Gibbons, Scott and Michel catalogues are best ignored.
As i collect Irish stamps “seriously” and World stamps “for fun”, there is realistically no way that traders in Australia or Switzerland can make my Irish collection better. Yes they can send me 25 Australia or Switzerland stamps “for fun” but they should not expect any Irish stamps of value in return.
Yet it strikes me that it was easier for me to send 25 stamps to USA in the 1970s, USSR in the 1980s and Germany in the 1990s than it is for me to send anywhere in the world in 2015. It was once so easy. Stamp magazines posted monthly columns, listing people who wanted to exchange stamps. And I happily did so…as far as I was concerned the collector in India, Pakistan, USA, Israel, West Germany, East Germany, USSR was just a person like me. …a Stamp Collector and that bond was stronger than any feeling we may have had about their nation or nationality.
In sending stamps to USA, I did not assume that the recipient was a Democrat or a Republican, voting for Nixon, McGovern, Ford, Carter etc. Nor did I assume that a Russian collector was pro Brezhnev or anti-Gorbachev. It was irrelevant.
So surely the Internet and “Social Media” should make life easier for stamp traders?
Seemingly not. Facebook invites us to set a profile, a timeline and to assert (quite rightly) our nationality and political persuasions. Insofar as people assert a world view, then we have a right to assert the opposite. And one of the means of so doing is to decline social contact with people.
Is it about Nationality? No. Is it about (party) Politics? No.
More so, it is about issues such as Racism, Homophobia, Anti-Semitism, Islamophobia, Imperialism, anti-Christianity, Sexism….and the totems that are used to suggest a more sinister agenda. If you assert and promote an agenda …no problem….but it is my absolute right to avoid social contact with you.