A few weeks ago, I placed an advert in a “Trade and Exchange” message board.
I offered 50 Irish duplicates in exchange for 50 stamps from any other country. I posted scans of about 220 Irish duplicates on this Blog.
The response was overwhelming. I received 38 requests for exchange. There is no way that I could deal with ALL of the requests. As I had multiple copies of several duplicates, I could only deal with about eight requests. I am sorry that I had to disappoint so many people but I dealt with the requests strictly in the order that I received them.
So I have now sent off Irish duplicates to about eight of the first fourteen requests I received. Around six people did not follow up so I allocated their place to the next available person.
I have now received three packages of stamps from these people…all from United States.
I can maybe still facilitate another two or three people. I have actually bought some more duplicates.
As well as being potentially “social”, trading duplicates is an ideal way for the average collector of World stamps to build a collection. It is NOT a good thing for a serious collector.
I am in the position of being an adult collector of Irish stamps but very much a schoolboy collector of world stamps. As I have often said, when I become too serious about my Ireland stamps, then I lose the childish enthusiasm that I had when I first collected stamps in the early 1960s.
I exchange on a 1×1 basis. I will not exchange on the basis of a catalogue value in Gibbons, Michel or Scott. Collectors tend to rate the catalogue value of their own stamps as higher than the catalogue value of other peoples stamps. I have no intention of treating the friendly exchange of duplicate stamps as a business. It is just fun and mutually beneficial. I do not intend to exploit anyone and I do not intend to be exploited by anyone.
Stuff happens. Mail goes astray. I can live with the possibility that some mail may not reach me. And I assume trading partners can live with the possibility that my mail may not reach them.
If I receive stamps from seven of the eight people, to whom I have sent stamps…I will be pleased.
The POSITIVE is that I will have some world stamps at a minimal cost (ie postage).
Two NEGATIVES. One ….the cost of postage was a little more than I expected. And two..the 38 people who contacted me were from about 20 different countries but perhaps I should have chosen more widely. In an attempt to be “fair”, I opted to trade with the first eight (it turned out to be eight of the first fourteen) but this was not a very diverse group as it meant four trades with USA (although one had sent Germany stamps which was great).
Next time…and there WILL be a next time, I will try and establish trades in people in countries that are not well represented in my albums…the Balkans, Middle East, South America and French-speaking nations in Africa.