About Stamp Collecting Spot
Mission: To promote and grow philately through education, expert help, and social interaction.
Stamp Collecting Spot is a website where philatelists can interact with one another, expand their knowledge, and give and receive help. It's a complete social media platform for stamp collectors, much like Facebook but without all the nonsense.
I believe it's vastly important for the growth of our hobby that stamp collectors have a presence online. Whether to buy, sell, or just network with one another, the more connected we are, the stronger the hobby. Stamp Collecting Spot makes it simpler than ever to get yourself or your business online. It's not only free, it's fast and easy as well.
I’m Ian, a collector and accumulator of old U.S. stamps (and the owner of Stamp Collecting Spot). I got started in the “King of Hobbies” at the age of 8 after observing my sister tearing stamps off letters from the mail and adding them to her collection. In those early years, I was content with any stamp from my parents’ mail, but obviously some stamps were more desirable than others. Even at that age – no, especially at that age – a butterfly stamp or a cat stamp or a stamp depicting a sleek muscle car was vastly superior to the drab, broken Liberty Bell or the stars and stripes with a sky-blue background. Still, a stamp was a stamp and as a stamp collector trying to build a bigger collection than my sister’s, to the binder it would go if it had paid for a piece of mail, whether it was “boring” or not.
When, a few years later, I got a set of Mystic Heirloom stamp albums as a Christmas gift, things got a lot more serious and my collection upgraded from beginner-style “stamps from the mail” to real philatelist style “stamps ordered off eBay”. I also taught myself how to read the Scott catalog, and wrestled with the Fourth Bureau Issue until I finally – and triumphantly – had them all properly identified and sorted in crude, homemade paper envelopes.
Fast-forwarding a few years again, I became frustrated by the limitations my funds placed on my collecting habits. I may be wrong, but…I’m quite certain every philatelist has experienced this same frustration at some point or other. So, I decided the best course of action was to start an eBay business selling some of my better stamps, using the proceeds this generated to purchase stamps I could only dream of owning before. This course seems to have worked out well. Over the last couple of years, I have been the proud owner of seven different U.S. Scott #500s (these are my all-time favorite stamps), as well as a used U.S. Scott #530a (a rare double impression variety), and many other high-value stamps.
In the spring of 2016, I was randomly browsing stamps.org when one menu item caught my eye. I followed its trail and soon found myself poring over the too-good-to-be-true info. I stumbled upon it completely by accident and that one fateful click honestly changed my life. I read and reread every bit of information on the Young Philatelic Leaders Fellowship I could find. The year-long program really seemed “too good”, but incredibly, it was actually legitimate and true.
If I were accepted, the APS (American Philatelic Society) would pay the way for myself and a chaperone to attend 3 APS stamp shows, visit the American Philatelic Center in Bellefonte Pennsylvania, and also the National Postal Museum in Washington D.C. But more importantly than all the travel, the Young Philatelic Leaders Fellowship (YPLF is the acronym) was an amazing philatelic educational opportunity. Fellows got to choose one of three “tracks” upon which to focus a year of study, and they would be assigned a mentor who would help them through each assignment in the program.
The YPLF was too good an opportunity to pass up, and the application deadline was fast approaching. I spent several hours per day over the next couple of weeks putting together my application: writing an essay, getting friends to write recommendation letters, and whatever else was required. One month later, I received perhaps the best email one could receive. I was accepted.
As a Fellow, I chose to focus my year of study on the “dealer track”. This means I studied and wrote a couple of papers on what it’s like to be a philatelic dealer, and afterwards I wrote a business plan for my own philatelic business. My business is the one you are viewing right now – Stamp Collecting Spot.
Well, this could turn into a long story…. Since I’ve already written a post where I share some of my experiences in the YPLF, I’ll cut this short for now and leave the link to that post here for those who want to read more about my YPLF experience.
I will say that I just graduated from the YPLF program this August, which was a very bittersweet moment. (I touch on this a bit more in the blog post I mentioned above). I also want to say that if you know of any young philatelist, you should send them this link which may change their life too. 🙂
Now that the YPLF is over for me, I have been focusing my philatelic energy on this website, and a stamp club which I am still in the process of starting in my area. And yes, my eBay business is still around, keeping its head above eBay fees, PayPal fees and taxes….
I guess that wraps up the “about me” section. If you’d like to get in touch, please use the contact form or send me a message on my profile. You can also reach me through Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.