The Philatelic Money Machine
John Finch, About.com Stamps Guide, pens, "The ideal for stamp collectors, once we move beyond the beginning stage of our hobby, is to make the pursuit of things philatelic pay for itself. This is both easier and harder than it sounds. But if you want to become an active presence in the hobby, there are certain steps you should take at the beginning to get on course while enjoying your ride."
John goes on to say, "Figure out what sort of collector you are: Don't be dazzled by offers of exhibition quality material if you don't exhibit. What are your priorities? Does it matter if the stamp is VF++ or VF? Know your level of happy acceptance and buy the stamp that fits it, not the superb gem that no one but you will see. At the beginning you won't get the machine going with a few high powered stamps. You're not buying junk, but at this point quantity and decent quality is key. "
Other advice from John...
- Don't even think of buying current stamps in any quantity,
- Buy mixed collections and lots,
- Try to keep organized,
- Read books by dealer authors like Steven Datz and Herman Herst.