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What are Approvals?

In his 1957 book, Standard Handbook of Stamp Collecting, Richard Cabeen describes the purchasing of stamps on approval as “one of the most important methods used in buying and selling stamps”.  In fact, Cabeen discusses stamps on approval first over all other methods of acquiring collectible stamps.  So, what is the “on approval” thing and why is it so important?

Most collectors do not live close to a stamp dealer.  Nor do they have access to huge numbers of U.S. and Worldwide stamps.  Even if they do live close to a stamp dealer, who can find time with today’s hectic pace of life?  Enter Approvals.  Stamp approvals bring the stamp dealer stock directly to your door.  The dealer mails you a quantity of stamps for you to view and hopefully approve.  You keep and purchase those stamps you like, or of which you approve, and mail the rest back to the dealer.

You can see why approvals are so important for seasoned stamp collectors.  But they are also great for those just beginning  the stamp collecting hobby since they can very quickly and easily view a number of collectible stamps they’d never otherwise see.

– James the Web guy

See Also:  77 Years of of Stamp Collectors’ Approval

Stamp Collecting Where to Begin

So, you have decided to give one of the oldest known hobbies a try.  But how does one begin stamp collecting?  What do you need to begin?

Perhaps the best place to start is with a general idea of what types of stamps you will most likely be interested in…US or Foreign Stamps.  Once that’s covered, all you need is something to put the stamps in and, of course, the stamps themselves.

…the fun part – choosing collectible stamps

If you decide upon collecting stamps from the USA, you could begin simply by soaking the stamps off your current mail.  If you have a particular foreign country in mind, beginning with a stamp packet may be your best bet to a hit the ground running.  We also have great offers on Topical Stamp Packets.  Don’t forget our stamps on approval service. Whatever you decide, we would love to hear how it goes.  Please use the comment feature below to share your experience with us and other new stamp collectors.