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Rick's Stamp Web - Satire

 

If you are just looking for stamps and trades you can skip this page, it has nothing to do with my offer. If you have a taste for light sarcasm you may want to take a glimps of the following. Attention : it is complete fiction, real life is different!

How to make many friends among stamp collectors

After several years of collecting stamps I still have only some 20 nice regular and reliable trade partners but not more. It's obvious that I must be failing in many ways, there are so many collectors who do not want to trade with me. Feeling the same? Well, so disappointed about my results so far I analyzed how other collectors proceed and what they are doing so much better than I do. And yes, just follow the results of my analysis and you will get more trading partners!

It starts with your entry in various trader databases. Say clearly what you want and what you offer. It should read like this:

This is a good attempt. There are so many collectors out there waiting to send their Faroer stamps for US definitives of the 80s with killer cancellations. 1 for 1 of course. It doesn't have to be US, any other very common country will also do. It is important that the material you offer is cheap enouh to make sure you will profit from trade.

Thus this first attempt can still be optimized. Here are some suggestions:

To amateurs the ad above doesn't seem to be very realistic, does it? You know 'birds of a feather stick together'? Absolute nonsense in stamp trading. I did not believe it, but now that I compared it to usual personal ads for private pleasure it's obvious that there is a similar but simple pattern with same success. Translate the stamp offer above to a personal ad and it will read:

It's so simple : opposites attract! When you are young you feel to have so much in common with your future wife / husband. Let us be frank : divorce statistics never lie.

Most amongst us are married or living in some kind of partnership (with husband / wife, mate, cat, dog, VCR). [If you have spent the last two days in your room sorting your special collection on perforation variations of French #823 without basic hygene routines you should sacrifice two minutes and quickly check whether your wife hasn't left you in the meantime.] But ... some of us are feeling lonely, and feeling lonely is a sad situation. Many people are lonely without any personal fault, but some of them are stamp collectors and only a handful of specialists are really clever. They post a listing like this:

So far for now on how to place optimized ads in trader databases. Next step is how to optimize time until you get your first letter or your first offer.

In very rare cases it may happen that your offer/want does not attract any requests. Be sure that is has nothing to do with your ad, of course there have to be problems with your internet service provider which leads us to the decision that you should connect to a different. If technical problems continue and you still get no offers you may use the waiting time to spend some additional effort. There are two ways in doing this : sending out requests per email - or - a bit more sophisticated : build your own collector web site.

If you send out emails to other collectors to support your listings and notify others you again need to consider netiquette for effiency. Many other authors have written good articles on this topic, so I will just deal with the most important facts specific to stamp trading offers.

If you follow these rules your mail notification is quite good for the beginning. But like always in life there is still some room left for optimization:

So far for email notifications of your wants and offers. As said before collector homepages are a more sophisticated way to publish your interests. This takes a bit of effort and again is a nice task for your children and grandchildren when they feel bored during their summer holidays. There are many good articels on how to build a perfect homepage, I will concentrate on the most important specifics for stamp collector sites.

You've done everything possible now to get the right trade partners. Maybe you have to be a bit patient before the first envelope with your desired French Polynees arrive (isn't it funny how quick those years go by in life sometimes...). Hold on for a moment, the arrival of a letter is another key point in which you can spoil a beginning longterm partnership seriously. According to my analysis you have to take care as follows:

You are preparing your envelope. Your TV and stereo equipment, your car and the gadgets in your home office did cost a lot of money so you must not make any mistake in this procedure and save any penny possible. Do not use hardcover envelopes, they weight heavy as hell and weight costs postage. It is important that your letter leaves your place in approximately stable condition but you cannot be liable for what's happening on the way to your partner. Sometimes you will send more stamps than your envelope is prepared for. Don't worry if your envelope looks like a baseball after being stuffed, this is only natural. Next step : be sure to use cheapest definitives possible for postage. Postage has nothing to do with stamps, nor with philately. You can save additional money if you keep some already used stamps without cancellation in reserve for this purpose. Adhesives will help where gum has diminuished. Do not give it to a postal clerk, he could destroy your work with a useful cancellation.

This completes my comprehensive guide on how to optimize stamp trader relations based on my analysis over my personal failures so far. I gladly thank those who have finally opened my eyes in the past and hope this guide will be a valuable contribution to your collecting future.