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Michael Baadke

Monday Morning Brief | Cost to collect U.S. stamps of 2017

January 22, 2018 08:00 AM

Linn’s editor Michael Baadke reports that the cost to collect a mint example of each postage stamp and postal stationery item issued by the United States Postal Service during 2017 is less than $100. However, purchasing just one example of each stamp is not always possible.

Full Video Transcript:

Welcome to the Monday Morning Brief for January 22, 2018.

Over the past week we’ve been adding up the cost of all the United States stamps and postal stationery issued by the U.S. Postal Service during the past year.

If you collect one mint example of each stamp, one of each envelope and one of each postal card, the total cost for 2017 is $95.88.

That’s almost exactly the same as the cost to collect those individual items in 2016, when the calculated total was $99.38.

A collecting hobby that costs you less than $100 a year isn’t too bad, but stamp collectors do run into a few complications when putting together a collection of new single U.S. stamps.

In 2017, the Postal Service sold seven different issues in these double-sided panes of 20 that it calls a booklet. If you want to add just one stamp from this pane to your collection, you still have to buy the full pane of 20, because the post office won’t break it for you.

If you want to add a coil stamp to your collection, the challenge is even greater, because the Postal Service will sell only a full coil of 100 for some issues, and strips of 500 stamps for others.

Some collectors have worked out trading systems with collectors in their local stamp clubs, or found other ways to dispose of the remaining stamps without taking a big loss.

And you might be able to find a sympathetic postal clerk or a stamp dealer in the secondary market who will help you out so you can buy the quantities you need.

To keep up with all the new U.S. stamps, you can subscribe to Linn’s Stamp News at Linns.com

For Linn’s Stamp News and the Scott catalogs, I’m Michael Baadke.