I wrote a bit about my first experience at a stamp and coin show here. The truth is, that experience was as a non collector. I went there to check it out. I was far from disappointed, but I didn’t really engage people. I did hit on one woman, but she was either too stamp obsessed or too disinterested to bother much with me.
Since my first experience was quite positive, I decided to go to another show. Based on the fact that it was a two day affair, I figured it would be much bigger and I could finally start picking up some stamps. It was the National Postage and Coin Show held in Mississauga April 7 and 8.
I don’t think it was much larger than the show I went to a month or so earlier, but there seemed to be a bit more activity and a bit more merchandise. There was definitely a bit more effort in presentation by some booths.
Another reason that I wanted to go to the show was that I had read about people making stamp displays and wanted to see what they were talking about. I had an idea about what they were all about, but couldn’t quite figure it out. I mean, I knew it was stamps in a frame, but I wondered what people would choose to put in a frame. When I got there, it turned out that many people from one club (The North Toronto Stamp Club) had a whole made up more than 100 displays, and it was completely different than I thought. Some were collections of stamps, others were collections of one stamp in use. The one that caught my eye was the display about choosing Canada’s flag. It had historical significance, and was displayed moderately well.
I bought a binder with slipcase and about 20 pages to store stamps in. This was a pretty good deal as it cost only 20 dollars–tax included. My lack of knowledge showed in this area though. I had no idea what would be the best size of pockets to store my collection in. They had pages with one section all the way to pages with 8 sections. I could chose four packages and took a variety, but I am not sure I chose well enough.
I spent some time at a booth of a well know stamp auction house that moved to my area. They encouraged me to come and bid on stuff. I don’t really see that happening, but they did have a great collection of Japanese stamps. I picked up about twenty or thirty of them, but felt bad because I should be working on one of my other collections.
I spent time at the North Toronto Stamp Club Booth. The person manning the booth was very friendly. I bought some United Nations stamps from him and he was kind enough to give me a large number of Canadian stamps for my collection. He said he wanted to encourage people to be stamp collectors. I already had a couple of the stamps he gave me, but maybe I can trade them away to someone else.
Overall, it was a good experience. It was still overwhelming and I still lack the knowledge of the people there, but that is to be expected. I doubt that I will ever reach that knowledge of philately, but that is fine. There is a world of collectors out there, and whatever type I am is whatever type I will be.
I will be better prepared. I will:
- determine how many binders and pages I will need for the coming year.
- bring a list of stamps I am hunting for, or at least know what I already have
- arrive earlier
- talk to more people
- bring more money
I don’t know when I will go to a show again. I may dip my toes in the whole ebay thing first.