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Stamp Collecting 101

You can start with a simple stamp collection and then acquire unique items

En español | Beginning this new hobby can be as easy as collecting the letters you already receive. Then encourage friends, relatives and neighbors to give you their used envelopes and send you mail when they travel.

What You'll Need

  • Stamp tongs to handle stamps safely
  • Magnifying glass to view tiny details
  • Stamp album for safe storage

Equipment is available at hobby stores and online at websites such as,,, and

Where to Buy Stamps

More ambitious collectors can buy stamps in two ways from dealers advertising in newspapers or on the Internet:

  • "On approval": A dealer sends you stamps, and you pick and pay for those you wish to keep and return the rest.
  • "By want list": You select and purchase specific stamps.


You can also buy stamps at your local post office or by visiting the U.S. Postal Service website.

You can also trade stamps with other collectors. To locate a stamp collector club near you, go to

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