Not a lot of people know this, but… there’s a market out there for used postage stamps. All kinds of stamps get sold by the kilo. There are a number of charities that trade in them too. Their supporters collect used stamps, carefully cutting a 1/4 inch all round, and then send them to the charity. Dealers then buy the stamps by the kilo. The rate they pay depends on the credibility of the charity – for ensuring that the stamps don’t have 1/2 inch around them, and for separating them into definitives and commemorative stamps. Fairly obviously the latter command a much higher price as they are generally available for a shorter time and therefore rarer.
While you can’t force your friends, relatives and business clients to collect them, someone somewhere might do, so the more commemoratives in circulation at any time the more money can trickle back to a charity.
So, next time you are buying loose stamps, why not simply ask for commemoratives rather than the standard plain old ones? If you are doing a mailshot (such as a Christmas card) how about using special stamps then?
Those of you into marketing, might like to know that people tend to examine post that carries a commemorative stamp longer than they do letters with regular stamps.
And how’s this for a clever little trick – get a calendar from the Post Office with the dates of release of those commemoratives and time your mailshot to that day… Then take the letters to one of the designated special ‘philatelic’ post offices and they will post them with a posh “First Day of Issue” franking mark! Guaranteed to get a better response than just a blanket shot, sent any old day, with a crummy second class stamp on it!