In the past, meeting other stamp collectors had been an in-person activity- by way of local clubs, conventions and other meetups. Now, due to ongoing quarantine due to the coronavirus, almost all those activities have been made temporarily unavailable. The good news is that stamp collectors all over the world are using some creative ways to enhance their hobby and meet with others by using the internet. Thanks to the multitude of services provided by the internet, many by way of The American Philatelic Society, connecting online has never been easier- here's some ways to get started.
If you're not already an APS member, click here to join and access all the great online features we'll be detailing here.
1. Virtual Meetings
Many local APS chapters have begun to meet virtually when they're unable to in person. We're compiling a list of those meetings here, so check to see if your local chapter is included, or to add your meetings to the list. You can join with any smart phone, tablet, computer or even by calling a phone number- it's a great, safe way to catch up with your fellow club members when you can't see them face-to-face!
2. Stamp Chats
Every week our members get together online for our weekly Stamp Chats. Our goal with these chats is to have a virtual stamp club meeting where people from all over the country can share their collections and talk about stamp collecting topics. Each meeting has a different theme and special guests like YouTube stamp stars Graham Beck from Exploring Stamps and The Punk Philatelist.
Members can join Stamp Chats live or access recordings after they've concluded by subscribing to our YouTube Channel. Check the APS Stamp Chat page each week for two weeks of programming.
3. Social Media
Social media is a great way to connect with others on any level, but it can also be used to talk about - and show off - your stamp collection. Facebook pages and groups can connect you to a large number of stamp collectors all over the world.
Click above to "like" the APS on Facebook!
Instagram can help you post beautiful photos of your favorite stamps, and using hashtags, you can share them to other stamp collectors looking for similar content.
Click above to follow the APS on Instagram!
Video social networks, like YouTube, are a great resource to watch and create videos about stamp collecting. Along with our aforementioned stamp chats, creators post regular content where you can learn and engage with stamp collectors. You can also create your own channel, to post videos and connect with others.
Click above to subscribe to the APS on YouTube!
4. The American Philatelist
The American Philatelist, May 2020
The APS publishes a monthly magazine, The American Philatelist, and we've begun to archive those issues online for members to read.
Each issue includes news articles, features, classifieds and more - all to help you further your philatelic knowledge and build your collection.
Only APS members have access to the archive and new monthly issues - join now to recieve upcoming issues in the mail!
5. Buying Stamps Online
It's never been easier to grow your stamp collection by purchasing from collectors online. The APS StampStore is a one-stop shop to connect with other collectors all over the country. You can also sell your own stamps to other collectors without leaving your home. It's easy to search and browse stamps, even just for a little online "window shopping!"
For purchasing new stamps, the USPS official website sells a variety of new issues, including first day issue postmarks, press sheets and more.
While these suggestions can be a way to enjoy philately during the coronavirus pandemic, all of these activities can be enjoyed at any time - pandemic or not. Social media is a great way to connect with others and to help grow our hobby!