When looking for new material to add to your collection, the APS online StampStore should be one of your first stops. With over 300,000 items available for sale from members all over the world, www.StampStore.org has something for everyone – so let us help you find it!
The StampStore search is a two step process:
STEP 1: select your search criteria
STEP 2: select a sort option.
We recommend that you begin by selecting the basic search options and then consider refinements – the key is to keep it simple. Often, customers will select too many parameters in the criteria area and their results are very limited.
Another common mistake often made is that customers attempt to use the Topic/Keyword search area to type in exactly what they are looking for instead of selecting the appropriate field selections. For example, we have had callers who cannot find material because they type the country name or general terms like FDCs, locals, revenues, etc. in the Keyword search field – doing this will leave you with very limited or no results! So it is important to use the appropriate search fields.
Most buyers fall into one or more of three categories: a traditional country collector, a topical or thematic collector and a postal history collector. We have listed search examples for each of these types below. No matter which category you fall into, your search will begin with either the Country/Scott # fields or Keyword search field. Then consider using the search refinement options to narrow your search further.
Search Refinement Options – Here is a listing of some key refinement options available that will help to narrow your search. (**Note – don’t fill in every field or your results may be very limited.):
- Stamp Type – offers a specialized collector the ability to find back of book items by Scott Prefixes such as Airmails, Locals, Revenues, Proofs, etc.
- Condition – narrows the search to items that are either “On Cover,” “Used,” or “Unused.”
- Cover Type – narrows the search if you are looking for specific types of covers such as FDCs, Event Covers, or Postal History.
- Hinge Type – allows you to select items that are hinged (H) or never hinged (NH).
- Era – is particularly helpful for countries with a lot of issues; you can select to see stamps from Pre-1900, 1900-1940, and After 1940. Also helpful for buyers seeking postal history material.
- Sale Price – restricts the search within a price range that you specify.
- Seller ID – buyers can search for items being offered by a particular seller.
Example 1 – Most traditional collectors seeking stamps will be best served by searching with a Country and a Scott Catalog number range. You may also wish to choose a condition such as used or unused, or a price range of items. To search for United States Scott numbers 1 through 5, first use the Country drop down to select United States, then enter the numbers 1 and 5 in the Scott # From and To fields. If looking for a back of the book category such as postage dues or revenues choose these as a Stamp Type. Do not put “postage due” or “revenue” in the Keyword field, as most descriptions do not include the stamp type and you will miss many potential items.
Example 2 – Topical/thematic collectors are the primary users of the Keyword search. Be sure to use the word form that is most likely to be found. If you search for “dog” this will return all items that include “dog” OR “dogs” in the description. If you search “dogs,” items that simply list “dog” in the description will not appear in your results. Condition or cost are other limiting criteria you may wish to consider.
Example 3 – For postal history collectors, the Country and Era fields may be most important as catalog numbers are often not listed, especially when it is difficult or impossible to determine the catalog number of the stamp on the cover. Keyword searches may be useful if the origin or destination cities/countries such as New York or Philadelphia are important, or if you are looking for mail sent by a specific method, such as via ship or RPO.
In general, as previously stated, you are most likely to be successful if you start simple with the minimum criteria. If you get a huge number of results, you can then add additional criteria one at a time to narrow the results. Don’t forget, you can save your search so you don’t have to reenter the criteria each time. You can also turn the saved search into a want list to receive automatic notifications when new items meeting your criteria are posted.
Additional search examples are provided on our website at www.stamps.org/Search-Tips. Any questions? Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.