What type of stamp collector are you?


03 September 2018
What type of collector are you? Do you lose sleep over the latest stamp releases, or crave that consummate coin collection? Perhaps you’re just a dabbler, a doodler or a dilettante? We look at the five types of collector and ask: which one are you?

Do you lose sleep over the latest stamp releases, or crave that consummate coin collection? Perhaps you’re just a dabbler, a doodler or a dilettante? Paula Hammond looks at the five types of collectors and asks, which one are you?

The Armchair Collector: 'Buy That For Me Jeeves'

It hasn’t been easy, but all the hard work and thoughtful investments have finally paid off. These days you’re happy to sit back and enjoy the fruits of your labour — especially as you can now afford to get someone else to do labouring! You have dealers and specialists scouring the world for those prime purchases to add to your portfolio. Those years in business have taught you that money should be invested not frittered away. For you, stamps and coins are best enjoyed when they’re safe in a safe deposit box.

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The Completionist: 'Who Needs To Eat?'

You’ve always been a collector. Collecting is your life. In fact, you’d rather add to your collection than do almost anything else! Holidays, who needs them? There’s plenty of life left in that old banger. And why waste money on eating out when those pennies could be put towards the ultimate goal: the completion of your collection. You would happily go into debt for that must-have purchase. And you do! Friends have occasionally called you mad, but none would ever deny your passion and commitment. If only the stressed-out Bank Manager was as understanding!

The Cautious Collector: Can We Do A Deal?'

You’re a canny collector. Although you add to your collection regularly, you know just how much you want to spend and NEVER go over budget. Every treasured addition is carefully considered and researched, to make sure that you get the best deal for the best price. You spend hours on-line bargain hunting, so when you make a deal, you do so knowing you’re getting exactly what you wanted. In fact, if you’re totally honest with yourself, the thrill of the chase can be almost as much fun as the final purchase.

The Wheeler-Dealer: 'Buy, Buy, Sell, Sell'

You’re a pragmatic collector. You enjoy your collection and enjoy the hobby. You always buy what you like and try to buy the best you can afford. But if some old favourites have to be sold to buy something better, then so be it. You know what your collection is worth and are always looking to ‘trade up’. Although you’ll be sad to see it go, every purchase is made with one thought in the back of your mind — cashing it in to buy that retirement annuity. Or perhaps that little island retreat.

The Dilettante: 'Poop-Poop!'

When it comes to collecting, you’re a bit of a Mr Toad. You’re passionately interested in EVERYTHING. Stamps, coins, tokens, stocks, bonds ... You’re one of life’s enthusiastic dabblers. This week, you’re simply mad about banknotes so you’re off to the shops to spend, spend, spend. The chances are that, once you get home, you’ll realise that you’ve bought half your purchases before ... in fact, last time the Notaphily bug grabbed you. But small details like that don’t bother you. You just live - and collect - for the moment, enjoying every fleeting passion until something bigger, better or more shiny grabs your attention!

What type of stamp collector are you? Take the test!

Find out what type of collector you are by answering the multiple choice questions below. Make a note of the answers, refer to the notes and see if your collecting colleagues agree!

1. Your house is on fire. What one thing would you risk life and limb to save?

a. It’s all insured. Let it burn.
b. Fire? I’ve always liked fires ... Hold on. Can I have more time to decide?
c. I’d rather die than lose my collection!
d. I have all my valuables in a fire-proof safe. So, it’s just me and the dog/cat/hamster.
e. It’s all insured, and for a lot more than I’d probably get at auction. So I’m sorted!

2. The man/woman of your dreams has just given you an ultimatum. It’s them or your collection. What do you do?

a. Buy the dear thing something nice. I’m sure s/he will see my way eventually ...
b. He/she is the only thing that I care about. I’m taking my collection down to the charity shop today!
c. Love is a rare and precious thing, but love me, love my collection.
d. I can’t see that happening. I made my interests very clear to the Dating Agency.
e. I’ll be sad to part with it, but as long as I get a good price what’s a little sacrifice in the name of love?

3. You hear that a world famous collection has just come up for sale. What’s your first reaction to the news?

a. Ask your man to order a catalogue for you. It may be time to consider a few investments ...
b. Ohh. Is it something new? Is it interesting? Can I have a look?
c. I must buy SOMETHING. It doesn’t matter what it costs!
d. Check out the sale details online. There may be some bargains to be had.
e. Work out what you’d have to sell to afford a few prime purchases.

4. You discover that a recent purchase was a fake. What do you do?

a. Sue the cad.
b. Nothing. I’m sure it was an honest mistake. It’s still quite a nice thing, don’t you think?
c. Buy a replacement, NOW! Getting my money back can wait.
d. Ask for my money back — and double-check out anything else I’ve bought from the guy.
e. Try and do a deal. Perhaps they’ll let me exchange it for something better to make up for their mistake?

5. You’ve been offered a substantial sum of money for your collection. Your first thoughts are:

a. It’s not really my concern. I’m sure if it’s a good deal, my Agents will let me know.
b. Collection? Which one? Hold on. I know I put it somewhere safe ...
c. Are you crazy? Why would I want to sell my collection?
d. Better check out the dealer — and double check my collection. What does he know that I don’t?
e. If it’s a good deal, bite his/her hand off! There’s quite a good sale coming up and I could make a killing, with a little ready cash.


Mostly As

You had a stamp/coin album as a kid, but never really had time for hobbies once you’d left school. Perhaps you’d enjoy collecting but you don’t like to get emotionally attached to your ‘investments’. So you buy at a distance, or better still, have others do it for you.

Mostly Bs

You’re as changeable as the wind. You can never make your mind up what to collect, so you collect it all ... off and on. Years may go by without any additions to you collection(s) but when the fever strikes you shop like a man/woman possessed.

Mostly Cs

You’re a man/woman in whom passions run deep. You’re a steadfast friend, a conscientious worker and a dedicated collector. Some people may call you obsessive but you know what you want and are prepared to go without to get it.

Mostly Ds

You’re not a natural risk-taker. You’d rather wait years for the item you want to come down in price, than buy it now. But, then, you work hard and see no reason to waste money unnecessarily. For you collecting is fun and rewarding, but it is only a hobby.

Mostly Es

You’ve always been competitive and you like to have the best. Unfortunately not everyone can be born with a silver-spoon in their mouth. Some have to do a little wheeler-dealing! If you can keep your nerve, you’ll probably retire early and wealthy!

A mixture of answers

You love collecting, but don’t let it dominate your life. That doesn’t mean you don’t enjoy buying, or occasionally get carried away at auction! But you collect mainly for fun, and if your collection turns out to be ‘worth something’, then that’s a nice added bonus.