3) The Growth of the Internet: while there is no substitute for actually examining stamps before purchasing them, the buying and selling of stamps online has grown by leaps and bounds over the last decade. Stamps are a nearly ideal commodity for online trading, as they are small, flat, and easy to scan. While the risk of purchasing overgraded stamps still exists, many venues, including Ebay, give buyers with the right to return stamps for a refund, and may also provide feedback or references. An ever-increasing wealth of accessible information may be found online, as well the opportunity to join collector groups and clubs via social networking. These changes have revolutionized collectibles markets in general, and will continue to do so as more and more people gain Internet access. It is all quite astounding when one considers that only 20 years ago, a collector had to amass a substantial philatelic library in order to have access to information that is now free, that he probably attended only one or two local stamp clubs (if any), and that the only convenient means of disposing of his collection were either by selling it to a dealer or through a stamp auctioneer.
Those interested in learning more about investing in stamps are encouraged to read the Philatelic Investment Guide ($5), available on Kindle, and accessible from any computer.