Stamp Shows

The Philadelphia Stamp Show was held in Valley Forge, PA last month and it was a small shadow of its old self. Thirty or forty dealers plied their mostly tired wares and the exhibits looked like the same group that has been competing for gold since the California Gold Rush of ’49. Every years shows get smaller and less significant (this year’s Philadelphia show was situated in the same venue as the Philadelphia Hot Tub show). And its not just Philadelphia. All shows-both national and regional- are diminishing or disappearing and the trend seems to be accelerating. (The only exception are Internationals which come to the United States and Canada every ten years and are real events that should not be missed). And really why should anyone go to shows? The Internet offers a far vaster array of merchandise for sale than any show ever could. The rare stamps and covers and philatelic exhibits that are posted on the web contain the greatest rarities and exhibits that the world has ever known. It seems a bit silly to travel and park to see second rate stamps in a venue that reeks of chlorine from the hot tub show next door. And this trend should continue. Shows will become smaller and seedier as they wither away from lack of interest. And web sellers and philatelic web information will grow, especially as time progresses and newer collectors are those for whom the web has always been a part of their life and not a curiosity of old age.

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