Two Types Of Collectors

There are two main types of stamp collectors- I call them call goal collectors and process collectors. Goal collectors are more visible in the hobby as they are one who are actively out there buying and selling stamps, getting new things for their collections, and exhibiting. Goal collectors always know the next stamp that they need and get great pleasure in filling a page. Goals can vary among collectors but the goal is always there. For some the goal is completion, for others it is finding the best deal or competing in the knowledge battles that define much of higher levels of postal history collecting. For goal philatelists, the stamps and covers, though they seem primary, are always subordinated to the goal of completion or competition. Process collectors to use a rather different analogy, enjoy the water. They swim in a philatelic world where the goal is to learn about stamps and the hobby and enjoy the knowledge and history that stamps can impart. Process collectors often make fine collections (many time even “better” than goal collectors) but they do so quietly and are rarely found as exhibitors and writers. We are inclined to overvalue the importance of  goal collectors largely because they are so fond of letting us know their importance to the hobby. But process collectors have always been the mainstay of philately. They make up the majority of APS members. They collect over a course of a lifetime enjoying a hobby that is integrated into their lives.  Earl Apfelbaum, our founder and my grandfather, was such a collector and person. It has been the purpose of our company to carry on his tradition.

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