The Fun of Trading Stamps!!
for pre-teens

One of the really fun parts of saving stamps is that you can "trade" stamps with other stamp collectors. Suppose your two best friends also collect stamps. Maybe they want to save the same kind of stamps that you have decided to save, or maybe they want to save other kinds of stamps. Either way, you will probably find that you have "extras" of some stamps and that they do too.

So, you sit down with them and look at the "extras". You can decide to "trade" extras with each other, so that you get new stamps and they do too! Now, if either of you happen to have special or expensive stamps, you should always get permission from an adult before you make any trades. If you just have ordinary stamps, then who cares what you trade - as long as you are both happy about it.

Another thing. If you are trading stamps with your best buddy, then you know you can trust each other. And if you have a local stamp shop with a good reputation, you might even be able to trade there. But, be careful about trading with people you don't know very well. Until you know the real value of your stamps, you might trade with someone who would take advantage and give you a bad deal. You sure don't want that to happen!

Sure, you might make mistakes, and sometimes you might even get a great deal for yourself, but remember that this is a hobby and if you want to make and keep friends, be up front about your extras and what you want to trade for.

Suppose you collect stamps showing sports subjects and your best friend collects stamps showing ships. If your friend has a stamp about the Olympic Games , which he or she doesn't want to keep; and you have 2 copies of a stamp showing a ship , then you can trade, if you both want to.

You might just trade them - even. But suppose the Olympics stamp is more valuable than your ship stamp? And you have agreed to be really fair about this. How do you tell what the value of a stamp is?

One way is for you to have an adult help you with a "stamp catalogue". These can be bought at a stamp store, or maybe you can find one at your local library.

Every stamp catalogue shows an estimated value for every stamp it lists. And, since values can change, they print new ones every year. So, you look in the catalogue and find that one stamp is valued at 35 cents, and the other is valued at 70 cents.

You can then decide how to trade those stamps, but be sure to have an adult supervise until you and your friends agree on how you can be fair about trading

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