Stamp dealers offer philatelists an opportunity to collect both new and old stamp issues from across the globe. Dealers also offer services such as approval options and subscription plans for those with particular stamp interest
Stamp dealers offer many services to collectors. One popular service is known as an approval option. This service provides collectors with a set of postage stamps, typically sent via mail, and offered on approval, meaning there is no obligation to purchase. The potential buyer is typically given a predetermined amount of time, usually 30 days, to review the approvals and has the option of purchasing some, all or none of the stamps. Non-purchased stamps must be returned in a timely fashion and in good condition.
A new issue service is a subscription-based feature that enables customers to select from a list of countries the stamps they wish to receive each month. Customers may also subscribe by topic, such as space, famous individuals, sports or history. New issue subscriptions are designed to provide collectors with a one-stop shopping option for both U.S. and foreign issues.
Many stamp dealers offer wholesale lots. Lots consist of bundled postage stamps often taken from dealer overstock and offered at or below market value. Lots may consist of new stamps or older and more rare issues.
It is also common for stamp dealers to provide services in the form of collector supplies, such as binders, albums, tongs, digital scales and stamp drying books.