Frequently Asked Questions
About the Southeastern Stamp Expo
Who runs the show?
The Southeast Federation of Stamp Clubs names a show chairman who recruits an organizing committee. The SEFSC then has oversight of all aspects of the show.
Why the door fee?
Because we need the money. While it's true that many national stamp shows have no entry fees, our financials do not allow us that flexibility. We have tried to lessen the burden on young collectors by waiving the fee for youths under 18. Also, the fee is good for all three days. You can bring your spouse and all your kids or grandkids for just $5.00, and you can come back again the next day too and get in for free. Most hobby shows are much more expensive than this. Note further that we have free parking. The recent AmeriStamp Expo in January 2016 in downtown Atlanta had free admission, but you probably paid a lot more than $5.00 for parking. Our planning committee revisits the door fee policy annually, but at this time, we feel it would be financially imprudent to forego the revenue generated from the entrance fee.
What can I expect to find at the show?
The Southeastern Stamp Expo will look like many other national shows. It features 20 stamp dealers selling stamps and other philatelic materials to collectors, an exhibition of fabulous material in 160 16-page frames, youth activities, seminars, and new issue sales by the USPS.
Can I sell a stamp collection at the show?
We have a table staffed by volunteers who can assess your holdings, and possibly give you some idea of its value. You may also tour the bourse area and speak with dealers about your holdings.
What is the "World Series of Philately?"
The American Philatelic Society created a class of stamp shows that together make up the World Series of Philately. These are U.S. national level shows that have gone through an accreditation process and must follow standards (number of exhibits, APS accredited judges, etc.) to maintain their status. These shows include a bourse (dealers with tables buying and selling), competitive exhibits, meetings and seminars and usually host functions of one or more philatelic societies. While these are generally the largest shows in the country, they vary significantly in size. The winner of a Grand Award at a WSP show is invited to compete with all other WSP Grand Award winners during a one year period at the annual Champion of Champions at the APS Summer Show (StampShow) each August.
How old is the show?
The show was begun in 1991 as the Peach State Stamp Show. It began its accreditation as an APS World Series of Philately show shortly thereafter, and was accredited in 1996. The show was renamed the Southeastern Stamp Show in 2005 to recognize the contributions of volunteers from outside of Georgia. It was renamed again to the Southeastern Stamp Expo in 2013.
I've never attended a stamp show. What should I do?
Attending a stamp show for the first time can be a little intimidating, because the national shows primarily cater to the needs of the more advanced collector. However, there certainly are pockets of the show that will cater to more novice collectors. Check out the show program and see which dealers may have material close to your collecting interest. Then approach them and ask if they have what you collect. If they don't they will likely point you to a dealer that does. Also, look at the list of exhibits. There may be an exhibit that interests you. And never be afraid to head back to the registration table and simply ask for help. Our volunteers are there to help.
About the Southeast Federation of Stamp Clubs
What does the SEFSC do?
In short, we work to support and grow the hobby of stamp collecting and further philatelic education in the Southeastern United States. Principal among its activities is the sponsorship and management of the Southeastern Stamp Expo, the Southeast's only national stamp show (excluding our friends in Florida, of course.)
How long has the SEFSC been around?
It started in the early 1990s as the Georgia Federation of Stamp Clubs, but was renamed in 2002 after clubs from outside of Georgia began to join.
Who can be a member?
Membership in the federation is by clubs, and not individuals. Stamp Clubs in the Southeastern United States may join the federation after they are approved by the board. Membership includes posting of club information to the sefsc.org website and the nomination of one club member to the federation board. The club then actively participates in setting the direction of the federation through its federation representative.
How is it structured?
It is a Federal 501 (c) (3) non-profit organization, composed of more than 20 clubs. It is governed by a board, composed of four elected officers, and one representative from each club.
Can I make a donation to the SEFSC?
Tax deductible donations are gratefully received, in fact, about 15% of the revenue we use to run our annual show our comes from these kind donations. Donations of stamps are useful as well. We can sell them at our charity auction or make them available to our Stamp Explorers youth area for children to add to their collections.
Are there fees for member clubs?
Yes, current fees are $35 per club per year.
Why should I join a stamp club?
Stamp Collecting can be a very solitary hobby. Wouldn't it be nice to meet some people who enjoy it as much as you do? A stamp club can provide that access to others who share your passion for stamps. It's also a great place to acquire stamps. Many club members will sell their duplicates very cheaply, and fabulous buys can be found in club auctions. Lastly, you'll learn more about the hobby from the people you meet.
How do I join a club?
Frankly, it's getting harder. There used to be a time when every small or mid-sized city had a stamp club, and the large cities seemed to have one in every neighborhood. That's not the case anymore. Atlanta, for example, has three clubs that serve its collectors. So hopefully, there will be a club in your vicinity. Check our listing of stamp clubs by state, and see if a locality near you has a stamp club. Next, check out the contact information for the club, and shoot them an email. Stamp clubs are always eager for new members. Note that not all clubs in the southeast are members of the SEFSC, so our list is not complete. Check out the APS stamp club listings too.
About the Hobby of Stamp Collecting
What are the rewards of collecting stamps?
Most individuals collect for relaxation and enjoyment although many secretly hope that they will discover a rare and elusive stamp that will make them wealthy. Some individuals collect as an investment. We do not recommend this strategy. Part of the allure is the hunt for that missing stamp. And as stamps are miniature works of art, it's nearly impossible to collect them without gaining a large amount of knowledge. If you're interested in history or geography, you will love stamp collecting. There are many places in the world most of us will never visit, but we can collect their stamps. Many people also collect stamps to get a feel for their roots. As Americans, unless we are Native Americans, we are all immigrants or the descendants of immigrants. Try collecting the stamps from your ancestral home. Or pick a topic. Do you love dogs? Fishing? Republicans? Collect stamps with subject matter that you love. Lastly... It's cheap. Most stamps can be had for 25 cents or so, and fascinating items can be found for a dollar.
What is Philately?
Philately, and its adjectival cousin philatelic, come from the greek Philo, meaning love of, and Ateleia, meaning tax free. Philately is basically a fancy name for stamp collecting, but it goes beyond postage stamps. Philatelists will collect postage stamps, revenue stamps, postal history (stamps on their original envelopes), postal stationery and many other items. More recently, the APS added postcards to its list of items that make up philately.
How much is my collection worth?
Probably much less than you paid for it. Or much less than the person from whom you inherited paid for it. Stamps have significant differences between retail and wholesale prices, except for very high end material. You seldom get back what you paid for it.
But, stamps also usually provide a much greater return on your investment than other hobbies. While you might not get back more than you invest, how much return can you get for your golf scorecards?
How can I encourage my child to collect stamps?
Start with something for which your child has a passion. Does your child like baseball? There's a place to start. Or maybe there's an ancestral connection. Many African Americans like to collect African countries. Asians like China, Japan, Viet Nam, India, etc. Roman Catholics will collect the Vatican. Jewish kids like to collect Israel. What a great way to put your child in touch with his or her heritage!
How do I sell a stamp collection?
First, you really need to know if you have anything of value at all. Coming to the What's in Your Attic table at the Southeastern Stamp Expo is a good place to start. Barring that find a local club and see if there are any members who would be willing to look at your holdings. After that, you'll need to contact reputable dealers in your area. We maintain a listing of the Stamp Dealers Association of Georgia on our site (Don't worry, they live throughout the Southeast!).
Aren't Stamp Collectors rather nerdy?
Is there a certain type of person that stamp collecting will appeal to?
Not really. While it's true, that if you take a large random sample of stamp collectors, you will find more introverts than extroverts, stamp collectors boast a range of personalities. But there are some common traits, typically
How do I start?
We suggest the stamp collecting beginners information published by the American Philatelic Society. And if you are under 18, you really need to come by the Stamp Explorers booth at the Southeastern Stamp Expo for some free stamps.